Moroccan mosaic with bromeliads by Green Landscapes to Envy, Costa Mesa, California.
Happy Floral Design Day: February 28th (pictured: Bromeliad, Orchid)
As if we needed an excuse to talk about flowers! More than sixty years ago, Carl Rittner founded the Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston, MA. February 28th is Carl Rittner’s birthday, and is now the designated day we celebrate the art form of flower arranging.
The ancient Egyptians were probably the first to decorate with flowers, as early as 2500 BC, by placing cut flowers in vases. Formal arrangements were also created for burial processions, and garlands were left in the tombs of loved ones.
The Greeks made laurel wreaths and presented them to the winners of ancient Olympic competitions, and to military commanders after successful victories. Laurel wreaths were also presented to notable poets of ancient academia (the word “laureate” in “poet laureate” refers to the honor of being acknowledged with a laurel wreath). The Europeans didn’t begin the techniques of flower arranging until 1000 AD, after emerging from the Dark Ages.
As the world emerges from a Recession, the importance of flowers is ever more relevant: they are beautiful, affordable, readily available, and make meaningful gifts for dozens of special occasions - not to mention for our own personal pleasure. And it seems it has always been this way.
“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” - Claude Monet
Inside the conservatory: orchids, succulents and sedums, Oh my!
There are plenty of house plants available from the nursery to create an indoor garden and adorn your home with a completely different palette of plant material than what you would find in an outdoor landscape. Put together a couple of terrariums in large glass vases, add an orchid or two from the floral shoppe, dress it all up with moss, stones, and cones ~ and the coffee table becomes a botanical treat. Just remember to group shade-loving plants together, and bright light plants together. Combine interesting foliage plants that complement one another. A terrarium also gives you something to tend, in case it’s too cold or too hot to go outside.
Bromeliad illustrations, 1800’s.
Bromeliads, Japie’s Tropical Garden, Cape Town, South Africa, as recorded by Veronica Clark.
Cape Town, South Africa. Japie’s Tropical Garden. A feast for the eyes, recorded by Veronica Clark.
Bromelia pinquin (Bromeliad) by Rudolph Blaschka, 1894.
Bromeliad by Nikolaus von Jacquin.
Bromeliads. Living sculpture for your home. Flower wands last for months in bright, indirect light, and plants require only light watering and feeding.
Orchids and Bromeliads for the indoor garden: long-lasting flowers for weeks and sometimes months on end, with very little maintenance.