Not everyone is a fan of pretty English-garden flowers in vintage-style arrangements and Flowers for Everyone aim to cater to all tastes (aka flowers, for everyone!) 🙂
Lately our florist crew have been designing bold new native flower bouquet and arrangements for our online shop and stores. Native flowers don’t just have to be great ‘gifts for men’ or for ‘people from the country’. Their strong and sculptural stems fit any type of interior, whether it be a sleek and modern house, industrial studio, or classic period home.
Take a look at these great value, gorgeous and long lasting looks using bold native shapes, colours and textures.
The name says it all. Make a statement with this flat-back tall bouquet of layered native floral lovelies featuring seasonal flowers and foliage such as protea, banksia, tortured willow and silvery gum. It’s design is particularly well-suited as a presentation bouquet to say thanks, congratulations, farewell, or great job!
There is a reason why Flowers for Everyone only stock ECOYA home fragrance products.
Because the product is really, really good.
Fragrance is at the heart and soul of everything ECOYA does. Sweet pea and Jasmine; Coconut and Elderflower; French Pear; Vanilla Bean; Lotus; and Lemongrass and Ginger… it is no wonder we adore pairing these candle and reed diffuser fragrances with our flower bouquets.
Guided by leading Master Perfumer, Isaac Sinclair, the ECOYA vision blends luxury and natural. The brand has grown to be one of the leading eco-luxe home fragrance and body care companies around the world, gracing the shelves of iconic department stores and boutiques in over 25 countries and making their mark in the global fragrance industry.
ECOYA candles are crafted from natural waxes and feature pure lead-free cotton wicks. Created in collaboration with leading fragrance experts, their products are designed to release the optimal fragrance throw.
They do not use paraffin wax (which is the predominant wax used in the candle industry), hence their candles do not contain the harmful chemicals associated with the use of paraffin.
Flowers for Everyone stock a range of ECOYA candles and reed diffusers that customers can purchase directly from any one of our four Sydney florist stores, or online in conjunction with flowers. We also offer a beautiful collection of seasonal flower and home fragrance package offers for Sydney delivery.
Venetian Giacomo Casanova was an Italian adventurer and author famous for his often complicated and elaborate afffairs with women, earning him a reputation as a womaniser that still remains centuries later. Yet he was so much more than that.
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, “His many achievements would put the likes of Hugh Hefner to shame”.
“He hobnobbed with Voltaire, Catherine the Great, Benjamin Franklin and probably Mozart; survived as a gambler, an astrologer and spy; translated The Iliad into his Venetian dialect; and wrote a science fiction novel, a proto-feminist pamphlet and a range of mathematical treatises. He was also one of history’s great travellers, crisscrossing Europe from Madrid to Moscow”.
“And yet he wrote his legendary memoir, the innocuously named Story of My Life, in his penniless old age, while working as a librarian at the obscure Castle Dux, in the mountains of Bohemia in the modern-day Czech Republic”. (1)
When he died, Casanova had no idea whether his memoir would even be published. In fact, when it finally did emerge in 1821 in a heavily censored version, it was denounced from the pulpit and placed on the Vatican’s Index of Prohibited Books. Oom-ah!
The miracle of Casanova’s manuscript lies in its tale of survival over the centuries and its escape from destruction in World War II.
Casanova’s erotic memoir was originally bequeathed on his deathbed to a nephew in 1798, whose descendants later went on to sell it to a German publisher that kept it under lock and key for nearly 140 years, only releasing pirated and mistranslated extracts.
In 1943 an Allied bomb landed on the publishers office, yet it miraculously survived. The family secreted it by bicycle across Leipzig and placed the precious manuscript in a bank security vault. When the U.S. Army occupied the city in 1945, even Winston Churchill inquired after its fate. Reunited with its owners, the first uncensored edition was published in 1960 in French, during a time of major sexual revolution.
