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Flower Blog Archive - September 2006

The Flower Expert welcomes the flower enthusiasts to the special feature - Flower Blogs where the flower lovers can share the knowledge about flowers and flower related topics with the flower admiring community world-wide.

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Get Your Christmas Cactus and Poinsettias Blooming!

It is the end of September!! Christmas is approaching fast - Not even 90 days to spare!! We should get into action and set our Christmas Cactus and Poinsettia to bloom for the festive season.

Christmas Cactus and Poinsettia are Photoperiodic, in which flowering or other activities are initiated in response to relative lengths of daylight and darkness. Both the plants need lightless conditions for an optimum periods of time to get induced to bloom. And the time to provide such conditions has come. The end of September or the first week of October is the right time to get into action!

For instance, Christmas Cactus needs a temperature range of 55 to 60 degrees for a period of four to six weeks for flower bud development. If temperatures remain in this range, they will develop buds regardless of the day length. If temperatures get above this range, the plant will need 13 hours of uninterrupted darkness each night. This can be done by placing them in a completely dark room, or covering them between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m., or longer, with a dark piece of cloth so that light in any form does not fall on the plant.

Poinsettias are also similar in flowering behavior. Indeed, they need more time, almost seven to nine weeks of complete darkness for about 12 - 14 hours every night i.e., from early evening to almost next day morning. Night time temperatures above 70-75°F can even decay or prevent flowering in poinsettias.

So, get into action and start pulling the Christmas Catus and Poinsettia into the dark rooms for beautifying the festive season of Christmas!!

Christmas in Germany

Christmas in Germany

For many people Christmas wouldn't be complete without a decorated tree and blooming poinsettias.

German settlers are credited with bringing the Christmas tree to the United States.

Nurenberg/Bavaria- city, in Germany has an oldest market stalls, called Chriskindlesmarket, Nuremberg is regarded as Europe`s oldest Christmas city. It's a medieval city with lot of ancient history.

The streets leading from the station to the market are attractively decorated with white poles bearing Christmas symbols, garlands of fir and pretty lights. At the centre of the market square is a crib, its wooden figures telling the Christmas story. Every visitor to the Christkindlesmarket enjoys a pause to look at it. The market stalls are decorated with branches of fir and lit by lanterns.

This pre-Christmas market can be traced back to the middle of the 16th Century. There is a 19 cm oval wooden box painted with flowers in the German National Museum which shows market scenes. Almost all the Nurenberg's craftsmen of the city represent themselves in the town of stalls.

The greater part of the market will be toys, arts and crafts articles, Christmas-tree decoration, Christmas cribs and candles and christmas flowers.

People started hanging trees upside-down from ceilings at Christmas in central Europe to symbolize Christianity. The first decorated tree was at Riga, Latvia, in 1510, and Martin Luther reportedly decorated a small tree with candles to show children how stars twinkled in darkness.

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Floriculture

Floriculture is the cultivation of ornamental and flowering plants. The U.S. floral industry engages in the production and sale of floriculture crops on a commercial scale. Nursery crops are woody perennial plants, such as ornamental trees, shrubs, and vines, that are primarily used for landscaping. Together, floriculture and nursery crops are known as the green industry.

Floriculture crops

Floriculture crops include bedding plants, flowering plants, foliage plants, cut cultivated greens, and cut flowers. As distinguished from nursery crops, floriculture crops are generally herbaceous. Bedding and garden plants consist of young flowering plants (annuals and perennials) and vegetable plants. They are grown in cell packs, in pots, or in hanging baskets, usually inside a controlled environment, and sold largely for gardens and landscaping. Geraniums, impatiens, and petunias are the best-selling bedding plants. Chrysanthemums are the major perennial garden plant in the United States.

Flowering plants are largely sold in pots for indoor use. The major flowering plants are poinsettias, orchids, florist chrysanthemums, and finished florist azaleas. Foliage plants are also sold in pots and hanging baskets for indoor and patio use, including larger specimens for office, hotel, and restaurant interiors.

Sales are normally highest from February through May and in the fall. Sales of cut flowers peak during holidays such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. Poinsettia plants are sold mostly from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

The majority of flowering and foliage plants are propagated from cuttings of plant parts such as stems, roots, and shoots. For bedding plants, propagation methods include conventional seeds, high-germination seeds, and plugs (seedlings).

Nursery crops

Nursery crops are woody perennial plants that are usually field-grown in containers or in-ground. The Census of Agriculture defines nursery crops as ornamental trees and shrubs, fruit and nut trees (for noncommercial use), vines, and ground covers.

They are primarily used for landscaping, not for producing edible products on a commercial scale. Trees and shrubs are classified as deciduous, evergreen, or nursery stock. Deciduous includes shade, flowering, ornamental, fruit, and nut trees and shrubs. Evergreen includes broadleaf and coniferous trees, including Christmas trees.

