Monthly Archives: February 2017

  • Decorating with Flora? Follow These Flower Do's & Dont's!

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    Flowers are one of the most beautiful ways to decorate your home. With the approach of spring, there’s no better time to add some flora to your apartment or home to beautify your living space and add a touch of color and joy to your surroundings. Here are some tips, tricks, do’s and don’ts for decorating your house with floral arrangements.

    Do Consider Placement and Color when Using Living Plants

    If you are using live flowers to decorate your home, be sure to consider where in the space and the colors of the flowers you select. Live flowers are always a wonderful choice as according to the principles of feng shui, they bring a strong healing energy.

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    There are important principles to consider when decorating a room -- it could be as simple as picking subdued, soft blooms when decorating your bedroom to create a calming, relaxing space for sleep. However, there are deeper factors at work. Decorate the northwest corner, known as the “prosperity quadrant” of a space with flowers to encourage wealth to grow! This is especially potent if you use chrysanthemums.

    If you’re looking to spice up your love life, consider putting peonies in your bedroom or the top right corner of a room as they promote love and romance. Place orchids in your living room to promote good fortune in your entire household-- this is especially powerful if you’re hoping for a raise or a career move. If you have a home office, you can use a lotus to assure knowledge and harmony, while a hydrangea will help the creative juices flow. Flowers can be linked to increasing energy and compassion when used in home decorating.

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    The exact type and placement of bloom is crucial, but don’t forget the role of color. If you already have a distinct color scheme in your home or a particular room, select blooms that will complement the existing design, rather than ones that might clash.

    Don’t be afraid to go monochromatic (one color) or mono-botanic (one type of flower) if that’s what works best in the space. Blues and greens are soothing, tranquil shades, while bright reds and oranges promote a more intense energy and a sensual environment. If you want a nurturing bloom, opt for shades of yellow and peach, while pinks and lavenders will lend a romantic vibe to any space.

    Don’t Buy Store-Bought Flowers if You Can Help It

    Conventionally grown flowers that you might find at the grocery store are not only potentially expensive, but also a likely detriment to the environment. They may even be harmful to your health if the florist or the company who grew the flowers used dangerous pesticides or chemicals to keep the flowers fresh and safe from various insects, etc.

    You can easily source locally-grown organic flowers or find an eco-friendly florist.

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    Do Take Into Account the Room You’re Decorating

    The space you choose to place flowers has a big impact on their efficacy. Be sure to place them in high traffic areas, like a foyer, so that everyone who enters your home can enjoy them. The kitchen and dining table are the centers of the home, so if you have to choose one spot for a floral arrangement, those are the perfect option. If you’re in an expansive space such as an airy room or a large entryway, focus on big blooms like hydrangeas or lilies that can fill the space and draw the eye. Don’t neglect unexpected areas like a bedroom or bathroom.

    A bedside table can be a lovely place for a bouquet and a beautiful way to start and end your day -- tea roses, lilies, and freesias are all wonderfully fragrant choices to act as natural air fresheners in these living spaces. You may wish to stick to more tranquil, soothing tones in the bedroom and bathroom as these are often places in our home where we seek rest or prepare for sleep.

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    If you’re decorating the dining room, don’t limit yourself to a centerpiece -- you can line a table runner with smaller arrangements or decorate each place setting with a single flower. A bright and eye-catching bouquet is a great accent in an entryway, but be willing to shake this up -- place a basket with a fresh garden bouquet on a table or make a wreath for the front door from fresh flowers.

    In the kitchen, you can get more practical, lining a windowsill with potted herbs and sun-hungry flowers. If you have a fireplace in your living room or family room, use seasonal floral arrangements to brighten up the hearth in the spring and summer when you’re not using it. If you have a home office, you may want to shake things up and plan a “nature break” for yourself with a fern, potted plant, or some other greenery.

    Don’t Stick to Tradition

    When choosing floral decor for your home, you don’t have to stick to traditional bouquets and blooms. You can float blooms in bowls and glasses of water and include other decorative elements like floating candles to create a unique arrangement. More importantly, use all kinds of plant life.