Now housed in the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, this reverence and treatment of his manuscript as a sacred relic would have made Casanova roll over in his grave and do a little happy dance. Often dismissed as a frivolous sexual adventurer, a cad and a wastrel, his hilarious, provocative, philosophical and (still) shocking memoir provides an amazing window into authentic 18th century life.
“Apart from the more than 120 notorious love affairs with countesses, milkmaids and nuns which take up about a third of the book, the memoir includes escapes, duels, swindles, stagecoach journeys, arrests and meetings with royals, gamblers and mountebanks”, explains the Smithsonian Magazine. (1)
Even in today’s modern thinking world some extracts still raise eyebrows, especially the pursuit of very young girls and an interlude of incest. Attitudes towards these behaviours were tolerated quite differently in the 18th century!
“He would have been surprised to discover that he is remembered first as a great lover,” says Tom Vitelli, a leading American Casanovist. “Sex was part of his story, it was incidental to his real literary aims. He only presented his love life because it gave a window onto human nature.”
SIX INTERESTING TIT BITS ABOUT CASANOVA
Mostly identified as a famous lover who romanced women all over Europe in the 18th century, Casanova was also a revolutionary thinker, food-writer, kaballist shaman, and bisexual traveller. Below are some interesting insights into this remarkable man’s life by author of ‘Casanova’ by Ian Kelly.
Casanova was a dedicated food writer and in his epic memoirs, he spent almost as much prose on recalling his meals as his lovers.
Casanova collaborated with Da Ponte on the libretto for Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Casanova’s promiscuity may not be all that remarkable: over the course of his life, he averaged ‘only’ 3 sexual partners a year. It is his manner of writing about sex that was revolutionary.
In his own time, Casanova was never famous as a womanizer. This aspect of Casanova’s story is posthumous, the result of the 12 volumes of memoirs found after his death.
Casanova was bisexual and began his career in Venice as a sort of upmarket rent boy.
Casanova was a devoted disciple of the Kaballah – a craze amongst 18th century urban elites as it has become again in the early 21st century.
Attention avid gardeners, passionate horticulturists and designers. Paul Bangay, currently regarded as Australia’s most celebrated garden designer, has released 2015 private tour dates of his personal garden Stonefields, one of the most iconic gardens in the country.
Paul has designed more than 2100 gardens around the world, including New York, St Tropez, Positano, Jamaica, New Zealand and The Cook Islands. Stonefields is his personal ‘patch of paradise’ in rural Victoria and has been his labour of love for the last eight years.
“In that time he has placed his signature style of precise clipped hedges, oak-lined driveways, symmetrical parterre plantings and carefully manicured lawns and water features on what was previously a vacant paddock of nearly 20 hectares”. (1)
2015 PRIVATE TOURS
Paul’s exclusive tours are held in each season and include morning tea, where you have the opportunity to chat one-on-one with Paul about his garden design feats, failures, and grand successes. His most recent publication, ‘The Gardens of Stonefield’ is also available for purchase and signing on the day.
You can book either as an individual or small group, with numbers limited to 30 – 40 people to ensure a personalised experience.
The cost is $220 per person and bookings for the below dates can be made online.
Friday 13th February 2015 – 10.30am
Friday 15th May – 10.30 am
Friday 2nd October – 10.30 am
Friday 20th November – 10.30 am
ABOUT PAUL BANGAY
Paul Bangay’s garden designs are internationally renowned for timeless elegance and classic simplicity. His extensive list of projects span private and public commissions in Australia and New Zealand, as well as further afield in Europe, North America and the West Indies. His distinctive approach has been featured in countless publications and he is a sought-after guest on gardening and lifestyle programs. Paul has published nine garden books including The Defined Garden (1996) and The Garden at Stonefields (2013).
As an alternative (or addition to) a private garden tour, you also have the option of booking to stay at The Farm House at Stonefields, and wander Paul’s gardens at your own leisure.
Located an hour and 20 minutes North East of Melbourne, halfway between Kyneton and Daylesford, The Farm House at Stonefields is a labour of love for Paul Bangay.
