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8 nontraditional flowers that your girlfriend will love
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, there’s no doubt that flowers are on the minds of many boyfriends, husbands and even secret admirers. After all, a bouquet of blooms is traditionally one of the most popular gifts on this holiday. Still, who says that you have to get red roses for this occasion? The idea is to give her an arrangement that is as unique and special as she is. So this year, try going an alternative route and choosing some non-traditional flowers that demonstrate your appreciation in an different way. Even if you have another idea for a Valentine’s Day gift, these bouquets are still a great way to surprise your sweetheart and show you care.
Here are eight unusual blooms to consider:
- White daisy chrysanthemums – These pure white flowers are perfect for a cheerful lady in your life. Plus, when complemented with red carnations and fresh greenery, they still look perfectly festive for the holiday.
- Pink tulips – For the hopeless romantic, pink tulips are ideal. These blooms have a demure and feminine vibe and are especially appropriate at this time of year since Spring is right around the corner. Along with delicate white alstroemeria and variegated pittosporum, you have a bouquet that will blossom as remarkably as your love for each other.
- White roses – There is something innately breathtaking about white roses, which evoke the image of a charming country cottage with their snowy petals. Mixed with delicate lavender waxflower and green pitta negra, these flowers look particularly fetching. Consider a bouquet that features a satin ribbon for some extra flair.
- Lilies – Some girls like to make a bold statement with their style and their attitude. Go for a topiary bouquet of enormous pink asiatic lilies, pale pink carnations, variegated pittosporum and white statice in a white French country pot for this kind of girlfriend. Such an over-the-top arrangement will definitely show that she’s your one and only. Or, you could go an all white route with asiatic lilies, alstroemeria, miniature carnations and hydrangeas – a safe bet that’s bound to bring a smile to her face. Stargazer lilies are equally stunning, and come in rich hues like magenta and wine, making them a great match for Valentine’s Day lilies.
- Gerbera daisies – Fashion-forward women are always ahead of the curve, so a traditional bouquet simply won’t do. Opt for mini Gerbera daisies in bright hues like pink and orange, which are definitely an eye-catching alternative to the typical choices. Add in yellow carnations, lush green hydrangeas and green button mums and you have an eccentric bouquet that is as trendy as your special someone. Taffeta ribbon and raffia can provide a stylish finishing touch to this vibrant arrangement.
- Purple tulips – Purple is the color of passion, so you can’t go wrong with tulips in this hue for Valentine’s Day. These blossoms will serve as a constant reminder of your devotion, and are a refreshing change from the typical pink and red blooms on this holiday. Plus, purple symbolizes royalty, so a bouquet in this color suggests that you consider your lady to be a cut above the rest.
- Gardenias – These lovely blossoms don’t just look beautiful – they also smell heavenly. Their enchanting shape and elegant white color make them a good choice for a lady with refined tastes.
- Orchids – When it comes to flowers, you cannot get more exotic than orchids. The best part about these striking blooms? They can last for weeks at a time, meaning they’ll bring your girlfriend joy far past when the holiday is over.
How to tie-dye roses
At some point in your life, you’ve probably tie-dyed a T-shirt for a creative activity on a lazy afternoon. Did you ever consider doing the same with roses? Tie-dying is one of the most fun DIY projects with flowers, and it’s relatively simple to do. These psychedelic roses make a phenomenal gift, but they’re also just a great way to brighten up your dorm room, living area or office space. Plus, there are endless possibilities for colors, meaning you always have new combination to try out.
Just follow this guide on how to dye roses:
- First, gather your materials. All you need are white roses, food coloring in whatever colors you desire, a pair of scissors, a razor blade or paring knife and a series of same-sized small jars. You can also use a popsicle mold instead of jars.
- Next you’ll need to make sure that your roses are the proper height so they can stand without falling over in the popsicle mold. After trimming the stems with your scissors, reach for the knife or razor blade to split the stem into halves. Keep slicing until you’re approximately 1 inch away from the bottom petals. It’s important that your blade or knife is sharp enough or you’ll have trouble splitting the stem and may even accidentally snap it off entirely. You can also split the stems into three of four segments if you’re able to – while a challenging feat, doing so will allow you to produce an even more striking tie dye effect.
- Pour water into the jars or popsicle mold compartments and add a few drops of your chosen food dye to each. Keep in mind that lighter hues like pale pink and yellow will have a subtler and more blended effect, while deeper and richer dyes like red and violet will look more dramatic and spotty.
- Now it’s time to give your roses some pigment. Place each half of the stems into two jars or compartments, making sure that each one has a different color dye.
- The hardest part will be waiting, but you’ll already begin to see some color begin to appear on the petals in just three hours.
