Orchids

June 28, 2011

orchid
A Study in Nature, reported new evidence that Orchids may date back as far as 76 to 84 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period far earlier than had ever been believed before. An extinct species of a stingless bee was found trapped in amber from about 15 million years ago. Pollen being carried by the bee was a type of orchid known as Meliorchis Caribea on its wings! This is the first fossil find for orchids in history. This finding means that orchids may have existed during the time of dinosaurs.
Orchids have been known as a rare and beautiful flower that people adorn and keep in their homes, offices and gardens. Here are some of the interesting and facts about these flowers:
  • Orchids can grow up to 20 meters high
  • Orchids can come in a rainbow of colors except blue
  • The name orchid comes from the Greek word orchis- which means testicle in Greek. They’re named this way due to their shape.
  • There are over 25,000 species in the world and every year new species are discovered- an average of 200 and 300 new ones annually.
  • Some flower and science experts believe that there are still another 5,000 species of orchids undiscovered
Do you find the newest orchid developments interesting? Tell us what you love most about orchids!
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Listen, when you live in Texas like I do, you have to think about how to keep your garden blooming throughout the hot summer months especially during drought years when water restrictions apply. So, I wanted to share some of my top heat-resisting flower choices for those of you who may live in similar climates.

Spider Flower: This beautiful flower comes in pink, purple, and white. It looks delicates, but it can take the heat really well. Water it every few days and it will be good to go.

Spider Flower

 

California Poppy: California Poppies come in a variety of bright colors including red, pink, orange, yellow, and white. Not only as these flowers perfect for hot climates, they actually thrive in them! In fact, California Poppies can’t tolerate wet soil, which makes them an excellent flower to plant in hot dry climates.

California Poppy

 

Lantana: Oh yeah! This is my absolute favorite and I have loads of it all around my house. It comes in red, pink, orange, cream, white, purple, and bicolors. It does amazingly well in the hot hot heat of Texas and the only thing it can’t tolerate is temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit. It doesn’t get much better than this when talking about flowers who can handle the heat.

Lantana

What are your favorite hot weather flowers??

Flowers That Stain

June 21, 2011

Hibiscus

 

Flowers delight us with their perfume and beauty, but some can be a bit messy to handle. They may stain your clothes, skin, or carpet and should be avoided or handled very carefully for events.

Hibiscus: It makes a delicious tea and is a beautiful flower to look at but the pollen at the end of the stamen will stain your hands and clothes. These flowers are particularly popular in tropical themed weddings and receptions. Unfortunately, they can leave a nasty mark on bridal dresses. Make sure any hibiscus used has the pollen cut off and double check your venues rules on flowers- some venues don’t allow certain flowers to be used because of staining.

Daylilies: These have the same problem as hibiscus, their pollen will not only stain your clothes, they will stain your skin. Always handle daylily pollen with gloves and make sure the pollen is removed before using them in arrangements or bouquets of any kind.

Rose Petals: Roses won’t typically stain clothes or skin but when the petals are used on tablecloths, carpet, or wedding runners, they will often leave stains behind due to people pressing or stepping on them. Many wedding venues require you to bring a runner if you plan on using rose petals in your ceremony because they will stain the carpet. I’ve even witnessed a venue charging a bride and groom a “carpet cleaning fee” after the wedding because of rose petal staining.

Are there any other flowers that stain I missed?

Flowering Tea

June 17, 2011

If you are a frequent tea drinker, as I am, you know that there is a fine art and beauty to brewing tea. Some of my favorite teas to drink are known as “flowering teas” because when you brew the leaves they flower and if you have a clear teapot, it’s a beautiful thing to witness. Loose tea leaves are sewn around flowers and when hot water is added they “bloom” in the pot. Such an amazing tea and flower experience.

Actually, many teas are made from flowers and add exquisite fragrance and flavor. Flowering teas come in green, black, white, and oolong varieties. Some of the best flowers to use and “bloom” in tea are jasmine, peony, lily, rose,  and lavender.

So you can experience it too, here is a video of tea flowering.

 

What do you think?

