Monthly Archives: October 2011

Rose flowers

Pink Roses, Purple Roses, Yellow Roses, White Roses

No other flower is a recognizable as the rose. No other flower conveys love and passion like the rose either. Most roses have five petals and are native to Asia, with smaller numbers of species native to Europe, North America, and Northwest Africa. Roses are the most popular and commonly sold florist’ flowers and they are also great value to the perfume industry. The aggregate fruit of the rose is a berry-like structure called a rose hip. Rose hips of some species are very rich in vitamin C, among the richest sources of any plant. A bouquet of red roses is often used to show love. It is used as a Valentine’s Day gift in many countries.

Roses are perennial flowering vines and shrubs of the genus rosa and family Rosaceae. Their complete scientific classification include kingdom Plantae, class Magnoliopsida, division Magnoliophyta, family Rosaceae, subfamily Rosoideae, order Rosales and genus Rosa.

The Parts of a Rose Flower

The better a flower smells, it will be smaller in size and lighter the color. The sweet odor of these flowers is due to the chemical 2-phenyl ethanol or also called beta-phenyl ethyl alcohol.

Roses have an edible fruit called rose hips and the fruit is believed to have healing properties.

Petals of rose are naturally modified leaves that are given extra nutrients in order to take on different fragrance and colors. They are designed this way to attract birds and bees for pollination. While no black roses yet exist, there are some of such a deep dark red color as to suggest black.

The rose flower has several stigmas within its bloom (unlike many flowers). The stigma is attached to the tube-like formation called style (rose contains several styles) and it is used to provide the path for pollen to travel to its many ovaries that are located within the rose hips.

Ovules are growths that are small and hair-like, which are found within the ovary of the flower. They are responsible for egg production in rose pollination.

Roses have amazing scents and astonishing beauty. Some varieties have vigorous growth and will sprint up a tree, using it as a frame. There are roses that are very small, called Patio Roses or Tea Cup and those that grow very large.

Origin and History of Rose

Roses originate from China and are cultivate now from America to Africa and from Eastern Europe to Far East. Historically, the oldest fossils of rose have been found in Colorado (more than 35 million years old). In 551 BC – 479 BC, Confucius reported that the Imperial Chinese library had many books on roses. Roses were mentioned in a cuneiform tablet (a system of writing) written in about 2860 BC in ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia (in the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley). In the 15th Century, the English were already cultivating and hybridizing roses when the English War of Roses took place. Tudor Henry VII, the winner of the war, created the Tudor Rose (the Rose of England) by crossbreeding other roses.

In 1996, Americans bought more than 1.2 billion fresh cut roses and that is equal to 4.67 roses for every woman, man and child nationwide. 70,000 roses went into the making of the largest flower bouquet in the world. The 23.4 metre arrangement was the work of Ashrita Furman.

The Netherlands is the world’s leading exporter of roses, with about 8000 hectares of land under rose cultivation. Zambia, a small nation, had 80% of its cultivated land under roses. About 5000 hectares or 54% of the cultivated land in Ecuador is under rose cultivation.

Today, almost all cut roses sold by florists are the hybrid tea variety, while garden roses come in a staggering array of types.

Types of Roses

Roses are divided broadly into 3 classes:

Species Roses, or also oftenly called as Wild Species Roses. They often have 5-petaled flowers and colorful hips that last well into the winter, prroviding food for birds and winter color. Wild Species Roses usually bloom once in the summer. Species roses are widely hybridized. Rosa rugosa is the most popular rose species for sale today owing to its superior hardiness, easy maintenance and disease resistance. Wild Species Roses include many different varieties.

Old Garden Roses have a wonderful perfume and delicate beauty, not often found in modern hybrid tea roses. They are a diverse group from those with wonderful fragrance and great winter hardiness to the lovely and tender tea roses, which are best suited for warm climates. Old Garden Roses comprise a mulltifaceted group that in general are disease resistant, easy to grow and winter-hardy. They grow in several shrub and vine sizes. Normally this class of roses are white or pastel in color (although colors do vary). These “antique roses” are generally preferred for home gardens and lawns. Several groupings of roses classified as Old Garden Roses are tea roses, China roses, moss roses, bourbon roses, damask roses, etc.

This group of roses are very popular. Old Garden Roses are the predecessors of modern roses. The modern roses is the result of crossbreeding the polyanthus (a variety of primrose) with the hybrid tea. Their colors are varied, rich and vibrant. Some of the most popular roses found in the class of modern roses are the floribunda roses, grandiflora roses and hybrid tea roses. Although they are adored by gardeners and florists, the modern roses do not adapt well to colder environments and do require proper care. Any rose identified after 1867 is considered a modern

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Aeoniums

When in Orange County recently, I stopped by a nursery I’d heard about—the Dana Point Nursery on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point. I experienced it through my camera, and lost track of time. I shot a lot of cool plants and container combos, but the aeoniums were my favorites.

Aeoniums are native to the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa. They do really well in Southern California, because they like our dry summers. Aeoniums go dormant during the summer, and if they’re watered during that time, they may rot. Most of those shown here are cultivars.

 This is Aeonium ‘Sunburst’. Pretty obvious how it got its name. This rosette was about 12 inches in diameter.

And this is Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’, from the German word for black. Yes, it’s really that glossy.

