Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Beautiful Hanging center Pieces

There's a simple reason why hanging centerpieces are loved so much by any event-planners. It's not because they can add intimacy to a high-ceilinged room. It's not because they decorate tables without getting in the way of conversation. And it's not because they just love to hang things. It's because they're simply beautiful and elegant that can add beautiful atmosphere to the event.  
A Beautiful Sign

A Bulb and Flower-Chains 

A Dangling Light bulbs
A drooping Flower stems
A Floating Bench
A sprouting Flower Baskets
An Intertwining Flower Bouquets
An Upside down Branch filled with  beautiful flowers
Dangling Flowers
Hanging Garden
Some Beautiful or colorful bottles or vases
The Floating Lanterns
Using a Hula Hoop as Chandelier

Monday, February 8, 2016


No flower can lift someone’s spirits quite like sunflowers. They are bright and cheery, and as warm and inviting as the sweet summer sun. With brilliant yellow petals, also known as “rays,” sunflowers have an unmistakable sun-like appearance that has made them a crowd favorite, especially in the summer months. 

 Sunflowers symbolize adoration, loyalty and longevity. Much of the meaning of sunflowers stems from its namesake, the sun itself. These flowers are unique in that they have the ability to provide energy in the form of nourishment and vibrancy—attributes which mirror the sun and the energy provided by its heat and light.

Sunflowers are known for being “happy” flowers, making them the perfect gift to bring joy to someone’s (or your) day.

It is a misconception that flowering sunflower heads track the Sun across the sky during the day. Young flower buds do display movement similar to this behavior through a process called heliotropism. But a mature flower usually points in a fixed easterly direction.

 The History of Sunflowers

Sunflowers originated in the Americas in 1,000 B.C., and were then cultivated as a valuable food source for centuries. With the European exploration of the New World, the flower’s popularity spread, as the rest of the world began to appreciate its beauty and sustenance.

Artists throughout history loved the sunflower’s unique splendor—those of the Impressionist era were especially fixated on the flower. The use of sunflower images as religious symbols has also been documented in some native societies.

Wild sunflowers are often photographed with their tall stalks and bright petals stretched towards the sun. This interesting behavior, known as phototropism, inspired a motif that has appeared in many ancient works.

❀ Simply beautiful Sunflower ❀
Today, sunflowers remain a highly recognized flower, admired for its sunny charm and delightful disposition. These beauties are also still sourced for their seeds, as well as oils used for cooking and skin emollients. For a flower that reflects so many of the sun’s positive characteristics, it isn’t surprising that people enjoy basking in the sunflower’s warming glow so much.

The scientific name of sunflowers is Helianthus, Helia for sun and Anthus for flower.

Friday, December 18, 2015


Dahlias have an interesting history... 

 The first tubers arrived in Europe at the end of the 18th century, sent over to Madrid by the Spanish settlers in Mexico.
Andreas Dahl (after who the plant is named) regarded it as a vegetable rather than a garden flower, but interest switched from the edible tubers to the blooms when the first varieties with large, double flowers were bred in Belgium in 1815 .... The dahlia is named after Swedish 18th-century botanist Anders Dahl. In German the dahlia was known during most of the 19th century as Georgia, being named after the naturalist Johann Gottlieb Georgi of St. Petersburg,Russia

 Within a few years nearly every colour we now admire had been introduced and Victorian catalogues listed hundreds of varieties.
The favourites in those days were the Ball and Small Decorative Dahlias.
Today it is the Large Decorative and Cactus varieties which capture the public fancy. Fashions change but the popularity of this late summer flower continues to increase.
The reasons for this devotion to the Dahlia are fairly obvious. First of all the skill of the breeders in America, Australia, Germany, Holland, and England has produced a range of sizes and colours unmatched in the world of garden flowers.

Plants ranging from dwarf bedding (twelve inches high) to giants taller than a man. Flowers range in size from an inch to the largest dinner plate.
Equally important is the time of flowering.
From the end of July to the first frosts, Dahlias provide large amounts of colour when so many flowers are past their best.
Above all the Dahlia is an accommodating plant.
It likes a good loam, but will grow almost anywhere.
 It relishes sunshine, but can still do well in partial shade.
A bed just for Dahlias is really the ideal way of growing them, but they are quite at home in the herbaceous border or even the rockery for dwarf bedding varieties.

