Saturday, January 12, 2019

Beating the Winter Blues

“I must have flowers, always and always,” said Claude Monet.

We can’t agree with him more! Especially in January, at the cusp of winter, when we’re all slowly coming out of a ‘Christmas Greens Coma’ and suffering from the 'Winter Blues'. But that’s not to say the Monets among us are out of luck. As the season settles in, we find ourselves shifting back to more traditional florals, and it dawns on us that winter is a choice.

One trip into the fields and there’s no doubt in our minds. As the weather gets colder, the colors become brighter and more intense. Leucadendron seemingly ‘wake up’ and make superb winter flowers in a variety of colors and textures. The Inca gold turns a bright yellow color with a touch of red on the tips. And the Safari Sunset, which is typically a red or burgundy hue, lives up to its name in winter as it changes to ‘Tricolor’ with lovely multicolored bracts in hues of maroon, green and gold.

With a few stems of beautiful protea, sprigs of sweet scented waxflower and plenty of colorful leucadendron, you can design a winter bouquet that takes the chill out of the season while providing inspiration for the next. Actually, we’ve found the trick to beating the ‘Winter Blues’ is to surround yourself with vivid color and pretend it’s almost spring.

Protea Susara

Protea Pink Mink

Protea Liebencherry

Protea Silvertips

Protea Coronata

Hybrid Waxflower

Leucadendron Inca Gold

Leucadendron Safari Tricolor

Friday, January 11, 2019

Protea: Everlasting-Flowers

photo by Yunus Karma

Did you know when handled properly, proteas are truly everlastings flowers. We know they last weeks in fresh bouquets and designs, but did you know they don’t die, they dry? Certain proteas even retain their shape and color long after most the other flowers and foliage have been discarded. When you assemble them in dry arrangements, they are as permanent as almost anything the botanical world offers.

If you enjoy craft projects, you can use your dried flowers as natural material for sculptural inventions. Protea by themselves or in a combination with other natural elements, decorative objects, and foraged finds, make creative ornaments, dolls and other decorative objects.

When protea blooms find their ultimate place in a dried arrangement, wreath or ornament, they finish a story that began in Gondwanaland and triumphed over a thousand adversities. They represent a special kind of bond, a link to the past and a reminder of the present and how new life springs eternal.