Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Rose By Any Other Name...

“The Earth laughs in flowers.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson 

One of the most wonderful things about summer is the plethora of fresh cut flowers that are in season everywhere you turn. There is just something magical about a beautiful glass vase filled with brightly colored sunflowers, irises, posies, roses, daisies and all the other varieties you can imagine.

You can cut them yourself out of your own early summer garden or buy them at a nearby farmers market. But once you have them, what are some tips to make them last?

1. Cut With a Sharp Knife: Don’t use one with a serrated edge and cut at an angle. Then plunge them immediately into fresh, cold water.

2. Add Lemon Juice: About two tablespoons to one quart of water will help kill bacteria in the water.

3. Put them in the Fridge: It is said that refrigerating fresh cut flowers overnight will help preserve them threefold.

4. Don’t Remove Thorns: A thorn-less rose, while less dangerous, also has a shorter life span. You should remove any leaves or flowers that are underwater, but leave the thorns.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


So you’re someone who thinks, “Not everything is sunshine and butterflies,” but that doesn’t mean you don’t like those things. After all, butterflies are truly one of natures most gentle and glorious creatures. And sunshine is, well, sunshine.

Feasting on nectar from flowers, butterflies assist the bees in transporting pollen. Their graceful  flight is achieved using four wings of varying shape, color and size. And now, most cities offer some kind of exhibit featuring these wonderful insects. From conservatories to gardens, these habitats are filled with flowers and butterflies from all around the world.

We decided to visit on such exhibit at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus Ohio. Due to overcast conditions, the butterflies in the greenhouse were mostly hiding in the leaves, protecting their delicate wings from potential rainfall. But we did manage to spot some wonderful and inspirational colors in and among the foliage.

It’s an experience you won’t regret if you can find one in a city near you. And if you smell good and wear the right colors, don’t be surprised if they mistake you for a flower!