- If you’re patient enough to let your roses sit there for longer, you’ll maximize the intensity of the hue. Within 24 hours, you’ll have truly stunning tie-died blossoms.
How to make orchids re-bloom
Flower aficionados and gardening enthusiasts alike may be heartbroken when their beautiful orchids stop blooming. However, phalaenopsis, one of the most common varieties, fortunately has the impressive ability to produce new flowers from old stems – even in home conditions. With a little work and the right tools and tactics, you can bring your stunning orchid blossoms back to life in no time.
Just follow these tips on how to make orchids re-bloom:
- First of all, you’ll need to take humidity and watering into account to ensure your orchids bloom properly. Specifically, never let the roots completely dry out in between watering. As your house may get dry from your heating system during the winter, you might want to consider setting your orchids on a specialized humidity grid or a pebble-lined tray.
- Additionally, it’s crucial that you stick to a consistent fertilization routine. Once a month is typically enough, or you could break it up into weekly fertilizing at a quarter strength.
- As much as water and fertilizer important, light is also something to consider. Orchids typically flourish in bright light, but direct sun can be too harsh. Aim to place them near windows that face east or west, where the sun rises and sets. You can also set them under full-spectrum grow lights to help them thrive.
- Orchids are sensitive to temperature, and will grow best when it drops to about 55 to 60 degrees at night. So you might move your flowers to a colder setting, such as a north-facing windowsill or a screened in porch, for four to six weeks to see if it helps promote new flowers.
- Sometimes, despite all of this effort, your orchid still won’t blossom. In that case, trim the flower stem about halfway down with a clean, sharp blade. Then dab melted candle wax onto the cut so that a bacterial infection does not occur. You can also use cinnamon powder to seal it up.
- Place the plant into a tight-fitting pot and allow it fall back into its growth cycle. Keep watching for green tips on the white roots, and then move the plant to a larger pot so that it has more room.
- If you continue to care for your orchid properly, you should see a re-bloom within about eight to 12 weeks, which will then thrive for about three to four months.
5 tips for decorating a cramped office space
It can be challenging to liven up your office if you’re limited on space. However, a smaller office doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, there are plenty of small ways to incorporate some color, cheer and pizzazz that won’t take up a ton of valuable desk or floor space. Every company has different policies about hanging wall art and using certain decor items. There are still other options, though, that can make inspire creativity in even the smallest room.
Wondering how to spruce up your office space? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
A splash of color
It’s best to keep the color scheme of your office relatively neutral and monochromatic, as too many loud hues will actually make the room feel even smaller. Plus, when your walls, furniture and other decor are subtle and understated, you can add a splash of color with a vibrant plant. Consider choosing one enormous blossom as opposed to an over complicated bouquet. A single red Gerber daisy in a clear glass vase, for example, makes a striking statement and doesn’t take up much room at all. Neither does a cheerful sunflower, and in a bright yellow pot, it’ll bring enough energy to any room.
A dose of greenery
If you have minimal space on your desk but actually have plenty of room on the floor, then you might buy a potted plant to place in the corner. A lush towering ficus in a terracotta pot can instantly liven up a stuffy office and make you feel as if you’re outdoors in the fresh air. The winding stems and full leaves look especially lovely in an office that has artwork involving elements of nature. Plus, this plant is relatively easy to take care of, so it won’t detract from your productivity.
A feeling of Feng Shui
It’s possible to achieve good Feng Shui even in the smallest office with limited light, as long as you have the help of the right plants. One of the most important aspects of creating an environment with this kind of positive energy is good air quality, meaning you’ll need air-purifying plants that will survive despite a high level of artificial lighting. Why not incorporate a lucky bamboo plant? This easy-care plant instantly generates a Zen vibe in your office, particularly when set among white river rocks in a sleek natural bamboo cube. This plant will bring your joy for a long time, and can even last with minimal light and attention. If you’re seeking a little more color but don’t have the room for an enormous arrangement, consider a slender-stalked elegant purple phalaenopsis orchid plant potted in a modern bamboo container.
How to make a sunflower crown
Spring isn’t far off, meaning you’re likely eager to see the flowers to begin blooming again. You don’t have to wait for warmer days to incorporate some beautiful blossoms into your life, though. Flower crowns are having a major fashion moment, with plenty of girls rocking them for a boho-chic vibe at weddings, music festivals and even just casually hanging out. It’s super easy to create your own DIY flower crown, and the possibilities are endless for making the headpiece fit your personal style. You might even invite over your girlfriends for a crown-making party.
