Mumbai Flower Corner

 

A very easy way to brighten up a corner in your society garden in Mumbai. If you are having a small party, or even a gathering of the flat owners, a simple yet easy decoration with local flowers from you florist really brightens up the mood.

Being a Mumbai kar myself, I know how drab it can get, to sit arguing out the travails of running a society…so liven it up.

Take a few satin colored ribbons, and any old clean bottles. Hang the bottles filled with contrasting red roses or red and peach carnations by tying the colored ribbons around the neck of the bottle. Do not overload with too much water in the bottle, just a little to keep the flowers fresh.

To hang the bottles from the tree branches in that garden, all you need is a ladder and the quintessential Mumbai Gurkha …all the best 🙂

For interesting floral designs to be delivered to friends and relatives across Mumbai Thane and Navi Mumbai do check out Spring Blossoms.

 

Easy to make Floral Runner

A very easy to make floral runner with any bright flowers and greens. You do not have to buy these very same flowers or foliage, just use any foliage from your balcony garden and if your a lucky reader living in a house with a garden, then foliage from your very own garden.

I generally prefer to use parrot green foliage like Springeri or the bright Dracaena leaves as a base. Add small daisies or small orchids, off their stalk . Wire these little flowers together with a thin wire, available at any hobby shop.

I prefer to make small runners, like the picture above and many of them. These can then be added to the corners of a table, or in the center  like a long table runner..looks really nice.

 

 

You can wrap the floral runner around a tower candle, it is easy because the  runner already has a wire and can be moulded right around the candle.

This will make a great table setting for an otherwise dull monsoon evening.

Photo-framed Terrarium

 

Here is an easy DIT idea which I found on Home Talk   I thought it is an easy idea to adapt to the Indian homes and availability of these plants, the succulents and the frames.

The terrarium, is otherwise a difficult plant pot to maintain, it requires correct humidity, correct soil conditions and temperatures.

This idea is easy on the pocket, because it is not as air tight as a real terrarium, there is air also coming through the space of the three frames, its an instant terrarium and it is easy to dismantle when the plants have outgrown.

I will soon adapt this to a gorgeous flower arrangement, of course, being a florist in Mumbai gives me that creative advantage, so do await my New blog post on ‘The Framed Flowers ”   🙂

Now let me give you pointers, on how to make this easy one.

  1. Take three heavy frames, where you get depth of the frame to hide a small pot.
  2. Remove the rear card paper and glue the glass to the inside of the frame.
  3. Glue the three frames together, by placing them on a strong cardboard, so you have created a glass triangle.
  4. Then add the small potted succulents to fit and cover with a moss.
  5. Keep it moist and keep it till it kind of outgrows the frame and then dismantle it.

 

A floral offering for Mother’s Day

A delightful and refreshing yet simple and elegant offering.

I love a floral offering to my senses. I’m sure my mother does too.

My pleasure is in making already beautiful nature and her flowers and her colours into a mural of my own. So I find simplicity in using these gorgeous shades of pink and the very contrasting green, mother nature’s favourite as my Mother’s Day offering.

I’m a mother, I’m a daughter and I live the lap of mother nature too.

Chocolate spoons with edible #flowers – Try these

 

A unique desert for a home party. Very easy to make with edible flowers and good old milk chocolate. Try these and you will be known as a hostess with the silver spoon 🙂

Buy any large bar or many bars of milk chocolate and melt them in a double boiler.

Meanwhile get a parchment paper or any grease proof paper ready on the side to place the spoons covered with chocolate.

You can use a food flavor too, maybe an orange or almond flavor for a twist, in the double boiler with the chocolate as it it melting.

Next dip the spoons in the chocolate, coating it rich and thick.

While not yet set, decorate with edible rose petals, or edible flowers or crushed rose flavored sugar. Anything that you feel enhances the look.

Leave these spoons to dry on the parchment and then refrigerate to set.

Your fantastic desert is ready, a visual delight with #flowers.

For more details do go to Easy Entertaining where I borrowed this idea from

 

 

 

Coffea Arabica – Did you know these fun facts about your morning cup of Coffee?

 

This flowering plant you see above, is in fact the same plant that gives us commercial coffee. Surprised? You thought it will be some drab plant that only grows berries? Think again , #flowers do make the world go round.

There is yet an argument, over where it was first farmed, on the African side of the The Horn of Africa area, or the Arabian side? We all knew who won huh? 🙂 Since it is called Arabica

There a story about how coffee berries were discovered.. Yeah, these same ones you see below.. the red cherry like berries? That’s what the flowers become.

