The Flower Experts announced the launch of The Vera Wang Floral Collection on their blog and say that the range “captures the very essence of (Vera Wang’s) romantic and elegant style.”
Exclusive to Interflora, the new collection features nine stunning designs and perfectly complements the Vera Wang Wedding Collection which was introduced last month.
Each of the exquisite designs features beautiful, premium flowers and is expertly arranged by a fully accredited Interflora florist. The gifts are then beautifully gift wrapped in Vera Wang wrap, tied with a ribbon and will arrive in a luxurious, branded gift box to complete the stylish experience.
To find out more about the new collection visit the Interflora website.
In the run up to Remembrance Day on November 11th, the annual Poppy Day Appeal has been getting underway. But how many of us know why this simple flower has become synonymous with the end of the First World War and all those who fought and died?
For centuries, the poppy has been associated with peace, sleep and death, as far back as the Ancient Greeks. The flower’s association with sleep was also popularised in the 1900 children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz where fields of poppies were said to put travellers into a deep sleep.
In regards to Remembrance Day, the poppy has become a symbol of peace and death. It was first associated with the end of the First World War via the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” by the Canadian surgeon and soldier John McCrae. After the war, the only thing that grew in the devastated Flanders’ Field was poppies. The seeds of the poppy can lie dormant in the soil for years before finally germinating once the soil has been disturbed. As such, they were often seen growing on the graves of fallen soldiers.
The idea of wearing a red poppy in remembrance was started by an American YWCA worker by the name of Moina Michael, who was inspired by McCrae’s poem. After fashioning a silk poppy, she encouraged others to do the same as a mark of respect for those lost during the war. On November 11th, 1921 the First British Legion Poppy Day Appeal was held to raise money for those affected by the war and the tradition has been held every year ever since.
In the UK, the red poppy is worn by members of the public, politicians, celebrities and military personel throughout October right up until November 11th. On this day, a two-minute silence is held at precisely 11am to signify the moment in 1918 when the guns finally fell silent.
Many a man can be reduced to a quivering wreck when faced with the prospect of picking a suitable bouquet for the lady in his life. Thankfully, despite it being a subjective process riddled with potential pitfalls, there are a few simple rules that can be followed to maximise the chances of making the right impressio
Who is it you’re buying for?
As a starting point it’s a good idea to know whether or not the person for whom you’re intending to buy flowers actually wants them. If they’ve a pollen allergy and spend the spring stuffing tissues up their nose you might be better off gifting them chocolates. If they’re expecting something else, like a wedding proposal, ensure you’ve got a ring as well as a couple dozen roses.
What’s the occasion?
You wouldn’t wear a white suit to a funeral or give your mother lingerie for Christmas. Why? Well because it’s weird and against social convention. The lines aren’t quite so black and white when it comes to buying flowers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t rules.
Roses are obviously the ultimate romantic flower, although it’s worth remembering that only the red variety signal burning passion. White are actually a sign of love, yellow a symbol of friendship and pink that of grace, gentleness and gratitude. The last are probably best saved for when you’re in the doghouse. A single orchid is a fine alternative for those looking to make a statement without being flashy.
If you’re looking to console your missus you’re advised to stick to white lilies, which are often associated with spiritual and symbolic occasions. On those rare instances your other half is under the weather give floral arrangements in pastel colours. Not only do they create a cosy effect, they’ll also brighten up a room. Perky colours are also very fitting for celebratory garlands.
If you’re thinking this all sounds rather complicated, just thank your lucky stars you’re not living in the Victorian era!
If you’re not buying flowers for a specific occasion, then it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the breadth of choice at your disposal. In these cases it’s always useful to have an idea of a governing colour for a bouquet.
Is the lady in your life partial to a particular shade or hue? If you’re not sure try and remember the colours she wears most regularly. Never seen your missus in anything other than blue? There’s a good chance she likes blue. If you heard her complaining about that fuchsia bridesmaid dress she was made to wear by her sister perhaps avoid fuchsia. It’s common sense really.
