The cottage chrysanthemums are even later in their blooming. Sometimes they leave it so late that they have to compete with wind, rain and sodden leaves. A pleasant single pink called Innocence is usually out by the end of September. It isn’t as tall as some of the other cottage types, the yellows and bronzes, and that interesting old gentleman, the Emperor of China I have given up growing some of these in the orthodox way as it seems impossible to make them grow straight, even with the most careful staking. I planted the bronze variety under a tall bush of Helichgeum gunnii. The first year it worked according to plan.

The helichrysum produced its pink flowers in late spring, and in September, when all it had to show were brown tufts, the chrysanthemum thrust its long stems through the needled foliage and the bronze flowers were framed by dark green Then came a disastrous winter and the poor helichrysum succumbed. I didn’t cut it to the ground, as I did many things, but left about z’ of dead wood. The chrysanthemums did what they could with this support fountaining above the tree stump. Some of the longest stems couldn’t manage to stay upright and where they sagged to the ground they rooted, which suggests possibilities of doing better things with the lanky chrysanthemums. The cottage yellow is tall but not so tall as the bronze, and it looks quite well if grown close to the tall Anapbalisyedoensis so that the soft yellow heads of the chrysanthemums intermingle with the fluffy white heads and silver leaves of the anaphalis.

The Emperor of China is a pink chrysanthemum with darker buds and deeper shades in the flowers. The leaves carry on the same theme with many crimson leaves among the green. It is not quite so tall as the others

A dwarf pink called Gloria is a pleasant little chrysanthemum for the front of the border, and a little later another old variety with tiny, gold-centred, crimson flowers comes into bloom. The only name I have for this is Tiny, and though it fits it I feel there must be another more responsible name. It isn’t as easy as some of the others, and I am very careful when I try to increase it because I should hate to lose those eager little flowers which positively glow at me across the garden.             –

Perhaps my favourite of all the hardy chrysanthemums is the last to flower, the beautiful scented Wedding Day, with its large, single white flowers with their green centres. I have this one growing through a shrub too. I planted it below a good bush of Pblomis fraticosa and it has pushed its way up through the branches, as I intended it should, and the beauty of its flowers is enhanced by the soft grey-green leaves.

A useful orchid-coloured flower which is at its best in late September is Cbelone °Nivea. Its pouched flowers grow against the z’ stems, which are straight and strong and do not need staking. The white version of this plant is easier to place, but quite accidentally I planted the type flower dose to Sedum telepbium Munstead Red, with good effect.

Also in orchid pink, but in a much deeper tone, Senecio pulcher flowers in autumn—that is if it flowers at all. For some reason this groundsel is difficult to find and not at all easy when once it is found. It has long fleshy leaves, slightly jagged at the edges, the daisy flowers are fleshy too and grow on stems that should be z’ high but are often more dwarf. A nurseryman, who called to see me when this flower was in bloom, looked at my plant and said, “I see you don’t grow this very well either.” I was, in fact, rather proud that I had managed to keep my S. pulcber for five or six years, and was grateful that it flowered at all. I grow it in a narrow bed beside a stone path and see that it gets plenty of water I wonder if it would do better in a really wet place, but so far I haven’t had the courage to lift or divide it. Another senecio that I grow, S. smithies, definitely prefers a damp place and does well in the wettest place in the ditch.

 

In a normal year April is a balmy month, with gentle showers that leave the sky clear and blue, and furtive sunshine, which heartens without scorching. February should have brought enough moisture to stop anxiety for many weeks, the angry winds of March should have dried up the surface of the soil and made it workable, all ready for the gentle play of shower and sun in April.

Of course it doesn’t always happen like that. We don’t always get rain in February, and March winds do not always know when that month ends and April begins. But worst of all are the years when we have weeks and weeks without rain, sometimes even into May. This can be disastrous for plants that have had to be divided or replanted rather late in the season. Some years April doesn’t live up to its reputation in any way. It can be cold and sometimes things seem to take a long time to get going. I have been more disappointed in April than in any month beau se we expect so much. I always remember, in the days when we divided our time between London and Somerset, with what eagerness I dashed out to see what had come out while I had been away, and it was usually very little.