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    Take the springtime cherry blossoms out of the garden and use them as a stunning rarely seen indoor bouquet -- it will look like you have a mini tree in bloom in your home. Surround or stuff a vase with freshly cut citrus -- lemons, limes, and oranges -- for a zest of freshness and an unexpected pop of color. If you really want to do something different, place single flowers in eggshells for a fresh take on arranging. Instead of filling a vase with stems or water only, fill the bottom with shells, pebbles, and colorful rocks -- this will add an eye-catching accent to your arrangements. Twigs, pebbles, and dried flowers make stunning additions to arrangements -- you don’t need to rely on fresh blooms to do all the work.

    Do Use Anything As a Vase

    Do flowers look beautiful in a traditional glass or silver vase or a clay pot? Of course. But you can use the trappings of your home to create a vase from nearly anything that will result in a truly unique arrangement. If you’re in the yard, repurpose a watering can, an old pair of rain boots, or a wheelbarrow for your planting purposes. In the kitchen, use a soup tureen for a large arrangement or a coffee cup or tea cup for something lovely and dainty.

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    Truly anything from an antique glass bottle to a basket to an empty tin can to a water pitcher can be the perfect vessel for your bouquet. The sky or the nearest empty jar, can, or bucket you have on hand is the limit when it comes to where to put your decorative flora!

    When it comes to using flowers in your home decorating, there really are no rules. But these do’s and dont’s will help you maximize the beauty and special energy of the blooms you choose. Once you know the style and space you want to decorate, you can start shopping for flowers!

  • Beautiful Flowers That Won't Bother Your Allergies

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    It’s February and romance is in the air. As we creep into spring, we also approach gardening season, meaning you may be looking for some plants to beautify your living space. But if you’re someone who suffers from allergies that bouquet from your special someone or house plant for your windowsill could be more cringe-worthy than romantic.

    From a runny nose to a headache to itchy eyes and a sore throat, the symptoms of allergies are at best, annoying, and at worst, terribly painful and disruptive to your day. Those that suffer from them will do just about anything to avoid their triggers, which often means avoiding flowers and various blooms.

    But never fear, there are many floral arrangements that will look stunningly beautiful and keep you allergen free. From Azaleas to Zinnias, there’s a bloom for nearly every letter of the alphabet to help you send a flowery message of love or add a splash of color to your home without sending you to the allergist.

    The trick is to select flowers that contain both male and female parts within a single bloom -- this means they don’t require air travel to pollinate, which greatly reduces the number of allergens, particularly pollen, that they give off. If you want an in-depth breakdown of allergy-free gardening, check out OPALS, a plant-allergy scale which ranks flowers based on their allergenic potential. But in the meanwhile, here are some of our favorites allergy-friendly blooms:

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    Begonias

    Coming in pinks, whites, and bright reds, Begonias are a hardy, beautiful bloom that are perfect for any season. As a flowering plant, begonias are renowned for their beautiful leaves as well as their floral blooms. They are small and perhaps not as glamorous as other choices, but if you want a sturdy house plant that won’t set you sneezing, they’re a perfect choice.

    Bulb Varieties

    Perfect for your garden as perennials that will return year after, bulb varieties also make for beautiful hypo-allergenic bouquets. Bulb varieties like crocus, tulips, and daffodils are beautiful, colorful, cheerful flowers with a relatively low airborne pollen count. Occasionally, the petals can cause a rash so be careful when handling them with bare hands if you’re super sensitive. Apart from that, they make for really stunning and unique floral arrangements that will leave your air passages free and clear.

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    Clematis

    Not everyone wants a traditional bouquet of flowers -- many who suffer from allergies are looking for lovely flowers to beautify their home that won’t trigger their health concerns. Clematis is a beautiful climbing vine that comes in a wide variety of colors. If you’re looking for something to cover a trellis or grow up a wall, Clematis is a great allergy friendly choice. This will not only protect your health, but ensure any sensitive guests in your home aren’t triggered as well.

    Hostas

    Though less well-known, hostas are a great choice for your desk because they’re unscented, which means they’ll never bother you or any of your coworkers. This also makes them one of the best choices for allergy sufferers. The flowers are gorgeous with an exterior bloom that ranges from white to chartreuse to gold and a smaller interior flower that commonly blooms in pale violet or white.