This is Aeonium ‘Kiwi’. I love it’s pointed leaves and variegation. Each rosette is about the size of a teacup.

Not sure which this is. Possibly one of the hybrids developed by Jack Catlin of the Huntington Botanical Gardens.

And one more: Aeonium undulata. What exquisite geometry! I was so busy taking photos that I forgot to buy anything. Looks like I’ll have to go back, won’t I?

Symbolic Meaning of Orchids

When you think of symbolically significant flowers, roses are probably the first thing that come to mind. It’s surprising just how many statements you can make simply by varying the number and color of roses you give to someone. Of course, we tend to give flowers a lot of emotional weight, and this is by no means linked to one specific bloom. Orchids, for instance, are known to be one of the largest families of flowers in the world, and as such it’s unsurprising that they would also be regarded by humans as significant.

There are between 22,000 and 26,000 accepted species of orchid. To put that into perspective, that’s twice the number of birds and four times the number of mammals on earth. These orchid varieties account for about 10 percent of the world’s seeded plants. With so many variations, flower enthusiasts are sure to find one that suits their aesthetic needs. In fact, Charles Darwin himself wrote extensively on orchid cross-pollination, simply because they took so well to genetic experimentation. They can be found in a number of different climates, from tropical environs to – if you can believe it – underground.

Orchids of all types are frequently sought by collectors. There are hundreds of societies across the world devoted to dealing with orchids and finding specific blooms. They are regarded as a prized flower, and rare species can cost thousands of dollars. Asian cultures tend to cultivate the best orchids, primarily because the climate is especially well-suited to growing them. Taiwan and Singapore have some of the best public collections of orchids in the world. They’ve also become a best-selling flower here in the United States, thanks in no small part to their wide and varied aesthetic qualities.

Orchids have a fair amount of symbolic significance as well, particularly in China. They’re known as the City Flower of Shaoxing, China, and are one of the Four Gentlemen, a group that also includes the bamboo, plum and chrysanthemum. They’ve been used in painting since the 900s, each representing one of the four seasons. Orchids, in this case, represent spring. Painting an orchid requires basic brush styles, so aspiring artists frequently learn how to paint them.

The orchid certainly has a long and storied history, and it only takes one look to understand why. They’re beautiful, varied and can be found throughout the world.

Indoor potted plants to keep your home vibrant

The end of summer does not come as welcome news to gardening enthusiasts. As the weather grows colder, the prospect of not having any plants to tend to becomes all too apparent. However, for many people, keeping plants is an integral part of their routine and giving it up for half of the year is always difficult to do. Not to worry! There are plenty of potted plants out there just begging to be taken care of, and though it’s not quite the same as working away the warm hours under the sun, it should help you scratch that itch until the ground starts to thaw again.

A succulent garden is a great way to keep your green thumb busy during the winter. It’s relatively low-maintenance, but still provides a lovely oasis wherever you place it in your home. Succulents look great throughout the year, so this may be a suitable option if you’re looking to keep yourself busy.

For something a bit more involved, you may want to consider keeping an indoor herb garden. There are few things more rewarding than sprucing up a pizza with home-grown basil or making your own tea from fresh mint leaves. If this sounds good to you, setting up an herb garden is quite easy. Simply designate a small area of your home for them – preferably high above ground level if you have curious dogs or cats – and provide each of them sufficient space to grow and expand.

You may be looking for a drastic change of pace this season, though. In this case, why not think about starting work on a bonsai tree? It takes a lot of practice and dedication to ensure that yours will stay alive and grow to its full potential. Despite this, you’ll soon find yourself falling into an almost meditative state as you groom your plant with those tiny clippers. Of course, your bonsai tree will last you well beyond the cold winter seasons, and you may soon find yourself with a brand new hobby.

It can be difficult to keep your gardening urges satisfied during the winter, but there are plenty of plants that thrive indoors. As long as you take advantage of them, you’ll find the cold months going by a lot quicker. Before you know it, you’ll be out in that floppy hat again!

Valentine Flowers

Valentine’s day is celebrated on the 14th of February each year and it is one of the most special days on the calender. Even though you can never put a date on love, Saint Valentine’s day is traditionally the day officially designated to love. Lovers across the globe share their feelings for each other and express their love in many ways. One of the most popular way in which lovers show their love for each other is by giving each other valentines flowers. The beauty of these flowers enhances the beautiful spirit of Valentine’s day. The act of giving someone flower shows how much we care and love that person. Pretty Valentine flowers can be given to our lovers, wifes, girlfriends and even friends. Its is usually common tradition to present flowers to women more than men. Blossoming Valentine flowers have always been an integral part of Valentine’s day and will always be so. It is one of the best and most essential Valentine’s day gift. It can be a complete gift on its own or a great accompaniment with other Valentine’s day presents.

Love and Romance Flowers

The most popular Love and Romance flowers are roses, these flowers are the traditional symbol of love. Red roses are the best choice for Valentine flowers as they express a lovers deepest desires of love and passion. The deep crimson of the roses acts as a reflection of the depth of the person’s feelings. Apart from red roses all colors of roses are a great choice for Valentine flowers. Giving your loved one a white or a yellow rose is a symbol of your love and friendship. Some of the other great Valentine flowers are carnations, tulips, lilies, daisies, asters, African daisies and forget-me-nots.