Reflections: A Helping Hand…

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it’s the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friend.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Reflections: A Helping Hand… The harpist‘s hand Hariprasad Chaurasia – Raag Shivanjali I’ve been thinking about hands lately… As all those brilliant posts on “Hands,” for the photo challenge, fly through the blogosphere, we get a moment to reflect on the ...

Reflections: Seven Gifts We All Need…

“Born for success he seemed, With grace to win, with heart to hold, With shining gifts that took all eyes.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Reflections: Seven Gifts We All Need... the gift of wisdom in all things This afternoon, I observed an encounter between two birds that got me thinking about the seven gifts of the spirit and their practical application to daily living. The bird in the photo above, flew over to my tomato plant and started eating a tomato I had ...

Reflections: The Fortune Cookie’s Message…

“Fortune knocks at every man’s door once in a life, but in a good many cases the man is in a neighboring saloon and does not hear her.” Mark Twain Reflections: The Fortune Cookie's Message... "You will spend old age in comfort and material wealth" Reflections: The Fortune Cookie's Message... "Smile when you are ready." The first time I read a fortune cookie message was at Water Margin; a Chinese restaurant, in London, many years ago. I was tickled by the idea of retrieving ...

Taking the Bugs Out of Moms Blooms

The majority of cut flowers for sale in North America are flown in from Colombia, Ecuador, Holland & New Zealand. Miami handles the large majority of these imports, California is 2nd. Last week alone nearly 3.5 million flowers arrived in Los Angles, in total an estimated 40 million flowers will enter the USA destined for Mothers Day. CBP agent checking for unwanted hitchhikers! (photo credit: Brad Graverson) However, sometimes the flowers do not arrive alone! Despite all of the careful planning and ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through…

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” Maya Angelou Weekly Photo Challenge: Through... a Church passageway in France Weekly Photo Challenge: Through... A gateway in Cambridge Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the ...

Peculiar Picture #15

Welcome to my Peculiar Picture Files, where I display one of my illustrations that has yet to find a buyer. This picture is the result of what happens when an artist is bored and doesn’t have a project to work on. I decided to paint a portrait of one of my paintbrushes. I had no idea the result would be so magical and romantic. If you look closely you’ll see that the paint appears to be cracked, as if this were ...

My Favourite New Flower Varieties for 2013

Variety is the spice of life, especially in the garden. And since spring is just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about the types of flowers you want to grow this year. Tried and true is fine, but new flower varieties are always exciting! Here are some of my favourite new flower varieties for 2013: We do not sell flower seeds. Click on title or image for more information. Delphinium, Plagu Blue Roselily Fabiola Double Oriental Lily Nadia Ruth Giant ...

Have you seen the new Double Lily?

I was very excited when I heard about a new type of oriental lily. Some refer to it as the “rose lily.” Others call it a “double lily.” This new, rare and unique lily has all the hardiness and vigor of the traditional oriental lilies that everyone loves, but with stunning HUGE, double flowers. These showy blossoms open to reveal layer upon layer of petals and even a double center. And if their rare beauty isn’t enough, they also have no ...

When Toilets Flushed…Ah, the Good Ole Days

They’re doing some renovations where I work and one of the key considerations of the upgrades is to reduce our corporate draw on natural resources – which is an admirable goal that I fully support. However, crews just finished the “green” updates to the men’s room and they’ve installed new “Water-free Urinals” –note from the picture that there are no pipes or flushing apparatus. This “new” idea of “Water-Free Urinals” strikes me as an oxymoron similar to “Hat-free Kentucky Derby” or “Frosting-free ...

The Future is Here: 3D Printing to the Rescue

We’ve talked about the future of design before and are always excited to see the latest innovations taking place around us. But I think it’s safe to say that no one anticipated the future to be here so soon! Imagine you’re planning a dinner party for family and friends. You want the perfect centerpiece or decadent, confections for the occasion. But instead of contacting your favorite bakery, you simply go to your kitchen because the perfect chef is already there – ...

Avoiding Cyber-Monday Scams

I don’t know about you, but I’m an unrepentant self-admitted Cyber-Monday shopper. I simply prefer the convenience of shopping online for the holidays compared to the crowds and hassles associated with Black Friday which I try to avoid like the Black Plague. However, online shopping does have its own pitfalls – identity theft, computer hacking and compromised debit cards are just a few. Here’s a useful infographic from the folks at Veracode that offers some insight into how consumers and merchants can protect ...

