Posts made in August, 2009

Really Wild Flowers

Posted By on Aug 20, 2009

New York State Wild Flowers

New York State Wild Flowers

Our family owns a vacation home in the Catskill Mountains. We love our summer treks to “The Cabin”, where we all enjoy the blissful peace and solitude found in this place. While some of us enjoy swimming, fishing, and catching snakes (especially our son!), I particularly enjoy the beautiful scenery, and studying and collecting the many species of wildflowers found in the fields and meadows surrounding us. While many of these flowers have been familiar to me nearly all my life, like Daisies, Black-Eyed Susan, and Queen Anne’s Lace, I try to look through our book of wildflowers and identify a new one each summer.

If you long for a meadow or county road lined with wildflowers, remember that you can still re-create that memory with flowers available in the wholesale flower market. As the summers pass by at our New York State vacation home, I have identified Yarrow, Monte Casino Asters, Thistle, Lilies, Solidago, and a variety of ferns. All of these flowers and greens are available during the summer in the flower market. They are beautiful by themselves as a wildflower bouquet. Mixed with roses or hydrangea, they create a romantic look reminiscent of the warm, lazy days of summers past, and the happy summer memories yet to come.

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Weed-Whacking Calla Lilies

Posted By on Aug 14, 2009

Crazy as it may seem to Americans, the Calla Lily is considered a weed in many of the African countries where it originated.  Also known as the Pig Lily in South Africa, it grows in large clumps and must be cleared before contruction projects can begin.  Grown from a bulb called a tuber, the Calla Lily will grow and bloom continuously in damp rich soil in warm humid climates.

A large portion of the US cut flower supply of Calla lilies are grown in South America where the conditions are perfect.  This makes makes the availability in the wholesale flower market continuous and consistent throughout the year.  Calla lilies come in a wide variety of colors including the traditional white, as well as yellow, orange, burgundy, gold, pink, and purple.  They also come in large and mini sizes.

Closed-cut Calla Lilies

The classic large white calla lily is typically a 6-8 inch flower on a long 18-24 inch stem.  There are 2 variations known as “open-cut” and “closed-cut”.  The closed-cut calla lily is cut from the plant while the bloom is still tightly curled, while the open-cut is more mature and the bloom has opened more fully.  Open-cut calla lilies are more fragile and pack fewer in a box and thus are more expensive. And by the way closed-cut calla lilies will not open up!

Open-cut Calla Lilies

Brides have been walking down the isle for years with a simple hand-tied bouquet of white Calla lilies and it continues to represent classic taste and style…. in this part of the world anyway!

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The Peony Alternative

Posted By on Aug 6, 2009

gardenroseSo you are getting married in September and have decided you are having peonies on all the tables and for your bridal bouquet – completely without the consent of the peonies… a slight problem as recently discussed in Pursuing the Peony.  But panic not – for there is a solution!  The Garden Rose (also known as the Cabbage Rose) is the perfect stand-in and a well known solution for the professional flower designer doing wedding flowers.  These massive high petal count roses have an outer cup of petals that surround a dense inner petal collection that commands attention in any flower arrangement. 

Like peonies, they come in several shades of red, pink, white and peach and combinations of each.   Garden roses have several advantages over peonies simply because they are roses.  Their colors are more consistent within a variety and the opening of their blooms is more predictable.cabbagerose


Garden Roses are expensive as compared to standard long stem roses, but less than imported Peonies that are not nearly as impressive.   You need to plan ahead (just add it to the list!) because these roses are grown on very few farms in small crops.  Most flower wholesalers will require some extra lead time to secure them. 

 The perfect Peony alternative!

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