In a good year Viburnum utile is a pleasant sight early in April. I have this shrub trained against the east wall of the malthouse There are odd flowers as early as February and in April it covers itself with flat flower-heads of pale pink, enhanced by deeper buds. I know that many people do not consider this viburnum worth growing, preferring the product of its mating with V. carle.rii in Viburnum bterk.woodii. I grow V. burkwoodii as a bush and it soon makes a very big one and is practically evergreen. Compared with V. utile it seems to have more foliage than flower. The “thinner” utik is so covered with bloom early in the year that the stems and sparse foliage hardly show. I often think how lovely it would look grown against a white wall. The grey stone of the malthouse is not the best background for pale flowers, but even that disadvantage cannot detract from the beauty of V. utile at the height of her glory.

 

Floral design has a rich and varied history dating back to very early cultures. Flowers were used to beautify surroundings, for personal enjoyment, to express feelings, and to enhance religious ceremonies or other important festivals and events. The study of the history and traditions of floral design throughout the ages can give great insight into the use of flowers today.

EARLY FLORAL DESIGN PERIODS

EGYPTIAN PERIOD

The Egyptians were the first people recorded in history to use flowers for decorative purposes. Cut flowers were placed in bowls, vases, or jars to use in religious ceremonies and for festivals during the Egyptian period. Flowers also served decorative purposes in the home.

The Egyptians valued simplicity and highly stylized repetition. A typical arrangement would be in a wide- mouthed bowl with an orderly sequence of a fully opened water lily, a leaf, and then a bud, repeating around the rim of the bowl.

Flowers, foliage, and fruits were often woven together into wreaths, garlands, flower collars, and chaplets. A wreath forms a circular shape; a garland is a strand or roping of plants, which can be shaped depending upon the place and the designer. Chaplets were either garlands or wreaths worn on a person’s head.

THE GREEK AND ROMAN PERIOD

The Greeks and Romans were greatly influenced by the Egyptian period. Garlands, wreaths, and chaplets were the main floral designs during the Greek and Roman period. Flowers were given to honor their heroes and gods during festivals, athletic events, and religious ceremonies. The strewing (scattering) of flowers and loose petals at banquets and festivals was a trademark of this period. Flowers arranged in vases or bowls was uncommon during this era.

Influence on Today’s Designs

Wreaths and garlands are still very popular today. The wreath is a popular door decoration at the holidays or year-round. Wreaths may be placed either on a wall or on a table as a centerpiece. Garlands are popular for adorning cake tables or head tables at weddings. Evergreen garlands (or roping) add a festive touch to stairways and banisters at the Christmas season. The strewing of petals by a flower girl at a wedding is a common practice.

JAPANESE INFLUENCE

Ikebana or Japanese flower arranging has been practiced as an art form since 621 AD. This form of floral design was influenced by early Chinese art. The floral designs of the Japanese influence emphasize careful and significant placement of every flower, branch, or leaf. Space and flowing rhythm also characterize this design style. The placement of three main flowers or branches signifies heaven (shin), man (soe), and Earth .

Influence on Today’s Designs

Japanese flower arranging has influenced the contemporary line and line mass designs of today. The use of space in contemporary floral design was given greater importance due to the influence of this design style.

India is a land of varied climate and as a result number of flowers grows here. Floral have a special place in the Indian homes with people growing flowering plants as a way to decorate their homes. Blooms have been a part of the offering made to the deity and even today a religious ritual is not complete without flowers. In fact, specific flowers are known to its attachment to specific Gods. Lotus, the national flower of the country also finds place as an important flower in literature of the ancient and medieval times.

The love for floral was universal and even the Mughal Emperors supported gardens. The world-famous flower gardens of Kashmir; Shalimar and Nishat gardens are there. Indian women have for centuries adorned their hair with flowers of jasmine. Flowers are also an important aspect of the Indian wedding. In fact, in some cultures the bride accustom with floral jewellery. The flowers are also used for various medicinal purposes in the Ayurvedic School of medicine.

