Helleborus

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Helleborus come in different variations of  white, pink, purple, and green. People like planting them in gardens, because they bloom in mid- late winter, and will help to fill empty garden beds. They are mainly found in Europe, Turkey, and parts of Russia, and can thrive almost anywhere they are planted. Hellebore blooms in late winter (sometimes when snow is still present) and continues into spring, with a long 8-10 week bloom period. Helleborus has a lot of nicknames, including “Christmas Flower”, “Hellebore”, and “Snow Rose”. However, don’t let these sweet names fool you. Helleborus is actually one of the most poisonous plants when ingested.

Check out our blog on Moon Flowers, they bloom at night!

The History Of Mistletoe

The holidays are upon us! Our trees are trimmed, the stockings are hung, and the smell of cookies and evergreens is all around.  It’s a Christmas party!  People drinking, being merry, and wishing each other a Happy New Year. Then, there alone in corner, a girl stands under the mistletoe waiting to be kissed. What does it mean if she gets a kiss? What does it mean if she doesn’t? How did this tradition begin?

                Mistletoe has been a winter tradition that began in Europe thousands of years ago.  The Norse, Germans, and Greeks viewed mistletoe as a plant that warded off evil spirits. They viewed mistletoe this way, because it defied odds and grows in the winter.  Through myths and legends it became the symbol of love. Men and women would stand under it, waiting to be kissed by their sweetheart.

When mistletoe came to Victorian England, any woman standing under mistletoe could be kissed by any man. If she refused, it was deemed bad luck.  A kiss could mean lasting friendship, deep romance, or even goodwill. If the girl remained “unkissed”, she cannot expect to marry until the following year.

Though these superstitions are long gone, today mistletoe adds a fun festive game to any holiday party.  Don’t forget to add a holiday centerpiece to your party this year!  Spruce up your winter décor with a fresh flower centerpiece from Leigh Florist – order here for local delivery.

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Whats a Zygote?

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The Christmas cactus, also known as a Zygote cactus, is a popular gift for friends and family. Their bright colored blooms make these winter plants a top choice for gifters. They come in a variety of colors: red, orange, cream, fuchsia, and purple. They originated from the mountain tops of Brazil, and now grow all over South and Central America.

The Christmas Cactus, is in fact, not a cactus. It is a succulent plant.  They prefer a more humid atmosphere, grown in a pot, in a bright location (but not in direct sunlight). Do not let the plant dry out, but be careful not to over water, doing so will cause the buds to fall off! The trick to a timely blooming, is to keep them outside just before the first frost, then take them inside. The heat inside will trick them into blooming Just in time for Christmas!

Order a Christmas cactus or shop our holiday favorites here! 

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree did not become a household tradition in the United States, until the late 19th century. Germany was the first country to be credited with the first Christmas tree. Christians would bring trees into their home, and decorate them. Martin Luther King, was thought to be the first who added candle lights to the Christmas tree, wanting it to look like the night sky. Later, once Queen Victoria placed a Pine tree in her court,(a tradition originally started by her German husband, Prince Albert) it became all the rage in Europe, and still continued today.

The first record of a Christmas tree on display in the US, was in the early 1800’s, by the Pennsylvania Dutch.  The lighting of Christmas trees are now more popular than ever.  Even the white house has a tree lighting ceremony. Thomas Edison’s assistants are credited for making the first string of Christmas lights.

Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, even Alaska and Hawaii.  7 Million trees are planted every year. The bestselling trees are Pine, Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir, Balsam, and White Pine.  Christmas trees take 6-8 years to fully mature. Decorating the Christmas tree is one of the best times of the holidays. It was a tradition a long time in the making, and we believe it is here to stay.

Order a table top boxwood Christmas tree today, or shop our other holiday favorites here!

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Pointsetta Plants

With the Christmas countdown in full swing, many of us are scrambling to find gifts for our friends and loved ones. While high tech gadgets become more impressive and more in demand each year, it is important to remember that thoughtful, lovely gifts don’t need to come at a high price. And they don’t need to be man-made. Flowers have been proven time and time again to bring cheer and brighten up any room. We offer many different and beautiful arrangements that you can customize to fit your own style and needs. (Check out our website for more info on our winter arrangements.)

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While virtually any flowers can be used to create a beautiful holiday arrangement, there is one flower that is known as the Christmas flower. I’m talking about the brilliant red poinsettia plant. They are so popular around this time, it’s hard not to find them in homes and businesses adding pops of color to the holiday decor. They even have their own national day on December 17th, the date that Joel Robert Poinsett past away. Poinsett was a botanist, physician, and congressman who, after a visit to Mexico where poinsettias were originally grown, brought back the plant to the states to cultivate it in his own green house. The botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima meaning “very beautiful”, was given to the plant by a German botanist who was awestruck when he saw the rich red colors of the bloom. The leaves were actually used in the Aztec culture to make dyes. The sap is also said to have been used to control fevers.

There have been rumors that the poinsettia is poisonous. Though the rumors are not true, it is recommended that pets be kept away from the plant. Ingesting the leaves can cause diarrhea and vomiting in animals. It has to be ingested in large quantities before it is harmful to humans but it has a terrible taste and it’s really not recommended.

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Poinsettias come in shades of red, pink, burgundy, and white so they really compliment a Christmas arrangement. They may not connect you to the internet or allow you to play two-person shooter games, but we can guarantee that they will make a great gift for that special person on your gift list.

Give us a call or check out our website for more information on ordering a poinsettia plant.

 

Happy Holidays from Leigh Florist!

 

-Lacey Bouchard

 

Source: http://urbanext.illinois.edu/poinsettia/facts.cfm