Where to buy them?
You don’t have to be Alan Titchmarsh to be aware that a retail pecking order exists when you’re buying flowers. Naturally, petrol stations are at the bottom, followed by the crazy guy next to the motorway. Supermarkets (ranked themselves by quality) sit in the middle, with flower stalls and specialist florists at the top.
If you’re planning on handing over a bouquet in person your best bet is to visit the latter where a professional will not only ensure you get the perfect ensemble, but also wrap them and impart useful upkeep advice.
If a supermarket (or god forbid a petrol forecourt) is the only viable vendor, why not consider buying a couple of bunches, getting rid of the packaging and re-wrapping them yourself to at least give them a personal touch.
If your girlfriend is in a different city, a call to a nearby hotel concierge should help you source a decent local florist, although these days its much easier to use a reliable and respected online source such as Interflora.
Unless you’ve done something absolutely unforgivable the chances are that any effort to buy flowers, no matter how derisory, will likely be appreciated by the recipient. Whether you get a kiss or a wise crack in return remains to be seen, although as the old saying goes, it’s the thought that counts…
This post is by Quidco, the UK’s number one cashback and voucher codes site.
Halloween is traditional a time for conjuring up make-believe horrors and gory sights, but nature often comes with the most spine-chilling specimens without any help at all.
Here we have found our top 5 spooky flowers that are sure to fit in perfectly with your Halloween celebrations this year.
Tacca chantrieri – The Bat Orchid
This unusual plant stands out due to its almost-black colour and long tendrils and obviously it gets its name from its resemblance in shape to the flying mammal. Native to the tropical forests of Yunnan Province, China, this plant also grows in white and brown varieties.
Monotropa uniflora – The Ghost Plant
Also known as the Corpse Plant or Ghost Plant, Monotropa uniflora is actually a parasitic organism and can survive with no natural light whatsoever. It survives by absorbing nutrients from a host plant and, due to a lack of chlorophyll, is often completely white in colour.
Harpagophytum – Devil’s Claw or Grapple Plant
The Grapple Plant is found in the eastern and south eastern parts of Namibia, Southern Botswana and the Kalahari and gets its common name from the claw-shaped seed pods that fall onto the ground. Large hook-like protrusions stick up from the pods and snag the legs of passing animals in order to spread the seeds across distances.
Solanum pyracanthon – Porcupine Tomato
Native to Madagascar, this plant is extremely invasive and has now spread to many other parts of the world. As it is part of the family of plants that includes nightshades, it is also highly toxic if eaten and warns any predators of this fact by growing large red spines along its leaves.
Hydnellum peckii – Bleeding Tooth Fungus
The Bleeding Tooth Fungus which, as you can imagine, is an inedible fungus that produces a bright red secretion as it grows, which resembles blood. The seepage is actually a pigmented juice that is has anticoagulant and antibacterial properties and also comes in yellow, white, brown and orange colours.
Often overlooked in favour of flowers and foliage, plants can be a wonderful way to add some colour to your home, garden or doorstep. With a little imagination and creative flair even the most ordinary varieties can make extra-ordinary displays.
Here we’ve put together some planted designs with a decidedly autumnal feel, in the hope of inspiring you to see some of this season’s more humble plants in a different light. Which arrangement is your favourite?
Shades of Autumn
Chrysanthemum plants are often viewed as inexpensive ‘value’ plants, but in autumn, the season with which they are naturally associated; these wonderful plants really come into their own. Try displaying single colour varieties in matching rustic containers for a bold and beautiful look.
Indulge the ‘all things vintage’ trend by filling baskets with colour blocks of flowering plants. If you have the time and inclination this is an inventive way to recycle tired brown wicker baskets by giving them a lick of paint.
Pots of Style
What a difference a bit of imagination can make. ‘Aged’ clay pots, with that ‘straight out of the potting shed’ look together with strips of flat midelino sticks transform this autumnal trio of chrysanthemums and kalanchoes.