Over the years, gifting of blooms to friends, colleagues and relatives on special occasions has also become popular. In fact, flowers are a part of the Indian wedding used for rituals as well as for decorative purposes. Earlier, there used to sell flowers who used to sell marigold and rose for temples and scented flowers like jasmine adorned in ladies’ hair. Then, came the concept of gifting flowers and the roadside flower sellers transformed themselves into florists with shops. They would keep fresh-cut flowers and fashion them into a simple bouquet at the request of the customer.

Today things have gone a step ahead. With internet taking over all aspects of marketing, even flowers are not left. The physical florist shop has converted into an online one. Due to lack of time and the fast-paced life, the online shop is convenient to all. From the comforts of the home, one can place order for flowers to delivered as gifts anywhere across the country. The ability to visit multiple online shops gives the customer the freedom of choice in terms of a variety of flowers as well as the price range. The online flower shop is a well-designed website with beautiful and clear pictures of the flower arrangements as well as their prices all available at the click of a button at any time of the day or night.

Flowers are the ideal gift for all occasions and so the flower business is a thriving one. With an online shop, the florist has direct contact with a number of flower growers who can supply specific flowers. The other connection is with the carrier companies which collect flowers from the grower and deliver it. This reduces storage time and ensures delivery of fresh flowers.

With the number of online florists increasing, those in competition need to think of means of keeping themselves above the surface. This has led to professionalism both in the service aspect as well as the creative aspect. The florists keep themselves abreast of the developments in the world of flowers. Gone are the days when a bunch of roses wrapped in cellophane paper was enough as a Valentine’s Day gift. These days’ online florists keep options of chocolates, soft toys and other such accessories as accompaniment to the flowers. There is a large variety of gift boxes, baskets, wrappers, etc. to choose from. The florists are leaving no tables unturned to make sure that their customers get the best and in the process stay loyal to them.

Hyacinths are native to Greece and Asia Minor. They produce a fragrant flower that may be purple, white, pink, or multicolored. Most hyacinths are produced in Holland. The majority of hyacinths are sold between January 3 and Valentine’s Day.

Hyacinths are available to forcers as prepared bulbs or regular bulbs. Prepared bulbs require about 10 weeks of cold. They are used for early forcing Regular bulbs need about 13 weeks to satisfy the cold requirement. Regular bulbs produce a better-looking plant than do prepared bulbs.

They require a very well-drained growing medium. They can be grown with one bulb in pot or a number of bulbs in larger pots. Use of short bulb pans provides a stable appearance.

Count backwards on a calendar the number of weeks to produce the crop, beginning from the sale date. The bulbs might need to be held from the time of their arrival until cooling. Hold prepared and regular bulbs if necessary.

Rooting Room

Provide rooting room temperatures for about four weeks or until roots grow out the bottom of the containers.

Forcing

The longer the cooling period, the shorter period of time it takes to force hyacinths. December crops can be forced at greenhouse temperatures.

Hyacinths require only a few weeks in the greenhouse. Sell the crop before it flowers, arid let the buyer force the plant the last three to four days.

One problem cf hyacinths is known as splitting. Splitting is a condition where the flower stalk separates from the basal plate. Once separated, the flowers fail to develop. It is caused by changes in temperature that cause the bulb to expand and contract. Freezing of the bulbs can also lead to this problem. Splitting is more common with purple varieties.

Intermittent Mist Systems for Plant Propagation

An intermittent mist system delivers water in tiny droplets for the purpose of keeping plant material moist. Intermittent mist systems are used for plant propagation. When taken, cuttings are without roots to absorb water. The mist system can relieve water stress on the cuttings until the cuttings develop roots. Mist systems permit higher light intensity. The higher light intensity increases sugar production and hence, speeds the production of roots.

Intermittent mist systems can operate continuously or be set to mist the plants at regular intervals Since there is less water stress at night, mist systems are set to operate only during the day. A solenoid valve controls the flow of water through the system. The solenoid is activated by one of three control mechanisms.

