Archive for the ‘flowers’ Category

The language of flowers

November 6, 2009

 The language of flowers

I thought it would be interesting to look at the subject – the language of flowers over the next few days. Many florists display varying meanings behind flowers to help their customers choose the ideal bouquet. To help you choose the perfect personalised flower card for your friend, family member or for use in your business, I will be looking at the history and meanings of popular flowers.

  • The history of the language of flowers.

The Victorian era has always been strongly linked with the language of flowers, mainly focusing on love, but the meaning of flowers goes back to even earlier times than this with strong religious, cultural, and symbolic meanings.

There are though many differences in the symbology and meanings of flowers between eastern and western philosophies. Eastern flower meanings tend to be closely related to living a long life, prosperity, wisdom … for example, the oriental symbology of the blossom from the early flowering trees such as the cherry tree, are very important in Japan as it represents the cycle of life.

Victorian women elaborated on floriography (the language of flowers), expressing their feelings within the boundaries of social etiquette. Flowers were often used to get their silent message across, by communicating their feelings and thoughts when ordinarily they were unable or not allowed to do so.

As well as the particular meaning of a flower, the scent was also an important factor. If a floral scent could be detected on a ladies handkerchief by the person she wanted to relay a particular message to, it would further their silent conversation.

The whole theatrics of the art of this particular communication could also be changed by how the flower was displayed. If the flower was upright or upside down, the message meant that the secret meaning was either positive or negative. Ribbons were also used and depending on how they were tied displayed another hidden message.

Considerations had to be made about the type of flower, the way the flower was worn, the colour and scent, as they all played an important part.

If you were waiting for a reply from your  message, it could be answered in the following manner, if a flower was given to you from the other person’s right hand the answer was yes, if it was from their left hand that meant no.

The language of flowers had so many particular traditions and significance associated with it, it made it even more crucial to pay attention to the merest detail displaying and answering the message correctly.

In my next blog post we will begin to look at the significance of specific popular flowers and how we can apply it to businesses as well as for personal cards and gifts.

Nita Joy Craft Design’s 2 year Anniversary!

October 24, 2009

Nita Joy Craft Design’s 2 year Anniversary!

To celebrate our 2 year anniversary, yes 2 years! We have had an update, re-launch as you may say with new products, giving greater flexibility for you to be able to personalise a special card.

Here are the new things that you will spot -

Anemone Greeting Card - Free post and packaging on greeting cards

Anemone Greeting Card - Packs of cards! – We have special offers on packs of small medium and large cards

Anemone Greeting Card- Small cards are now only available as floral notelet packs – suitable for when you need a card quickly, to say thank you for a thoughtful gift, or to say thinking of you when a friend or family member who may be not well.

Anemone Greeting Card- We are able to offer a bespoke service, turning your special photo into a greeting card with your wording. We can also offer this service for Christmas cards.

Anemone Greeting Card- Christmas card packs! This year we have Special Christmas card packs available in 10, 20, 24 and 25 in various sizes. Each card can have a message included on an insert for free.

Anemone Greeting Card- We have a selection of gifts suitable for Christmas, birthdays, celebrations or even to treat yourself!

Anemone Greeting Card- Soon we will be stockists of ‘Pocket Garden’ and ‘Bee Good’! a lovely range of gifts that are perfect to go with our flower cards !

So please visit our new website – www.sendaflowercard.com   www.nitajoycraftdesign.co.uk

we look forward to helping you personalise the perfect card for you!

A visit to Knoll Gardens

August 19, 2009

Last weekend I had the joy of visiting the Gold medal winner of Chelsea and many other shows – Knoll Gardens.

If you live in Dorset, then it’s definitely a must see garden!

Knoll Gardens is stunning throughout the year, as their planting schemes are for all year long interest.

For those who are wheelchair users you will be pleased to hear that most of the garden is accessible, which is great to see, as so many beautiful gardens are unfortunately not too accessible.

Echinacea

Echinacea

The garden has many areas of interest and planned in great detail. You recieve a free guide when you pay for your entry. The guide is well written with a detailed plan of the gardens, it also tells you the garden areas that are best seen in the particular month of your visit.

