10.23 That’s ranunculus!
You've guessed it. This week we're learning a little about the ever so famous Ranunculus!
These are my favorite in the whole world, but I say that about pretty much any flower.
Ok - so this is how it's going to go right off the bat, I'll hit you with some science facts since I went to school for horticulture and love all that stuff. Then, I'll hit you with some fun facts because c'mon now, I know why you're really here. That said, let's go!
The best season for ranunculus is January - May, but you can usually snag them year round, except for the super hot seasons in the summer. They're not usually sold in grocery stores, but if you get lucky, Whole Foods might have some for you.
These guys are in the family Ranunculaceae, which is the same family as buttercups and there are about 500 species within this family that are all pretty amazing. I'll just touch on a couple that are used in the floral industry, though.
Type 1: The little guy you see above is a butterfly ranunculus. They're shiny, hearty, and have the sweetest movement in arrangements. I used them for the very first time this October and I was blown away. They had a vase life of two weeks with a little extra care taken to their water and stems. They look delicate but they're troopers. 10/10 would recommend to any florists out there.
Type 2: This is your Japanese ranunculus, he's a monster. I played with them this spring & every single day after I met them, I wanted to meet them again, but they're really just a spring flower as availability is limited. Hearty, beautiful, bold, they're everything I want to be and more. They come in a whole bunch of different colors but this salmon just steals my heart every time.
Type 3: Here's your normal ranunculus friend. He's the one you'll see at Whole Foods and will be the one you're most likely to interact with. He has a subtle, delicate flare that steals the heart of pretty much anyone. These guys are dependable, beautiful and make life feel way more beautiful in an understated way, just like my husband.
When I started my business, I wanted to allude to the meaning behind the flowers I use in arrangements as frequently as I could because it's incredibly beautiful that these beautiful things have deep meanings that are beautiful too. So here we are, let's do some alluding.
In the Language of Flowers, ranunculus means "You are radiant with charms," which is pretty much what every single bride wants to hear on her wedding day. So if you're at a lost for words when you see your beautiful friends on their wedding days, just yell out "RANUNCULUS!" (totally kidding)
Another fun one, in Latin, the flower is derived from the word Rana, which means "little frog," because many of the species of ranunculus grow near ponds and water, like little frog. That, I think, is cute as heck, but I love frogs. Let me just squeeze a little more knowledge in here: Above is Type 4, I used another gigantic type of ranunculus called Cloony. They're dream boats, just like the rest.
Ok that is all - Above and below are some of the little creations I've made with ranunculus. Enjoy!
Looking for more?
There are a whole bunch of other types of ranunculus.
If you'd like to explore, follow this link to learn more!
10.30 don’t throw away your straws!
This week we're learning about strawflower, a fascinating, little everlasting bloom.
The first time I ever saw them was on Instagram and they stopped me dead in my scrolling tracks.
Is that real?
Is that dried?
What is happening?
then I thought
I've gotta have it.
So I got 'em.
This September, I finally had a wedding color scheme and theme that worked with them and jumped on the opportunity. Above, you can see them, the medium sized white & yellow flowers that look like spikey, dried daisies. They do really well presenting a southwestern vibe. This round I order assorted strawflower which came out to white, yellow, red, and pink. A lot of seed packets for strawflower are assorted like this.
You know how I said earlier that they look like spikey, dried daises? Well, that makes sense because they're in the Asteraceae family, just like daisies and are native to... Australia.
They bloom from Spring to Autumn and are great for early fall weddings.
One of the coolest topics we covered in school was the concept of bracts. In short, they're a plant's adaptation to making leaves look like petals in order to attract pollinators. Strawflower's papery "petals" are actually bracts, made pretty and colorful so that they will be recognized by bugs! Another example of a plant that has bracts is a poinsettia. Those big red flowers are actually just red, adapted leaves and the flower is that teeny tiny yellow guy in the center. Aren't plants cool? They evalute their needs and adapt as they see fit.
Strawflower also serves as a food for lepidopteran larvae, i.e. butterflies and moths. Plant some strawflower, save the butterflies.
These beauties are also know as everlastings, or paper daisies. Another name in 19th-century Europe was immortelle, which is beautiful. Needless to say, these flowers will last and last and last as cut flowers, with or without water. It's in their name(s)!
Napoleon's first wife had a book commissioned to document all the rare flowers she had collected and grown at the Château de Malmaison and strawflower was a part of that book, Jardin de Malmaison.
In the language of flowers, these mean "everlasting," which is not surprising. They're a great gift to give in seed packets to newly weds, wishing them an everlasting future together and they're wonderful to use in wedding bouquets, blessing the day with their meaning.
Also - they're hardy and they're gorgeous, so let's put 'em everywhere. If you get your hands on some, don't throw away your straws, because they'll last forever as dried beauties in your home. If you loved the photos in this blog, they're my work by Keely Ross Photography.
Looking for more?
There's a whole lot more out there about Strawflower,
click here to read on.