While moderately heat-resistant, dahlias grown from seeds for first-year bloom will burn out in midsummer except in northern and cool western gardens. Sow seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost. Set out in moist, fertile soil when danger of frost is over. Tall plants may need staking. Tubers will mature at base of main stem at end of first season. Save plants you like by digging up tuber cluster, shaking off soil, and storing during winter in a cool, moist place. Separate tubers carefully before planting. These flowers prefer warm weather. Dahlias are commonly grown as an annual but they can be grown as a perennial if their tubers are dug up shortly after the first frost. To dig up a dahlia properly, simply dig the frost blackened plant out of the ground. Brush (not wash) as much soil off as possible and then cut the stems back to about 6 inches. Set them out in a cool dry place to dry for a day or two. Basements or garages are ideal for this. After they have dried out a bit, dust them with a bit of fungicide and pack them away. Packing them in vermiculite or sand will help to ensure that the tuber will not be affected by fungal infestations.

Dahlia is a genus of bushy, tuberous, perennial plants native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. There are at least 36 species of dahlia. Dahlia hybrids are commonly grown as garden plants. The Aztecs gathered and cultivated the dahlia for food, ceremonies, as well as decorative purposes, and the long woody stem of one variety was used for small pipes.

 Any of the 30 species of tuberous-rooted herbaceous plants that make up the genus Dahlia, in the aster family, native to higher elevations of Mexico and Central America. The leaves of most are segmented and toothed or cut. About six species have been bred for cultivation as ornamental flowers. Wild species have both disk and ray flowers in the flowering heads, but many varieties of ornamentals, such as the common garden dahlia (D. bipinnata), have shortened ray flowers. Dahlia flowers may be white, yellow, red, or purple

Dahlias are easily propagated by division. Simply replant the tubers and wait until the growth reaches between a half inch to a full inch. Dig the plant back up and divide the clump into a few pieces. Each new clump needs to have a shoot on it.

Dahlia Plants ranging from dwarf bedders (twelve inches high) to giants taller than a man. Flowers range in size from an inch to the largest dinner plate. The Dahlia seeds will germinate a little faster when we use a heating mat, or place them on top of a refrigerator for heat. Dahlia bulbs are a subterranean root system, comprising many distinct tubers, each a separate lump. These allow the dahlia plant to mature year after year without benefit of seed or spores. To sprout the next season, each tuber must have one eye. 

Dahlias Plant Care

• Dahlia plants become massive and need support.
• The large flowering types, particularly, become very tall and, because of the succulent nature of their stems, require support to prevent plant breakage and loss of large blooms.
• Tie plants to the stake that was driven next to them at planting time.
• When using a string or soft twine for tying dahlias, tie loosely to the stem to avoid constricting the developing plant.
• Start tying dahlias when they are about 1 foot tall, and continue to tie them at intervals of approximately 1 foot throughout the growing season. Individual stalks should be tied when buds begin to form and enlarge.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Blanket Flower

Blanket flower (gaillardia) is a drought- and heat-tolerant perennial wildflower that provides long-lasting color in a sunny border with poor soil. In red, gold, or brown, its daisy-like, 3-inch wide, single or double perennial flowers bloom through the summer and into the fall. Although often short-lived, it is easy to grow and will flower the first year from seed. They need full sun and grow  1 to 3 feet high, 6 inches to 2 feet wide. usually red or orange colors. Foliage colors are chartreuse/ gold. They bloom flowers all summer and  up to Fall seasons. They are deer-resistant, low maintenance  drought tolerant . They are good  groundcovers, and can be planted containers  , cut  flowers can add to your arrangements.

Blanket Flower


Blanket flowers are wonderfully cheerful, long-blooming plants for hot, sunny gardens. They produce single or double daisy flowers through most of the summer and well into fall. The light brick red ray flowers are tipped with yellow -- the colors of Mexican blankets.
Blanket flowers tolerate light frost and are seldom eaten by deer. Deadhead the flowers to keep them blooming consistently through the summer and into fall. Some species tend to be short-lived, especially if the soil is not well drained.