The Farm House is set 100 metres from the Main House and garden at Stonefields, Paul’s country residence, and is surrounded by two large paddocks where Paul’s herd of rare breed British White cattle freely roam.
The Farm House boasts four bedrooms, two with an ensuite, a large sitting room complete with wood fire heater, open-plan kitchen and generous – yet inviting – dining room.
Chic and comfortable by design, The Farm House is surrounded by French doors, and each room looks out onto either vast swathes of flowering perennials or cascading groves of crab apples, fruit trees and the large vegetable garden.
The Farm House next to Stonefields has allowed Paul to invite guests to enjoy a walk around Stonefields iconic main garden during their stay. This once in a lifetime opportunity – for the weary traveller, garden aficionado and day-tripper alike – offers a glimpse into the magic and majesty of Paul’s design.
You can’t beat lying on a hammock in the garden with gazillions of butterflies fluttering around you. Create your own butterfly garden and start attracting these flitting, flapping beauties into your yard.
HOW TO ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES
According to Better Homes & Gardens, you want a sunny spot, nectar-rich flowers, a little garden ‘chaos’ and a mud puddle. Yes, a mud puddle! Who would have thought pretty butterflies would be attracted to mud!
SUNSHINE & BUTTERFLIES
When planting butterfly friendly gardens, do so in a sunny spot that offers protection from the wind. Butterflies use the early morning sun to warm themselves and retreat to cooler, shadier places during the heat of the day. Okay, they like moisture too – see below under ‘Mud Puddles’ for how to simulate this environment!
Create a butterfly garden by planting colourful beds en-masse, particularly in blue, yellow and red. Some research suggests grouping plants together according to colour, creating ‘big colourful clusters that butterflies just can’t resist’ (3).
BUTTERFLY FRIENDLY PLANTS
Choose nectar-rich flowers to create a butterfly meadow (they particularly like tubular or ‘long’ flowers to pollinate). Different species of butterflies are attracted to particular plants, so it would pay to determine what butterflies are native to your area before designing your garden.
Here are a list of some butterfly favourites:
Wattles (including Silver, Black Wattle & Blackwood)
Purple Coral Pea
And just about all wildflowers, check with your local nursery on what they suggest for your area!
*Lantana may be extremely popular for butterflies but is an obnoxious pest in Australia and best to avoid planting.
FEED THE CATERPILLARS!
Ask at your local nursery or do a bit of visual/online research into what butterflies are native to your area. Find out what their caterpillars look like and what their favourite plants are. Apparently caterpillars are quite fussy. You need to ensure they have an appealing diet to munch on! Yes, your leaves are going to be munched but the pay off is worth it…
Caterpillar favourites include:
Shrubs & Trees – Wattles (Acacia sp.), Bush Peas (Pultenaea sp.), Purple Fan Flower (Scaevola sp.);
Grasses – Lomandra sp., Poa sp. (including australis, tenera, labillardieri,) and sedges like Gahnia sp. and Carex sp; and;
Your butterfly garden just became even more gorgeous – attract larvae and provide shelter with the likes of Crepe Myrtle; Citrus; Paper Daisies; Kangaroo Grass; Cotton Bushes; Sassafras; Snapdragons; and Native Violets. It is dependent though on the variety of butterflies native to your area as to which they will prefer to lay their eggs on.
Avoid poisonous pesticides and products containing Bacillus thuringiensis – use organic pest control methods instead.
Butterflies love a bit of chaos so ‘untame’ your butterfly garden and create a more wild and carefree environment… a little bit like butterflies themselves.
PROVIDE A MUD PUDDLE
Pretty butterflies are attracted to pretty flowers and…mud puddles. Try placing a shallow dish of muddy water in a sunny spot or alternatively dig a couple of small, shallow depressions in the dirt and periodically fill them up with water. When butterflies gather in mud puddles it is actually called ‘puddling’. They land there to suck water out of the soil, which is why it often happens ‘en masse’, creating a visual display to behold! Add a couple of flattish rocks aka sun loungers into your butterfly garden so they can land and sun themselves too. A bit like a Club Med for butterflies 🙂
MAKE A DIY BUTTERFLY FEEDER
Offer an alternative butterfly food source, particularly if you are not in a position to go planting a designer butterfly garden. There are lots of websites that give instructions on how to set up – it is very easy to do and a fun weekend project to do with the family.
