Monthly Archives: August 2017

  • Flowers to Use for a Brighten Your Day Bouquet

    Sending flowers is a great way to say “I love you,” “I hope you get well soon,” “I’m sorry,” or “Congratulations!” But, you don’t have to wait for a certain occasion to send someone flowers. Why not send a bouquet of beautiful flowers just to put a smile on someone’s face? Here are some of the best flowers to include in a brighten your day bouquet:

    brighten your day bouquet

    Geraniums

    These unique-looking flowers come in a wide range of colors, including white, pink, red, orange, and purple. Regardless of which color you include in the bouquet, these flowers are sure to brighten the recipient’s day because of their sweet, soothing scent. In fact, many people take a whiff of geranium essential oils when they need to relieve stress. Send these flowers to someone who could use a little pick-me-up.

    Orchids

    Orchids are one of the most elegant flowers in existence. People love receiving orchids because of their beautiful colors and long-lasting flowers. Plus, orchids are known to boost positive energy in the room, which is why so many Feng Shui experts incorporate potted orchids into their interior design plans. Don’t forget to include orchids in the brighten your day bouquet that you send to someone who could desperately use a boost of positive energy in their lives.

    brighten your day bouquet

    Lily of the Valley

    The lily of the valley is a white, unusual looking flower that will be sure to take someone’s breath away when included in a floral arrangement. As a matter of fact, garden expert David Domoney conducted a study to identify the plants that make people the happiest, and lily of the valley ranked at the top of the list. He asked the public to submit nominations, and then created an exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show to display the top 20 plants. His team then closely monitored guests’ reactions and body language as they looked at each of the flowers. At the end of the study, Domoney concluded that no plant made people happier than lily of the valley.

    Roses

    Roses are often included in floral arrangements, not only because they’re beautiful, but also because they have the power to lift people’s spirits. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology revealed that people who smelled or gazed at roses reported higher levels of happiness and comfort than people who were not exposed to the flowers. Therefore, sending a bouquet of roses is the perfect way to brighten someone’s day.

    brighten your day bouquet

    Sunflowers

    The sunflower is one of the most recognizable flowers in the world. Regardless of where you live, you are probably familiar with the vibrant colors and tall stalks of the sunflower. These flowers are just as bright and cheery as the summer sun, which is why they are known to bring joy and happiness to anyone who lays their eyes upon them.

    The next time a friend or family member is having a bad day, take a look at this list so you can remember which flowers you should send to brighten someone’s day!

  • Your Environmental Garden: Butterfly Flowers for Fall

    butterfly flowers

    Butterflies aren’t just beautiful, they also play an important role in the ecosystem. Bees often get all the credit for pollinating flowers, but butterflies are involved in this process as well, although to a lesser extent. Butterflies typically drink the sweet nectar of colorful flowers that are large enough for them to land on. As they sip on the nectar, they gather pollen on their legs, which is eventually transferred to the female part of a plant. Because many species of butterflies travel long distances—sometimes up to 3,000 miles—they are able to pollinate flowers in many different areas.

    Butterflies are also a source of food for natural predators such as birds, lizards, frogs, and toads. Without them, these animals would not have as much to eat. Unfortunately, the butterfly population is on the decline because of climate change, habitat destruction, and pollution in the atmosphere. If you want to do your part, encourage the growth of the butterfly population using bio-mimicry methods.

    Bio-mimicry is the use of natural methods, rather than chemical, to solve an environmental issue, such as the declining population of butterflies. One bio-mimicry strategy to save these beautiful creatures is planting butterfly-friendly flowers in your yard. To get involved, start planting these flowers:

    Butterfly Bush

    As its name suggests, the butterfly bush is perfect for attracting butterflies to your yard. This is a great choice for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time tending to their gardens, so the butterfly bush is a fairly low-maintenance plant. It can also grow well in most regions, including the Midwest, Pacific coast, and parts of the south.

    butterfly flowers

    Aster

    The aster flower is known for its dense and brightly colored blooms, but many people don’t know how vital this plant is to butterflies. The aster blooms in the fall and produces sweet nectar that butterflies love. In addition, some species of caterpillars also feed on the aster’s leaves, which means it is a food source for both caterpillars and full-grown butterflies. Fortunately, the aster can grow anywhere in the 48 lower states of the U.S. as long as you get the right species for your region.