Whether you’re sporting the crown yourself or giving it as a gift, follow this guide to create a truly stunning accessory with sunflowers:
Create your own DIY flower crown
- At least six sunflowers, depending on the size of the blooms and your head
- Craft scissors
- Floral tape
- Floral wire
- Wire cutters
- Ribbon (optional)
- First, begin wrapping the wire around your head several times, allowing a little wiggle room to make sure the crown isn’t too tight. The more times you wrap it, the stronger it will be.
- Apply floral tapes to the ends of the wire to keep it from poking your head.
- Now that you have the frame, it’s time to build your crown. If you’re using fresh flowers, make sure to cut them so that you have a few inches of stem to work with. It’s up to you what size sunflowers you use, but smaller ones can be easier to deal with. You might even try incorporating different sizes for an eclectic, just-picked-from-the-garden look.
- Place the stem of one blossom directly onto the wire and secure it in place by wrapping floral tape around it.
- Continue to affix sunflowers onto your crown, allowing the petals to overlap slightly. Keep repeating in one direction until the entire frame is covered. If you’re using sunflowers that are different sizes, alternate between large and small ones to ensure a balanced finished look.
- You don’t have to add ribbon, but it can lend a touch of femininity to your crown. To do so, leave several inches in the back devoid of flowers. Wrap floral tape around that section to cover it. Then cut long strips of ribbon and tie them in a knot over the uncovered section. It’s up to you how many and what color ribbons you include. It’s advisable to cut the ribbons according to the length of your hair.
How to host a garden tea party like a pro
Whether you’re hoping to spend some quality time with family members, want to plan an elegant get-together with friends, or just need an excuse to play dress-up and enjoy the beauty of nature, a tea party is the perfect solution. On a warm afternoon or even a comfortably cool evening, a garden gathering give you the chance to show off your stunning outdoor space while making lasting memories. Planning a bash like this requires some careful consideration, though. The smallest touches can make a big difference in the vibe and experience at these soirées, from the invitations you send to the snacks you serve.
If you want to be the hostess with the mostess, here are some grown up tea party ideas for inspiration:
Put some thought into pretty personalized invitations and your guests will surely get excited for the event. Even if you’re just inviting five people, this spikes the anticipation of all your potential attendees in the days before the party. Consider floral printed postcards or you could even watercolor your own blossoms onto thick blank paper and use a calligraphy pen to write out all the details. Click link for more floral craft projects
There are endless different flowers that you can use in your centerpiece garden party, but some blooms will look particularly breathtaking. You might place soft lavender hydrangeas, bright Gerbera daisies or lush pink peonies in a porcelain pot. You could also float tea roses or extra fallen petals in an antique bowl or a fountain, if you have one. Keep in mind that you don’t have to put flowers in vases. In fact, a painted teapot or even a watering can provide an unusual way to display a bouquet.
You could also opt for something extravagant and romantic like a vintage bird cage. When filled with sunflowers, lilacs or other blossoms, it has a majestic look that really sets the scene for a fairytale bash. What about a combination of pink asiatic lilies, carnations and white statice arranged into a bouquet? Or, you could opt for a topiary-style arrangement with tall yellow lilies grounded in a terra-cotta pot with button chrysanthemums, roses and a variety of fresh greens, as well as a faux butterfly decoration for good measure.
You simply cant go wrong with a bunch of cheerful white and yellow yellow daisies accented with fresh greenery inside a gingham ribbon adorned vase.
When your attendees sit down for some light bites and casual conversation, they’ll feel all the more special with a thoughtful table setting. Napkins tied with hemp twine and a single sunflower are a playful touch. You could even slide some seed packets under the forks for fun party favors.
Make place settings feel more personal by painting your guests’ initials onto terracotta pots. Then you could fill them with gourmet chocolates, jelly beans or other confections for them to take home. Small wicker baskets or egg cups could work for holding some goodies as well.
Will children be attending? You could easily put together flower crowns with floral wire and put them at their seats. Alternatively, you might set up a craft station for kids to make one themselves.
Keep the garden theme going with flower-inspired snacks and beverages. Instead of whipping up overly complicated entrees, keep things simple with tea sandwiches, bowls of fresh fruit, charcuterie and other finger foods for guests to nosh on at their will. Place the emphasis on floral sweets like orange flower scones or lavender cupcakes with lemon frosting. You might make sunflower-shaped sugar cookies and let kids make fun flower designs with different color frosting.
Candied flower petals are pretty simple to make, and serve as both a decoration as well as a delicious dessert. Of course, no garden party would be complete without a variety of teas, but you can also include other drinks to shake things up. A pitcher of hibiscus berry lemonade is a unique idea and incredibly refreshing at any time of year. Follow our How To and Many Uses of Flowers Pinterest board for recipes and tips.