Welcome to our Newsletter!
This month marks our first of many monthly newsletters to come. On these pages, you’ll learn about a flower arranging tip of the month, which will sometimes include a complete step-by-step arrangement suitable for the season. This month you’ll learn about tulips and if you’re an Aries, your florascope! Each month we’ll review a book on flower arranging and cover a floral design tool that we find useful in our designing. We’ll also list our upcoming events including workshops, classes and LA Flower Mart tours. So be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any great information we want to share with you.
Flower of the Month – Tulips
A Turbulent History
Tulips originally grew on the wild hillsides of Turkey and were introduced to Europe in the 16th century where they became immensely popular.
The name “tulip” was most likely a Latinized form of Arabic meaning “turban.” It was said that tulips got their
name when Turkish men wore tulips tucked into their turbans, but it’s also said that the tulip looks a little like a turban.
In Holland, tulips became so popular that in the 1630s, the price of one bulb was the equivalent to a small house in little town of
Delft where the famous painter Vermeer lived. Due to lots of speculation of the supply of tulips, the bottom eventually fell out of the market in 1637. The government of Holland banned speculation on tulips after many fortunes were lost and the economy collapsed.
The most popular type of tulip bulb produced an attractive striped flower. A famous version of this flower was called the ‘Semper Augustus’
and was white with red stripes. No one knew what caused the “breaking” of the color and since it was rare, it was one of the most expensive bulbs. Later, it was discovered that this was caused by a virus that was spread by aphids.
The Meaning of Tulips
During the Victorian era, the study of “Floriography” was taken seriously by many a young lady. This was the study of the meaning of flowers.
Tulips have various meanings:
fame, charity, the perfect lover, consuming love, happy years and memory.
To give a red tulip meant to “declare your love.” Pink tulips signify imagination, dreaminess. Variegated (or striped)
tulips mean beautiful eyes. White tulips signify lost love and yellow tulips signify hopeless love. You can learn
more about the meaning of flowers from a great book called The Meaning of Flowers by Gretchen Scoble and Ann Field.
Buying and Caring for Cut Tulips
- Buy the blooms when they are still closed but you can see the color on the outside of the bloom. Make sure the blooms are not
too far above the tips of the greenery. The taller the blooms are above the greenery, the longer it’s been since they were cut from
the growing fields.
- When you bring the flowers home, condition them. Mix flower food and cool water and fill the vase with enough water to cover the first 4 inches of the stems.
- Cut the white ends off of the stems and pace in a tall vase so the stems are supported inside the vase. Alternately, you can gently
wrap the stems in butcher paper to support and straighten the stems before putting them in the vase.
- Be sure to cut the stems right before placing them in water. Don’t delay!
- Put in a cool dark place for an hour or two. NOTE: Tulips are attracted to light, so they will turn in the direction of the light
and that is why you want to condition them in the dark.
Aries Florascope – 21 March – 19 April – Tiger Lily
For years, astrologers have linked personality traits with the night sky. A fun book called
offers a different take on your everyday horoscope. This is meant to entertain and if you are so intrigued,
buy the book! It makes a great gift.
Tiger Lily Traits
If you are a tiger lily (or Aries) you have natural leadership abilities, don’t get sick often (who has time?)
and are very romantic. Tiger lilies get along well with magnolias, passion flowers and other tiger lilies.
Famous tiger lilies include Warren Beatty, Leonardo da Vinci, Sarah Jessica Parker, Elton John and Joan Crawford.
Buying and Caring for Cut Lilies
- Buy the blooms when they are still closed. Lily petals bruise quite easily and it will be easier to transport of the blooms are closed.
- If you are buying for an event where you want all the lilies wide open, buy the closed bloom 3-5 days ahead of time to allow
enough time for the blooms to open.
- Always condition your cut flowers when you get home. This will encourage the blooms to open. Remove any broken leaves from the
stems and re-cut the stems before putting them in a solution of water and floral food.
- Lily pollen can stain. Remove the stamens with a tissue. If you get pollen on clothing or a tablecloth, remove with tape. Just
place a piece of tape down and then pull off. Do not use water or try to brush the pollen away.
Floral Design Book Review
Simply Elegant Flowers With Michael George by Michael George and Bob Shuman.
Written by a premier fashion industry florist from New York City, this book offers a number of very classy arrangements and gorgeous photographs that guarantee to inspire. This book certainly lives up to its name. The flowers that are featured in this book are what we would define as “money flowers.” Many can be expensive such as calla lilies, tulips, lilic, hydrangea and anenomes. But this book offers more than your average flower design book precisely because it shows you how to design with designer flowers. So we say go for it! You will enjoy learning Michael’s three main techniques called the “tabletop method,” the “hybrid matrix” and the “hybrid tabletop.” This book features over 200 pages of many full-color photos and instruction. We highly recommend getting this book for your floral arranging library.
Floral Wire comes in all colors and gauges now and can be used for a variety of purposes. One way we like to use it is to ball and scrunch up a long length of large gauge wire and place inside a clear glass cube vase so it can be seen. This can be used as underwater architecture to way to hold stems in place. The
Aluminum Craft Wire comes in a variety of colors including brigth green, gold, silver, pink and blue. Use a the same color as your flowers to mimic the look or use a contrasting color like purple wire inside the vase and yellow flowers to create a complementary color design.