A time clock can be set to determine the time of day the mist system will operate. It also is set for the frequency and duration of the mists. A typical frequency of operation during the day might be 30 seconds every ten minutes.

A weighted leaf system consists of a fine metal mesh leaf that is balanced with a switch. When the leaf is dry, it triggers the switch to turn on the mist. The leaf system better reflects the conditions in the greenhouse than a clock timer does. It is more active on warm, sunny days, than cool, cloudy days.

A third controlling device involves a computer Computer devices program the frequency and duration of the mists. They can also take into account the environmental conditions in the greenhouse.

 

 

Once the planning and ordering has been successfully completed, the designing process begins. A few aspects of the wedding can be started well ahead of the wedding week. Pew bows can be created and supplies can be ordered and gathered. Most of the design work will, however, be done during the last day or two before the wedding.

The bouquet that the bride-to-be carries should reflect the personality of the bride and the style of the gown and wedding Bridal bouquet choices are the colonial, the cascade, variations of the cascade, an arm bouquet, a hand- tied bouquet, and other special bouquet designs. The flower selections will also help to define the formality and style of the event. Classic styles may feature roses and calla lilies; contemporary, high-style designs may incorporate tropical flowers or alstroemeria; traditional styles may feature carnations or daisies; elegant styles may combine rubrum lilies and lisianthus.

Bouquets may be designed in a floral foam holder or wired and taped. A floral foam holder has floral foam encased in a plastic cage with a handle. The holder allows a designer to position flowers and foliages into a saturated piece of floral foam, which helps the flowers to last longer Another advantage is that the bouquets may be designed a day or two before the wedding. One word of caution is that a bouquet designed in a floral foam holder should not be thrown because of the weight and the wet mess that it will make when caught.

Finishing sprays and dips may be used on the finished bouquets. These products minimize water loss and reduce transpiration for bouquets in floral foam holders or for ones that are wired and taped. Stems can be secured into the floral foam with a product that forms a tacky or sticky glue-like bond between the foam and the stems. An example is Flora-Lock”. Completed bouquets should be allowed to dry for a short time after application of any sprays or dips and then placed in a sealed plastic delivery bag in the cooler. Bouquets can be placed upright in a bud vase or bouquet stand or laid down on cushions of colorful waxed tissue before being sealed in the plastic bag. Add a mist of water to the flowers, avoiding the ribbons or bows.

Colonial Bouquets

The colonial bouquet is a round bouquet that is based on the English nosegay of the Georgian and Victorian eras. This style is popular for both brides and bridesmaids.

1. Place the entire floral foam holder into a floral preservative solution to saturate it Allow it to drain for a few minutes before deigning in it Use a stand or a bud vase filled with water to support the holder upright to design in.

2. Add a collar of foliage around the back outside edges. Mix two or three types of foliages for variety.

3. Green up the center of the bouquet with foliage.

4. Add a few showy or bright flowers (or the most expensive flowers— roses) in the center of the round shape.

5. Position the flowers along the outside edge to form the round shape.

6. Fill in the center with additional flowers and filler flowers.

7. Check to see if any floral foam shows and add foliage as needed. Add foliage in the back of the holder to cover the foam. A bow or lace collar can also be added in the back to cover the foam.

Cascade Bouquets

A cascade bouquet has a full, rounded central area with an eye-catching trailing line(s) of flowers and foliage. The cascade bouquet shape has many variations, including the crescent. The crescent bouquet is one variation of the cascade bouquet that is designed in a C shape. The cascade style is a beautiful design for elegant or formal weddings.

The cascade bouquet is basically designed the same way as the colonial bouquet with the exception of the beginning placement of the trailing foliage and flowers. The foliage and flowers are placed in a pleasing trailing manner and then wired together. The wire and the stem ends are inserted into the floral foam holder; the wire is brought out the back of the holder and fashioned around one of the supports of the plastic cage. This wiring technique insures that the heavy, longer stems will not fall out of the bouquet.Chains or strands of florets, such as hyacinths or stephanotis, may be added to cascade bouquets.

