Friday, March 30, 2012

Homemade Easter Centerpiece - with instructions!

How to make that profesional looking fresh Easter centerpiece by yourself? It is easier than you think! I was just at my friend's house at the sea side, I had nothing with me but a brick of floral foam and some little plastic eggs, all the rest I have found in the garden. The cymbidium flowers were re-used from another 'old' arrangement my friend had in the house. Just look what is aroud you and try to make a good use of it :)

What you will need:
-a glass medium size wase (square or round, but not too high)
-floral foam brick (for fresh flowers of course)
-some green leaves from your garden- flat long leaves to cover the foam (I had aspidistra) and some small/medium size rounded leaves to cut short and make the base for the flowers (hedera, ruscus and pittosporum in my case)
-seasony flowers or whatever you'll find in the flower shop that will suite your taste :)
-some easter accessories like little eggs, feathers etc.
-your immagination!

First to need to immerge the foam in a bowl of water, cut it ti fill the vase, that take off the foam, cover with aspidistra leaves (if it moved try to stop it with a peace of iron thread or pins) and place it again in the wase. Controll if all the foam is covered by greens.

Now prepare your pittosporum and ruscus cutting it in approx. 12-15 cm long pieces (depends on your wase size) and start to insert them inside the floral foam surface. Pay attention that all of them have the same lengh, creating kind of a hemishere above the container. Cover it well, there should not be seen a pice of a foam.

And the fun begins! Insert the primary flowers first: in my case it was 4 cymbidium. Place one in the moddle and the other 3 on the sides, fill the spaces between with the secondary flower: viburnum. It can also be freesia, ranunculus ot tulips. Anything that smells like spring!

To add that Easter touch, place in between some Easter accessories, but be careful to do not exaggerate: less is more. Flowers should play the mail role.

You're done! It was easy, wasn't it? Enjoy the spring, enjoy your garden and have fun creating beautiful thigs. Flowers make everybody HAPPY :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roman Style Modern Laurel Centepieces

La Corona di Alloro ( Laurel Wreath) in Roman Empire worn by poets and cardinals was a symbol of marital victory, crowning a successful commander during the triumph. It was also used during religious ceremonies.

It is also the source of the words baccalaureate and poet laureate, as well as the expressions "assume the laurel" and "resting on one's laurels".

Laurel tradition in other cultures:

Bay laurel was used to fashion the laurel wreath of ancient Greece, a symbol of highest status. A wreath of bay laurels was given as the prize at the Pythian Games because the games were in honor of Apollo, and the laurel was one of his symbols. Ovid tells the story that laurel tree was first formed when the nymph Daphne was changed into a laurel tree because of Apollo's pursuit of her. Daphne is the Greek name for the tree.

In the Bible, the laurel is often an emblem of prosperity and fame. In Christian tradition, it symbolizes the resurrection of Christ.

In Chinese folklore, there is a great laurel tree on the moon, and the Chinese name for the laurel, (Chinese: 月桂), literally translates to "moon-laurel". This is the subject of a story of Wu Gang, a man who aspired to immortality and neglected his work. When the deities discovered this, they sentenced Wu Gang to fell the laurel tree, whereupon he could join the ranks of the deities; however, since the laurel regenerated immediately when cut, it could never be felled. The phrase (Chinese: 吴刚伐木) ("Wu Gang chops the tree") is sometimes used to refer to endless toil, analogous to the legend of Sisyphus in Greek mythology.

Friday, March 16, 2012

SPRING in Holland!

I just came back from my spring holiday in Northern Europe, I have visited a lovely little city in Holland - Nijmegen. It is considered to be the oldest city in the Netherlands and celebrated its 2000th year of existence in 2005. I couldn't stop myself to snap some photos of local flower shops. Fresh blooming spring directly from Netherlands! Tulips, hyacinths, crocus and much more!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Women's Day in Italy: Sunny Yellow Mimosa

In Ancient Roman times, the year ended with February and the new year began on March 1, which was also the first day of spring (primo vere). March 8 was one of the first of the springtime festae, a day sacred to Ariadne, whom Thesius had abandoned on the Island of Naxos after promising to marry her if she helped him slay her father's pet Minotaur. Seduced and abandoned, she was a prototype for ancient Mediterranean womanhood.

Before the Second World War, Women's Day had been celebrated on different days in early March in several Italian cities. In 1945, the Union of Italian Women decided to hold all celebrations and commemorations on March 8. However appropriate it would have been, they didn't have Ariadne in mind. In fact they were memorializing two events outside of Italy: a March 8, 1857, strike by women garment workers in New York, which led to the formation two years later of the first women's union in the United States, and a strike by Russian women calling for "bread and peace" on March 8, 1917 (February 23 on the old Russian calendar but March 8 in the rest of the world).
Authorities don't agree how or why, but the custom started in Italy - some sources say in Rome in 1946 - of men giving their wives, mothers, daughters, and other women friends sprigs of bright yellow Mimosa flowers on March 8. Women have since also started to give Mimosa to each other. The flowers are intended as a sign of respect for the women and also an expression of solidarity with the women in their support for oppressed women worldwide. Other yellow flowers also carry the sentiment, if you Mimosa is out of reach.