    Pentas

    Plant pentas flowers to instantly add a splash of color to your garden. These plants grow unique star-shaped blooms that come in a wide variety of colors, including pink, white, and dark red. Once these are in your garden, you may notice both butterflies and hummingbirds stopping by for a sip of nectar. Unfortunately, the pentas will only grow well in the south and along the Pacific coast.

    Black-Eyed Susan

    The black-eyed Susan flower begins to bloom in the late summer and early fall. Many people believe this flower looks like a cross between a daisy and a sunflower because it is the shape of a daisy but has the colors of a sunflower. The bright and cheery flowers will liven up any garden, especially those in the Midwest and northwest.

    Joe Pye Weed

    If you want to add height to your garden, there’s no better way to do so than with the butterfly-friendly Joe pye weed, which can grow over six feet tall. Butterflies are drawn to this bright and beautiful flower that blooms in the summer and fall seasons. As long as you don’t live in an extremely hot or cold climate, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting the Joe pye weed to flourish in your yard.

    butterfly flowers

    Fennel

    Fennel is another plant that can grow almost anywhere in the U.S. with the exception of extreme climates. This plant tends to attract Swallowtail butterflies because the caterpillars enjoy chowing down on fennel leaves. If you decide to plant this in your yard, be prepared to keep it under control. Fennel grows quickly, so you will need to contain it to one area unless you want it to expand to other parts of your yard.

    South American Verbena

    The lavender blooms on this flower are so beautiful that you may think about cutting them to add them to a floral arrangement inside your home. But, resist temptation and keep the flowers where they are so they can continue to attract butterflies. This flower needs warmth, so unfortunately it does not grow in the north and areas of the Midwest. But, southern gardeners shouldn’t have any trouble getting this flower to bloom in their gardens.

    butterfly flowers

    Passionflower

    Add a tropical feel to your garden with the passionflower vine, which can climb up to 30 feet. This vine blooms all year long and produces a sweet smell that will attract butterflies and please your senses, too. The passionflower vine does not grow in northern climates, but it’s perfect for gardens in the south and areas of the western United States.

    Be Wary for Butterflies

    These flowers will not only transform your landscaping, but they will also put us one step closer to saving the beautiful butterflies. After planting these flowers, there are a few steps you should take to protect the butterflies that visit your yard. First, avoid using pesticides at all costs. Even if a pesticide is organic, it could still harm certain species of butterflies and bees. If you have to apply pesticides, make sure that you do not spray them on any open blooms that may attract butterflies.

    Soaking in the Mud

    Believe it or not, butterflies are also attracted to mud puddles, which contain nutrients and salt that they need to survive. If you’ve already planted some of the flowers listed above in your yard, then create a mud puddle for butterflies to relax in as well. Fill a shallow dish or pan with water and sand or gravel and keep it near the plants that are supposed to draw butterflies to your yard. This way, the butterflies that do stop by for a visit will have the opportunity to lounge in the mud puddle after enjoying the flowers’ sweet nectar.

    Planting certain flowers and making a few small changes to your yard is a small price to pay to protect the world’s butterflies. Spread the word to friends and family members so you can get more people involved with this mission. Together, we have the power to save the butterflies!

  • Take a Second to See These Flowers Even Darwin Can't Explain

    There’s nothing more representative of nature’s beauty than a flower in full bloom. But while we’re all familiar with the likes of lilies, roses, and marigolds, the beauty of ordinary flowers may leave us totally unprepared for the stranger, rarer varieties.

