BE a BEE Keeper

Bees are an extremely important part of our Eco system.  Their pollination process is essential for the growth of flowers, plants and trees all over the world.

The European honeybee is the most common species, and the only species kept in America. They are just 1 species of 20,000 worldwide known species. North America is home to 4,400 bee species including social bumblebee colonies, solitary tunnel nesting bees and solitary ground nesting bees.

Honeybees are the only insect which stores food in excess.  The colonizing of bees is called bee keeping.  Tending to bee hives requires a lot of time and knowledge.  General maintenance requires periodic inspections during the warm months to make sure your queen is laying eggs, your workers are building up honey stores, and your colony has enough space to expand.

Bees are directly influenced by their environment.  Their behavior and success varies greatly across climates. Management time and style will depend on your climate, your hive style, and your particular bees. All colonies are unique, and each beekeeper will have a different experience.

There are 3 types of bees in the colony: The Queen, the worker bee, and the drone.  The queen is the most important bee in the colony, there is only one.  The queen will lay all of the eggs for the colony, “deciding” when to lay drones eggs, or workers eggs.  Worker bees are sterile females who do all of the foraging, feeding of young, honey production and storage, wax production, cleaning, and defending the hive against intruders.

The only male bees in the colony are drones. Their only purpose is to mate with virgin queens from other colonies. Once they mate, they die successful bees. Unsuccessful drones return to the hive to eat honey and pollen. Once swarm season is over, drones become a drain on resources inside the hive, and are evicted by workers.  Bee keeping is hard work, but rich in reward.  There are many bee keeping groups and clubs that you can join to learn more about the bees in your local area.

Hydrangea

If you have been invited to a wedding in the past couple of years, chances are you have seen the hydrangea flower in either the wedding centerpieces or even in bridal bouquets. If you are big on the meaning of flowers, hydrangea means love and admiration, making it a sought after flower by brides to-be.

Hydrangea was first cultivated in Japan, but they have recently found fossilized hydrangea in North America dating back millions of years. Hydrangea was not seen in Europe until the 18th century when a colonist brought the North American hydrangea plant over to England.

Today, hydrangea mainly grows in the Americas. Big hydrangea heads are many smaller blooms clustered together. The little star-shaped flowers grow along wooden stems and create a big, pompom shape, making them very versatile and very easy to use in arrangements.

The most common color of hydrangea is white, but they also come in a variety of colors; such as blue, red, pink, or purple. In hydrangea varieties, the exact color often depends upon the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Acidic soils produce blue flowers, neutral soils produce pale cream petals, and alkaline soils result in pink or purple. They can also change color, or be bi-colored. All depending on how acidity is added or removed from the soil. Hydrangea is available all year round, making it great for any occasion you would like to celebrate!

Some brides often worry that if they choose hydrangea for their wedding flowers it will wilt easily.  If your florist sources the hydrangea from top quality sources and hydrates each bloom properly, you will have nothing to worry about.  They are a beautiful flower that will compliment any wedding arrangement.

Take a look at a past wedding we created which included hydrangea in the wedding bouquets and wedding centerpieces.

Alstromeria

Alstromeria is one of nature’s most exotic looking flowers, also known as Peruvian Lilies. It comes in a variety of shades and colors, making them a perfect choice for any occasion. The Peruvian lily represents friendship and devotion and come in a variety of colors making them an ideal match for any birthday, graduation, or a “just because” arrangement. A few of the most popular colors include shades of yellow, pink, orange, and white.  The Peruvian lily is a very long lasting flower that has multiple blooms on a single stem, making these a popular choice for designers to place in vases or bouquets.

Alstromeria is native to South America, but now grow all over the world.  It was brought to Europe in the 1800’s, by a Swedish Botanist.  Not long after his discovery of the Peruvian Lily, did the flower gain popularity among flower enthusiasts.  With their meaning of devotion and friendship people quickly started giving them as gifts to friends and family.

Tulip Garden arrangement by Leigh Florist featuring Peruvian lilies (Alstromeria). 

 

How To: Make Your Own Terrarium

Create a Terrarium

Have you ever seen those plants or creative scenes in glass vases or jars and wondered what they were? Wonder no more! They are called terrariums! A fancy way to bring nature inside your home or office. They are very easy to take care of and easy to make!