Every year the Spring Hill Peony Farm in country Victoria host a picnic and open paddock day.
Punters from all over descend on this beautiful property, less than two hours drive north west of Melbourne, paying a small admission into the paddock to pick a giant bunch of peonies. A mix of Melbourne hipsters and country hipsters, Asian tourists, families and Maggie Beer-esque ladies swinging baskets on their arms, tramp along a picturesque trail under ancient gums, to a field of peony roses blooming in white and every shade of pink.
Heading back from the paddock laden down with peony roses, the rest of the day can be spent lounging on the grass under the gums, listening to music, sipping wine and enjoying a picnic. To add to the overall beauty of the scene, is ‘The Little Church’, a quaint old white weatherboard church used for weddings, creating a backdrop filled with rustic charm and character.
Stunning peonies are not only an extremely sought after, super popular flower (brides love them!), they are only around for a short time each year (late spring to early summer) which makes them extra, extra special. If you are ever planning a visit to Melbourne in November, we highly recommend hiring a car and timing a trip around the Spring Hill Peony Farm Annual Picnic and Open Paddock Day.
Did you know it can easily take more than 50 hours to complete a relatively small botanical art drawing or painting? That’s intense.
Why bother spending so many hours drawing a rose in such exacting botanical detail when one can use their iphone to take a photo of it (then use cool filters on Instagram to make it look even ‘better’)?
In a society that is all about rapid gratification, focusing our mind’s eye on the small details of a flower stem or single leaf can invoke a zen-like meditative quality.
Furthermore, the sheer intensity of analysing and honouring an object from nature in a drawing of botanical perfection is often said to create a unique ‘bond’ between the artist and their subject.
Botanical Art v Floral Art
Contemporary botanical art is often described as having a dual focus: science and art.
The ‘challenge’ of botanical art compared to simply ‘floral art’ however, is that it requires a ‘dedication to acquiring knowledge about plant forms and the delicacy of their structure and their life cycles, as well as developing techniques in a variety of media used in the aesthetic representation of this knowledge’. (1)
Botanical Art: Getting Started
Formal definitions aside. A careful study of plants is essential in botanical art. The chosen subject has to be accurately sketched with precision so the genus and species are clear, yet also display an appealing composition. Typically the subject is drawn against a blank backdrop, using the likes of graphite, watercolour, coloured pencil, pen and ink.
Keen to have a go? Check out our list of inspiration and resources below…
Contemporary botanical artists are often influenced by 18th-century masters such as Pierre-Joseph Redoute and Georg Dionysius Ehret.
Books worth referring to for inspiration are:
The Golden Age of Botanical Art by Martyn Rix
The Illustrated Herbal by plant historian Wilfred Blunt, with Sandra Raphael, a study of the development of herbals, their decorative, botanical and medicinal interest.
The Art of Botanical Painting by Margaret Stevens, published in association with the Society of Botanical Artists.
The Catalogue of Botanical Prints and Drawings from the National Museums of Wales by MH Lazarus, includes works by Ehret and Redouté.
Can you sniff a little whiff of spring in the air? It may be hard to imagine spring is just around the corner, but we start noticing the change as soon as early season bloomers make their way into the markets.
Opening boxes of fresh flowers to discover the first bunch of sweet peas showing their super sweet little faces for the year, is cause for GREAT EXCITEMENT.
The same goes for other special florist favourites; the first tiny bunch of violets, daffodils, Lily of the Valley, blossom and dogwood branches, David Austin roses, hydrangea, rhododendron, Cymbidium orchids, lilac, gardenias and peonies (I could go on here); the buzz of discovery never gets tired.
