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

 

Orchid afternoon. Odontocidium ‘Pacific Sunspots’ is an Oncidium-type orchid with long, cascading wands of golden-bronze flowers. This orchid was previously classified as Colmanara catatante, but was recently reclassified by the American Orchid Society so as to combine two intergeneric hybrids (Oncidium and Odontoglossum). 

Orchids will bloom for weeks in bright, filtered light (no direct sun). This particular orchid should be allowed to dry slightly between waterings, especially while in bloom. Its leaves have a natural drooping-appearance which is not an indication that it is dehydrated. Feed once a month with an orchid food that is specifically formulated for orchids. Be aware that orchids growing in a “bark medium” will require more nitrogen than those growing in a perlite, fiber, charcoal, and peat moss medium. Orchid roots will naturally grow outside the pots in search of humidity and light. If any of the roots take on a withered or desiccated look, they should be removed and discarded. 

String Gardens from the Netherlands ~ hanging sculptures for the garden porch.
The bare roots of selected plants are wrapped in a sphagnum moss and soil mixture, then covered with green sheet moss and wrapped with twine. The root ball is about the size of a grapefruit. Care: submerge root ball in water until air bubbles disappear, allow to drip-dry and then re-hang. 

FLORAL DESIGN DAY February 28th

Who doesn’t love flowers billowing from a vase on the dining room table, or an orchid blooming sporadically in a kitchen window? 

Even an indoor office with little daylight is greatly enhanced with a dried floral arrangement. February 28th presents the perfect opportunity to talk about flowers:  it’s Floral Design Day. 

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.

 Ancient Egyptian Vessels

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. 

Ovid, poet

And especially today, as the world recovers from a Recession, the importance of flowers is ever-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.Lenten Rose