Archive | June, 2013

Nom Nom Nom: Venus Fly Traps!

19 Jun

Carnivorous Flora: Hungry Little Plants

Ack! It's hungry!

Ack! It’s hungry!

Hello Bloomies,

I’m excited to give you a peek into another side of my personality and discuss something that’s been fascinating to me almost my entire life: Venus Flytraps!

Feed Me, Seymour!

I am 99% certain the obsession started with Little Shop of Horrors. A story about a man-eating plant? Awesome! Of course, unless they’re from another planet or have been given a comic book sized dose of radiation, Venus Flytraps don’t actually get big enough to eat entire people, but the concept is fun and lets the imagination wander.

Venus Flytraps are ancient plants; one of several hundred species of carnivorous plants that trap, eat, and digest other living creatures. They are actually native to North and South Carolina, but are endangered, and are mostly propagated in green houses for sale.

Caring for Your Venus Flytrap

They prefer LIVE prey, as they need the motion of the bug to cause the trap to shut and start the digestive process. You can feed them dead bugs, but then you have to squeeze the trap shut and move the food around yourself. Yuck! If the bug is too big, the plant may actually die. Feeding them a live bug a couple of times a month is usually enough.

Add Some Excitement to Your Plant Collection!

They don’t survive if cut, so they don’t go well in arrangements, but would be a fun addition to a plant basket, or a fun “floral” gift for a young scientist.Want one? They’re on Amazon. If you’re in the Portland area, check out cobraplants.com. They have the three most common carnivorous houseplants for sale. Their website is set up to help you figure out the best plant for your indoor OR outdoor needs.

We’re Moving to a Newsletter!

12 Jun

Heads up, Bloomies! Some fresh new changes are in the works!

Coming soon, we’ll be moving to a newsletter format rather than the blog. We’re still making sure everything is picture-perfect for our readers, but we’ll be sure to notify you when we’re ready for you to subscribe.

Thanks for reading! Have a beautiful day!

Father’s Day Flowers? A Stunning, No Frills Arrangement for Dad

12 Jun

Dad’s Can Appreciate Floral Art Too!

Father's Day FlowersGood Afternoon, Bloomies! This weekend is Father’s Day. Are you ready? If not, I have created a super simple many arrangement that you can do yourself. Enjoy!

Ikebana influenced Father’s Day Arrangement

When it comes to men’s flowers, I tend to choose big, bold blooms, or potted plants, but not this time. Instead of going for tropical flowers, sunflowers, or succulents, I’ve chosen an minimalist arranging style. Ikebana is a Japanese style of arranging that is simple, with three main components standing for Earth, Heaven, and Man.

I took this idea and used each item in multiples of three (for the most part). I used what I had on hand: Blues and greens in neat textures (Thistle, Ergynium, Galax, Larkspur, poppy pods, artichoke, and Bells of Ireland).

How to Craft a Father’s Day Floral Arrangement

Ikebana: Earth, Heaven, and Man in Three Simple Stages

Start with a container that is streamlined, sleek and low. Mine required foam to hold the flowers, but you can get “pin frogs” (little pin covered disks you can stick the stems into) at a craft or floral store if you prefer.

I put the two biggest items, my thistle and the artichoke, low in the front of the container for focus. I added a few galax leaves to cover some of the foam base, and started building out with ergynium and poppy pods.

Then, add three TALL items. I used the bells of Ireland for my tallest feature. These can angle to the sides slightly, a bit like a W.

Repeat the W/three with another type of flower, in front of and slightly shorter than the tallest.

I repeated this process one last time with the Veronica, echoing the original W and allowing for the negative space between the stems to become part of the arrangement. Cover any open foam with extra low flowers, galax, other leaves, or moss. That’s it. You just did Ikebana!

Have a fantastic dad filled weekend, and remember to tell him Thanks.

June Birth Month Flower: Honeysuckle

5 Jun

A Sweet Flower for a June Birthdayhoneysuckle

Happy Birthday to all my June Bloomies out there!

Summer is finally here, along with all the fun, fragrant summer flowers. Honeysuckle fits right into that category as the birth month flower for June! Known for their profuse trumpet-shaped flowers and intense fragrance, this climbing vine blooms in spring and continues flowering through summer or early fall. It comes in shades of white, yellow, coral and red.

Honeysuckle Around the World

There are about 180 species of honeysuckle around the world, with approximately 20 varieties that are native to North America. In China, where there are nearly 100 native species, the flowers and berries are used in herbal medicine to treat a variety of complaints.

Honeysuckle also appears in folklore around the world. Its fragrance is thought to induce passion and love, and bringing a blooming honeysuckle into your home means that there will be a wedding within a year. Shakespeare also referenced honeysuckle in some of his works, and to this day the variety native to England is considered to be the flower of lust.

 About Honeysuckle

Did you know? Honeysuckle is edible, and the nectar is very sweet—that’s probably where the plant got its name. Many varieties have toxic berries, though, so don’t eat them unless you are positive that they aren’t harmful.

Honeysuckle are valued as garden plants—their twining vines can cover unsightly walls or outbuildings. They do best when their roots are in the shade, and their flowers are in sunlight or very light shade. Beware though—they may do so well that they begin to take over the place!

Honeysuckle are a beautiful and fragrant flower that will be enjoyed by the people, hummingbirds and bees in your garden all spring and summer long.

“A Honeysuckle Bower”

A honeysuckle bower, sweet,

Twines its fragrance ‘round my feet

And with the lily draws me toward


A gated-garden’s secret world.

S.E. Johnson