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History of the Rose

February 11th, 2014

What is it about February that has us breaking out in Shakespeare whenever the mood strikes us? A simple inquiry about our Rose Tomatoes and suddenly we’re answering in iambic pentameter …

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

by any other name would smell as sweet?

It must be that Valentine’s Day is around the corner (or we’re a little nutso), and we couldn’t help but wonder: why are roses the symbol of Valentine’s Day, and what is their history? So we dug a little deeper, and this is what we discovered:

History of the Rose

Red roses (more so than yellow or pink roses) are the traditional symbol for love and romance. The popularity of these flowers began when Europeans imported roses from China in the early 1800’s. Consequently, rose breeding started gaining some momentum, but it took Napoleon’s wife’s passion for roses to make them fashionable. Empress Josephine began the first largest recorded rose garden at her estate. Visitors were drawn to Josephine’s garden of vibrant red colors, and beautifully scented flowers that could flower all year round in temperate weather. Immediately following, gardeners began feverishly breeding roses and they became a cult favorite across Europe and the United States.

But the history of roses didn’t begin in Europe or China. Roses also have roots in Greek Mythology. We associate the rose with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, but it was Chloris, the goddess of flowers who created the rose. The story starts with Chloris cleaning in the forest, as she stumbles upon a beautiful nymph who was laying lifeless. Devastated, she called upon Aphrodite and Dionysus to help right the wrong of the dead nymph. After giving the color of wine, nectar and a sweet scent, Zephyr, the West Wind blew away the clouds for Apollo the sun god to shine on the new flower to bloom. This flower became the rose.

Roses also have places in Hindu legends, as well as Egyptian and the Roman Empire history. From stories of grooms offering their brides a red rose, to rose petals being used as confetti at elaborate parties and decadently spread on tables along with the feast to impress guests – red roses have been read, admired in paintings, and told in stories for centuries. While red roses didn’t truly get become a romantic symbol until the last 200 years, their meaning might be slowly evolving. In the last 50 years, some view the rose as a symbol for “peace” over “love.”

*Friends, did you learn something new about the rose? How are your roses doing this year? Any plans to give or receive them for Valentine’s Day?

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease.  We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed.

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Lavender – The Flower of Distrust

January 19th, 2013

They say that every flower has its meaning when it is given as a present. It may express good feelings but also doubt and warning. The lavender, it is not exactly clear why, is it due to its color which is usually not connected with good feelings or due to some story, in the language of flowers is connected with the distrust. Besides this fact it is very nice and useful flower, which has found its place in many industries and is grown in many parts of the world.

It belongs to the mint family and is native to the Old World. It was also found in the Canary Islands and on Cape Verde. Some of the uses of the lavender are connected with growing it as ornamental flower. It is also used as herb and the nice lavender oil is extracted from it. With the time due to the specific shade of the violet color in which this plant is growing even a special color appeared in the English language with the name of the flower.

It is natural that everybody has seen lavender but still it will be briefly described with few words. The shape of the leaves is diverse. In some species that are commonly grown they are simple, and in others are pinnately toothed. However in almost any species the leaves are covered with fine hairs, when actually is the oil extracted from.

The flowers grow in whorls, and they are higher than the foliage.

The most common type of lavender that you can see is called the English lavender. This flower is grown in gardens, which means that it is too far from its original ground of a wild plant. That is why in many case it can be very invasive for the other flowers in the garden. In many countries in the past lavender was growing so much that it was declared as a weed in Australia and in Spain.

As for the conditions to grow best lavender from the above said you can guess that this plant does not need much water to grow. The soil has to be very well drained for it. Grainy and sandy soils can be the best choice for the plant. The direct sun is also very necessary. No matter what type of lavenders you choose to grow you have to take good care of them as you are regularly fertilizing them. The good air circulation is also very essential for the plant. Do not risk planting the lavender seeds in areas with high humidity. It can develop fungus on its roots and this can turn into a huge problem.

In large quantities the flower is usually grown for the extraction of the above mentioned lavender oil. When use in the medical and cosmetic industry it can have very strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

The English lavender has more sweet notes and is mostly used in cosmetic products like shower gels rather than in medicine.

Like most of the plants the lavender also have reserved place in the kitchen and cooking. The honey which the bees produce from the flower of the lavender is marked worldwide as one premium quality product. The flower of the lavender allows to be candied and makes beautiful decoration on cakes and candies. There is special group of baked products made and flavored with the so-called lavender sugar.

When added to a dish it gives it really nice sweet flavor and can be successfully combined with sheep or goat milk.

 

About the author:

Nicole is a passionate  writer, devoted mum and housewife. She enjoys writing about healthy home organizing. Read more at http://www.sendflowers.org.uk/

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Companion Planting: Best Friends in the Garden

February 22nd, 2011

 

Companion planting is more than planting your favorite vegetables together; it’s beneficial! When you plant flowers, herbs, and vegetables together it attracts garden hero birds and insects into your garden; birds and insects which are natural predators to those garden villains that like to eat plants. Companion planting—to attract beneficial birds and insects—is one of Mother Nature’s organic gardening methods. Aromatic flowers and herbs planted alongside vegetables also help confuse and deter garden villains that seek out specific plants.

Another benefit to companion planting is the ability to shade lower-growing, shade-tolerant plants by planting tall-growing plants near them. By shielding lower-growing, shade-tolerant plants with tall-growing plants, this will result in higher yields. One example is planting corn next to squash.

Here are some Humble Seed plants, perfect for companion planting for a harmonious garden:

Bull’s Blood Beet pairs well with White Spear Bunching Onion.

Rose Tomato pairs well with Scarlet Nantes Carrot, Purly Chives, White Spear Bunching Onion, and Titan Parsley.

Scarlet Nantes Carrot pairs well with Purly Chives, Black Seeded Simpson Leaf Lettuce, Common Sage, and Rose Tomato.

Tuffy Acorn Squash and Yellow Crookneck Squash pair well with Double Standard Corn and Nasturtium (an annual flower).

Companion planting increases the biodiversity of your garden, and certain plants most definitely benefit when other plant species are planted near them. This spring give companion planting a whirl!

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The Moveable Garden

May 6th, 2010

 

It’s hard to believe that container gardening has been around as far back as 600 BC, but King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon created one of the most spectacular gardens of all times. Considered one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon have fascinated everyone from archaeologists to the common gardener.

Whether you’re limited with a small balcony, patio or roof or you want to add more color, coziness and patterns to your outdoor living space, container gardening is an easy, popular way to grow flowers, fruits and vegetables. And, if you’ve never grown your own plants before, container gardening is a great place to begin your green thumb adventures.

Three of the most appealing benefits of container gardening include easy accessibility to plants, the ability to move plants around during bad weather and excessive temperatures, and the opportunity to enjoy an extended growing season.

Common containers include hanging baskets, planters and pots, and creative gardeners use everything from old enamel pots, tires, and even old, worn work books to house a variety of flowers and plants. When it comes to container gardening, it can be as fun and whimsical as you want it to be!

If you would like more information and guidance on container gardening success visit Vegetable Gardening in Containers.

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