Blanket flower

Thursday, May 21, 2015

More to know about ORCHIDS

Paphiopedilum Glanduliferum

Paphiopedilum species naturally occur among humus layers as terrestrials on the forest floor, while a few are true epiphytes and some are lithophytes. These sympodial orchids lack pseudobulbs. Instead, they grow robust shoots, each with several leaves; some are hemicryptophytes. The leaves can be short and rounded or long and narrow, and typically have a mottled patte...rn. When older shoots die, newer ones take over. Each new shoot only blooms once when it is fully grown, producing a raceme between the fleshy, succulent leaves. The roots are thick and fleshy. Potted plants form a tight lump of roots that, when untangled, can be up to 1 m long.
Members of this genus are considered highly collectible by orchid fanciers due to the curious and unusual form of their flowers. Along with Cypripedium, Mexipedium, Phragmipedium and Selenipedium, the genus is a member of the subfamily Cypripedioideae, commonly referred to as the "lady's-slippers" or "slipper orchids" due to the unusual shape of the pouch-like labellum of the flower. The pouch traps insects seeking nectar, and to leave again they have to climb up past the staminode, behind which they collect or deposit pollinia.

Paphiopedilum  Glanduliferum

Paphiopedilum Acmodontum

The paphiopedilums (genus Paphiopedilum) – often abbreviated Paph and colloquially known as paphs in horticulture – are flowering plants in the orchid family (Orchidaceae). It contains about 80 accepted species nowadays, some of which are natural hybrids. These slipper orchids are native to South China, India, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, and form their own subtribe, the Paphiopedilinae.

Paphiopedilum Acmodontum


Spiranthes, commonly called Ladies'-tresses, is a genus of orchids
(family (Orchidaceae) belonging to the subfamily Orchidoideae.
It has a very wide, almost continuous distribution, mostly in temperate zones of the northern hemisphere: Europe, North Africa, Asia, Australia, New Guinea, the Americas and the Caribbean. It is a provincially endangered orchid, in North America it can be found in Manit...
oba, Ontario and more than 20 American states. They grow in meadows, fields and savannas but are also found in forests, both on acid and calcareous soil. Most species tend to become weeds in disturbed areas, while they may be scarce in undisturbed areas.
Plants can grow to a height of 12 to 38 cm (4.5 to 15 inches). Spiranthes consists of perennial, terrestrial orchids with clustered, tuberous or rarely fibrous, fleshy roots. The leaves are basal or occasionally cauline (i.e. emerging from the stem). They are variable in shape. They range from broadly ovate to elliptic, or absent at flowering.
The flowering stem has foliaceous sheaths. The stem is erect and spiraling (as the name Spiranthes indicates). It carries persistent, sheathing bracts. The resupinate, tubular flowers are arranged in a more or less spirally twisted, showy or inconspicuous terminal spike. Their color is typically a shade of white or yellowish-white or even pink (as in Spiranthes sinensis).
This genus has undergone many taxonomic changes: originally Spiranthes contained all the species from the subtribe Spiranthinae. In 1920 Schlechter divided this genus in 24 genera. A revision by Williams in 1951 and by Schweinfurth in 1958, inflated the number of species of this genus again. Finally D. Szlachetko, with several studies in the 1990s, divided this genus in several genera, contained in 3 subtribes. During all these changes, there is only one species that has remained taxonomically unchanged: Spiranthes parksii.


Warty Hammer Orchid,

Warty Hammer Orchid, a plant with an amazingly unflower-like flower that attracts a particular wasp, which is deceived into attempting to mate with the flower. Darwin's method of studying the pollination of other orchids is described, and used to illustrate how evolutionary biologists can test hypotheses on the adaptive value of the attributes of living things. Some may say it's ugly looking, but it's depends on you.

Warty Hammer Orchid

Oncophyllum globuliforme (Nicholls)

Oncophyllum globuliforme (Nicholls) (previously named Bulbophyllum globuliforme), the Green Bead Orchid, or Miniature Moss-orchid is an epiphytic orchid that occurs in subtropical rainforest in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, in a variety of habitats including warm temperate rainforest, dry rainforest and wet sclerophyll forests at an altitude of 100-900 metres.

One of the smallest orc
hid species known, the tiny pseudobulbs are about the size of a pinhead and each has a tiny reduced thread-like leaf at the apex. It can form quite extensive mats on tree trunks. Flowering occurs mainly from October to November and May to August. Flowers are cream with yellow labellum, rarely flushed with red and cream labellum, and are carried on a solitary stem in the axils of stem bracts.
It grows on bark and forms a thick mat, on the trunk and larger branches of the Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii), and is often mistaken for moss or lichen.