They are primarily used for landscaping, not for producing edible products on a commercial scale. Trees and shrubs are classified as deciduous, evergreen, or nursery stock. Deciduous includes shade, flowering, ornamental, fruit, and nut trees and shrubs. Evergreen includes broadleaf and coniferous trees, including Christmas trees.

Thus, sales of most nursery crops, except Christmas trees, are more local or regional than floriculture crops, which are less costly to ship to farther markets.

The lack of natural vegetation in the arid Southwest, planting trees on retired cropland, and reforestation for logging and after wildfires contribute to the 80-percent share of U.S. nursery sales by growers in the West and South.

Sale of christmas flowers during 2005 in the U.S.

As P.B Shelley said, "Flowers and plants have long played a special role in holiday celebrations and are as personal and individual as the people celebrating. These flowers are used as centerpiece decorations during christmas time." The flowers are also made into, door swag or wreaths to enjoy through out the holiday season.

Christmas Poinsettias.jpg The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports that the purchase of flowers during the holiday season remains a strong tradition, with the production and sales of both cut Christmas trees and potted poinsettias remaining steady in recent years.

Oregon state of U.S. was the leading producer of 4.7 million cut Christmas trees sold, and North Carolina was second with 2.1 million and Michigan was third with 1.9 million.

Blooming indoors from warm greenhouse temperatures, poinsettias, another common holiday decoration, are grown throughout the United States. More than 30 percent of the 61 million poinsettias sold last year blossomed from three states: California with 7.5 million, North Carolina with 5.8 million and New York with 5.3 million potted poinsettias grown and sold.

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Christmas in Mexico

Come Christmas..., its time for decoration. elaborately decorated market stalls or puestos are set up in the plazas of every town and city. The puestos offer crafts of every kind, foods such as cheese, bananas, nuts, and cookies. The flowers such as orchids and poinsettias are also decorated to their full. The first Christmas in old Mexico was celebrated in 1538 by the Spanish missionary Fray Pedro de Gante.

The poinsettia is native to Mexico and is believed to have first been used in connection with Christmas in the 17th century when Mexican Franciscans included the flowers in their Christmas celebration. The tradition of offering flowers to Lord begins from the story of a young boy named Pablo. There is a legend where a little boy named Pablo was walking to the church in his village to visit the Nativity scene, when he realized he had nothing to offer the Christ Child. When he laid some green branches growing along the roadside and laid them by the manger, a brilliant red star-shaped flower appeared on each branch.

The poinsettia which is also known as the Mexican flame leaf or Noche Buena is a sub-tropical plant famous for its striking red displays during Christmas time.

Touches of flowers and feathers and teachings from the Bible held an integral part in the celebration. The main Christmas celebration in Mexico starts 9 days before christmas and is called las posadas, a traditional prayer is spoken, and the party begins. Food and drink are served and then children take turns trying to break open the pinata. Children decorate the flowers orchids and christmas poinsettias in their homes.

This familiar Bible story is related every year at during the Christmas season in churches and homes the world over. In Mexico each December, it actually comes to life once again, as Joseph and Mary's long-ago search for shelter is reenacted for nine consecutive nights in the festive ritual of Las Posadas. Posada means inn, or lodging, in Spanish.

Every region of Mexico celebrates Christmas in its own distinctive way with traditional dances and plays, bullfights, rodeos, parades and special holiday foods. The Christmas celebrations of today are a mixed blend of Spanish and Indian cultures, a co-mingling of old customs and new variations with the original Christmas roots that date back more than four hundred years. Christmas in Mexico is called Navidad…the nativity.

The festivities continue with the Day of the Innocents on December 28th, New Year’s Eve on December 31st and the Day of the Three Kings on January 6th. One final Christmas celebration on February 2nd called Candlemas winds up the holiday season.

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Thanksgiving and its Symbolism

Thanksgiving meal is replete with symbolism, providing a wonderful occasion for sharing the American story of determination, survival, freedom, and celebration.

We are not sure what the Pilgrims ate at the very first Thanksgiving back in 1621. Piligrims did not even had a meal of cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, or pumpkin pie. The food that we take on the thanksgiving day are reminiscent of those indigenous at the time, but not the actual dishes served.

The food on the thanksgiving must have been probably accompanied by venison and fish such as herring, shad, cod, sea bass, and eel, and yellow, white, blue and red varieties of corn or maize. Piligrims had peas, squashes, and beans as their side dish.

Inspite of early dishes, consuming turkey has become the tradition all its own. The turkey is still the culinary symbol of the November feast. The Cornucopia is the symbol of abundance of fruits, grains, etc reaping for that year.