The Water Garden

The Water Garden

We particularly enjoyed the Water, Summer and Dragons garden and walk, but we enjoyed all that the garden has to offer.

Dragon Sculpture

Dragon Sculpture

We stood and watched an Emperor Dragonfly as he circled the pond feeding.
Lily Pond in the Dragon Garden

Lily Pond in the Dragon Garden

Knoll gardens has a refreshment cabin where there is a self service area with good quality and range of products. You are also allowed to bring a picnic with you and eat in the garden if you wish, with plenty of seating dotted around.

We were privileged to see many lovely butterflies enjoying  the Eupatorium purple bush.

Tortiseshell Butterfly on an Eupatorium purple bush

Tortiseshell Butterfly on an Eupatorium purple bush

The entry fee is -

  • Adults £5.50
  • Consessions £4.50
  • Children 5-15 years £3.75
  • Disabled person and helper is £1.00 off each appropriate category
  • Free for RHS Members

Knoll Gardens can be found at -

Stapehill Road, Hampreston, Wimborne, BH21 7ND

Directions and Map can be found here -Knoll Gardens

All images (C) Anita Hunt

A trip to Hampton Court Flower Show

July 9, 2009

I visited Hampton Court Flower Show on the opening day – 7th July 2009

To help visitors who will be attending the show later in the week, and to have a record of the day for those unable to go this year – here is some information about my day out and what not to miss!

  • Entrance into the show.

There are a number of car parks that can be used. We went to the  Stud car park, which is ideal for those with mobility problems. The entrance name from this car park is the Longwater gate. They have an excellent free shuttle service that gives you a lift from where your car is parked to the entrance of the show, as the field is huge! Here is the map for travel infomation by the RHS.

Hint: Make sure you take note of which row you park your car in!!! Very important. If you think you will forget, take a photo of the stand number just in case!

You may need Wellies!! Also due to the rain, many of the seats outside will be soaking wet. My suggestion is to add a couple of plastic bags and tissues to your bag, to wipe off any surface pools and sit on the bag if needed.

As soon as you enter the show ground, I would advise you buy a catalogue, as this is essential in getting the most out of your visit. The catalogue is priced at £4.50 If you had a code (to use online when you purchased your tickets) to get a free copy of Carol Klein’s Grow your own journal, remember to pick one up from an RHS Stand.

Information about the awards for each garden and floral and plant exhibit.

To the right there is a children’s area  -  (Fifi Zone Tue-Sun  Children’s zone sat-sun)

  • The Floral Energy Studio (Section D)

 We dashed into this floral studio as the rain began to plummet! What a delight it was, in the humid, packed out tent.

Please visit if you get the chance. All the exhibits were lovely, but my favourite was the Jane Packer display (FE 12). It was based around a tea party with a giant teapot and a lovely cake display made out of flowers. I was very tempted to buy the little tea cup and saucer sets that you could purchase with mini flowers.

two of my favourite things tea and flowers! Perfect.

two of my favourite things tea and flowers! Perfect.

 

Flowe rtea cakes stand

Flower tea cakes stand

 We also enjoyed Capel Manor College display (of the four elements of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water (FE5)

The Four Elements

The Four Elements

All the displays were lovely to look at, so enjoy :)

There is also an area for talks and demonstrations.

Also in this section you will find a variety of shops, nurseries, information to suit every taste.

  • The Small Gardens Section D

The Small Gardens were a delight as always, I sometimes prefer the smaller gardens as I enjoy the detail. All the small gardens are beautiful with a  total of 13 gardens in this category.

