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Archive for April, 2012

May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii

Friday, April 27th, 2012

May Day (May 1st), falls exactly half a year from November 1, another cross-quarter day, which is also associated with various northern European pagan and neo-pagan festivals such as Samhain.  May Day marks the end of the un-farmable winter half of the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations.

For the Druids of the British Isles, May 1 was the second most important holiday of the year, Beltane. Then the Romans came to occupy the British Isles. The beginning of May was devoted primarily to the worship of Flora, the goddess of flowers. May Day observance was discouraged during the Puritans. Though, it was revived when the Puritans lost power in England, it didn’t have the same robust force. Gradually, it came to be regarded more as a day of joy and merriment for the kids, rather than a day of observing the ancient fertility rights. May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the maypole dance and crowning of the Queen of the May.

By the Middle Ages, every English village had its Maypole. The bringing in of the Maypole from the woods was a great occasion and was accompanied by much rejoicing and merrymaking.

The tradition of celebrating May Day by dancing and singing around a maypole, tied with colorful streamers or ribbons, survived as a part of a British tradition. The kids celebrating the day by moving back and forth around the pole with the the streamers, choosing of May queen, and hanging of May baskets on the doorknobs of folks — are all the leftovers of old European traditions.

In Hawaii, May Day is also known as Lei Day, and is normally set aside as a day to celebrate island culture in general and native Hawaiian culture in particular. The first Lei Day was proposed in 1927 in Honolulu. Leonard “Red” and Ruth Hawk composed “May Day is Lei Day in Hawai’i,” the traditional holiday song. Originally it was a contemporary fox trot, later rearranged as the Hawaiian “hula” song performed today.

Fresh-from-the-garden Cover Style

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
















Charlotte, North Carolina member, In Bloom, Ltd is featured on the cover of the Special 5th Anniversay Issue of flowermag.com.  The inclusion of “Campanella Peach” roses, coral & pink ranunculus, pink spray roses, and variegated elaeagnus creates  a fresh-from-the-garden composition.

Jay Lugibihi also shares his secrets to creating classic arrangements in an online interview with the magazine.


My Name is Lily

Monday, April 16th, 2012

The name Lily, currently ranked in the top 20 for most popular names, is enjoying a surge of popularity.  And why not?  With it’s elegant, nodding, bell-shaped bloom and heavenly scent, the lily is one of the world’s most beautiful and beloved flowers. And… the Lily’s existence has been noted for quite some time.

The first known representation of the lily, etchings found on a villa in Crete, date back to 1580 BC.  The ancient Egyptians celebrated the lily as a symbol of fertility and rebirth, drawing its image on their tombs.  In Chinese culture, the lily is a good-luck charm.

Ancient Hebrew culture valued the lily as well, and mentions of the flower as a metaphor for beauty and purity appear throughout the Bible. The Roman Catholic Church adopted the white lily (later known as the Madonna lily) as a symbol for The Virgin Mary.  Perhaps the most ubiquitous iteration of the lily comes in the form of the fleur-de-lis, which appears on numerous coat of arms throughout Europe.

Though the lily has long been associated with the ethereal realm, it has also been celbrated for its practical uses.  In the 8th century, Charlemagne mandated that his subjects grow lilies in their gardens for medicinal purposes.  During Elizabethan times, as well, lilies were thought to have healing properties.

Today, the lily remains a favorite choice for brides who love the soft, creamy white of its flower and its symbolissm of innocence, purity and new life.  But perhaps the most moving, modern use of the flower comes each year on Easter Sunday, when church altars around the world are awash in lilies – symbolizing the return of spring and the promise of new life.



Floral Tips from Green Fresh Florals

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Long time bbrooks member Green in San Diego, Ca shares some lovely hints to help your floral gift last longer.

Fresh Cut Flowers:

Three (3) easy tips will make your fresh flowers last and last.

  1. When you receive them, immediately cut each stem at an angle with pruning sheers or a knife.
  2. Remove extra leaves from the lower part of the stem, leaving some near the bloom so the nutrients in the stem feed the bloom.
  3. Refill or replace water daily or as needed.


To read more, please see http://greenfloralsd.com/about/flower-care-tips/

Modern Reincarnation

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

San Francisco–based landscape  architect James A. Lord, principal of Surfacedesign won the  2012 CH+D Award for Landscape Design for the extreme makeover  of his family’s home in Palos Verdes Estates.

“Skinned knees, basketball games and lots of concrete—those are my  childhood memories of this space,” says Lord.  “My parents have always been modernists… I enjoyed the  challenge of marrying their aesthetic with their environment.”

Drought-tolerant barrel cactus, dudleya and euphorbia succulents bear  sculptural geometric shapes—hearty rosettes, spikes and stars provide a visual and textural counterpoint to the rusticated sandstone  floor.

As seen in California Home Design, Feb/Mar 2012 issue.