Friday, September 30, 2011

The Sunny Sunflower

The sunflower has a bright, cheery face (and tasty seeds).  In addition to being beautiful, the sunflower is also a very important agricultural crop in the northern part of North Dakota and the panhandle of Texas.  But where did the sunflower originate, and why do we love it so much?  Here’s a bit of history about the sunflower.

The sunflower, or Helianthus Annuus as it’s scientifically called, is native to North America, but it was actually commercialized in Russia.  After being cultivated as a crop flower, it was reintroduced to the U.S.  However, Native Americans had been growing domesticated sunflowers for years.  They started cultivating the flower in what is now New Mexico and Arizona back in 3000 BC.  In fact, some evidence shows that they may have grew sunflowers before they grew corn!  The seeds of the sunflower were ground into flour, plus it can be mixed with other vegetables for different tastes.  The seeds, of course, were eaten as snacks.

In addition to eating, the sunflower was also used for a few other things.  It can be made into purple dye for different decorative purposes.  Some parts of the sunflower can also be used as medications for snakebites and other ailments. 

When the Spanish explorers came to the area, they found the sunflower fascinating, and they took it back to Europe in the 1500s.  There, it was developed as both decorative and medicinal.  Peter the Great was especially fond of the flower.  Eventually, the Russians were growing more than two million acres of sunflowers!  By 1880, these new sunflowers were re-introduced to the U.S. 

Now that sunflowers are grown around the world, they’ve become very popular.  Many people love seeing their big, yellow faces in the morning.  Here are a few interesting facts about the sunflower:

The cultivated sunflower has one head, but wild sunflowers can have up to 20 or more.

Sunflower oil has more Vitamin E in it than any other vegetable oil.

Most sunflowers grown for commercial use in the United States are grown in eight states—California, Texas, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, and North and South Dakota.

The largest producer of sunflowers is Russia, although Argentina, China, India, Turkey, and South Africa also grow a large amount of the flower.

Kansas is called the Sunflower State because of the many wild sunflowers that grow there.  In fact, it’s actually considered a weed by some!

Many great artists have painted sunflowers, including Picasso and Van Gogh.

The tallest sunflower on record was grown in the Netherlands and stood over 25 feet!  A sunflower in Michigan holds the record for the most heads on one plant—it had 837.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Summer Flowers, plus Blog Readers get a Discount!

Summer may be coming to an end, but summer flowers are still blooming!  Here at TCU Florist, we have a number of different summer flowers in stock.  There’s no better solution for turning someone’s day around than to send them a bright, cheery, vibrant bouquet of summer flowers.  Here are just a few different options we have available:

Sunflowers!  Nothing is as bright or as cheery as big, yellow sunflowers.  We have a great arrangement of beautiful blooms in a small clear vase.  These sunny sunflowers can help anyone who is feeling a little down.

How about daisies?  Daisies are also very happy little flowers.  They have a very different look than sunflowers.  A nice arrangement of daisies with other flowers, like yellow roses, makes a nice mixture. 

How about something colorful?  Orange roses, Asiatic lilies, and carnations are bright and colorful.  An arrangement of these bright flowers can turn a dull room into a happy, energetic place.
Did you just send your daughter away to college?  Why not send her an arrangement of bright gerberas?  These charismatic flowers come in pink, red, orange, and yellow.  They’re simple, pretty, and colorful, and they’ll turn any dorm room into a paradise.

If you need some help selecting and sending any of these great summer flowers to your friends and loved ones, TCU Florist can help.  We have a huge variety of different flowers available, and our designers have years of experience in creating outstanding, unique arrangements to match any occasion.  Plus, just for reading this blog, you can get $10 off your next order!  Just visit our shop and use promotion code BL8.  There’s no minimum order, and the discount applies to all of our arrangements!  Visit our shop and find the perfect flowers for the special people in your life.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Feeling Fall-ish?

September 19th, 2011 | By: Mandy Maxwell
Fall is the wonderful transition from the sizzling summer to ice cold winter; the time when the weather is just perfect. It's almost like a second spring that's even more beautiful: with flowers blooming and colorful trees turning their autumn colors. Overall, it's just a wonderful season to be celebrated while it lasts.

Fall History

Before the 16th century, harvest was the term used to refer to the season. However, as more people moved away from farming to living in towns, the word harvest lost its reference and came to refer to only the actual activity of reaping, and autumn, as well as fall, began to replace it as a reference to the season. Although we do not call it harvest anymore, we still use many references from harvesting in our fall decor: cornucopias, wheat, gourds and pumpkins, corn, hay, etc.

Why We Love Fall

Fall is arguably the favorite of all seasons. Everyone loves the colors of fall and seasonal decor during this time is a MUST in most homes. You will see hay, pumpkins scarecrows as yard decor all season. Some of our favorite holiday parties happen during fall: Halloween &Thanksgiving. Halloween pumpkin carving is a favorite fall activity that dates back to the 1700s and Thanksgiving is all about celebrating the bounty of fall. American Football also gets everyone together for a party. Long fall nights are made for spending time indoors with family and friends.

Fall Flowers

Fall decorations are essential to any home during this season. If you're throwing a fall party, inviting friends over for football, or simply getting together to watch a show from the fantastic fall TV line-up, wow them with fresh fall flowers. The colors and textures of fall can be beautifully arranged to match your personal decor and delight guests of all ages. Talk to your local florist about what type of autumn colors work best with your home's style. Here are a few suggestions:
Fall For Modern Style Homes
Go with bright colors of red and orange mixed with dark metals like brass and copper.
Flowers to consider: Anthurium, kangaroo paw, dahlias, protea
Fall Vintage Chic Style
Choose muted colors in dusty browns, olive greens, yellow ochre, navy and pale blue. Wrap your container in burlap for added interest.
Flowers to consider: Amaranthus, alstroemeria, sunflowers, hypericum berries, calla lilies
Traditional Fall Flowers
Consider flowers in all the colors of fall, reds, oranges, browns, and yellows. Use a cornucopia as a whimsical container. (Doesn't always have to be Thanksgiving to use one!)
Flowers to consider: Mums, lilies, hypericum berries, roses, fall leaves
Fun and Funky Fall Flowers
Think playful colors like bright orange, reds, light tan and accent with a fun teal blue.
Flowers to consider: Gerber daisies, red peppers, mums and snapdragons

-via FlowerShop Network