The following  are a few of my favourites -

  • The British Heather Growers Association and Down To Earth Design, ( D1) was designed beautifully! It was definitely one of my favourites! Promoting heathers, in how we can use them, and why they are so useful.
  • The Healing garden (D3) The Macmillian Cancer support with the perfumed Garden. This important garden set out to show the importance of plants and how they are used in medication. It provides a restful scene and accomplishes what it set out to do.
  • Within Sound of the sea breeze ((D4) I really liked the name! The focus of this garden is on relaxation,  with elements of a countryside seaside area, as well as the peace, it also reminds us the importance of recycling.
  • The Dark side of beauty (D5) The title certainly gained my attention! Not only was it interesting to look at, but also sucessfully put across the important message of being aware of poisonous plants.
  • The Teenage Santuary (D6) This was very interesting, as often younger children delight in the garden as they are fascinated by anything that moves, the sight, smell and touch qualities of plants, but often attracting the attention of teenagers to the joy of gardens can be difficult. This garden has been purely designed for them!
  • Six Wives of Henry the 8th Gardens (Section D)

In this special feature there are  6 gardens on the subject of each of Henry the 8th’s wifes. Each designer has gone into great detail, looking at each of the wives characters. A lovely selection of gardens that can equally stand on their own as well as alongside the other gardens. Takes learning history to a whole new level and wish I had something like this when I did history at school!

  • The Country Living Tent ( Area D / CLM)

Anyone who has read the Country living magazine will know what to expect. If you enjoy crafts, fashion and homewares, you will enjoy this exhibition and shopping area.

We then crossed the pontoon. Make sure you admire the long water and Hampton Court Palace as you cross over.

  • For lunch, we headed over to the Palace Tearooms – in section B

The food was a good price, drinks a little pricey. You can spot deer through the window, if you are lucky as we were. :)The seating was fairly comfy, and it was a self service tea rooms.

There are plenty of places to give a rest to your weary feet, with outdoor and indoor facilities.

  • Section C

During the day, there are different time slots for various dances and demonstrations (as shown in catalogue). Unfortunately due to the horrendous weather I didn’t see this, but I am sure it will be wonderful to see.

  • There is a marquee dedicated to ‘Growing Tastes’ a real foodies paradise! The Growing Tastes Growing Theatre has many demonstrations to tempt you to cook at home. Timetable can be found in your catalogue p121.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • Inspiring places – ideas to help brighten up a small area or garden, useful for people living in flats, shared housing apartments and so on. (You can find them C98 -110)

Don’t miss -

Grow your own Bra-skets & Plant-pants  Grow your own Bra-skets & Plant-pants

 

As someone who loves flowers, I always head to the floral marquee at any show I go to, as you get the chance to be close and personal with your favourite flowers. I spent most of my time here as it is huge! There are three tents joined together, with every kind of flower and plant you would hope to see.

I love Sweepeas and was pleased to see an old favouite Eagle Sweet peas (FM30) as their displays are always amazing.

The beauty of the sweetpea

The beauty of the sweetpea

Also Downderry Nursery (FM85) had a magnificent display of lavender! The smell was incredible! The varieties and colour worked so well together, giving a glorious display.

Lavender

Lavender

Here is just a taster, but if you love plants and flowers, I advise you spend quality time in the amazing marquee. All the stands are manned by the specialist growers, and are only too pleased to help you with any query you may have. With many of the stands, not only can you admire, but also buy! I came away with a couple of lavenders to add to my growing collection and was treated by my husband to a wonderful mini Orchid from Burnham Nurseries Ltd (FM97)

I have to show you the next photo, taken of a wonderful Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis ‘Tarantella’. It really caught my eye! The detail is lovely! you can see this beautiful flower on The Old Walled Garden (FM86)

The Wonderful Hibiscus

The Wonderful Hibiscus

If you are at the show all day, then try and fit in as many of the floral marquee stands if possible. If you only have the afternoon slot, have a look in your catalogue and check your favourite flowers and head for those, as you could easily spend the day looking at all the stands. I didn’t manage to get around all of them, due to the crowds, but I enjoyed the ones that I managed to see.

Rachels Organic (C93-95)- who are sponsoring the show have a stand, where you can test their yummy yogurts! Definitely worth a test. At the entrance to the show you will be offered a free telegraph goody bag, inside is a voucher for a slightly bigger tester to try! With the voucher I tried their strawberry yogurt and with the mini testers, I tried the rhubarb and gooseberry very yummy! :)

As you go around the gardens, many of them have leaflets about the designs, which are really interesting to read, so pick one up and add to your free bag, for later.