BGI Selected an HGTV Pro Network Designer

We are excited and honored to announce Barbara Gilbert Interiors has been selected as an HGTV Pro Network Designer! As an HGTV-featured designer, our work will be highlighted in the new Designers Showcase section on HGTV and through Pro Galleries on HGTVRemodels. Here’s just a glimpse at some of our designs shown to date! Cozy Classic Kitchen boasts a show-stopping island, timeless cabinetry, deep granite countertops and a butler’s pantry equipped with a coffee station. Glamorous Transitional Bathroom features slate tile with ...

The $5.37 “Caption This” Contest: Vol. 9

Welcome to another edition of the lowest-cash-award-for-a-photo-caption-contest on the Internet, the $5.37 Caption This Contest! Thanks to everyone who entered the most recent iteration of the contest last week. There were so many AWESOME entries this time, that I couldn’t decide on one myself. So I contacted my local congressional representative who quickly impaneled an independent 50-person task force, which issued its decision in a 200 page report (our tax payer dollars have to be put to good use). Thanks to such congressional efficiency, it was ...

Oooo! Oooo! Oooo!

Teacher: “Okay class, put down your pens. We're going to have an oral pop quiz! Who can define the meaning of living an authentic life?” Oooo! Oooo! Oooo! I feel like a kid raising my hand with the right answer. When I get full of something you know it’s going to overflow into my writing. So, here goes…. I am my authentic self and I am living an authentic life. It’s a funny term when you think of it…authentic self, authentic life. ...

Pampered Pets

We recently designed and installed beautiful custom bedding for a client that wanted to pamper her pooches as much as herself – the lucky dogs! The bedding was crafted from sumptuous velvet and we designed washable bedding for her dogs to match. Needless to say, someone was very happy! Of course, incorporating a pet’s needs into a home is not unusual. In fact, it’s not only common, it’s smart! Considering your pet’s needs when designing your home maximizes space, style and ...

Dying is Easy, Living is Tough….

Life is hard.  Life is loss. Life wears you down, yet despite those challenges most of us still prefer living to dying. But that’s not always the case. For instance, statistics show that many surviving spouses die within two years of their predeceased spouse. An abstract on that very subject published in the American Journal of Public Health produced some interesting findings after studying more than 150,000 cases involving the deaths of one spouse after the other – the abstract defines such follow-on deaths ...

Please visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!

Lesley - Fun Flower Facts
November 9, 2012, 9:36 am

Fun Flower Facts: Zinnia

zinnia

Zinnias are brightly coloured flowers belonging to the Asteraceae family, where other members include asters, daisies, and sunflowers. Flowers vary in size, with diameters ranging from one inch to seven inches. They also vary in form; they might have a single, semi-double or double layers of petals. The zinnia is a hot-climate plant native to South America and southwestern United States.

Zinnias are popular fresh cut flowers and are valued for their long stems and brightly-coloured blooms. Cut flowers should last at least a week before they start looking tired. These daisy-like flowers are available in a wide range of colours, including white, yellow, orange, red, purple and lilac. Flowers will bloom from early summer to early fall. Zinnias can also be dried and used in floral arrangements.

These flowers are also a favourite among gardeners, especially those that are growing a cutting garden. They are one of the easiest flowers to grow. The bright colours attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. Some gardeners will grow these flowers specifically for that very reason. For the best effect, plant in masses. The taller varieties make great borders and edging, while smaller zinnias do well in windowboxes, hanging boxes and other containers.

Zinnias do best in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. They are commonly grown from seed. Zinnias will reseed themselves if not deadheaded. Deadhead to increase blooms.

Climate zones: 3-10

Fun flower facts about the zinnia:

  • Zinnia was named after the German botanist, Johann Gottfried Zinn, who wrote the first description of the flower
  • zinnias represent friendship, specifically thoughts of an absent friend
  • Believe it or not, there was a time when zinnias were considered small and ugly! When the Spanish first saw the flower in Mexico, they named it “mal de ojos” or sickness of the eye
  • zinnias are known as “cut and come again” flowers. Cut one flower stem above a pair of leaves and within a few days two new stems with flower buds will emerge!
  • from 1931 – 1957, the zinnia was the state flower of Indiana, USA
Lesley - Fun Flower Facts

Lesley - Fun Flower Facts

I love flowers! I enjoy growing them, learning about them and I love creating bouquets of freshly cut flowers. In our climate where it’s winter most of the time the growing season is way to short, so I have started this blog to get my fix all winter!

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