Going green in the garden

 If you’re thinking about going green, a great place to start is in your garden! Doing away with chemicals and pesticides is a major way to help the environment.
We use these chemicals to kill bugs and weeds, but remember that some of the bugs killed are actually good for the flowers and plants. A natural way to rid your garden of pests is to hang nesting boxes with bird seeds. This will attract birds, which eat the small insects that hurt gardens.

You may also want to find a natural method to kill weeds. Some ideas include pulling the leaves off the weeds until they eventually die, blocking sunlight or using old newspapers as mulch to protect them from weeds. Another great tip is to conserve household water. A good way to do this is to water your plants with rain water caught in a rain container. Purchase a container with a lid and keep it covered when it’s not raining to avoid mosquitoes that can damage your plants. You may also consider reducing the size of your garden, planting tougher plants that require less water and use chippings to cover the ground around the garden. Reducing the amount of waste we throw out is also a great eco-friendly tip. Set aside a place for scraps, such as fruit, vegetables, grass cuttings and egg shells to break down. Once broken down, this compost makes an excellent natural fertilizer!

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Have you heard the old rumor about poinsettias being toxic?

If you have purchased, are planning to purchase, or received a poinsettia you will be relieved by this recent article in the Miami Herald.

Researchers Debunk Poinsettia Myth

“Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not toxic to people or animals….The supposed toxicity of poinsettias has been a subject of warnings as long as the red and white flowers have been associated with the Christmas holiday, but numerous reports from poison control centers do not support the warnings, according to Dr. Rachel C. Vreeman and Dr. Aaron E. Carrol of the Indiana University School of Medicine… They reviewed nearly 900 calls to such centers reporting poinsettia consumption and found that none of the incidents resulted in serious illness and few even produced any symptoms.”

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Flowers Represent Emotions…

It’s not news that flowers represent emotions. But some flowers bring out different emotions from different people. At http://www.aboutflowers.com/, the research of Dr. Leatrice Eiseman is explored.
She developed a ‘color palette’ that works with flowers. Here’s an excerpt from her research.
Nurturing: A true sense of caring is created by a combination of colors that are fragile, soft and tender. Arrangements in pastel shades and the softest yellows, peaches, warm pinks, creamy whitand subtle greens make us feel safe, snug and loved. Considenurturing floral arrangement for a new mother, a sick friend or a grieving loved one – anyone who would benefit from a caring, loving embrace.
Romantic: A sensation of intimacy, nostalgia and comfort is captured in this color palette, a blend of delicate warm and cool colors with lavenders and pinks at its heart. Romantic arrangements express loving sentiments and admiration to mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, best friends, significant others and brides-to-be.
She also provides information regarding sensuous colors and flowers, as well as tranquil and whimsical. Is it any wonder that Rutgers University behavioral studies have proven that flowers provide a simple way to improve emotional health?
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"The Frugal Florist and The Budget Bride" and Field of Flowers – It’s the perfect match!

The economy has hit everyone – even brides to be! But John Klingel, the director of the South Florida Center for Floral Studies in West Palm Beach, is making those future wives a little more relaxed. He recently visited Field of Flowers to talk about how to make a wedding beautiful on a budget – and still have gorgeous flowers. If you are familiar with John, you know he is the author of The Frugal Florist: Do-it-Yourself Flowers on a Budget. He provided excellent information and entertaining demonstrations on ways to keep wedding flowers beautiful and on a budget.
As Donn Flipse says — “John’s creative touch with flowers is contagious!” He encouraged listeners to consider interesting floral combinations, and showed examples of how a beautiful bow or colored stones can add flair to flower arrangements. Find out more at John’s site: http://www.frugalflorist.biz/. Do you know how cool it is to make your own arrangements for your wedding?
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Going Dutch

The huge, annual horticultural fair that is held each year outside of Amsterdam recently concluded with more than 47,000 visitors. http://hortifair.com/ And clearly the environment is on everyone’s mind! The theme of the Hortifair Exhibition 2008 was Growing Sustainability.
I wish I was able to attend this year. It is always fabulous and inspiring to anyone who loves flowers and plants. I have had the pleasure of visiting the gargantuan flower auction at Aalsmeer, Holland several times. If you are in the Amsterdam area it’s a must‐see. They are very hospitable to visitors. Can you believe it’s bigger than the Pentagon and filled with fresh flower that were all cut that morning?
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Keeping the Environment Top of Mind…

I’m proud to see that our industry is becoming increasingly aware of the environment!
One of our biggest of plant growers, Kerry’s Bromeliads in Homestead, was recently granted VeriFlora certification, meaning that they met demanding, verifiable requirements for operating in a green, sustainable manner. http://veriflora.com/downloads/KerrysEarnsVF_PR_1008.pdf
One of our biggest flower growers, Esmeralda Farms, also received VeriFlora certification recently for its farms in Ecuador. http://veriflora.com/downloads/EsmeraldaHilsea_Certified_072208.pdf
Veriflora encourages consumers to “Look for this label .”
If you see it on fresh cut flowers and potted plants it confirms that you are buying products that meet America’s most comprehensive sustainability standard. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every grower made the same commitment to our ecological future?
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