Apparently in Ethiopia… please note that we have gone back to the Horn of Africa argument 🙂  so as the story goes, this farmer noticed goats eating these berries and they became more playful and energetic, he tried them himself and probably became frisky 😉 so he went on to farm the plants for the berries. The flesh of the berry is edible..how it evolved into coffee is yet another story.

Coffee arabica is self-fertile and takes about nine moths to ripen to fruit or the cherries that you see. The flesh of the “cherry” is edible, as the story above proves,  though most of the weight and volume is taken up by a pit, which usually contains two seeds (the coffee “beans” your familiar with).

Beans intended for beverage use must be roasted before they can be ground: roasted beans have a better flavor. I’m not going to go into the specifics of how you roast your own coffee beans, but you can find a description of the process anywhere, if you’re really that interested. My blog is about the incredible reach of #flowers in our life. Every fruit is first a flower.

Coffea arabica will get to be a tree,  40 feet in height. On coffee plantations, trees are pruned to keep them at a convenient height for harvesting, usually around 6 feet . Though individual trees  live long, they begin to produce fruit at about 3 or 4 years old, reach its full yield at about 6 years old, and can live to be 60-100 years old, given good conditions. If you want a lifetime supply of coffee, just grow your own tree , seriously easy if you have the space.

Wow, arent’ these fun facts about your coffee cup?

Here at Spring Blossoms, we use a coffee cup filled with flowers to begin your day on a best note.

Flowers of India – Kanara Nutmeg – Surprising benefits of adding a pinch of spice.

Kanara Nutmeg grows in the Western Ghats. It is now an endangered species, as the habitat is always threatened by new urbanization. Swampy conditions are what these flowering trees require, as the water table is depleted by ongoing constructions, the lad dries up. As the land dries up, the swampy conditions are threatened and the beautiful flowering trees of the western Ghats are  disappearing. The species is particularly grown and grows wild in North Karnataka in the western Ghats, this is locally know as Kanara, hence the name Kanara Nutmeg.

The tree is tall , about 25 meters tall and is evergreen, which means it provides shade and green cover all seasons. The branches are vertical at right angles to the main trunk which is a dark brown in colour. Flowers are unisexual and while the male flowers are yellowish in colour the female flowers are larger and velvety.

The Kanara nutmeg is also a medicinal plant.

The extracts of nutmeg have an anti-inflammatory property. It has excellent digestive properties to, ground nutmeg has a large fibre content.

Its essential oil, is myristicin and macelignan. These compounds have been proven to reduce the degradation of neural pathways and cognitive function that commonly afflicts people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Extracts of nutmeg may be found in oral products because it has effective antibacterial components.

A pinch of nutmeg in warm milk is high magnesium content and that helps insomnia, since it is a mineral that reduces nerve tension, and even stimulates the release of serotonin which creates a feeling of relaxation or sedation.

Studies have shown that a certain methanolic compound in nutmeg and its essential oil can actually induce cell death (apoptosis) in leukemia cells. another hitherto unknow benefit.

The mineral content of Nutmeg also has pottassium, a vasodialotor, relaxing blood vessels and reducing blood pressure.

 

Paper Flower Spider Mums are easy to make.

These paper spider mums from Live Laugh Rowe look easy enough for kids to help make!

Step One:
Cut your paper into strips. I used 12×12 sheets and kept them to approximately 2-3″ wide. You can play with the sizes to best fit what you’re looking for. Once your strips are cut, you’ll take your fringe scissors or a large pair of scissors and cut fringes into your paper.

Step Two:
Roll your paper up to form your bud. You can place some double sided tape inside while you roll it if you’d like to prevent it from being pulled out. I didn’t do that, but it’s something you might consider if you have little ones {wink}.

Step Three:
Once you’re done rolling up your bud, tape it closed.

Step Four:
Glue your floral wire stem into the center of your bud (at the bottom).

Step Five:
Now it’s time to wrap the bud and stem together. Due to the diameter of the bud being much wider than the stem, you’ll want to use some tissue paper or something similar to fill in the gap a bit as you wrap it with your floral tape. You can see a bit of the ‘stuffing’ I used in the picture above.

Step Six:
Once you’ve completely wrapped (and merged) the bud and stem together, the flower itself is officially assembled.

Step Seven:
Now you’ll want to take the paper strips of the bud and pull out and over. I used my thumb to create a slight curve.

A fun paper DIY making paper spider mums wit livelaughrwoe.com

 

 

pull the paper out and over, allowing the paper flower to bloom

Dressing up a boring corner with fresh flowers

blue day

 

After a relaxed weekend with friends, lots of beer drinking, as is obvious from the above picture, I decided to put the bottles to good use.