We wave one of these cheeky new season bunches in the air for all the team to see, and pass around for a unison of oohs and aahs. Noses are buried into the flower heads to drink in the scents of those extra special flowers, like the slow-growing super special Daphne that smells like fruit tingles, yum!
And as ‘floral artisans’, the signs of a season change mean we get to start playing with new colours, shapes, and textures.
So on that note, it’s time to get inspired along with us. Check out our latest mood boards on Pinterest and share the excitement about the pending onset of beautiful spring flowers…
Narcissus flowers provide the perfume world’s most ‘naughty notes’.
Described as sultry, rich, and earthy, its fragrance is almost a little sharp, with a ‘green’ animalic scent and traces of hyacinth and jasmine. A bit naughty smelling, the narcissus / daffodil is worn by those not afraid to wear a perfume that makes a statement. (1)
The essential oil is predominately produced in the Grasse region of France and the Netherlands (2), and used mainly in high end perfumes, such as Dior’s Eau de Toilette Miss Dior, Tom Ford’s Jonquil de Nuit, Molinard de Molinard, Guerlain Vol de Nuit, Armani Armani, Lancôme’s Climate de Collection, and Hermes Amazon.
It takes 500 kilograms of flowers to produce 300 grams of ‘absolute’, making it an expensive oil! (2)
The use of narcissus in perfume isn’t a modern day haute couture occurrence.
The narcissus was used in ancient Rome for the creation of a fragrance called Naricssinum. Arabs used it in their perfumery, as well as to cure baldness. In India, narcissus oil is applied to body before prayer. It was used in cosmetics as an additive to powders, soaps and lipsticks. (2)
The name narcissus itself was probably derived from the Greek word ‘narke’ and later adopted by Romans as ‘narce’, meaning ‘to be numb’, referring to the narcotic effects of narcissus, which can sometimes be overwhelming. A bit like when one wears too much perfume! (2)
About Narcissus Flowers…
The cultivated narcissus come in three different varieties.
The Daffodil: Featuring four to six flattened, grass-like leaves and a flower stalk bearing asingle flower with a long, trumpet like ‘corona’.
The Jonquil: Featuring two to four narrow, cylindrical, rush-like leaves and a flower stalk bearing two to six relatively small flowers with short ‘coronas’.
The Narcissus: Similar to daffodils, but its flattened flower stalk bears four to eight flowers with short ‘coronas’.
Teaming pretty vases of flowers against vintage floral wallpaper may sound a bit much, but trust us, layering flowers with flowers makes for a gorgeous interior look that is fresh, stylish, easy and in-trend.
Check out these ideas and tips below for a little creative inspiration.
Keep it Simple
Tip #1: Vintage floral wallpaper can be ‘busy’, so choosing just one type of flower that picks out a colour in the paper is a great way to start.
Vintage Wallpaper – Vintage Vases
Tip #2:Vintage floral wallpaper generally works best with vintage-era vases. Use an old mason jar if you don’t have the right vase. Or rummage through op shops for jam jars, pastel-coloured parfait glasses, crystal bowls or cocktail tumblers…
Use Classic Cottage Garden Blooms
Tip #3: With feminine vintage floral wallpaper, opt for old fashioned, ‘English country garden flowers’ such as the dainty Cecile Brunner roses pictured below, rather than bold natives and exotic orchids.
Tip #4: Sometimes vintage floral wallpaper comes in out-there Seventies colours, like this bold blue print featured below. A contrasting colour such as orange, or these simple yellow ‘Billy Balls’ in a matching blue (or white) vase not only stand out against the paper, but maintain an essence of simplicity when there is so much happening in the print design.
Keep to the Era
Tip #5: If your wallpaper is from the 1920’s, for example, consider opting for a floral arrangement that is also typical of this period.
So there you have it. Five tips from our in-house floral gurus on how to style vintage flower covered wallpaper with flower arrangements. Because let’s face it – you can never have too many flowers in the house!
For more gorgeous vintage floral wallpapers and flower inspirations check out our Pinterest board.