 

Carnations- These are, also known as flowers of God and signify ‘fascination’. They are found in a wide range of colours like pink, red, white, striped, green, yellow and purple. Pink Carnations suggest mother’ love, red stands for romantic love and white for pure love and together in a bunch they convey your love for your parents.

Gerberas – These belong to the Daisy family and like the daisies are symbolic of innocence, playfulness and purity. These emotions can be conveyed to someone you do not know very well so you could take them for the hostess, for your boss and even your teachers.

Iris – Iris grows in shades of blue and purple (there are white, yellow and orange iris too) colours which are not very common in flowers. The flower is a symbol of eloquence, wisdom and purity.

Orchids grow in mind boggling varieties of colours, shapes and sizes. The exquisiteness of orchids conveys emotions ranging from beauty, love, maturity, charm and thoughtfulness.

Rose – A discussion on flowers would be incomplete without the mention of the Rose, which is undisputed in both beauty and aroma.  The red Rose has always been a symbol of love. The yellow Rose signifies friendship while the white Rose stands for purity.

The best part about gifting flowers is that you do not really have to wait for special occasion because any occasion can be made special with flowers. However, you need to learn their secret language of flowers and be sure of the emotion that your bouquet of chrysanthemums, daisies, carnations or the seasonal flowers convey.

 

From time immemorial, flowers have been used to express emotions without verbal communication. Centuries ago, the Greeks used flowers to adorn their palaces, later in the harems of the Middle East flowers were used to pass on messages between lovers. In the Victorian era, the formal language of flower was decoded and compiled into books.

Flowers as Gifts: Flowers are probably the best gift nature has given to us. They personify beauty and perfection and therefore make an ideal gift. Traditionally, flowers have been gifted on almost all occasion’s right from birth to marriage and anniversaries to housewarming. The special thing about flowers is that they can be gifted by anybody and to anybody; there is no differentiation between the rich and the poor, the young and the old or a boy and a girl. So, flowers have a universal appeal about them as far as gifting is considered.

Birth Flowers: Romans, with their ideas of using flowers for decorations at birth and gifting flowers to the new born, started the concept of birth month flower. Each calendar month is associated with a flower which generally blooms during that season. There are certain qualities associated with the flower, which are supposed to be inherent even in the person born in that month.

Flowers say ‘I love you’ – Love is probably the most common emotion expressed by gifting flowers. The idea, made popular by the media has caught on especially amongst the younger generation. A bouquet of flowers sent to your loved ones will say that you love them louder than your own words ever can. And, the surprise of having received the flowers will stay with them long after the flowers have wilted. So, whether it is for wooing someone or for rekindling romance the choice of flowers is varied. You could take your pick from send red roses, daisies, carnations, iris, orchids, lilacs, lilies, tulips and sunflowers.

Flowers say ‘best wishes’ – A bouquet of fresh seasonal flowers gifted on wedding anniversaries expresses wishes of togetherness. According to a popular belief, Daffodils are for the 10th anniversary, Lilies for 20th, Sweet Peas for 30th and Violets for 50th anniversary! An assorted bunch of flowers can be gifted, to someone about to appear for an exam or a job interview, to say ‘all the best’. It would be ideal to give an assortment of Lilies, Poppies, Carnations, Geraniums, Peonies, Morning Glory depending on the season.

Flowers say ‘I care’ – An assortment of fresh and bright flowers from the garden and kept besides a patient generate positive energy and result in quicker recovery. Apart from being beautiful, flowers have a beautiful smell and their lingering aroma stays on for a long time as a reminder of the caring act of gifting.

Flowers say ‘thank you’- A simple bunch of fresh flowers is an ideal gift if you have been invited over by someone for a meal. They convey your regards to the hosts and thank them for their hospitality. In India a number of festivals are celebrated by different religions. Though specific flowers are used in different traditions for different rituals, over the years, the trend of gifting flowers on festivals has increased.