Monday, October 10, 2016

What is it about Flowers? Why do they appeal to our Emotions?

For hundreds of years flowers have acted as symbols of our human emotions, being in love, sadden by death or just to put a smile on someone's face. 

The practice of giving flowers reached its height in the Victorian era, when a whole symbolic language of flowers evolved.
But flowers have been used as gifts far longer than that, with evidence that people were presenting each other with bouquets as long ago as 3000 BC, and pollen deposits found at ancient burial sites dating from 100,000 years ago suggest the practice is even older.

Flowers make people happy.  And while that might seem obvious, there hasn't been much research to prove the point until now.

A trio of new studies by Rutgers University scientists supports the notion pretty strongly, and the experts go on to speculate that flowers have flourished on this planet, with their beauty evolving in recent millennia, partly because humans are so attached to them.

The first study involved 147  women.  All those who got flowers smiled.  Make not: all of them smiled.  That's the kind of statistical significance scientists love.  Among the women who got candles, 23 percent didn't smile.  And 10 percent of those who got fruit didn't smile.

Another study involved 122 men and women in an elevator who were given either a flower, a pen, or nothing.  Those who got flowers smiled more, talked more, and here it gets interesting they even stood closer together. 

Finally, in another test, bouquets were delivered by florists to 113 men and women in a retirement community.  All 113 got flowers and a notebook, but some got them earlier and received a second bouquet when the others got theirs.  By now you can guess the outcome.  The more flowers, the more smiles.

From there, it's a bit of a leap to the idea that flowers are prolific because we love them.

People have been fascinated by flowers as long as we can remember.  They are an emotional product.  People are attracted to smells, sight and beauty and all of the above are in a single flower.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New Species of Flower Discovered

A New Species of Flower has been discovered in the Dominican Republic earlier this year, that is related to daisy & petunia.  Scientists estimate the speices to be up to 45 million years old. 
The well preserved flowers are trumpet shaped, covered with fine hairs, and less than 10 millimeters long.
Although not complete, the specimens include corollas, stamens and a single filament like style that protrudes from the mouth of the flower, providing the researchers with enough detail to classify them as part of the Strychnos genus.

Today the genus has around 200 species, including the strychnine bush, which is found in northern Australia.

They think that this particular flowers was most likely a vine and lived in a humid, tropical forest.
Despite its excellent state of preservation the researchers were unable to make out the color of the flowers although most Strychnos species have white or cream colored flowers.

While researchers do not know exactly what would have pollinated the fossil flowers, small bees commonly found in Dominican amber may be a possibility.
Amber is very good for all kinds of fossils, Dr Poinar said, although flowers usually decay very quickly since the petals are fragile.

The flowers of Strychnos electri were encased in the resin of a large, abundant ( and now extinct) tropical tree Hymenaea protera, which formed part of the forest canopy.

The fact they were small, made it more likely they became fully covered and protected by the resin's sticky mass.
As for leaves, branches, and fruits for plants, these are larger and often more firmly attached to the rest of the
plant, and therefore is less likely to end up as loose fragments in amber pieces..

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Black Eyed Susans Growing Guide

Black Eyed Susan's are native to North America and on of the most popular Wild flowers grown, not to mention they are Maryland's State Flower.

Members of the Sunflower family the " Black Eye" is named for the dark brown/purple centers of it's daisy like flower heads.

These plants can grow to over 3 feet tall, with leaves of 6 inches and stalks over 8 inches long and flower diameter of 2-3 inches.  They bloom from the months of June to October.

Butterflies, Bees and a variety of insects are attracted to this flower for the nectar.

The Black Eyed Susan can be a territorial flower and tend to squash out other flowers growing near them.

Planting period for them Is March to May, and the flowers will start to bloom from June to September.  The germination takes 7-30 days usually.

Plant the seed in a moist, well drained soil.  These hearty flowers really enjoy the sun.  They prefer full sun, though they'll grow in partial sun.

It's best to plant seeds in fertile soil, and check the plants regularly to see if they need watering.  Make sure they don't dry out.

Be sure to remove faded/ dead flowers to prolong blooming.

You won't be disappointed with your choice on  this flower once you see it in full bloom!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Easy Ways to Keep Flowers Alive Longer

You can extend the life of your flowers for 3,5, or even 7 days with some of these easy steps.