  • Area B

Has a mix of nursery’s and a lovely array of artwork and shops

The 5 Gardens that you can find in this area are called the ‘Sustainable Gardens’

All of the gardens, shows the many ways that we can implement changes in our gardens to make them more sustainable. The ‘I Promise’ Garden (B88) designed by students from year 6 of the St John the Divine Church of England School in London is delightful, as you look at the detail, they focus on each childs promises that they have made, worthy of your attention.

  • Section A
  • Catwalk in Bloom - Fashion using plants, flowers and foliage in their designs. Shows take place regularly throughout the day. The timetable of events is just outside the tent, or can be found on the RHS Website. I didn’t make it to see the shows in person, as I just didn’t have enough time. I am sure you will enjoy it! 

 

If I am honest I have always struggled with the conceptual gardens, as I do love gardens overflowing with flowers, particularly cottage garden plants and wildflower meadows, but that’s not to say I am not interested in them. I didn’t get a great deal of time to look at them, as this was the time that we were hit by buckets of rain, thunder and lightning!

  • The winner of the Conceptual Gardens was – ‘It’s hard to see’ designed by Rebecca Butterworth, Victoria Pustygina and Ludovica Ginanneschi. (A47)

First you see blackness surrounding a hole in the ground that has mirrors, surrounding a green planting scheme. I stood there for a while wondering what it meant, what I could take from it and what I did or didn’t like about it. The starkness of the black is a little startling! At first you overlook that there is a  hole in the ground. I could see that there was a point being made, and felt it had something to do with our values as a society, what we look for first and maybe what we miss!

As I read about the garden it was a display to do with materialism and the artifical values we have surrounding our consumerism. It certainly makes you think. I am sad that I didn’t have the opportunity to really look in detail at the other gardens in this category. Whether you like it or not, it’s good for conversation, give it a go and see what you make of it all.

  • Shopping – There are loads of stalls for every taste and need, from plant signs, gloves,sculptures, furniture, water features and so on…

 

  • The Plant Heritage Marquee and the Tudor Rose Festival
  1. The Plant Heritage Marquee

This marquee and floral display is all about providing information and education; on making sure we value and keep the plants and flowers that we have now. There is a large seed collection which is a joy to look through.

There are around 18 exhibts from Dahlias, Poppys, Agapanthus, Roses, Iris, Dianthus and so on. If you have heard or even visited the amazing ‘Lost Garden’s of Heligan’ (PH19) they have a stand about their necessary work. Part of the exhibition is celebrating the bicentenary of the amazing William Lobb who went to South America and California. You can see the plants that were introduced to Britain. It’s a very interesting exhibit! I recommend you spend some time here.

      2. Tudor Rose Festival - in celebration of the 500th Anniversary of Henry the 8th’s accession to                       the throne.

I was delighted to see a marquee full of the wonderful and Britains favourite flower – the rose

It was very hard to take photos unfortunately, as it was packed from the latest rain storm, but nonetheless I enjoyed what I could. Peter Beales (FR2) put on a grand show as usual, you can walk through his display with roses surrounding you from every angle.

I particularly enjoyed David Austin’s exhibit ((FR8), looking at the rose in weddings, it was very regal.

David Austin's exhibit

David Austin's exhibit

Apuldram roses (FR11) also had a lovely mix of roses, one of my favourites was the Lavender Ice Floribunda.

The beautiful 'Lavender Ice'

The beautiful 'Lavender Ice'

There is also an area for talks and demonstrations.

Each of the Show Gardens are worthy of a visit, each bringing a new style and design, there is sure to be something for every taste.

Our favourites were:-

  • The Beekeepers Garden ((GW2)  With the bee in serious decline, this garden is lovely to look at and educates all gardeners about what we must do to save this precious insect.
  • Enchanting Escape (GW3) A bed in a garden! Well I have had days where I would like to be in comfort, in the middle of a wonderous garden full of wonderful sights and smells.
  • Thailand: A Garden of Serenity (GW6) not only is this a garden that certainly brought an air of calm and serenity as the title suggests, but you can also sample one of their speciality drinks and have a thai massage!
  • The Dragons Garden (GW7) Another garden I’m a bit biased by as it is near me! But it’s also a fantastic garden that brings so many things to the table. The scene, scent and education!  Asking the question how can we protect our amphibians and reptiles?
  • Pastures Bye (GW9) A garden from the Southend-on-sea Council, looking at the shoreline and esturies of the areas coast. it brings a touch of history to the scene.

