Real World Gardener Dahlia Floral Meanings and Vase Life in Talking Flowers

February 16th, 2018

TALKING FLOWERS

Dahlia

Dahlias are perennials  related to sunflowers and Asters in the Asteraceae family.

Dahlias can be grown from seed, eg Pom Pom Dahlias, but mostly the large flowered varieties are grown from tubers that are sown in Autumn for Summer flowering.

Like all members of the Asteraceae family, the flower head is actually a composite with both central disc florets and surrounding ray florets. Each floret is a flower in its own right, but is often incorrectly described as a petal.

Where they came from:

The wild Dahlias originally grew in Mexico and other South American countries, primarily in mountainous valleys that were protected from harsh conditions in the spring and summer.

TALKING FLOWERS

Dahlia

Dahlias are perennials  related to sunflowers and Asters in the Asteraceae family.

Dahlias can be grown from seed, eg Pom Pom Dahlias, but mostly the large flowered varieties are grown from tubers that are sown in Autumn for Summer flowering.

Like all members of the Asteraceae family, the flower head is actually a composite with both central disc florets and surrounding ray florets. Each floret is a flower in its own right, but is often incorrectly described as a petal.

Where they came from:

The wild Dahlias originally grew in Mexico and other South American countries, primarily in mountainous valleys that were protected from harsh conditions in the spring and summer.

One species Dahlia pinnata is the national flower of Mexico.

Some floral meanings

  • ·         Staying graceful under pressure, especially in challenging situations
  • ·         Drawing upon inner strength to succeed
  • ·         Traveling and making a major life change in a positive way
  • ·         Standing out from the crowd and following your own unique path
  • ·         Commitment to another person or a certain ideal
  • ·         Warning someone about a potential betrayal.

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I’m talking with Mercedes Sarmini https://www.flowersbymercedes.com.au

One species Dahlia pinnata is the national flower of Mexico.

Some floral meanings

  • ·         Staying graceful under pressure, especially in challenging situations
  • ·         Drawing upon inner strength to succeed
  • ·         Traveling and making a major life change in a positive way
  • ·         Standing out from the crowd and following your own unique path
  • ·         Commitment to another person or a certain ideal
  • ·         Warning someone about a potential betrayal.

 

I’m talking with Mercedes Sarmini https://www.flowersbymercedes.com.au

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Real World Gardener 31st January 2018

February 11th, 2018

TALKING FLOWERS

China Aster or Michaelmas Daisy.

Belongs in the Asteraceae family. Aster means Star in Latin.

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China Aster is the September birth flower and the 20th wedding anniversary flower.

Common flower meanings are:

  • ·         Patience
  • ·         Love of Variety
  • ·         Elegance
  • ·         Daintiness
  • ·         Afterthought  (or the wish things happened differently).
  • ·         Purple asters symbolize wisdom and royalty, and are the most popular colour.
  • ·         White asters symbolize purity and innocence.
  • ·         Red asters symbolize undying devotion.
  • ·         Pink asters symbolize sensitivity and love.

 

 A Greek Legend

The ancient Greeks have got it all when it comes to romance and mysticism with their stories about various Gods.

 

It all started with the ancient Greeks burning aster leaves to ward off both snakes and evil spirits.

According to Greek mythology, when the god Jupiter decided to flood the earth to destroy the warring men, the goddess Astraea was so upset she asked to be turned into a star.

Her wish was granted, but when the flood waters receded she wept for the loss of lives.

As her tears turned to stardust and fell to earth, the beautiful aster flower sprung forth.

I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini of https://www.flowersbymercedes.com.au

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Real World Gardener NSW Christmas Bush in Talking Flowers

December 31st, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

Christmas Bush: Ceratopetalum gummiferum

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Ceratopetalum....from Greek ceras, a horn and petalon, a petal, referring to the petal shape of one species.

gummiferum....producing a gum.

In the home garden, I would regard this plant as a large shrub in people’s gardens rather than a small tree because it rarely grows to more the 4-5 metres.

That’s equivalent to Coastal Tee-tree.

 

The leaves are up to 3-7cm long and are divided into three leaflets or trifoliate, which are finely serrated and the new growth is often pink or bronze coloured. 

Leaves are opposite each other.

I grew these plants as part of a trial when I was studying for my Hort Diploma at Tafe some years ago.