The earlier Pilgrims dined with spoons, knives, and their fingers but had no forks. Also interestingly, at that time, the person's social status helped determine the food on his table. The favourite foods were placed in front of the most important people.

Thanksgiving has an important place in people's life. Just as the Pilgrims rejoiced over a fine harvest after a cold, hard winter, we celebrate what we have reaped over the past year, and thank god for all that he bestowed on us.

Whatever Thanksgiving may have been in the past, presently its time for people to celebrate with family and friends, to be grateful to god and their loved ones for what they have, and to help those who may have less than they do. Nowadays if people could not meet the family and friends, they celebrate the festivities by sending the most loved flowers to their near and dear ones.

Thanksgiving flowers

Flowers and words are the means of communication to show our emotions. Every flower, with its color and size and shape determines a meaning. Nowadays sending and gifting flowers on diffferent occassions has become the part of life. On festivals and celebrations like Thanksgiving and Christmas etc, we see people exchanging, gifting, and sending flowers.

ThanksgivingFlowerbouquet.jpg In history, mankind has celebrated the bountiful harvest with thanksgiving ceremonies. The story of Thanksgiving is basically the story of the Pilgrims and their thankful community feast at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Harvest festivals and thanksgiving celebrations were held by the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Hebrews, the Chinese, and the Egyptians.

The Thanksgiving flower story has always interested everyone alike. Thanksgiving is a symbol for tradition and sharing. People shared food and sent flowers to their loved ones. Thanksgiving was celebrated as harvest festivals in the ancient times. But in the modern times it modified into thanksgiving, giving thanks to elders by and offering to god for all his blessings.

In 1620, a boat with hundred people sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to settle in the New World, which questioned the beliefs of the Church of England and they got separated. The Pilgrims settled in Massachusetts. Their first winter in the New World was very difficult. The Iroquois Indians taught them how to grow corn (maize), a new food for the colonists. Indians showed them other crops to grow in the unfamiliar soil and how to hunt and fish.

Young observed the commonalities between the contemporary American Thanksgiving and the secular harvest celebration of 1621 and declared the Pilgrim’s feast of 1621 as “The First Thanksgiving”.

In 1789, US’s first President, Washington declared November 26 of that year as a national day of Thanksgiving. On this day Later it was stopped without any reason. Turkey, corn (or maize), pumpkins and cranberry sauce are symbols which represent the first thanksgiving.

In the meanwhile, a magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale worked hard to keep the idea of Thanksgiving alive. She published editorials and wrote letters to the President and Governors, appealing them to fix a day of Thanksgiving every year. Finally during the Civil War, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November, 1863 as Thanksgiving Day. And after the war, the Congress proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national holiday. In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt declared the last but one Thursday in November as the national Thanksgiving Day. In Canada thanksgiving day is celebrated on second Monday in October. Thus, thanksgiving day is being celebrated worldwide on different days, by the sharing of food and sending flower gifts to the people they love most, with the same enthusiasm.

Artificial Christmas flowers

Artificial flowers are those flowers which are look alike of the natural flowers. These artificial flowers can only be put for the advantage of little maintenance. The grouping of these artificial flower arrangement is a one-time investment, often less than the price of live flowers. These artificial flowers bring years of enjoyment. Making artificial flowers a great form of art. Artificial flower arrangements can be just as beautiful as a real floral arrangements.

There are no hassles of watering, pesticides, pruning and other care. Artificial flowers have been maligned in the past because of obviously fake aspects. The artificial flower arrangement sometimes dupes to be the real one. Such is the clarity of the artificial flowers. Silk Flowers, soap flowers, paper flowers, clay flowers, plastic flowers, porcelain flowers, etc., are examples of artificial flowers. Making artificial flowers is another wonderful floral art form.

Artificial christmas flowers are artificial poinsettias, artificial hollies, and artificial ivies. These artificial christmas flowers looks like the original poinsettias, holly, and ivy flowers. These flowers can be used during the festive season and maintained and stored during the off-season. Artificial christmas flowers require no water or sunlight, and will never die. All they need is an occasional cleaning to retain their beauty.

When properly designed, an everlasting artificial christmas arrangement is a joy to look at. Even when it is snowing outside, these beautiful flowers will make us feel all warm inside. The warmth of the natural flowers is felt with these flowers.

Christmas wedding flowers

A wedding during Christmas time doubles the auspiciousness and increases the range of flower arrangement possibilities during christmas season. Christmas season is the gift giving season. The Christmas wedding flower arrangements not only deliver a festive air to the season, but also to deliver an arrangement of flowers that celebrates a wedding.