Here are a couple of photos -

The Pastures Bye Show Garden

The Pastures Bye Show Garden

The Enchanting Escape Show Garden

The Enchanting Escape Show Garden

Well I hope this blog has been useful to you, if you are going to the show or not.
I have supplied lots of web addresses for various organisations and companies, so that if you are unable to visit, you can check their websites for further information.
I think that even a whole day ticket doesn’t really allow you the time to see all the exhibits in detail. 2 days would be better for this event, but even if you don’t make it around everything, focus on the elements you think you would enjoy the most and enjoy and have fun!!
(C) Anita Hunt

Busy, busy busy

May 5, 2009

Well, exciting things have been happening with Nita Joy Craft Design, I have been a very busy girl, so sorry that I haven’t posted for a while.

As well as being busy working on my flower greeting card business, I have launched my new children’s book -

‘Matty-boy and the secret pigeon racket.

The book was launched on the 3rd of April. To see more information about the book, please visit my website -www.areyoubeingbullied.com

This fun story aimed at 8-12 year olds has the underlying theme of encouraging a child to tell someone/a trusted adult if they are being bullied.

50p from every sale will be donated to the valuable work of Bullying UK

we also have a justgiving page to raise as much money as we can for this charity. If you would like to donate please visit our just giving page

I have also been enjoying the magnificent beauty of the bluebell.

Everywhere I look there are bluebells ! I think we can safetly say that 2009 is a good year for them. I visited some woodland over the bank holiday weekend and they certainly put on a grand show. The lovely delicate white of the stichwort was also dotted all around, and certainly added to the scene.

If you live near a wood, you must visit to see if you have any bluebells, as it is something not to be missed.

News of Nita Joy Craft Design

I am also going through a web redesign and will be adding new gifts and services.

I would really value your opinions and wondered whether you would mind helping me, by completing my survey.

All completed valid entries, will be put forward to win a tote bag, notebook and greeting card set worth £23.50. The winner will be selected at random, and the winners name will be displayed on my blog.

The survey finishes on the 12th May at 5.00pm

Please click here to go to our survey

Many thanks

A beautiful Spring day

April 11, 2009

In an earlier post, I mentioned that Exbury Gardens was a great garden to visit.

Admission prices can be found here

Well I visited this week, on a truly wonderful spring day.

The Cherry tree blossom and magnolias were just beautiful. The daffodils were still holding their own, but day by day their numbers are declining as the season moves forward to the next flowers.

I also came across the wonderful tree – ‘Prunus Serrula’ The Mahogany Cherry.

This stunning tree’s bark was a gleaming copper colour with red tones.

The beautiful bark of the Mahogany Tree

The beautiful bark of the Mahogany Tree

The blossom was gorgeous too -

Beautiful spring blossom

Beautiful spring blossom

Not only was the blossom stunning, but we were also able to enjoy the lovely primroses and violets growing underneath the branches.

As we wondered around the garden that was surprisingly quiet, we came across a delightful surprise – Fritilliaries.

If you decide to visit the gardens, please make sure you visit the ‘Wiggly Tree’. There is a little mound of earth decorated in various grasses and flowers, as well as the delicate bloom of the fritilliary.

For more of them there is a little collection of them just around the corner from the tree, so have a little investigation.

The beautiful Fritilliary

The beautiful Fritilliary

The above photos are just a sample of the photos that was taken that day. If you love spring, beautiful flowers and trees then make sure you make time to visit this lovely garden.

All photos
© Anita Hunt

Spring!

April 2, 2009

Sorry it’s been a while since I posted. I have been so busy with photographing every flower and tree in sight. Spring is here and I hope it stays as I love this season. When the sun is out glistening through the cherry tree blossom, magnolia buds and the splendid daffodil – it’s a real treat to the eye!

One of the best sights to see daffodils funnily enough is either on roundabouts or down the centre of dual carriageways.

But keep those eyes on the road!

Have you spotted a real wow factor?

