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.

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.