A christmas wedding flowers to the new couple means a lot to them. The color of the selected flowers indicates the mood of the couple. The season plays an important role in deciding about the color of flowers during the occassion. Poinsettias, amaryllis, and evergreens are popular choices for flower decorations while holly branches and other plants with red berries are ideal for use in wedding floral arrangements.

Flowers have always been popular decorations for holidays and special occasions. Flowers give a festive look to any place. Flower arrangements can be customized to any need. While we can be creative with our flowers, each holiday and occasion has traditional flowers associated with it.

Flowers are abundantly used in Christmas Weddings for decorations, bouquets and corsages. We can decide the type of flowers to be used in the weddings depending on the season. Pale, delicate flowers may work better in the spring while dark, rich coloured flowers would work for fall. Though Roses are the popular choice for all weddings, nowadays other flowers are also used in the wedding functions.

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Christmas Flower Arrangements

Christmas flower arrangements will beautify any room or highlight any special occasion or party. Christmas is a winter festival and green indicates the hope that spring will return and reign victorious over winter. Green refers to tall evergreens, which symbolizes triumph, longevity and immortality, and which signifies the abundance of nature.

The custom of decorating christmas trees with flowers, gifts etc, probably goes back to the Roman festival of Saturnalia. The Christmas trees decoration with flowers were introduced into England from Germany soon after Queen Victoria's marriage to Prince Albert. Evergreen branches are also used to decorate homes. Poinsettia as is called the christmas flower is one of the most delightful decorations during the Christmas season.

Some of the popular christmas flowers are Christmas rose, Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe, and Poinsettia.

The most traditional Christmas floral arrangement simply consists of poinsettias as is also known as the Christmas flower and ivy. Gysophila, chrysanthemums and red roses are all flowers that can look very festive as a floral arrangement during christmas season.

Christmas decorations or christmas floral arrangements can be done by red or green bows miniature candy canes, glass balls and other Christmas décor to turn non-traditional Christmas plants into a seasonal arrangement.

There are also many kinds of foliage that are traditionally associated with poinsettias that can be used to decorate the flowers like chrysanthemums and roses. Conifer, mini cyclamen and eucalyptus can also be used to augment a floral display. Different stunning christmas flower arrangements are sure to enthrall the christmas season with their splendor.

Christmas flowers

The festive season of christmas brings in lot of happiness and hope. The winter season has fall flowers blooming with pride. The christmas flowers or Poinsettias are adorned during the christmas season.

The season begins three weeks before christmas. Christmas is associated with christmas tree and santa claus. The most traditional Christmas floral arrangement simply consists of poinsettias flowers or the Christmas flower and ivy. Ponsettia flowers are considered as christmas flower, but there are number of flowers, which are used in christmas flower arrangements.

There are also many kinds of foliage that are traditionally associated with poinsettias that can be used to decorate chrysanthemums and roses. Conifers, mini cyclamen and eucalyptus can also be used to augment a floral display.

Poinsettia flowers were first introduced in the United States in 1825 by Joel Roberts Poinsett. The modern era of poinsettia culture began with the introduction of the seedling cultivar Oak Leaf. Ponsettia flowers are very popular with over more than 65 million plants sold nationwide. Today, poinsettia flowers are found in many different colors and are seen from mini poinsettias to large specimen trees and every size in between.

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Thanksgiving flower arrangements

The "Flowers" express our moods. Flowers are gifted in many occassions. Thanksgiving is an occassion where flowers are gifted to loved ones, especially to our family members and God. Flowers are given to show our love, for all the things they did for us.

Our own Personality determines the thanksgiving flower arrangement. Thanksgiving is celebrated in Fall, but on different days in different parts of the globe. Most of the flower arrangements contain the Fall flowers.

The flowers are usually seen decorated on the dinner table for the family and the guests. The flowers used in the flower arrangement are many seasonal flowers such as chrysanthemums, asters, pansies Sunflowers, and Mums. Flowers of different varieties, colors, shapes and sizes can be used. Variety of reds, oranges, yellows, coppers and browns are used. At times blue and green is a great complement and will bring out the warm colours beautifully!

When coming to the arrangement of the flowers, You can tie them with a simple ribbon and place them in mason jars, terracotta pots or any container you feel like that they look good. Allow your creativity to flow in making the innovative arrangements.

Surprise your family, relatives and friends with a beautiful Thanksgiving floral arrangement. Receiving the most loved flowers is more than everything in life.

General tips for the floral arrangement are:

  • In the first place, select the flowers to be arranged.
  • Bring them to the required sizes.
  • Make sure that the flowers do not wilt in 2/3 days.
  • Flowers of our choice be put in the frontal side, as they show our emotions.
  • Tie up the colours together with some richly coloured ribbon, raffia, or decorative stones.
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