Flower Mythology

June 14, 2011

Poppy

Flower mythology is very interesting and powerful. Hearing these stories growing up, I was always impressed by how symbolic and loved flowers were. I think that’s part of the reason why I love them so much, they have depth and meaning and a story. Here are some of my favorite flower mythologies.

Poppy: This flower was sacred to the goddess Demeter as it was the flower she created out of her grief for the early death of her love Mekon. I have also heard versions of the tale where Demeter turned Mekon into the Poppy. This flower always makes me think of romance and unfulfilled love.

Iris: The flowers name was given to it by the Greeks who named it after the goddess of the rainbow. So lovely.

Daffodil: The goddess Persephone was collecting flowers with her nymph maidens when she was lured by beautiful golden daffodil (or narcissus) as she went to pick them, she was abducted by Hades and taken with him to the underworld where she was forced to live half of the year. Persephone is also most associated with springtime.

Gallic Rose: This rose is said to be given it’s color from the blood of the dying Adonis.

I love picking a bouquet and thinking about what gods might be represented there. Do you have any favorite flower myths? Feel free to share them!

I stumbled across this flower quiz and though it’s a bit silly, I thought it was fun.  This was my result…

Quiz resultsSo then I got to thinking…what about other flower quizzes??? Would I get the same or similar result??

The answer is no. Not even close. I took four other quizzes and was told I’m an iris, snapdragon, lily, and daisy, respectively. The personality traits were interesting and diverse as well and I could see a bit of myself in each one which I think reinforces that people don’t necessarily fit into “types”. We can be many things at once. This was all just for a lark and if you have some spare time I suggest you take a few as well and share what type of flower you are in our comments section.

Orchid

 

Flowers are one of the best gifts to give but sometimes, they can be a little pricey. Here at, MyVirtualFlower, we believe giving someone special a floral gift shouldn’t cost half your paycheck, so we decided to make it easier for our budget conscious readers and compile a list of occasions with corresponding low-cost flowers to give. Hope this helps save you some green!

Birthdays

Hydrangea- These flowers have very full blooms and come in a variety of colors. A little goes a long way with hydrangeas so you don’t have to spend a lot. Try grabbing a couple of stems and tying them together with brightly colored ribbon- this looks lovely but won’t cost you dearly.

Orchid- Just buy a potted orchid (for about $12.00). They come in many colors and are very low maintenance- you only need to water about once a week. They also last for a long time, which makes them a great birthday gift.

Daisy- Daisies are low-cost and very cheerful. Great for a celebration!

Anniversary/Date

Sunflower- One stem of a sunflower is a bright and whimsical gift. I don’t suggest it for an anniversary but for a date it’s perfect!

Wildflowers- These are beautiful and come in so many bright colors. Plus, you can literally pick them for free! Add some nice greenery and you have yourself a bright and lovely bouquet your date/significant other won’t ever forget.

Carnations- These aren’t just filler flowers. They are low-cost and come in many beautiful colors. Buying these in bulk is even better. Wrap them up nicely and they won’t ever be thought of as “cheap”.

Iris- Just a single stem is a very sweet and personal gift.

House Warming/ Just Because

Carnations- Again, grabbing a bouquet of these in bright colors is a wonderful gift.

Gerbera Daisies- These can get a little pricey depending on where you get them. I recommend getting them from a grocer rather than a florist. Just a few of these bright buds goes a long way so you don’t have to buy too many to make a statement.

Petunias- You can pick up a potted petunia for less than $10 and they make a wonderful gift. Another plus is that these are fairly low maintenance.

 

Any other low-cost flower ideas???

 

pink rose

The Rose is the birth flower for the month of June. Roses come in many different shades and colors and almost all of them have completely different meanings. So how is someone with a June birthday to know what their birth flower means? With a birth flower that has a 100 different looks and meanings, the possibilities are vast. In order to help all you June birthdays sort through all the options, we thought we would give you a quick guide to the meanings of different roses.

 Rose Color Meanings

Red: Love and devotion.

Pink: Grace and affection.

White: Innocence and purity.

Yellow: Friendship. It can also mean “I’m sorry”.

