Friday, January 28, 2022

In the Field: Protea Trish Compacta

Spring may be a long way off, but if you could use a winter pick-me-up right this minute, we have the perfect antidote. A gorgeous protea cultivar that’s certain to boost your spirits and take the chill out of a cold winter day.

Trish Compacta! Think Pink and so velvety soft (don’t you just want to reach out & feel those satiny petals?). This protea is a wonderful mix of compacta and laurifolia with the classic flawless-colored floral bracts in a rich pink (like compacta) and silvery-white highlights that surround the same pink colored center dome. Trish Compacta blooms winter through early spring… which means you should be enjoying them, umm right now!

When harvested and mixed with other proteas (and some textural Berzelia), there’s no doubt Trish Compacta delivers nature's best remedy to cure the winter blues.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Leucadendron Senorita

New year, new preferences! There's no better time to switch up your Leucadendron favorites than at the start of a brand-new year. If you have been sourcing the same varieties for years (like Safari Sunset or Jester), and you want step outside of your comfort zone and experiment with something new… winter through early spring is the best time to do it. As the weather gets colder, Leucadendron seemingly ‘wake up’ and make superb winter flowers in a variety of colors and textures. With the season’s abundance of this fabulous foliage, we turn to a ‘newbie’ here on the farm.

Leucadendron Senorita… a simply stunning and mesmerizing hybrid! The flowering bracts go through a succession of color stages as they mature, from crimson blushes on a creamy hue to bright pink-burgundy tones. Masses of breathtaking blooms are displayed on very long straight stems.

And for a little history… Senorita is thought to be a combination of Leucadendron salignum and discolor. This amazing plant was developed in South Africa in the 1990’s by Gail Littlejohn, a protea pioneer, and named by a New Zealand farmer who cultivated it for the floral industry.

It’s no secret that we think Leucadendron should definitely be receiving a lot more LOVE this year… after all, switching up your favorites it a great way to boost your mood and inspire even more creativity.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Phylica Pubescens – Featherhead

Phylica Pubescens or also called Featherhead is often thought of as a member of the Protea family but it’s actually part of the Rhamnacae family… both families are very closely related and an integral part of fynbos.

The name Pubescens refers to the short wispy white or yellow hairs on stems of this wonderful plant which at sunrise and sunset when back-lit seems to catch the sunlight and glow like magic.

The common name Featherhead refers to the slightly cinnamon scented white flowers with gold overtones and dense feathery bristles that appear in clusters on top of the branches from mid-winter through spring. Below the flower heads are rings of soft feathery bracts that extend outward like golden-yellow whiskers. The tiny white flowers themselves are obsure amongst the feathery delight of the plant, but they can be seen when viewed up closely.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Fashioning Protea Angels

Why not skip this year’s after Christmas clearance sales and make hand-crafted decorations for the next holiday season?

Dried flowers have made a big comeback over the last two years. Trendy dried blooms and pods are in high demand and many stores can't keep them in stock. So, while you might not be able to purchase them from your favorite store, you can dry your own flowers (protea preferred) at home and use them in all kinds of fun crafts.

Can you say angels? We’re turning the protea from our Christmas centerpieces into ornaments for the next holiday season. Did you know proteas are ever-flowers? Designing and fashioning your own ornaments can be a great way to utilize dried protea.

With proper post-harvest care, blooms can last weeks in a vase. Then, they don’t die… they dry beautifully! Many Proteas retain their structural design and to some extent their color. When used in crafts, like ornaments, they are as permanent as almost anything the botanical world provides.

So, if you're tired of the typical store-bought decorations, we suggest you take a look at these holiday angels.

Here’s what you’ll needed to make your own angels:

  • Dried proteas
  • Dried pods for hats 
  • Dried leaves (for wings) 
  • Dried wildflowers for accessories
  • Round wooden doll heads 
  • Ribbon, twine, and floral wire 
  • Embellishments 
  • Sharpe markers 
  • Paint 
  • Hot glue

When protea blooms find their ultimate place in a dried decor, 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.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Fabulous Foliage: Leucadendron Inca Gold

We cheerfully braved the ‘chilly’ start to winter knowing the promise of colorful Leucadendron was on the way… and we’re delighted to say the Inca Gold’s bright yellow bracts have emerged right on time. Fields bursting with this vibrant flowering foliage is the best part about the dawn of winter.

Inca Gold's rich yellow tulip shaped bracts can liven up any space instantly. With just a handful of stems, you can easily bring a burst of sunshine indoors and enjoy the soothing energy of nature. Yellow advances from surrounding colors and enlarges any space. It mimics a sun-filled space, creating feelings of liveliness and optimism. In the natural world, yellow is the color of sunflowers and daffodils, bananas and lemons, bees, numerous birds as well as several of our favorite Leucadendron The many facets of this vivid yellow hue reveal its extremely impactful spirit.

To celebrate the advent of Inca Gold, we’re sharing some of our favorite designs using this fabulous foliage.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Look Out – California Grown Waxflower is Back

‘Tis the season for waxflower and with it comes an abundance of those beloved fragrant flowers. Belonging to the Chamelaucium genus of shrubs and stemming from the myrtle family, they are related to Leptospermum and Thryptomene. Waxflower includes over a 100 varieties of Geraldton wax + lots of other Chamelaucium species and hybrids. Some of the more common hybrids are classified as Pearlflowers, Gemflowers or Starflowers. These amazing plants typically bloom early winter through spring, and they are widely grown for their frilly eye-catching blooms.

The name waxflower is due to the slight waxy feel of the petals. The leaves, which contain oil glands, are small to medium in size and boast a beautiful lemony fresh scent when crushed. The blooms are delicate in style, flaunting five petals, ten stamens and a small, hardened fruit.

Also known as the flower of romance, waxflower is symbolic of patience and lasting love, which makes them a popular option for Valentine’s Day and weddings. These fabulous blooms have an abundance of uses in bouquets and arrangements, as well as in flower crowns and corsages, as cake embellishments, and simply, left all alone on a desk or table to be enjoyed for weeks.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Holiday Fave: Protea Ceres

Protea Ceres. A QUEEN SIZE bloom or what we call a ‘Hybrid Queen’→ this breathtaking protea is a splendid blend of magnifica and obtusifolia. When fully open, this flower is often 5 to 6 inches in diameter… making those crimson-red bracts with white feathery tips hard to miss in the field and definitely in a bouquet or arrangement!

Ceres has divine deep green leaves and sturdy long stems. And since this stunning protea is in blooms winter through early spring, there’s a bounty of beauty, love and joy to spread through the holiday season and right into Valentine’s Day.