Testing a variety of fertilisers for growth factors. 

Definitely one plant that doesn’t tolerate Phosphorus in the fertilizer. 

Native fertilisers only.

I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini of www.flowersbymercedes.com.au

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Real World Gardener New Agapanthus in Plant of the Week

December 31st, 2017

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Agapanthus

 

The old varieties of this tough as old boots flowers, are often seen in neglected gardens but did you know its Greek name means love flower?

Love flower sounds much more romantic than the German Schmucklilie which translated means jewel lily.

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This plant with its lily like flower grows almost everywhere except where it’s extremely hot or extremely cold.

Let’ s find out what it is. 'm talking with the plant panel: Jeremy Critchley of www.thegreengallery.com.au and Karen Smith, editor of www.hortjournal.com.au

 

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photo courtesy www.pma.com.au plants

In some areas they are used as a fire retardant plant because of their fleshy green leaves and also for holding banks and stopping erosion with their large and tangled root system.

In the norther hemisphere, Agapanthus, other than in their native South Africa need to be moved into unheated greenhouses in winter.

So don’t underestimate the humble Aggie, plus breeders are always looking for new colourways, so that you won’t be disappointed if you seek them out.



Some newer varieties to watch out for are...management Australia

Agapanthus Black Pantha

Agapanthus Cascade Diamond

Agapanthus Snowball

Agapanthus Golden Drop with variegated foliage.

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Real World Gardener Delphiniums in Talking Flowers

December 27th, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

Delphinium

In the Buttercup or Ranunculaceae, Delphiniums are also called Larkspur.

The delphinium name is derived from the Greek word for dolphin.

If you pick a single bloom from the tall spike on the plant, you’ll notice it looks like a leaping dolphin from the side.

The Delphinium flower’s message is protect yourself from the dangers of life so nothing stands in the way of your success.

If you want to grow your own Delphiniums, here are some tips.

Propagation Seeds – like to be chilled in-ground before germinating.

Root division (cutting root ball)

Mercedes has some zany tips for keeping the Delphinium stalks hydrated from when you buy them to when you pop them into the vase.

Tip 1: Fill the hollow stalks with water, then plug them up with cotton wool.

I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini of www.flowersbymercedes.com.audelphinium.jpg

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Real World Gardener Amazing Garvinea Gerberas in Plant of the Week

December 27th, 2017

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Gerbera Garvinea

When I worked for a large seed and gardening supply company, I was often asked why Gerbera seed was so expensive, or Rudbeckia seed?

The reason was that some seed has to be hand collected and hand packed because it’s too large and irregular for seed packing machines.

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Another reason is that seed is hard to come by of a particular species, or perhaps that year, it was contaminated by weevils, or the seed grower’s crop experienced fungal problems and failed.

Whatever the reason, the plant that’s featured today isn’t sold by seed anyway, because it’s a relatively new release and a fantastic variety of flower (Gerbera.)

I'm talking with the plant panel, Jeremy Critchley of www.thegreengallery.com.au and Karen Smith, editor of www.hortjournal.com.au

 

Florist Holland, a Gerbera breeding company started the breeding program over ten years ago.

Their aim was to improve the plant and it seems that they’ve done a marvellous job because Garvineas are winning awards around the world.

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This new variety of Gerbera is nothing like the old school Gerbera, with it's multiple stems and long flowering period.

It’s always fun to try something new and buy a plant that you don’t know much about.

Can’t wait to get my hands on some Garvinea Gerberas as I’m sure some of you are too.

If you have any questions about Garvinea, or Jeremy or Karen why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

 
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Real World Gardener What Makes A Prizewinning Garden

December 15th, 2017

Feature Interview

Prize Winning Garden in the Large Garden category of Ryde Spring Garden Competition.

Have you ever wonder what makes a prize winning garden?

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Recently I was master of ceremonies for the gala awards night for a spring garden competition and boy, there were plenty of prize winning gardens.

However, I was invited to one to take a stroll.

Let’s listen in to the conversation.

 

PLAY: Anne Johnson's garden winner of Best Large Garden in Ryde Spring Garden competition.

 

That was Anne Johnsons’ garden which won best large garden in the Ryde Spring Garden competition. Anne is of course an avid gardener.

 

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As you can see from the photos, the garden is really stuffed with plants that are lovingly tended.