This lovely vintage style mini trough looks completely the part planted up with flowering lavender plants- it even has its own picket fence!
Set the Scene
This rustic setting is just perfect for Halloween. Baskets of flame coloured kalanchoes are not only eye-catching but long lasting and easy to maintain as well.
Just to prove that the ever popular vintage styling can be successfully brought into autumn, plant a weathered wooden box with pretty lilac aster and scented lavender. A wonderful gift.
This extra-ordinary bouquet is created from natural, white Avalanche roses which have been expertly treated with a top-secret patented formula.
By day these stunning roses make a lovely display but when night falls, the roses give off an entrancing green glow.
Perfect for Halloween parties or as a unique gift idea for somebody who enjoys a trick and a treat, this limited edition gift is available to order between 22nd and 31st October on a next-day delivery basis. For more details visit the Interflora website.
Horticultural apps for your smart phone are a great way to indulge your love of flowers no matter where you are. Help keep your green fingers busy with this straightforward guide to the top flower apps available on the market.
My Garden Lite (Android)
We could all do with our own personal horticulturalist from time to time to offer sage advice when our fingers are looking less green by the day. With My Garden Lite, that’s just what you get – your own handy garden expert in your pocket. This useful app prompts you with handy reminders for when it’s time to water, and also offers useful tips for keeping your foliage looking its best. You can even store details about all of your plants (including photographs), allowing you to keep on top of its needs.
Flower Garden (iOS)
Flower Garden is just the app for those who love flowers but don’t want to get their hands dirty. Using your smartphone, you can create your very own virtual garden – handy for those who perhaps don’t have the outdoor space required to grow a real one. Plant seeds, care for them and soon you’ll have beautiful flowers blooming in your very own slice of the Great Outdoors. To make the this app even more fun, you can also gather your grown flower into bouquets for your friends, delivered with a personalised card and details on how long they took you to grow them.
Interflora (iOS and Andriod)
The Interflora app offers you a selection of flowers, plants and gifts on the move, as well as a variety of delivery options. Available for both iPhone and Android users, this app is straightforward, easy-to-use and keeps the jargon to a minimum. The flowers are displayed with clear imagery so even if you can’t tell a red rose from a red chrysanthemum, you can still see exactly what you’re sending before you send it. And, as with the normal Interflora site, you can add a personal message to be delivered along with your bouquet or arrangement.
For the iPhone and its loyal followers, FlowerPedia is the ultimate encyclopaedia for the fans of flora. Packed full with over 2,800 photos of flowers and plants, you can search through the beautiful imagery at your leisure. There are even options to search by country, species, botantical relations and more. Alternative you can log on to the FlowerPedia community to share photos of your own flowers discoveries.
If you’re the type you likes to be in the know at all times when it comes to gardening, then Gardens is the app for you. Filled with a range of gardening hints and tips this app puts you one step ahead of the competition when the planting seasons come back around. Gardens is a video-app that guides you through all the basics for getting your garden in tip-top condition, offering inspiration on how to produce the most fabulous flowers. Featuring advice from master gardener, Rebecca Kolls, Gardens is ideal for users looking for a more hands-on approach to gardening tips.
All these apps are available for download from the Apple App Store and Android’s Google Play store.
Interflora has joined together with one of the most iconic names in the fashion industry to launch a collection of designer wedding flowers.
The flower experts have teamed up with iconic fashion designer Vera Wang to offer an exquisite collection of bridal flowers including statement designs for the bride, groom, wedding party, ceremony and reception.
The Collection, which will be showcased on the catwalk at the National Wedding Show, captures the essence of Vera Wang design and presents an inspirational range of flowers for brides who adore the romanticism and simplicity of Wang’s iconic bridal couture. Some of the pieces are exclusive to the UK, designed specifically with the taste and style of British brides in mind.
