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Flowers For Your Valentine

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I can hardly believe it – it seems like it was Christmas only a couple of week ago! By now florists and gift stores everywhere are kicking into gear to prepare for the big day, but why do we even celebrate it?

 

Where Did the Day Originate?

 

Well, it’s connected to a Saint who lived in Rome in 270 AD, named Valentine, and there are a few stories floating around about why the day was named after him. The first most recognized saying was that the Roman Emperor of the time, Claudius II, outlawed the marriage of young couples, because he believed that single men made better soldiers. The priest Valentine protested this and married them in secret, but he we was eventually found out and sentenced to death on February 14th. In another story Valentine was thrown in jail for refusing to give up his Christian beliefs, and while waiting his execution, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. On the day of his death, February 14th, he wrote her a note signed ‘From Your Valentine’. Over the years the British and Europeans romanticized the day, and turned it into a celebratory day to express your love for the special people in your life.

 

Valentine’s Day Doesn’t Mean Red Roses Only

 

Red roses immediately pop into people’s heads when they think of Valentine’s Day. They are a classic choice and symbolise romance and true love, but they are not the only rose with meaning. Pink roses over all represent grace and sweetness, while lighter tones are tenderness and darker pinks mean gratitude. Purple roses signify love at first sight and desire. Orange says passion and enthusiasm. Yellow roses convey friendship and joy. Green roses denote peace and tranquility, and last but not least, white symbolizes purity and innocence.

 

Big bunch of multicoloured roses in orange, white, purple and pink.
Stunning bunch of multicoloured roses.

So What To Get?

 

As for what you should send your love for Valentine’s Day, you’ve got a wealth of options. If you’re looking to make an impression but not overwhelm, a single red rose is perfectly romantic. A timeless choice is a beautiful bouquet of red roses, a dozen or half a dozen is gorgeous, and if you wanted something magnificent 2-dozen or 3-dozen is definitely the way to go. We will also be doing amazing boxed roses, simple and elegant. If roses aren’t what you need, a stunning bouquet of their favourite flower or a mix of seasonal blooms will convey your love just as much as roses. We can also send your flowers with a bottle of champagne and a box of artisan chocolates. This year we have a divine choice of chocolates from Zokoko (trust us, we’ve sampled them!), perfect for the chocolate lover in your life. We are also very excited to be getting in a gorgeous range of luxury hand poured soy candles from Lumira, which we can absolutely send with your flowers.

Bouquet of red roses in a fish bowl vase.
Red rose bouquet in a fish bowl.

What About The Men?

 

And to all of you lovers with a special man in your life, don’t think he won’t want flowers too! Lots of men like flowers even if they don’t admit it, so instead of racking your brain for something romantic, get him flowers! Ask for something suitable for a man, red roses work for everyone or a single rose is perfect! Even a mixed bouquet, maybe in autumn tones with some native flowers!

 

Beautiful Valentine's Day bouquet for a man.
Gorgeous bouquet suitable for your man.

Pop in and visit us in the shop or head over to our website to our website to get some ideas and place your order.

 

Get in quick because it’s going to be a busy one!

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Fun Uses For Old Flowers

dried flowers

 

Receiving a beautiful bouquet of flowers is one of life’s ultimate joys, there’s just nothing else like a stunning bunch to liven up any space. Most people just throw them away once they start dying, but why not continue enjoying them by turning them into something else? There are a few different ways you can re-purpose old flowers, so lets start with the basics.

 

dried flowers and herbs
Dried flowers hanging from string.

Dried flowers are great to decorate your house with, just remove them from the water and hang them upside down in a dry place. Once completely dry, you can place them into a fun jug or vase, just as they are for a vintage vibe, or tie them with string or a nice ribbon and leave them hanging.

They look great in a window or off a beam. They also look gorgeous as decoration for gifts, simply take a single flower or two and tie into your bow.

 

You can also use your dried flowers to make potpourri. You must make sure that your flowers are completely dry, as otherwise they can start to rot.

potpourri
Mix of dried flowers.

Pop your dried flowers into a bowl or container and add essential oils, fragrant cinnamon sticks, cloves or even dried pine and eucalyptus. Toss the mixture together and place into a cute vase or basket, or in little jars with a bow to make perfect gifts.

 

Pressed flowers add a boho vibe to any craft project. Start by picking out the flowers you want to press, whereas flat flowers, such as daisies, hydrangeas and lilies work best. Flowers that are round and bulky won’t press well, but you can utilise the petals. Make sure the flowers are dry, that you cut them off at the head or leave a small stem. Grab a heavy book and place a couple of greaseproof paper sheets on the pages to protect them, lay out your flowers and gently close the book. Place another big book on top and leave them for at least one week. Once they are pressed and dry, you can arrange them into a pretty frame as bespoke decorations or create beautiful hand make cards by gluing them onto a nice folded piece of card.