Oncophyllum Globuliforme (Nicholls)

The Giant Orchid

The Giant Orchid, Grammatophyllum speciosum, also called Tiger Orchid, Sugar Cane Orchid or Queen of the Orchids, is the world's largest orchid. It is native to New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines, growing in crotches of large trees on exposed areas of the lowland tropical rainforest.

It is an epiphytic and occasionally a lithophytic plant, forming spectacular root bundles. Its cylindric pseudobulbs can grow to a length of 2.5 m. It can grow to gigantic clusters weighing from several hundred kilograms to more than one ton. A Giant Orchid weighing two tons was one of the highlights in the 1851 exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London.
Each raceme can grow to a height of 3m, bearing up to eighty flowers, each 10 cm wide. The flowers are yellow colored with maroon or dark red spots. These flowers are remarkable, since the lowest flowers have no lip. It blooms only once every two to four years. This orchid can, however, remain in bloom for up to two months.
Because of its enormous size, it is rarely cultivated.

The Giant Orchid

Paphiopedilum Callosum The genus name Paphiopedilum was established by Ernst Hugo Heinrich Pfitzer in 1886; it is derived from Paphos (a city on Cyprus) and Ancient Greek pedilon "slipper". Ironically, no paphiopedilum occurs on Cyprus – at least not as the genus is understood today. But it was long mixed up with its Holarctic relative Cypripedium, which indeed grows in the Mediterranean region. Paphiopedilum was finally decided to be a valid taxon in 1959, but its use has become restricted to eastern Asian species in our time.

Paphiopedilum Callosum

Common Donkey Orchid


Common Spider Orchid
 taken by Tina Australia
Black Orchids - Cymbidium Kiwi Midnight 'Geyserland'

Friday, May 8, 2015

How to Care for Mums

With close to 160 different species, chrysanthemums, or mums, give you plenty of choices for color, sizes and growth habits. You can choose from 6-foot tall varieties to those that grow only 1 foot tall and from single, 2-inch flowers to double-form flowers. Mums are usually an easy-care plant, but with attention to care, you can maximize their growth and their hardiness.

How to Care for Mums

The Right Location Mum hybrids (Chrysanthemum x grandiflorum) appear in nurseries and grocery stores year-round, but they typically bloom in your yard in late spring or early fall and are generally hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, depending on variety. Mums prefer full sun, but will also do well with partial shade. They do best with regular watering, about once a week or more in hot weather, and thrive in slightly acidic, rich and well-draining soil.

Feeding Your MumsFor the best blooms and healthiest plants, fertilize your mums with a 15-15-15 multipurpose fertilizer blend, using about 1 pound for each 100 square feet of garden space. Feed your plant about every 10 days from spring until the buds begin to show some color. Sprinkle the fertilizer lightly around each plant and work it into the soil slightly, and then water the plant well to help the fertilizer reach the mum's roots.

Taking Special Care ... Mums produce bigger flowers and more sturdy  stalks if you pinch the tips of each stem back throughout the growing season during the spring and summer. Stop pinching once you see buds begin to color. Pinching prevents the plant from becoming leggy, with skinny stalks that tend to fall over. Plant potted mums in your garden at any time, where they will revert over time to a fall blooming schedule. Divide existing garden plants in early spring as new growth begins or after the plant finishes blooming in the fall.

Trouble Spots Aphids appear in all USDA zones, and you can remove them with a strong spray of water. In hot climates, mums may be attacked by boring insects that are the larvae of beetles or moths. Preventive measures work best for borers -- clear weeds from underneath your mum and remove leaves and stems infested with larvae. If prevention doesn't work, apply the pesticide Bt or Bacillus thuringiensis with a garden sprayer to cover the leaves and stems of the mum. Mix 1/2 to 4 teaspoons of a concentrate for each 1 gallon of water and apply weekly until the infestation is gone. Wear gloves and eye protection, and follow all label safety precautions when applying.

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Source: (Photo: Santy Gibson/Demand Media)

Crown flower ("Calotropis Gigantea'')

"Calotropis Gigantea (Crown flower) is a species of Calotropis native to Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, China and Pakistan."
In Thailand they're called "Love Flowers" because they are used in various floral arrangements, especially making garlands for wedding couples. They were also supposed to be popular with the Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani, who considered them as symbol of royalty and wore them strung into leis.

Crown flower  ("Calotropis Gigantea'')

Crown flower  ("Calotropis Gigantea'')