Materials:

  1. A clear glass jar, vase, or bowl (or whatever interesting glass container you have on hand)
  2. Rocks, pebbles or recycled glass chunks
  3. Activated charcoal (sometimes called activated carbon)
  4. Potting soil appropriate for your plants
  5. Moss (optional)
  6. Figurines, sticks or decorative items (optional)
  7. Various small plants
  8. A scoop, spoon or shovel
  9. Scissors
  10. Gloves

Step 1.  Prepare the container –  A great and inexpensive place to get your container is at a thrift store.  Just make sure that you wash it thoroughly and remove all stickers from the container.

Step 2. Add a drainage layer – Once the container is ready, fill the bottom with rocks or pebbles. This is to create a drainage layer so water can settle and not flood the plant. The depth of the rocks totally depends on the size of your container, but aim for 1/2″ to 2″.

Step 3.  Add Activated Charcoal – This will help kill the bacteria from growing in your terrarium and killing your plants.

Step 4. Add soil – Place a layer of soil down next.  Be sure to get the appropriate bag depending on which plants you’re using. Add enough soil so the plants roots will have plenty of room to fit and then grow. Aim for a depth slightly greater than the height     of the plant’s pot.

Step 5. Plant – When taking plants out of their original containers, you will want to break off all the old soil clinging to the roots.  Feel free to trim some of the roots back.  Don’t worry they will grow back.  Continue placing your little plants in the container and try to keep them away from the edges. The leaves are likely to touch the sides but aim to keep them away as much as possible. Once your plants are in pack them down with more soil, so they are sturdy in the dirt.

Step 6.  Add Accessories – Now you are done planting.  Add in any decorative twigs, rocks, or moss to help complete the look.

Step 7. Clean and Water – More than likely a little bit of dirt has gotten on the side of your terrarium. Clean up the sides and give it a fresh shot of water. It doesn’t need to get soaked, just a couple shots of water should do it for a while. The trick with watering is to monitor the soil. If it looks dry, then it needs water, but you shouldn’t have to do it very often.

If you would like to order a mini globe terrarium from our studio, give us a call! (856) 547-1090

Mini Globe terrariums by Leigh Florist.

Industrial Chic Wedding

The trend of mix metals, and Edison lights have helped shaped this new wedding trend of an industrial wedding.  More and more brides are looking for a blank canvas in order to create their own super modern vision. They seek out old industrial warehouses or more modern venues with more raw qualities. The result? An ultra-chic, modern wedding.  It’s all about bringing the outdoor feeling of the city, indoors.

Choosing your venue – To achieve the industrial look, you must first start with your venue.  Hosting your wedding at a warehouse venue, or even an ultra-modern one, with exposed metal or brick would be an ideal place to tie the knot if this is the look you want to achieve. Some off season farm warehouses will rent out a space for you to use for your reception. Be sure to consider the time of year and weather. If you don’t have a venue such as these around, you can always bring in some outdoor elements, to change the feel of the room.

Wedding Décor – You can achieve an industrial look by thinking outside of the box.  When you think centerpiece, your first thought would be some pretty flowers in a vase but to achieve the industrial chic look consider this…place two cinderblocks on your table, with one its side and place votive candles in the open gaps, with moss around them. Then take little groupings of flowers and scatter them on top and in between the blocks. This will definitely be a great conversation piece among your guests and offer that chic look. You can even add bits of mixed metals, copper piping, and geometric shapes to add different textures.  Something that is very popular is a DIY copper piping candelabra, which is a little more simple and classic but still adds that industrial look, you can find the inspiration on Pinterest.

Extra lighting – Instead of using traditional or existing lighting you can use Edison lights which have grown in popularity lately. They act as industrial décor as well as soft warm lighting for your reception. A great idea for your ceremony is to make a backdrop full of Edison lights and stand in front of it while saying your vows.  It will silhouette you in a brilliance of light.

The most important thing in creating your ideal industrial chic wedding is to include the key elements of mixed metals, soft open lighting, and exposed concrete or brick. This can be a daunting task but there are tons of resources for you to use to help you plan. The industrial modern look is becoming more and more popular with the younger generation, who want to keep some things traditional but with an outdoor modern flare.

This venue is AMAZING. Perfect for that chic modern wedding.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/52072939419194066/

Fill these with soft pinks and white for a simple and breathtaking centerpiece.

https://www.rocknrollbride.com/2017/03/post-elopement-industrial-vow-renewal/#more-266786

How cool is this? Rustic and chic at the same time!

Dormancy And Winter Treatment In Gardening Approaches

Where they are grown in border setting tender summer flowering plants, such as dahlias, begonias, cannas and gladioli should be lifted in autumn and brought into growth again in spring if they are to flower once more in the summer. The tubers and corms of these plants should be lifted, dried and stored in dry, cool, frost free conditions.