    Floriculturists have combed every corner of the world looking for strange, exotic, and unusual flower specimens. Now we’re bringing these astonishingly beautiful wonders of nature to you in all their alien glory. They are an amazing testament to the diversity of our biosphere. Let’s have a look, shall we?

    Kadupul Flower (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)

    flowers darwin can't explain

    Found on the isle of Sri Lanka off the south Indian coast, Kadupul means ‘flower from heaven.’ And it does have some arguably divine characteristics: it blooms only in the middle of the night and by dawn wilts and dies.

    Plus, it can’t survive picking, so it can’t be sold. That makes the Kadupul Flower truly priceless, and few people ever get to see it in full bloom. Even botanists are just beginning to understand the mysteries of this extraordinary plant, so it’s safe to say it would’ve stumped Darwin for good.

    Black Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri)

    flowers darwin can't explain

    It may be hard to believe, but the dark and foreboding black bat flower is actually a species of yam. Black flowers are rare enough, but this one actually looks like the cave dwelling mammals that have inspired so much dread in humans around the world. In addition, this flower’s whiskery tendrils can grow up to 28 inches long!

    Youtan Poluo AKA the Udumbara Flower

    Mentioned in ancient Buddhist literature but believed to be a mere legend for centuries, a Chinese nun discovered living examples of these barely visible white flowers under her washing machine.

    In Buddhist texts, it is written that the Youtan Poluo blooms once every 3,000 years. While this hasn’t been confirmed, we do know they measure just a single millimeter in diameter. Since its discovery, more samples have been found growing on a statue of Buddha at the front of the Chonggye-sa Temple in Seoul.

    Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum)

    flowers darwin can't explain

    Would you be shocked to learn that the biggest flower in the world is also the stinkiest? Like a premise for a long lost Tim Burton film, the Corpse Flower is a twenty foot tall monster that generates a powerful stench reminiscent of a rotting flesh. The stench attracts flies and carrion beetles to assist in the flower’s pollination.

    Adding to the corpse flower’s haunting profile: it is a bodiless, rootless, leafless, stemless, parasite. It lives off the Tetrastigma vine in the low lying tropical rainforests of Sumatra.

    Kokia Cookei

    flowers darwin can't explain

    Source: David Eickhoff

    This flower is so rare it barely even exists anymore. Discovered in Hawaii in 1860, only three specimens were found initially. By 1950, the last remaining seedling was pronounced dead by distraught botanists.

    20 years after this extinction event, a ranger discovered a surviving specimen giving hope to Kokia fans everywhere. However, in 1978 a fire destroyed this survivor, dashing dreams of a revival until a living branch was recovered from the ashes. This single branch has been grafted onto 23 trees that are still alive today.

    The hundreds of bright red flowers of the Kokia Cookei are a rare pleasure to see in person so be sure to seek them out if you visit Hawaii.

    Sea Poison Tree

    flowers darwin can't explain

    In bloom, these flowers appear to be nothing more than particularly beautiful tangle of fiber optic cables. Their treacly smell draws attention from bats and moths at night. You can find them along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean.

    Jade Vine

    flowers darwin can't explain

    The captivating jade vine can grow as high as 65 feet. They’re pollinated by bats who find the jade vine flower’s luminosity to be extremely alluring. They grow in the Philippines, but unfortunately environmental degradation has pushed this species to the brink of extinction.

    Parrot’s Beak

    flowers darwin can't explain

    Native to the Canary islands, the Parrot’s Beak is completely extinct in the wild. Formerly pollinated by sunbirds, when the Parrot’s Beak biological interlocutor died out, so did the Parrot’s Beak itself. Luckily, Floriculturists continue to cultivate this gorgeous flower in greenhouses around the world. Even now, these flower whisperers undertake experiments to find new pollinators for the Parrot’s Beak as a way of reintroducing them into the wilds of the Canary islands.

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Flowers to get you out of the doghouse

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