  1. Trim the stems when you get home and every day after.  First thing you should do when you get home with your flowers is trim the stems.  You can cut as much as you need to make them a nice height in your vase.  Repeat this step for as many days as you keep the flowers!
  2. Change the water every day.  Best practice is to dump out that old water and put in fresh, clean water every day.
  3. Rinse the vase, and stems.  This helps wash away any leftover "gunk" on that dirty rim around the vase where the water sits.  Run the flower stems under fresh water to eliminate any additional bacteria.
  4. Avoid extreme temperatures.  Just like humans, flowers aren't happy if they get too cold or too hot.  Avoid putting your flowers in direct contact with the fan, cold air conditioners or near a drafty door on cold winter days.  Also avoid putting your flowers near overly warm places, such as on or near a heater or in direct sunlight in windows.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Massive Flowers

To spruce up Jerusalem’s Vallero Square, local architecture firm ‘HQ Architects’ decorated it with flowers – albeit a different variety you’ve never seen before.

Installed in 2014, the flowers are actually an interactive installation called ‘Warde’. These 30-feet tall man-made flora bloom and wilt depending on people that frequent the square. Stand under the shade and the flowers’ bright red petals come to life. Leave the shade and they’ll automatically deflate and wait for its next pedestrian.

The 4 public sculptures also interact with the trams that pass by, providing both light and shade for weary commuters.

Check out more pictures and article at

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Mental Health Benefits of Flowers

~Article from the Huffington Post~

It turns out that the 1960's activists who chanted "Flower Power" were onto something important, in more ways than they probably knew.  Flowers just like peace are good for our mental health.

Research consistently links indoor flowers and plants, with wellbeing. 
Park& Mattson in 2008 confirmed what visitors to sick people have know forever.  They found that patients in hospital rooms brightened with flowers and potted plants needed less postoperative pain medication, had lower systolic blood pressure and pulse rates, were less anxious and tired and generally were in a more positive psychological state then patients in rooms without plants and flowers.

Your living room isn't a hospital room but if flowers and plants do so many good things for hospital patients, they must make your day at least a little better.  Flowers in the dinning rooms are also a good idea.  Researches from Wageningen University in the Netherlands studied restaurant diners and found that people with fresh flowers on their tables seem to be in better moods. 

Smelling floral scents also seems to put us in a good mood, and make us feel less anxious.  Flowers clearly aren't going to eliminate the need for medication, but they may take the edge off during exams or before presentations. 

When you're picking a bunch of flowers in your yard or at the local farmers' market, remember that less saturated and brighter colors are generally more relaxing, while bold saturated colors will energize you. A bunch with colors that fall near each other on the color wheel will also be more calming; with the opposite effect ensuing if the colors are opposite each other. Curvy shapes have generally been shown to be relaxing -- make an informed choice.
Reading the messages sent by flowers is a well-practiced art. Think about what roses of different colors seem to "say." Ever been disappointed when a potential partner you fancy shows up at your door with yellow roses instead of red ones? In the Internet era, symbolic snafus are harder to explain away. When in doubt, Google.

Enhancing the interior of your house with flowers and plants isn't an excuse to throw environmental responsibility to the wind. Local will probably last longer, anyway.
Flowers and plants in your home have positive psychological payback. Think of them as part of your mental health treatment program.

Here is just one plant on a list of plants that are great plants to have in your home for health benefits

Aloe Plant
The gel of the aloe plant has a number of healing properties, from soothing skin burns and cuts to detoxing the body, and it can also help to monitor the air quality in your home. The plant can help clear the air of pollutants found in chemical cleaning products, and when the amount of harmful chemicals in the air becomes excessive, the plants' leaves will display brown spots. Just an FYI: Grows best with lots of sun.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Guess which day set the record for most flowers sold in the US

Fun bit of information and trivia for flower lovers written by Business Insider I thought you might like.

August 17th, 1977 the day after "The King of Rock and Roll" died, set the record for most flowers sold in the US on a single day.

According to then- Associated Press reporter Mark Knoller, who covered Elvis Presley's funeral in Memphis, the grounds of the Forest Hill Cemetery were a "sea of flowers."

"I remember a spokesperson for FTD, the flowers by wire service, telling us they had more orders that day for Elvis than ever before in their history,: Knoller later wrote for CBS News. " We were told 3,116 floral arrangements had been delivered."

By that afternoon, Memphis ran out of flowers and scrambled to get additional flowers shipped in form around the nation.