Begonias and gladioli are stored dry, dahlias and cannas should be stored in barely moist peat or coarse vermiculite. Most bulbs and tubers should be lifted before the first frosts. Dahlias, however, will benefit if the foliage is actually killed by frost. When this happens, the leaves become blackened. If your dahlias have stopped flowering but there have still been no autumn frosts, lift them anyway.

In some mild areas it is possible to cut off the dahlia foliage and leave the tubers in the ground, protecting them with a mulch of grit with a layer of leaf mould or bark chipping, in the same way that nerines, crinums and the hardier types of agapanthus are left in the ground. Dahlias treated in this way are always at risk, especially if the winter happens to be severe.

When green shoots begin to emerge on lifted dahlias in spring, water sparingly to keep the compost moist. Then in late spring or early summer, after all risk of frost has passed, choose a sunny, sheltered spot and prepare a planting hole. Cannas should be treated in the same way as dahlias, except that the stalks of cannas are not hollow and it is not necessary to hang them upside down to drain.

Moreover, cannas produces rhizomes, not tubers, and these are easily separated in spring when the new shoots start to emerge to produce new plants.

Fall Flower Gardening- 12 “Attractive” Features Of Fall Flower Gardening!

Fall Flower Gardening- 12 “Attractive” Features Of Fall Flower Gardening!

Autumn is a wonderful season! All the different hues of nature can be witnessed in the trees around! Flowers give out heady fragrances, and there is generally an atmosphere of magic all around! This season is therefore a boon for garden lovers, since there are any number of plants which are created just for fall flower gardening!

Some features of fall flower gardening are listed below–

(1) Why fall flower gardening at all? These magnificent plants give a new look to the landscape around the house. The gardener gets immense pleasure from what he/she has created. And best of all, one is surrounded by intoxicating perfumes!

(2) Fall season stretches to a few months. So when is the best time to begin fall flower gardening? People who live in highly warm climates are lucky! The (annual) flowers can be planted during autumn itself. Additionally, they even grow and bloom in the same season; so the owner can enjoy everything at one and the same time!

Those dwelling in places with colder climates will have to plant the flowers before fall, and wait to enjoy their color and fragrance during the autumn.

(3) In actual fact, there is no standard answer to the above question–it is just a matter of guesswork. Every year, there could be a different time period that seems appropriate for fall flower gardening. All that an avid gardener can do is wait till the opportunity presents itself, and then grab it!

To illustrate with an example, a mild summer may be followed by a period of rainfall. This occurs somewhere towards the end of August. This then would be an ideal time for growing flowers. In other areas, September would seem to be the ideal month for growing flowers.

(4) There is another choice available–an entirely new flower garden can be started just before autumn.

When the summer season comes to an end, local garden centers offer those plants which could not be sold during the spring season, at discounted rates. Unless there are pests on these plants, they can be safely taken home and brought back to good health via container gardening. Once the weather turns cooler, the same plants can be transplanted into the outdoor garden.

(5) Fall flower gardening can include annual plants as well as perennials. Annual flowers are tender and may survive for a briefer period than perennial flowers. Perennial plants are sturdier and able to tolerate early frost–so their flowers can be enjoyed for a lengthier period of time.

(6) With a little research, the gardener can obtain plants that grow late blossoms, but generally before the arrival of the first frost. These flowers are actually planted during the summer; so, it is possible that excess foliage will need to be trimmed during fall season. This is done by pruning or staking. A disadvantage is that pruning leads to late blooming.

(7) Fall flowering garden can include plants that grow vegetables too. Some of them are peppers, cabbage and kales. As a matter of fact, ornamental peppers exhibit wonderfully colored flowers and fruits. Thus, enjoy them and taste them too!

(8) Some popular flowering plants are–perennial asters that blossom every fall, year after year, and pansies; pansies bloom during the fall, winter and spring seasons.

(9) Some exotic and colorful additions to the garden can be attempted if the gardener so desires. These could be–reddish-purple love-lies-bleeding flowers, pinkish-purple mums, and New England asters.

(10) There are other blooms that can really be breathtaking in appearance! They are therefore welcome additions to the flower garden.

Nasturtiums (give out orange and yellow flowers).
Silver king artemisia.
Reddish-purple plumed celosia.
Bronze coleus.
Marigold (give out yellow, gold and orange flowers).

(11) Perennial plants come in a vast range. The gardener can take his pick from among sunflowers, aconite, yellow wax bells, phlox, autumn crocus, tall verbena, golden rod, Russian sage, black-eyed susan or the ragged coneflower.

