It’s very rare that I can’t decide quite which flora or fauna has soared above the rest in our weekly flower delivery. But here I am faced with two flowers that are new to our box, both very deserving of taking the top spot.
So buckle up, flower lovers, you’re in for an explosion of colour, texture and down right quirkiness that’ll send your weekly flower delivery enjoyment sky high!
I’m sure you’ve all played the game where you try to find shapes in clouds. Or maybe you revel in the moment when you spot a smiley face in a coffee cup. Well, I’m a sucker for such games. Especially when it comes to flowers that look like things. I love to take a little time out to gaze at flora and fauna and find comparisons with other weird and wonderful stuff.
Open your eyes and open your mind and you’ll start spotting celebs, shower heads and cartoon characters in your weekly Freddie’s Flowers deliveries and beyond.
Fresh flowers delivered straight to your door and this week its all about Sea Lavender! How wonderful is the name sea lavender? It makes me think of Sebastian the crab singing about it under the sea. It actually even looks like a real life cartoon with its purple fluffy, hazy flowers. Also known as ‘limonium’, which comes from Latin, which originally came from the Ancient Greek word ‘Leimδn’ for ‘meadow’.
Statice, Limonium, sea lavender
Sea lavender is a plant of the Statice family and it is found on the mudflats around the coast of England and parts of Southern Scotland (although native to the Canary Islands). The species are particularly abundant in Norfolk.
When you think of the Norfolk broads you subconsciously (or consciously) place sea lavender in your imaginary picture. Well I do anyway. And now you can get the fresh flowers delivered to you so everyone can have the Norfolk broads in their living room.
Sea lavender loves salt. It is always found on salty plains next to the sea. And because of the salt it has developed a resistance to dehydration. Pretty hardcore huh? Sea lavender when cut can go for a loooonnnngggg time without water but just to warn you it will lose its lovely purple colour after a while.
Sea Lavender displays multiple branches of tiny funnel-shaped flowers. Each winged stem has thin, sword-like leaves of dark green. While the flowers are blooming, they have a delicate papery outer layer and a soft set of inner petals. The inner petals drop out leaving the outer ones behind, and they often dry naturally on the stem.
Fresh flowers delivered along with the paper
As much as I enjoy seeing sea lavender when I’m out and about it is also very lovely to see then in a vase in your kitchen. Sea lavender makes a lovely rustley papery sound when you touch it. The papery flowers of sea lavender come in a wide array of colours, including blue, violet, white, yellow, apricot, salmon, pink, rose and lavender.
Did you know you can make honey from sea lavender. Well, technically Bees can make sea lavender honey. The history of sea lavender in East Anglia is strongly connected to man’s attempt to protect the land from erosion. As a result of these protected areas larger areas of sea lavender are occurring.
And the bee’s bloody love it. Sea lavender was recognised in the 1930’s as a bee-plant as the bee’s actively seek the plant, flying up to 1km to work it. The honey that is made from the pollen collected makes a pale yellow-green colour when runny and granulates rapidly with a hard set with a smooth texture. The flavour is mild but distinctive. Bet you didn’t know I was a honey expert too? (Well I’m not, wikipedia is a marvellous thing…)
Anti-ageing you say?
It’s pretty to look at. Bees make honey from it. And now you’re telling me it’s good for my skin? Is there anything sea lavender can’t do? Sea lavender is high in vitamin C, rich in polyphenols and anti-oxidants which means it makes your skin look younger. A lot of skin care products use sea lavender root extract to keep your skin looking young and fresh! It also apparently keeps deers and moths abay. So if you have a serious deer and moth problem you better start planting sea lavender.
Another hardy flower in our arrangement that is often found on the coast is eryngium also known as Sea Holly. A personal favourite of mine with its spikey architectural blooms. Bringing a bit of sass to the arrangement or flower bed. I’ve put together my top 10 coastal flowers so next time you’re having a nice, fresh coastal walk see how many you can spot.
Ornithogalum… Say it out loud? Orni-tho-galum. There we go. Now say it all together and you’ve got the star of this weeks arrangement. Which is pretty apt as its other name, rather more pronounceable, is Star of Bethlehem. Don’t panic! It’s not Christmas just yet. And it does seem a bit odd talking about Christmas in the middle of the Summer but then again ornithogalum aren’t exactly ordinary.
It is known as thus because the flowers look like a cluster of perfectly formed stars gathered at the head of a long, leafless stem. So like the wise men, we have been strangely drawn to them and put them in our arrangement.
Originally these wonder flowers are native to southern Europe and Southern Africa. Like most of London in the summer they seem to love the sunny South. It prefers full sun and moderately moist soil while growing or blooming. The Star of Bethlehem typically blooms in the spring or summer.
‘’Ornithogalum’’ comes from the Greek words onis (a bird) and gala (milk). There are various opinions about why this name was chosen, but the Romans used the term to indicate something wonderful. A Greek proverb also mentions that rare things are as unobtainable as bird’s milk.
These flowers quite bizarre and we find that oh so very pleasing and appealing. They’re not some run of the mill, common or garden cut flower, and that’s what makes it a Freddie’s Flower. Add a little pinch of peculiar.
Orni’s are actually part of the asparagus family. But don’t dip these in hollandaise quite yet. Seriously… Our flowers are for aesthetic purposes only!
When planted, ornithogalum play a sort of music. Mozart probably wouldn’t sign them up but the stems do rub together to make a rather lovely squeaky orchestral sound.
The common name for Ornithogalum is the onomatopoeic “chincherinchee”. It was given this because it resembles the sounds these flowers’ stems make when rubbing together in the wind on the plains of their native South Africa. I think it sounds more like Dick Van Dyke’s favourite saying “Chim Chim Cher-ee”. (Did you know his favourite flower is the white hawthorn blossom as it is the state flower of his home town Missouri? And Mary Poppins wears a Chrysanthemum in her hat).
Not only will these flowers last for weeks and weeks but if you want to have a little science experiment then add a little bit of food colouring (mainly stick with red and blue) to the flower water and the flowers will start to change colour slightly. The chameleons of the flower world. And they look a bit alien too.
How to arrange them to perfection?
Gladioli and lisianthus are also included in this rather gigantic arrangement so the key is to use a straight vase, or the hurricane and bell jar vase would also do well in allowing the flowers to spread out.
You then want to cut the ornithogalum to two different heights so they bob about all over the arrangement.
Start with all your gladioli, spacing evenly around the edge of your vase.
Now take your lisianthus and place inside your gladioli
Finish with your ornithogalum’s, dotting the differing heights throughout the bunch to add depth
The Roselily, the new revolutionary way to have lilies in your home without throwing away your clothes every time you lean over to pick up the house phone or resuscitate your cat if it decides that lilies look like catnip. Not only are they pollen free but the Roselily is three lilies in one. That’s buy one and get two for free! Continue reading “Flower of the week, the Roselily”