Let me admit, I have a serious weakness for the colour blue..now for a florist , that is a problem..smile..smile.. why? I will tell you. There are very few naturally coloured  flowers that are blue. The famous Irises of Van Goghs painting and mmm, perhaps some daffodils….that is all nature offers in cut flowers to dress our corners, vases and tables. So my best bet for using my weakness for the colour blue, is to bring in a base, a vase, or an idea and use blue with flowers.

The colour blue contrasts the best with the colour white, this is a fundamental colour principle. Both are essentially cold colours , one is dark and the other is light. There is a plethora of various cut flowers and fresh flowers and flowers available in a garden that are white…so my advice is, take anything that contrasts and use it with the blue beer bottles.

I used white hydrangea because I had a special shipment  coming in for a client. Otherwise Hydrangea is not a very common flower in my city Mumbai. The reason the flower is not common is it is not grown easily in tropical climates. The colour can become a light pink or blue or purple depending on the alkalinity of the soil, not to mention the muggy weather. But we have nice hill stations in India that do grow hydrangea.

Of course your neighborhood florist might not have one, but please do order one, and imported hydrangeas are now available in the Dadar Flower market quite easily, though expensive. The best months to order and use hydrangea in Mumbai is between December and February, as these are the cooler months.

As a florist, let me give you some more colour advice. Using some warm colours around the masterpiece of flowers that you create will add a different dimension. So I have used a warm orange and contrasted it with a black serving bowl and heaped nice oranges, bright colour, with contrast again.

The boring corner, with just a transparent glass table top is now a vibrant colourful and fresh corner. It is so easy to liven up your home in Mumbai with a few touches of flowers.

 

For great deliverable flowers, do visit my website and you will deliver smiles and happiness….

 

Marigold, the flower, the significance, the history.

Marigolds were introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century to India. They were discovered, by the Portuguese in Central America.
This is a fact of history and yet the tweet sounded unbelievable to most of my followers.

Marigold has been used in Indian festivals as an Indian flower for many centuries, so we forgot how it got to our shores.

Marigolds is a flower that was native to the then new world and was a sacred flower of the Aztecs. Its not a surprise, as Marigold the flower, has magical and medicinal properties.
The first recorded use of marigold for its medicinal properties is in the De La Crus-Badiano Aztec Herbal of 1552.
Today an ointment freely available that cures all kinds of cuts and burns or insect bites, Calendula is the Marigold plant.

marigold1above is a  page of the Libellus de Medicinalibus Indorum Herbis, an Aztec herbal composed in 1552 by Martin de la Cruz and translated into Latin by Juan Badianus, illustrating the tlahcolteocacatl, tlayapaloni, axocotl, and chicomacatl plants, which were used to make a “remedy for a wounded body” and Aztec herbalism.

Marigold water, with crushed marigold flower petals when rubbed over the eyes is known to cause hallucinations, so it was not difficult to believe the physic properties of marigolds and call them magical too.

The bright Mexican Marigold resonates with colour and hence the energy of the Sun. It is smoked ceremonially with nicotine, and is known to promote visions. It was also drunk as a tea.  Mexican Marigolds are hence used as an offering to the dead, or at the ancestor’s altar. They are still utilized on the Day of the Dead in Mexico and South America, where marigolds are used to decorate the graves of the dead.

Since the Marigold flower embodies the sun in ancient culture, it can make a person more confident and attractive, so if you are in a powerful position or have much influence, bathing with Marigold water was known to further your career.

Marigolds are great insect repellents, the plant and the flowers. Hence a string of Marigold around the front door kept all kinds of unwanted visitors away, including nasty spirits.

Some varieties of Marigold are edible, the signet marigold. The petals add a bright colour to any salad, they taste tangy. Even a boiled egg salad dressed with Marigold flower petals, a steamed fish or simple steamed veggies. I have used them as a garnish with a saffron vegetable rice combination too.

Surprisingly there is no direct Hindu significance to Marigolds. None that I have been able to research. In India, the Marigold flower has assumed religious and devotional significance over the centuries. The all-pervading saffron colour of the Marigold is one of the most obvious significance. The healing and insect repellent properties have also been a significant reason I am sure.

In India, a dye is also extracted from some Marigold flower varieties and we use this gorgeous orange/yellow hue and strong colour with much fanfare in all our religious festivals, the colour of fire, the colour of the Sun!

Here’s a photo essay of the Marigold flower in India. Click on the image to go the blog/article I have borrowed the photo from. Have fun.

Marigold Fields
Scale of Use of Marigold Garlands in India
Door to Door sale of Marigold garlands
A temple decked with Marigold Garlands
A unique wedding decoration with Marigold
Marigold flower props