(12) To enhance the fall flower gardening experience, the gardener can visualize the difference that vines, shrubs and ornamental grasses will create when invited to become part of the already vivid panorama!

Gardening with the Iris Plant

Gardening with the Iris Plant

Iris is the name of a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Iridaceae. The various Iris species have showy and beautiful flowers which make them popular in gardens and in floral arrangements. The name Iris is derived from the Latin name for rainbow, since Iris flowers exists in an abundance of color variations. The term Iris in not only used to describe the genus, it is also the common name for the comprised species. Sometimes similarly looking showy flowering species from related genera is also called Iris flowers.

If you care for your planted Iris, you can enjoy it for many years to come since it is a perennial flower. Iris flowers growing in warm regions can grow throughout the year, while Iris flowers in colder regions will grow and flower only during the summer. If the climate is very dry and water is scarce, the will Iris will form bulbs. When water is more abundant, the Iris will instead spread via rhizomes. Since Iris can survive even in dry regions, they are very popular in California and Florida. Many Iris species appreciate regions where the nights are cool and the days hot. Ideally, you should plant your Iris in the shade since it can be harmed by strong direct sunlight.  

As mentioned above, the Iris flower is showy and very beautiful. It can be obtained in a wide range of color variations. The flower is typically shaped like a fan with six petals. The three inner petals are named “standards”, while the three other petals are named “falls”. The standards will rise above the rest of the flower and try to attract pollinators. Some Iris types have a “beard”, i.e. the upper surface of the outer petals has a beard like feature. This beard is a service for pollinators; since they can land and grab hold of to the beard when they consume nectar.  

The Iris smells nice, but the fragrance is not particularly strong. The flower is located on a tall stem and an Iris will typically form a lot of flowers on one single stem. The Iris stems vary between the different Irises and can be hollow as well as solid, and simple and well as branched. The Iris leaves are shaped like small swords.

Delicately blossomed Iris plants are called “Freesisas”. The first Freesias were white and yellow, but today you can purchase hybrids in many different colors. You can for instance select blue, lilac, violet, pink and salmon colored Freesias. Freesisas have a delightful scent.

They are more delicate than the other Iris flowers and you should not plant them in a region where the temperature can drop below 26 degrees. Freesisas are therefore popular indoor plants in the colder regions of the world. If you want to have an Iris that is similar to a Freesia, but with more vivid flowers, you should take a look at the Sparaxis plants. Sparaxis flowers are related to the Freesias, but form even more flamboyant flowers.

Information on golden goddess bamboo can be found at the Bamboo Flower site.

Peonies ‘Krinkled White’ and ‘Vivid Rose’

Peonies ‘Krinkled White’ and ‘Vivid Rose’

Add Old-Fashioned Beauty to Your Garden

Peonies have an old-fashioned beauty and longevity that have made them a perennial favorite of gardeners. Before being introduced in North America, they were grown thousands of years ago in gardens across the world. There is evidence that Peonies were used for medicinal purposes in Europe over 2000 years ago and that during the reign of Emperor Yang (605-617) in China they were grown as ornamental plants. Peonies were introduced in North America during the 1830’s and their popularity has only increased since then. This week we are featuring two of our favorite Peonies – ‘Krinkled White’ and ‘Vivid Rose.’

‘Krinkled White’

‘Krinkled White’ is a simple and classic Peony – large single, snow white petals around a pillow of rich golden stamens and green pistils. ‘Krinkled White’ is a nice contrast to the more common double flowering varieties. The ruffled-edge, crepe paper-like petals form a bowl shape that can reach 5 to 7 inches across. The stems are straight and strong and do not flop in the garden. ‘Krinkled White’ is ideal for a cut floral display. Easy-to-grow and a prolific bloomer.

‘Vivid Rose’

‘Vivid Rose’ has large, fully double, brilliant pink blooms that actually glow in the garden! Introduced in 1952 by the renowned Klehm family, it remains a favorite of gardeners not only for its beautiful blooms, but for its delightful sweet scent. The blooms can reach up to 6 to 8 inches across. As with ‘Krinkled White’, ‘Vivid Rose’ also has stiff stems with disease-resistant, crinkled foliage that remains deep green right into autumn.

Planting and Care

th ‘Krinkled White’ and ‘Vivid Rose’ are extremely hardy and once established, are one of the longest lived perennials available – lasting for over 50 years! Expect them to reach about 30 inches high, with the stunning display of blooms in the spring. The foliage forms a nice round clump – making the Peonies look more like shrubs than perennials. When cut in the almost-open bud stage, they open in water and last about a week indoors. Do not cut any flowers the first or second year. Be sure to cut faded flowers to prevent seed formation.