 

Small flowers and flower petals are perfect for jazzing up pillar candles. Melt a small tea light candle and use the wax to ‘paint’ the flowers onto the candle. Paint a layer of wax onto the larger candle, place your flower or petal on (tweezers can help with this) and paint a few more layers on top, allowing each layer to partially dry before adding another. And voila! You’ve got a gorgeous decorated candle.

 

So next time your flowers start to wilt and fall, don’t throw them out just yet. These simple techniques can refresh and bring new life to your bouquet, so you can keep enjoying them or turn them into great gifts.

 

Do you have any ideas on how to use old flowers?

 

 

 

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A Floral Christmas

 

Our first 6 months have flown here at Wollongong Flowers and we can’t believe it’s already Christmas time. I just love this time of year, when everyone is getting into the holiday spirit, decorations are being put up and preparations for Christmas day are well under way (although I still have yet to finish buying gifts – whoops!). Along with all the glittering baubles and red fuzzy hats come some of the most gorgeous flowers and foliage of the season. An ever-popular favourite that will never go out of style is Christmas bush. With clusters of small red flowers on branching stems, this beauty is found everywhere at this time of year and can bring that cheerful Christmas vibe effortlessly on its own in a lovely vase.

 

Christmas bush
Gorgeous Christmas Bush

 

Christmas bells also make their appearance during December. They have thin dark coloured stems with the most amazing red, orange-tipped bell shaped flowers hanging from the top. These are so unique and a real treat for the eyes. Poinsettias are a long time favourite for Christmas. These are generally in the form of a potted plant and make a great gift for anyone. Striking red flowers with leaf shaped petals bloom all over this plant and bring instant Christmas charm to any space. And if red isn’t quite what you are after, they also bloom in white and pink.

 

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells

 

Red Poinsettia
Red Poinsettia

 

Christmas foliage added to any red and white flowers can transform them into the perfect festive bouquet or arrangement. Wonderfully fragrant cypress pine and holly with its tiny red grouped berries are Christmas staples, along with spruce, and of course mistletoe. If you are looking to add just that little bit of extra “Christmassiness” to your arrangement, pine cones and even baubles or bows will do the trick.

 

Christmas Foliage
Holly, Cypress Pine and Spruce

 

An exciting addition to our shop during December is stunning fresh Christmas trees. Walking into the shop in the morning we are met with a delightful pine smell that really makes it feel like Christmas. We are offering many different sizes of trees and even living trees in pots that you can plant in the garden in the new year, come in and visit us or call on 02 4244 1688 to order yours. We are also taking orders for Christmas bouquets and arrangements – make sure to get in early because this time of year can be really busy for us florists! Whether it’s for yourself or a gift, we can design bouquets, arrangements, wreaths and table centers for pick or delivery.[divider]

Our opening hours for Christmas week will be Monday to Wednesday 8am to 6pm and Christmas Eve 8am until late. We will be closed for the holidays from Christmas Eve to January 4th 2016.

 

Christmas display
Stunning Christmas Display

 

[quote]Have a “floral” Christmas everyone! We wish you all happy holidays and are looking forward to seeing you in the New Year. [/quote]

 

 

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Heirloom Roses

The rose, one of the most loved and desired flowers around. There isn’t a person alive that doesn’t know about this gorgeous bloom, but have you thought about where they came from, and how the plant evolved into the modern roses we know today?

 

You may have heard the term ‘antique’ or ‘heirloom’ roses; these refer to the original blooms grown way back in the 1200’s. The earliest varieties of rose shrubs have been dated to as far back as 1700 – 2000 BC, I’ll bet you didn’t think they were that old!

 

Icebreaker Rose
Modern variety Icebreaker rose.

 

The domesticated rose varieties from which all roses have evolved or been cultivated from are those from the 1200’s; Albas, Centifolias, Damasks and Gallicas. These varieties were grown in the gardens of Europeans for hundreds of years; they would flower only once a year and range in colour from white to purples to pinks. It wasn’t until the 1700’s that rose breeding really took off with the introduction of imported Chinese roses. These were known as ‘Stud Chinas’, they flowered multiple times per year and expanded the colour palate to include reds and yellows.

 

As the popularity of roses increased, breeders started planning and using strategy to produce plants with desired features, such as bloom size and perfume, as opposed to leaving it to nature. This lead to the first hybrid rose developed in 1867 called ‘La France’, a cross between a hybrid perpetual and a tea rose. From there rose varieties exploded and made way for all our modern favourites today.

 

Juliet Rose
The Juliet Rose, a classic English variety.

 

Heirloom roses make a beautiful edition to any rose lovers’ garden. Don’t assume that because they are antique varieties they are difficult to grow, they are just as easy, or even easier, to grow as modern rose varieties. They flower multiple timers per year in a variety of bloom colours and sizes, mix well with other shrubs and plants, and are disease resistant and drought tolerant. If you are looking to liven up your garden, why not add a little bit of history in an heirloom rose shrub!