Orange: Passion and excitement.

Blue: Mystery.

Green: Calm and serenity.

Black: Obsession. Although, if you receive a true black rose, it was probably dyed that color.

Purple: Dignity. Tenderness.

Petal Count Meanings

Most roses have five petals and in Christianity these are representative of martyrs blood and the Virgin Mary. There is one species, however, that only have four petals. The Rosa sericea, which only has four petals is associated with uniqueness and when given as a gift displays the givers devotion to the recipient.

Rose Type Meanings

Hybrid Tea Rose: The most popular type of rose, this is the rose that best represents love and devotion.

Gallic Rose: This rose doesn’t look like what most people consider a rose. It’s unique petal shape sets it apart from other roses and it is associated with hidden love or shy sweetness. It is also known as the apothecary’s rose.

Damask Rose: This is the rose most commonly used in perfumes. It’s meaning is one of sweetness and desire.

Musk Rose: This rose is shrouded in mystery and is thought to have originated in the Himalayas. It’s meaning is one of deepest affection and longing.

 

I hope all you June birthdays out there enjoyed this post! Happy Birthday!

 

Fruit and Flower Centerpieces

The centerpieces at your wedding reception may seem like a minor detail to some people but trust me, to most brides, they are a BIG deal. They can also be one of the biggest bank busters. Fortunately, there are some ways to have beautiful centerpieces without having to compromise your wedding budget.

Candles. Candles are a beautiful and inexpensive way to dress-up a centerpiece. Choose candles of differing heights and make sure that any candle you choose doesn’t have a strong scent- you don’t want anyone to have an allergic reaction. Some people like to place the candles on mirrors for added effect, but I think the romantic light they cast is enough. One word of warning- don’t put lit candles at a kids table.

Submerged flowers. I have seen this idea more and more at wedding at it has a lovely effect. Get glass vases, any shape you want, of differing heights fill them with water and submerge tulips or calla lilies. You don’t need as many flowers as you would a typical arrangement and the effect of the submerged flowers is very whimsical and serene. This is a great DIY idea.

Small vases and personal touches. Fill a small vase with flowers such as daisies, tulips, or roses and don’t use any filler. These make for very sweet arrangements. To off-set the small size of the flowers arrange pictures of you and your groom around the flowers. This creates a very sweet and sentimental wedding centerpiece that everyone will love.

Think alternative. If you are a non-traditional bride, you can really have fun with your centerpieces. If you have a green theme, you can put potted bamboo in the center of your tables, this  looks very zen and elegant. If you are getting married in the fall, pumpkins make a really seasonal and cute centerpiece- cut out the center, clean out the pumpkin guts, and add red and orange gerbera daisies, then add candles around the base of the pumpkin. Fruit centerpieces are also very sweet and shabby chic. Get different sizes of mason jars and fill them with lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, or any type of fruit that matches your color theme. Add water and a brightly colored ribbon around the outside and you’ve got yourself a pretty and funky centerpiece.

 

There are plenty other ways to save on centerpieces but these are some of my favorites. Floral centerpieces don’t have to break your wedding bank- you just need to think creatively. How would you save on centerpieces?

 

Vera Wang Calla Lilies

As a flower lover and frequent flower purchaser, I was very surprised to find that designer Ver Wang has teamed up with FTD.com and designed her own collection of bouquets and arrangements. I’m not surprised that Vera Wang (who has the marriage market cornered) would do this. I was surprised that I didn’t know about it.

Her floral collection is spilt into three categories, Vera’s Favorites, Vera’s Roses, and Vera’s Fashion Bouquets. The collection isn’t extensive but it is very lovely. Classic, streamlined, and elegant. The only disappointment were the roses, as they were pretty typical arrangements, there just wasn’t anything stellar or unique about them, beautiful, but ordinary. The Vera’s Favorites, however, were stunning. Elegant and modern, any one of them would impress your guests at any event. I particularly liked the lack the filler (greens, babies breath, etc.). I love a bouquet or arrangement that is solid flower with little filler. It just seems so modern and luxurious.

Check out Vera’s full floral collection here.

What do you think of her floral collection???