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    Geraniums

    Blooming in waves, geraniums offer you an abundance of color throughout the seasons. Available in everything from bright blue to pink to purple to red to white, geraniums look great in a hanging basket or flower pots. They’re easy to find and sturdy, so they can provide a dash of allergy-free color to your home no matter where you live.

    Hydrangeas

    One of the most popular and versatile flowers out there, hydrangeas are having a major moment as a popular wedding flower for centerpieces and bouquets alike. Allergic Living cites them as one of the most allergy friendly blooms, which means no matter whether you use them for a decorative craft or a romantic bouquet, they’ll please even the most sensitive of people. Most commonly, they come in pink, blue, white, and purple, but you can find them in nearly any color of the rainbow. Their rich color and wide blooms make them a naturally lush and romantic flower.

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    Mums

    Mums have no stamens. No stamen equals no pollen, making them a dream flower for those who suffer from intense allergies to the airborne trigger. Anyone with an allergy will tell you that pollen is their worst enemy, so mums are an ideal choice for them. In addition to lacking pollen, mums have a really full selection of petals which makes them an absolutely stunning bloom.

    Iris

    If you’re looking to add a splash of purple to your day, the Iris is the perfect choice. The flower takes its name from the Greek goddess of the rainbow and it’s purple and yellow blooms live up to the beauty of its namesake. They can actually come in a wide variety of colors, despite purple being the most popular variety, and their wide petals and small stamen keep their airborne pollen count low.

    Lilies

    Lilies can be a beautiful and luscious choice for bouquets, but be careful as some varietals are allergy-free and others are not. Be sure to select an Asiatic Lily that is certified allergy-free -- this will ensure that the bloom is both pollen-free (as are most lilies) and scent-free. Some lilies, such as the stargazer lily, have an intense fragrance, which can cause headaches among those sensitive to smell. So, though, lilies are a beautiful choice, be sure to select a varietal that you have verified is allergy free.

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    Roses

    Renowned for their beauty and as a symbol of romance, many are thrilled to learn that roses are a great choice for those who suffer from allergies. They are arguably the most famous and popular flower on the market (if also, expensive). Pollen particles on a rose are too large to be an issue for those affected by airborne allergies.

    They have a strong and alluring scent, which can cause hyper sensitive people to develop a headache, so just be careful when selecting them -- you may want to opt for a less fragrant rose if you or your partner is highly susceptible to smells.

    Orchids

    Not only are orchids a gorgeous allergy free flower, but they are a gift that keeps on giving. When an orchid starts to die, simply snip the flowers off and replant the stems -- you can have a lovely allergy free flower for years to come.

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    Snapdragons

    These flowers, named for their resemblance to a dragon that opens and closes its mouth, are a tall, stocky plant that make a perfect addition to your flower bed. They are beloved for their rich and varied color from deep purples to hot pinks to bright orange to white. Because of genetic experimentation, many snapdragons cannot be fertilized by their own pollen, making them an allergy friendly flower.

    Pansies

    A fragile, delicate flower, they are more common as part of a flower bed than as a choice for a bouquet, but they are a lovely and versatile choice. Available in many color combos, pansies are a really unique and delightful choice that have essentially no pollen, making them a great hypoallergenic choice.

    Peonies

    With their lush and abundant petals, peonies are an extremely popular wedding choice -- they’re ideal for both centerpieces and bouquets and are guaranteed to not offend your guests. The petals are even a popular addition to punches, salads and lemonades, so they’re delectable on many levels. However, they can have a strong scent and generate a lot of nectar that is attractive to ants, so be aware of that when selecting them for someone particularly sensitive.

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    Violets

    Believed to be a symbol of love and fertility by the Ancient Greeks, violets are a small, purple perennial flower that make a nice accent in a bouquet or a lovely addition to your garden. They make stunning houseplants and are also popular as a candied delicacy -- their popularity as a food indicate that they are an allergy friendly flower. Many types of violets are also scentless which make them a great choice for even the most sensitive people.

    If you suffer from allergies, there are still many flowers you can choose for a bouquet or to plant in your garden. Avoid flowers that are bad triggers such as chrysanthemums, daisies, and ordinary sunflowers, but rejoice in the myriad of beautiful and diverse flowers you can enjoy in life.

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Dried Flower Wreaths

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