 

Or if you are looking for a gorgeous, classic gift for someone special in your life, head over to our web store or visit us in Wollongong to see the beautiful bouquets and arrangements we can design with a variety of stunning roses. We’d be more than happy to create something for you or your loved one!

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What’s Your Favourite Flower?

It seems like every single new person I meet asks me this question when they learn that I’m a florist: ‘Oh what’s your favourite flower?’ they ask, as if its such a simple question. Every time I find myself saying ‘Uuuuuum I don’t know, there are too many!’ For us florists it’s like asking, ‘What’s your favourite movie?’ or ‘What’s your favourite song?’ – it’s impossible to choose just one!

 

I always try to make up my mind so I’ll have a decent answer for the next person who asks me this question, but every time it turns out the same way. In winter I’ll be unpacking flowers fresh from the markets, pull out Sweet Pea and think ‘Yes, this is my favourite…’, they have a beautifully sweet fragrance and are so delicate. Then in Spring I’ll unpack Queen Anne’s Lace and think ‘ Actually… this is my favourite!’, the dainty white blooms clustered together at the top of the stem are like no other. In summer it’s Daliahs with their amazing array of colours, from hot pinks and reds, to oranges and yellows, to soft pinks and whites. In Autumn it’s Hydrangea, this classic bloom always steals the show in gorgeous blues, purples, pinks and whites. Then the cycle starts again, and it goes on and on as the seasons come and go.

Arrangement with anemone, flannel flower, Queen Anne’s Lace, peony, rhododendron and hellebore.
Arrangement with anemone, flannel flower, Queen Anne’s Lace, peony, rhododendron and hellebore.

It’s just way too hard to pick one flower as my favourite, there are too many beautiful flowers in the world! Working as a florist opens this door to hundreds of amazing blooms you have never seen before, or even knew they existed! It goes far, far beyond Roses, Sunflowers, Chrysanthemums and Lilies, although still beautiful, there are so many more exquisite varieties out there! Hellebore, Flannel Flower, Runnuncula, Cattleya Orchid and Anemonies to name a few, I could go on for pages and pages but I should stop myself here.

White ranunculus
White ranunculus

So next time you stop in at a florist for a gift, for yourself or just to have a look, ask your florist to show you something different, something special, and never be afraid to ask for the name of flowers, we’d be happy to write it down for you so you don’t forget!

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Winter Blooms

As impossible as it may seem, we are in July now, and we all know what that means: winter is here. I know so many who dread these overcast days and frosty nights, but not me. With these cooler months come some of the most beautiful and sought after flowers. Winter brings fragrant David Austin roses, delicate poppies, blushing brides and dainty lily of the valley.

 

Poppies
A gorgeous bouquet designed with bright poppies.
David Austin roses
David Austin Roses “The scent is amazing”

 

Winter also brings my all time favourite – sweet peas. To me, sweet peas are the most perfect of flowers, they are so soft and sweetly scented, they cannot be faulted.

 

Sweet Peas
You couldn’t say no to these divine sweet peas.

 

Its easy to bring a little life and happiness to your home during the winter, just take a bunch or two of any of these winter blooms and place them in a jar or milk bottle for simple elegance. Even mix them together for a wild garden look! Add a little foliage from your garden, like gum leaves, and you’ve got a beautiful arrangement of winter flowers!

 

 

Native Bouquet
A stunning vase arrangement with long flowering gum.

For an overview on available flowers for the winter season, please visit our seasonal flowers chart.[divider]

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Flowers for Your Home and the Possible Health Benefits They Can Deliver

Maybe you already order weekly flowers for your house or office simply to brighten it up, but more than just being fragrant and beautiful to look at, I am about to suggest they also benefit your health.

 

Following we’ll give you a few reasons to come and visit us at Wollongong Flowers to reap the rewards of having some beautiful blooms in your house or office all year round.

 

 

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1: Boost Your Mood with Beautiful Blooms.

Beautiful Bright flowers can instantly act as a pick me up, make you feel less worried and feel fewer moments of depression or anxiety.

 

 

Colourful native texture

 

2: Refresh and Update Your Décor.

You can brighten a dull corner of your house by simply adding a flowers, or modernize your table or coffee table with seasonal arrangements. By changing them on a regular basis you can update and refresh the look of your house along with the seasons.

 

 

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3: Flowers Spark Creativity

Add an extra dash of colour to your child’s room to help them grow their imagination. Put a vase of flowers on your desk at work to get the creativity flowing.

 

 

 

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4: Flowers and Memories.

One of our most powerful senses is smell and it can instantly trigger memories. One stem of a Rose, a bunch of Lavender, Lily of the Valley or spring Jonquils can remind you of your childhood, your grandmother’s garden or even your wedding day. Relive those moments through the power of scented flowers.

 

 

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5: Flowers and Memories.

Flowers stimulate positive emotional feelings. Make sure you place flowers in your house or office, where they are visible to guests/customers/clients to create a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere.[divider]

Order online to enjoy the health benefits flowers can give…[divider]