Within The Collection, Vera Wang has designed three distinct looks – Traditional, Romantic and Modern. Each look embodies a different aspect of the romanticism and elegance that epitomises the Vera Wang style.
The Traditional Collection offers a classic and sophisticated bridal colour scheme with soft pinks, rich fuchsias and the delicate hint of lavender while the Romantic Collection captures the femininity and elegance of nature’s most beautiful hues with the softest shades of pink and an abundance of creamy white flower varieties. For the bride who wants to make a statement on her big day, the Modern Collection offers an array of contemporary flower varieties in a stylish palette of blush peach, dark plum and vibrant purple.
Karen Barnes, Head of Floral Gifting at Interflora said: “We are tremendously excited about the launch. Interflora florists can offer the level of expertise required to deliver the range to the high standard expected by Vera Wang and we believe that the Collection will be extremely popular with brides looking to put floral couture at the heart of their special day.”
The collection is available from 1st October through a select number of accredited Interflora florists across the UK and Ireland. To find your nearest Vera Wang accredited florist or to order a beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered by Interflora for any occasion, visit the website.
According to a report by researchers from the University of Southern Brittany in France one of the best places for a man to woo a woman is outside a florist.
The study found that one in four lone female shoppers gave their telephone number to an attractive stranger when they were approached in front of a flower shop, more than twice the number who succumbed to the same proposition near a shoe shop.
In the study, a panel of women picked five young men who stood out as exceptionally good-looking. The men were then sent to shopping areas to approach 120 young women near flower, shoe and cake shops.
The presence of flowers, associated as they are with romance, may trigger positive feelings in women, making them more likely to agree, the researchers said.
The research carried out by Plantlife, showed that wildflowers were disappearing from the British countryside at a rate of up to one species a year and could eventually lead to total extinction on a national scale.
The study looked at the rate at which flowers were being lost from 50 counties in England, Scotland and Wales and found some, such as field gentian and burnt orchids, were disappearing while once-widespread plants were becoming rarer.
Summer lady’s tresses, downy hemp-nettle, and interrupted brome are among the 10 species that have completely vanished across Britain in the last six decades, leading Plantlife to warn that, without protection, critically endangered flowers such corn buttercup, fringed gentian and the yellow early marsh orchid could be next to disappear.
Dr Trevor Dines, Plantlife Cymru’s conservation director, said: “There’s something that’s happening in our back fields and the hedgerows around us – we’re seeing the common things becoming rarer and the rare things disappearing. In the 1950s, the fields would have been richer in colour, the hedgerows would have been richer in colour and the arable fields as well, you would have seen more poppies, been more aware of flowers, they would have been part of life.”
He said action needed to be taken or more plants would vanish at a national level and warned that wild native plants were needed to support the rest of Britain’s wildlife, including bees, butterflies and farmland birds.
“Plants are the fundamental building blocks of our countryside,” he said. “Our landscape is constructed from plants and it’s the diversity of these plants that supports, nourishes and sustains everything else.”
Princess Diana never got to see the magnificent free-flowing hybrid orchid, named Dendrobium Memoria, as she died only a few weeks before a scheduled trip to Singapore in 1997.
It was reported that William called the delicate flower “beautiful”.
The royal couple also witnessed a new orchid planted in honour of their marriage. The orchid has been named Vanda William Catherine and will grow in the same VIP area of the garden as Princess Diana’s.
During their visit to the garden the royal couple were shown orchids named after Prince William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher. They also met a number of scientists and gardeners who created the hybrid flowers.
The Duke and Duchess are currently visiting Singapore as part of their 2012 tour celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. They will then visit Malaysia, including Kuala Lumpur and Sabah, Borneo, the Solomon Islands and end their trip with a visit to Tuvalu. This was the first royal visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens since Queen Elizabeth II, toured the garden in 1972.
By the time October rolls around, you may think that your jobs in the garden have come to an end. Well, don’t worry – there is still plenty to do outside before the cold weather really sets in. To help you out this month, we’ve gather our best October gardening tips. Read more