Early to mid fall is the best time to plant Peonies as it allows time for their roots to become established. Your peony will spend its first year getting established and will not be floriferous.

Prefers an area with full sun, but will tolerate some shade. Good drainage is essential. Alkaline soil is a preference but is not essential.

Mix lots of compost, such as Chesapeake Blue, into the soil at planting. Fertilize with Bulb-Tone in early spring. When planting, do not put fertilizer directly on the plant roots but into the soil away from the roots. Peonies should be lightly fertilized again after blooming.

Plant with the “eyes” exactly 1 1/2 inches below the soil level. Water well right after planting.

Mulch with 2 inches of shredded hardwood mulch after the ground has frozen. Remove the mulch in the early spring.

Hardy in zones 3-8.

Lilies Can Add Beauty To Any Garden

Lilies Can Add Beauty To Any Garden

Do you ever feel like you know just enough about Lilies for the garden to be dangerous? Let’s see if we can fill in some of the gaps with the latest info from Lilies for the garden experts.

Lilies are one of the most striking and beautiful plants in the garden, and most gardeners will work with these beautiful plants at least once or twice in their lives.

Lilies can add beauty and drama to any garden, and they are very popular flowers for indoor display as well. Lilies are popular in many contexts, from giving a beautiful contrast to a winter rock garden, to providing a beautiful accent to surrounding shrubs and trees.

No matter how the lily is displayed, and whether it is enjoyed indoors or out, there are some important things to know about these wonderful plants. This article focuses on some of the most frequently asked questions about choosing, planting, caring for and enjoying lilies.

When should I plant my lilies?
The best time to plant lilies is in either the spring or fall of the year. Regardless of the time of year, however, it is important to get the bulbs in the ground as soon as possible after purchasing them. Unlike many other types of bulbs, lily bulbs do not store well.

What is the difference between a daylily and a garden lily?
The plant known to gardeners as the garden lily is grown from a bulb, but the plant known as the daylily actually grows from a corm. In addition, the daylily contains many leaves that grow from the corm, but the garden lily contains only one shoot that contains leaves. That shoot grows directly from the bulb.

It’s really a good idea to probe a little deeper into the subject of Lilies for the garden. What you learn may give you the confidence you need to venture into new areas.

How deep should lily bulbs be planted?
The general rule of thumb for many types of bulbs, including lily bulbs, is to plant them three times as deep as the bulbs are wide. For instance, a two inch wide lily bulb would be planted to a depth of six inches In addition, lilies should be planted in groups for the best effect when they bloom. It is a good idea to dig a hole to the proper depth, then plant several bulbs together in that hole.

How do I propagate lilies?
Garden lilies are best propagated through breaking off a few of their scales in the spring or fall and planting them approximately one inch deep. Daylilies can be propagated by dividing the corms and planting them. In addition, some lilies will produce bulbils, which may appear to be black or dark green seeds. These bulbils are found at the point at which the lily leaf meets the stem. Even though these bulbils are not really seeds, they can be planted, and they will emerge within two or three years of planting.

Should I cut back my lily after it has finished blooming?
After the lily has bloomed, it is best to remove only the stem itself. That is because garden lilies will continue to feed off their foliage, and lilies that are left to die off naturally tend to grow better the next year. On the other hand, daylilies usually bloom for longer periods of time. The blooming season of daylilies can be extended if the gardener deadheads the blooms and cuts back the stems. After the blooming season is over, the foliage on the daylily should be allowed to die back naturally.

Can Easter lilies be planted outside?

Many people are interested in planting their Easter lilies outside, and it is fine to attempt that. The main problem with Easter lilies is that they do not bloom naturally at Easter time. Easter lilies are actually forced to bloom at that time of year by the florist. This forced blooming can make it harder for the lily to grow properly once it is transplanted.

If you plan to transplant your Easter lily after you have enjoyed it outside, the following steps will help increase your chances of its survival.

Plant the lily in a sunny spot using well drained soil

Use a good, high quality planting mix

Plant the bulbs three inches under the surface of the soil and also place an additional three inches of soil on the top

Allow enough space for the lily to spread its roots

Water the newly transplanted lily thoroughly

Now you can understand why there’s a growing interest in Lilies for the garden. When people start looking for more information about Lilies for the garden, you’ll be in a position to meet their needs.