Fun, Quick DIYCenterpiece Idea

This Easter afforded us a perfect DIY centerpiece scenario: what do you do when you need something for your table, but you’re in a hurry and are low on flower options? Dandelions owner Shirley Lyons found herself in this situation this weekend, and was kind enough to share how she resolved her problem.

You’d think that as florists, we are constantly taking  flowers home to make fabulous and lush centerpieces and arrangements for family functions. That does happen on occasion, but usually, and  more often than we’d like to admit,  even the florist forgets to take flowers home!! Shirley was half-way home before she realized she did exactly that! So between babysitting her two-year and twelve week old grand-kids (a juggling act of princess dolls and diapers), and preparing dinner for twelve, she needed to come up with something fast and uncomplicated. Thankfully, Shirley had daffodils growing in her yard, and with some of these and a few vases in colorful, spring tones and varying heights, she had a quick, fun, artsy centerpiece on her dining-room table!

centerpiece 5Daffodils centerpiececenterpiece 1

Using what you have growing in your yard (be it flowers or some pretty greenery)  and your collection of vases is a cost-effective way to make a great impression, and get your creative juices flowing!

We love flowers because they’re inherently beautiful and really don’t need much embellishment to make a statement. Artfully placed vases and simply arranged flowers are an easy way to enhance any event.IMG_0200

Aqua vases with yellow flowers

Bucks for Pearl Bucks 2013

March is National Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and once again the Pearl Buck Center is partnering with local businesses, including Dandelions, to raise awareness and support for those of us in our community who live with, or are affected by developmental disabilities. Pearl Bucks at Dandelions

The Pearl Buck Center  works with people born with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and autism, to name a few,  nurturing these individuals so that they are able to function and be contributing members of society.

The businesses involved are offering Pearl Bucks for customers to buy as a contribution to support the cause. All you have to do is come in and buy a Buck! Pearl Buck

Here’s a link for a list of the businesses involved: http://www.pearlbuckcenter.com/images/stories/national%20dd%20awareness%20month%202013%20-1.jpg

To learn more about the Pearl Buck Center and find out about opportunities to volunteer, check out their website at http://www.pearlbuckcenter.com/.

To learn more about developmental disabilities and how the state of Oregon is involved, check out the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities website at http://www.ocdd.org/.

Using Flowers in Local Science Classrooms

We received a great thank-you note from local Willamette High School teacher, David Novak, who has been using flowers from Dandelions to teach the students in his botany science class about the anatomy of flowers.  We love hearing that our customers enjoy our flowers, and we love finding out about the different ways they are used. It’s great to hear how students are getting exposed to flowers in this educational way, and learning to appreciate even more this incredible part of nature.

Here’s some of what David wrote to us:

The flowers I get from you, even those that are too "ripe to sell",
the are perfect for us and add greatly to our learning of the
fundamental tissues and organs of plants and are great motivators for
learning! Nothing beats getting actual flowers into students hands when
learning about all the structures!!

What do I do with them??  I have included some shots to help you
understand.  In particular,
I have students draw them, both as the flowers come to us and after we
bisect them lengthwise.  
We examine the parts using microscopes to view all the parts (ovary,
ovules, pistils, etc.) which are often
hard to see with the unaided eye.  We answer questions about  the
flowers (e.g., compare the length of the pistil in one 
flower to another and suggest reasons for the different in length).
There are also a few experiments we like to try with the flowers, if we
get enough.

The mums we used this week and alstroemeria were perfect. THANKS for
all your effort and generosity!!

MVC-001S MVC-003S MVC-004S MVC-005S

Dandelions’ Poinsettia Project

A year ago – December 2011 – Roseann, one of our designers, put a broken poinsettia stem into a bud-vase of water thinking it would give her a few days of pleasure before it died. Over a year later, surprising us all, this stem has survived…the leaves have faded in color, but it’s still alive! 

So this year Roseann has a new poinsettia stem in a bud vase, next to the old one, and we’ll see how long this one lasts!!

How are the poinsettias you bought this holiday doing? Hopefully, great!! Here’s how you can care for them and get them to re-bloom next season:

1. Keep caring for them as you have been during the holiday (Keeping them away from the cold, in warm rooms, and making sure they get enough water and lots of light.) If the leaves have already shriveled or fallen off, start watering your plant less.

New poinsettia bract2. In March (around the 17th – St. Patrick’s Day), when the bracts (colored leaves) fade, cut the stems back to 8 inches above the soil line.

3. Water your plant less than you’ve been watering it, allowing it to dry out more.

4. Lightly fertilize your plant with a balanced all-purpose plant food every 3-4 weeks.

5. When it warms up outside, place the plant outdoors – first in indirect sunlight, and then direct sunlight. Avoid temperatures under 50 degrees throughout the summer. When the new growth appears, water your plant more frequently.

6. In early July, around the 4th, cut back the new growth on the stems, and re-pot  the plant, if it needs it.

7. In early September, when fall temperatures begin to drop, move your poinsettia plant back inside, but make sure it gets 6 or more hours of direct light.

8. October 1st to December 1st, keep your plant in complete darkness for 14 hours, giving it 10 hours of natural light daily. This will set the buds and cause the bracts to color. Any exposure to light during the dark hours will delay blooming.

9. In  early December, stop fertilizing your poinsettia and start caring for it they way you did during the holiday.

Old and new poinsettiaGood luck on your poinsettia project. Let us know how your plant does. We’ll definitely keep you posted on Roseann’s poinsettia cuttings.