One of the great places to visit would have to be the fantastic Exbury Gardens! situated in the New Forest. Daffodils, blossom, camellias, magnolias out in true magnificence – so if you are near by, get there quick!

The National Trust gardens:

Stourhead is a great place to visit for daffodils and magnolias

Wimpole Hall in Cambridge

Blickling Hall in Norfolk

Brownsea Island in Dorset

Other gardens:

Docton Mill Gardens in North Devon

Any of the RHS Gardens is a winner for all seasons!

etc…. I am sure there is somewhere local to you that have lovely spring flowers.

Enjoy!

Mother’s day

February 23, 2009

I have been working on our Mother’s Day greeting card collection.

Below are a few of my cards with wording suitable for this occasion.

Any of our cards can be personalised with your special message for your mum.

As flowers, in particular daffodils, have been the traditional gift for Mother’s day – I have provided a selection that I hope you will enjoy.

A Daffodil card for your mum

A Daffodil card for your mum

Camellia Mother's Day greeting card

Camellia Mother's Day greeting card

Geranium Mother's Day greeting card

Geranium Mother's Day greeting card

Nigella Love-in-a mist Mother's Day Card.

Nigella Love-in-a mist Mother's Day Card.

This is just a sample of the cards available.

This collection can be seen on my BT Tradespace Greeting cards

Or my larger collection can be seen here – personalised greeting cards

The ‘wow’ factor of crocuses in abundance

February 22, 2009

Well, I am a happy girl at the end of a busy week, as I have visited three wonderful gardens with their beautiful displays of the beginning of spring.

Yesterday I was very fortunate to visit the wonderful garden of RHS Wisley.

It has become a bit of a family joke over the years, about me and my ongoing desire to find crocuses in abundance.

This lovely, yearly spectacle, has become quite rare. I have been known to threaten to hurl myself across busy traffic to get to a roundabout at the bottom of my road – where there is always a glorious display… don’t worry, I wouldn’t quite go that far! :0) but the passion drives – you sometimes need to suffer for your art!

The sun was shining and the setting was very pleasing to the eye! The crowds must of been there in their thousands! Everyone was attracted by the lovely sunny day and the special butterfly event that I have mentioned in previous posts.

I didn’t have a great deal of time to ‘play’ as I call it, so I spent my time in wonder of the majestic crocus. As we entered the gardens wandering past the fountain display, we came to the Alpine meadow.

The colours of the many varieties of crocuses found at Wisley were of glorious blues and purple tones with hints of silver, with dashes of pure white dotted around. When the light catches these pretty little flowers they glow from their yellow / orange stamens. They are especially beautiful when the light can be seen shining through their petals observing their delicate detail of their specially painted design.

Here is one of my photos that will be added to my collection shortly, I hope you like it.

The beautiful crocus
The beautiful crocus

If you get the chance, make sure you visit this natural wonder…

It has been reported that Kew Gardens and Glastonbury Abby, Portsmouth Cathedral also have a wonderful display.

If you know of a garden in your ‘local patch’ that has a wonderful display, I would love to hear about it.

Added note :

Today we saw a lovely display In Kinson Bournemouth, someone had very thoughtfully planted a wonderful mix of crocuses around a couple of trees – a mix of purple, lilac, white and yellow
Here is a picture

A mix of crocuses

A mix of crocuses

Snowdrops and their Beauty

February 20, 2009

This is a quick blog post about the beauty of snowdrops.

It certainly has been a busy week!
This week I have visited The National Trust – Kingston Lacy in Dorset
and
Heale House Gardens in Wiltshire.

I have to say that both of these gardens have beautiful displays of snowdrops.

Snowdrops

Snowdrops

One was seen in glorious sunshine and the other in pouring rain!But that didn’t matter, observing their beauty individually and en masse is truly wonderful to see!

I recommend visiting both of these places if you live near to them, or visit a garden that is near you – please don’t miss this natural wonder!

We will be visiting Wisley soon, to see their spectacular Butterfly event in their lovely glasshouse, as well as taking the opportunity to see their Snowdrops and Crocuses.

The Wisley Butterfly even ends on the 1st March

I will be adding some new Snowdrops photos soon!


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