Styling with Waratahs

“The red flowers of the waratah how beautiful they bloom
When the wattles are in yellow and gold is on the broom
They cannot be mistaken so large and a rich red
And much about their beauty has been written and been said
When red is on the waratah and birds whistle and sing
And Nature in her green cloak wears her colours of the Spring
The naturally sweet aroma of the blossom laden trees
Come wafting through the parkland in the freshening morning breeze,
The butcherbird is piping his bubbly melody
And everywhere one turns to look great beauty one does see
And the parent birds are busy in their constant search for food
For to keep the hunger at bay in their fast growing begging brood
And when Nature is at her loveliest with a bright smile on her face
The red flowers on the waratah do take pride of place”.

“The Red Flowers of the Waratah” by Francis Duggan

It’s currently waratah season in Australia and now is the time to make the most of these native beauties during the short time they are available. Take a page out of our style file below for ideas on how to decorate your home with waratahs or incorporate into a wedding bouquet if you are a spring bride.

Styling with Waratahs

Waratahs look fabulous massed on their own in a simple vase or combined in a bouquet or flower arrangement with the likes of beautiful white oriental lilies, other natives such as native kangaroo paw, and varieties of Eucalyptus foliage and gumnuts.

waratahs in vase

waratahs in rustic tin

waratahs in vase

Their bold, sculptural stems also work really well in modern arrangements, such as this Japanese style creation using maple leave branches and fantail willow found on Home Journal.

waratahs in vase

And make for a unique, Australian-esque spring wedding bouquet. Absolutely love this design below with the lipstick pink boronia accent by a Tasmanian flower grower Swallows Nest Farm!

waratah wedding bouquet

Bunches of cut waratahs can be purchased from any one of our four retail Sydney florist stores or order a flower arrangement or bouquet to be delivered by phoning 1800 66 66 46 or emailing sales@flowersforeveryone.com.au

Blink and you’ll miss out!

Did you Know?

  1. Prior to white settlement in Australia, waratahs were reputedly placed in a bowl of water so the sweetness and life of the flower would flow into the water. This was then used to strengthen children or cure them from disease.
  2. The name waratah comes from the Eora Aboriginal people, the original inhabitants of the Sydney area.
  3. Waratahs are native to Australia and the floral emblem of New South Wales
  4. There are a number of waratah colours available including red with white tips (‘Fire ‘n Ice’); cream tinged with pink (‘Shade of Pale’); red with a pink blush (‘Brimstone Blush’); blood red (‘Shady Lady’); and almost pure white (‘Wirrimbirra White’).
  5. They waratahs are a slow plant to mature and their flowering season is short, unpredictable and unreliable, generally only lasting for about a month each year, during the spring.

Sources and Photo Credits

http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s2349242.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waratah

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ffeaus/styling-with-waratahs/

 

 

 

 

Violets: Grow, Decorate, Drink

GROW

Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you have to abandon all gardening until spring. The next time you wake up on the weekend to a brilliant blue sky sunny winter’s day, get outside in the fresh air and plant violets into your garden.

Australian Native Violets in particular are known to be extremely reliable and compact groundcovers. Growing primarily on the east coast of Australia, they like sheltered areas where there is moisture. Forming a sprawling, mat-like groundcover approximately 100mm high, their luscious, bright green foliage and vigorous growth rate is perfect for rapidly filling bare spots in the garden (eg. between stepping stones).

Viola-hederacea-Native-Violet-1013

You can also trail it down rock faces and walls for a dramatic effect.

Viola-hederaceae-spillover

What is the difference between violets, pansies and violas?

Pansies and violets both belong to the genus Viola. They share many similarities, but there are some clear differences to help define between the two.

1. Pansies have a more compact growth than violets.

2. Pansy flowers are usually larger, with distinct markings (or blotches) that can look like a face.

3. Note the flower petals – pansies have four petals that point upward and one that points downward; violets have three petals that point upward and two that point downward. (1)

DECORATE

Not only do violets provide fabulous ground cover during winter and flower profusely in the spring and summer, their dainty blue, deep purple, and mauve heads (and equally lovely leaves) also look super sweet in a teeny vase on your bedside table or bathroom.

DRINK

Fans of Masterchef will be quite familiar with the use of little violets as edible garnish in the culinary world. In addition to flowers ‘prettying up’ plates, you can also use them for flavouring and in beverages. Take a look at this rather delightful idea below for violet syrup.

violet syrup

Sweet Violet Syrup

Violet syrup is fabulous added to icings and butter cream for cakes, and is wonderful when used in beverages too. Only a small amount is needed to add to sparkling wine or lemonade for a delectable and elegant drink. Or why not try adding the syrup to homemade French macaroons or use to make violet ice cream?

All you need to make violet syrup is:

•40 to 50g Sweet violets (about 3 to 4 handfuls)
•150ml Boiling water
•300g White caster sugar

Click here to view recipe.

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Sources and Photo Credits

1. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/differences-between-pansies-violets-58561.html

2. http://www.secretgardens.com.au/plant-selections/plant-of-the-month-native-violet/

3. http://ideas.homelife.com.au/media/article-steps/3/0/321-1_asl.jpg

4. http://plant.daleysfruit.com.au/trees/m/Viola-hederacea-Native-Violet-1013.jpeg

5. http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5230/5634254145_970e19107c.jpg

6. http://flypapertextures.com/wp-content/uploads/violets-after.jpg