Tips for Getting your Centerpiece to Last

The first thing you should know about your floral centerpiece is that the cut stems are inserted into a floral foam, also known as oasis. Oasis is great because it retains water well and helps the arrangement hold it’s design. Flowers in foam can stay vibrant and beautiful for days, but they need care. The downside to oasis is that where you can see the water level in a vase, in floral foam the water level is not as obvious. Because of this, many a centerpiece dehydrates and dies earlier than it should. So it is important to make sure your floral arrangement has plenty of water.

How to check the water level: Touch the oasis. If you press it lightly you should feel moisture.

When to water: Because it’s cold outside, and we’re all keeping our homes warmer, the water from the floral foam is going to evaporate faster, so you should check the moisture level every day.

How to water: Move your centerpiece to the sink, or to a surface that won’t be damaged by water, in case you spill. Carefully find a space in the centerpiece, or at the side of the container it is in, where you can see the oasis, or a space between the oasis and the container, and carefully pour water onto the oasis or into the space around the foam, allowing time for  the water to be absorbed.  Slowly add water until the oasis is thoroughly saturated.

Enjoy your flowers, and this wonderful season!!

                                 

Bob Welch Book Signing Event at Dandelions

Bob WelchLast month I wrote about local author Bob Welch‘s recently published books “Cascade Summer: My Adventure on Oregon’s Pacific Crest Trail” and “52 Little Lessons from It’s a Wonderful Life” that we have for sale here in our store. I mentioned then that Dandelions would be hosting a book-signing for Mr. Welch this month. Well, we have a date:

When:     Tuesday, December 18th, from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

Where:   Dandelions Flowers and Gifts at 1710 Chambers St. Eugene, OR, 97402

Join us here at Dandelions at as we host this exciting event, and take advantage of the opportunity to meet Bob Welch. Not only will these autographed books be great to pick up for yourself, but they’ll also make a wonderful present during this holiday gift-giving season.

Also, all Dandelions merchandise will be 20% off during the book-signing.

Be sure not to miss this opportunity!!

How to Care for Your Poinsettia

Poinsettia -  Eugene, OregonThe vibrant red that poinsettias display (they also come in other shades including orange, cream, pink, even purple) have made them a popular plant around the Christmas season. But how do you care for this lovely plant? Here are some tips to help you get your poinsettia to last.

Temperature:

Poinsettias are tropical plants, so they don’t like the cold. During the day, be sure to keep it in a room that’s between 65 to 75 degrees, and at night, if possible, keep it in a room that’s a little cooler (55 to 60 degrees.) Poinsettias also don’t do well with sudden changes in temperature, so keep it away from the door so it doesn’t feel the draft, and if you keep it by the window, don’t allow the leaves to touch the glass. Sudden temperature changes will cause the poinsettia to drop it’s leaves. Poinsettias also like humidity, so if your plant’s leaves start looking a little crinkly around the edges, you can mist it.

Light:

Poinsettias love light, so make sure it gets as much as possible throughout the day.  dec 007

Watering:

Wait until the surface soil is dry to the touch and then water your poinsettia, allowing enough water so that it runs out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the container. Poinsettias prefer moist soil rather than sitting in water, so it is important that you allow the excess water to drain out after watering. Once a poinsettia starts to droop it will soon begin to drop it’s leaves, so it is important to check the soil frequently.

There is no need to fertilize your poinsettia plant during the Christmas season.

Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous to people or animals, but they are a delicate plant and their stems break easily, so be sure to keep them where a curious pet or child cannot reach them.

If you keep an eye on your poinsettia, it should last just fine throughout the season. In a few weeks I’ll let you know how to care for your poinsettia after the Christmas season.

Modern Christmas Fresh Floral Designs

Having fresh flowers during the Christmas season is a wonderful tradition that makes the home feel extra festive. Whether you are buying them for yourself (highly recommended) or as a gift for someone else, here are some of my favorite holiday arrangements.

  silver and white christmas flowers   Christmas flower arrangement

BRA-VO! Bras for a Cure – The Results

The votes for Bras for a Cure are in and finally counted – and if you’ve been wondering how to find out which decorated bra won and what the fundraising results were, here’s how: On Monday, November 5th, the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center will be hosting BRA-VO! – the Bras for a Cure final showcase, where the entries will be on display one last time, and where the winners of the contest and the fundraising results will be announced!

So here’s what you need to  know to be there:

Everyone is welcome! Come and hear the results first-hand, and bring a friend.

Dandelions at Yesterday’s Trade Show

Last night was the Emerald Executive Association trade show, and the ladies at Dandelions stayed out late to mingle and man our booth!

 

This year, we went with a fun fall theme, and along with all the things that come with the season, our designers added their special touch.

 

They did such a great job decorating our booth and setting up our products for display!!

We also gave everyone who came by our booth to a chance to win something – if they spun the wheel!

Because the trade show is so close to halloween, there were some great costumes and decorations and I had to get a few pictures:

     

the team at the Braun Landscape booth looked great, and Elvis made an appearance and performed at the Smeed Communications Services booth.

Of course you can’t go anywhere without the Mafia showing up!! The team from Gateway Living did a great job on their costumes.

 

 

 

 

 

The Oregon Electric Station did an excellent job catering the food, making the evening a fun, informative and fulfilling one.