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Begonia metallica is a standout feature in Anne's garden.

 Begonias are easy care and Anne religiously gives them a hard prune every Autumn to achieve such a magnificent shape of Begonia metallica.

Anne has added personal touches everywhere with whimsical pot features and ornaments.

 

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If you have any questions about Anne’s garden either for me or Anne why not write in to realworldgardener@gmail.com

 
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Real World Gardener King Protea in Talking Flowers

December 15th, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

King Protea  Protea cynaroides

Protea flowers are native to the southern hemisphere, primarily Australia and South Africa, but can also be found in Central Africa, Central and South America, and southeast Asia.

Protea is a genus of flowers from the Proteaceae family. One of the oldest families on earth dating back 300 million years.

 

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Why the cynaroides? Because the centre of the flower looks like an artichoke. Artichokes belong to the genus Cynara.

Protea whas named after Proteus, son of the Greek God Poseidon, was known for his wisdom, but he was not always eager to share his thoughts and knowledge. It seems Proteus preferred to while away the day sleeping in the summer sun. To avoid detection, he changed his appearance and shape frequently. The Protea flower was named after Proteus due its many shapes and colours.

Some Growing Tips

Tip: Prune only the flowered stems of proteas – un-flowered stems are next season’s blooms.

Mulch: Proteas dislike root disturbance, so don’t dig around them. Apply a leaf or bark mulch around the drip line (away from the trunk) and pull out any weeds by hand.

I'm talking with floral therapist Mercedes Sarmini of www.flowersbymercedes.com.au

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Real World Gardener Best Scented Roses in Design Elements

December 15th, 2017

DESIGN ELEMENTS

Scented Roses That Don't Fail

Have you hankered after roses for your garden but think they’re too much work?

All that spraying, pruning and fertilising.

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But gee, whizz, it still would be nice to have one or two?

You may have even discounted have a rose because of the climate you live in.

The modern hyrbid teas are martyrs to high humidity which brings with it all manner of diseases such as the dreaded powdery mildew.

we're moving away from the long stemmed roses that you might see on Valentine's Day.

 

Instead, we're suggesting some more old fashioned types that have parentage from China and Vietnam.

Here’s a selection to suit different climates.

Let’s find out.

I'm talking with Peter Nixon of Paradisus Design www.peternixon.com.au

 

Peter mentioned R. (sanguinea) chinensis ‘Miss Lowe’s Variety’ or Bengal Crimson

R. chinensis mutabilis 
R. chinensis ‘One Thousand Lights’

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Rosa General Schablikine

Lady Hillingdon, Monsieur Tillier, General Schablikine, General Gallieni, Mrs Dudley Cross, Duchesse de Brabant, Mrs. BR Cant, Niphetos, Jean Ducher, Lady Roberts, Papa Gontier, Safrano Alister Clark Rosa ‘Lorraine Lee’, Squatters Dream

 

If you have any questions about which rose to plant either for me or Peter, why not email us realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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Real World Gardener Perfect Peony in Talking Flowers

December 8th, 2017

TALKING FLOWERS

Peony

There are a couple of types of Peony.

There are many species and cultivated varieties of peonies but they are broadly divided into two groups in the garden:

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  • tree peonies (Paeonia suffruticosa Hybrids), which are shrubby plants not trees that do not die down below ground in winter
  • herbaceous peonies (Paeonia lactiflora), smaller growing plants that do die down to below ground in winter and reshoot in spring.

Mercedes is talking about the herbaceous peonies in this segment.
All peonies need cool climates and are best grown only in the colder parts of Australia including mountain districts, parts of Victoria and Tasmania.

  • Peony roses are strong growing perennials that flower late spring to early summer. They make beautiful cut flowers and last well in a vase. Prefers a well drained position in full sunlight. Plants will die down over Winter and re-grow each year forming a leafy clump. Spread lime towards the end of flowering to improve root development and improve flowers for the following year.

The best time to buy Peonies is when they're supplied as bare rooted plants.

Meaning of Peony.
One legend has it that the peony is named after Paeon, a physician to the gods, who received the flower on Mount Olympus from the mother of Apollo. And another tells the story of that same physician who was "saved" from the fate of dying as other mortals by being turned into the flower we know today as the peony.

I'm talking with Mercedes Sarmini of www.flowersbymercedes.com.au

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