The Tulip – From Turkish turban to Amsterdam canal house

Oh, the tulip! It can’t get any more Dutch, you might be thinking, but the tulip originates from Iran, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan. Nomads took the flower to Turkey, where sultans wore a tulip on their turbans. That is how the tulip got its name: ‘tulipan’ means turban.

Tulips make you happy.
Tulips make you happy.

The popular tulip is available in white, red, yellow, pink, purple, orange, green or with petals in different colours. You also get a lot of choice of shapes. There are tulips with a single or a double row of flower petals, striking frilly and parrot tulips with serrated- edged petals and the elegant lily tulip.

  • With these care tips you can enjoy your little turbans for 5 to 12 days:
  • Choose a vase which is tall enough: tulips can still grow a few centimetres.
  • Place the tulips first of all for an hour in the vase, in their wrapping. The tulips will suck up the water and will straighten themselves.
  • Use tap water at room temperature.
  • Cut the stems diagonally off at the bottom.
  • Place the vase in a cool, not too sunny position, away from the fruit bowl.
Beautifull spring blooms - Tulips
Beautifull spring blooms – Tulips

When you give flowers, in some cases you also send a message. Red tulips mean turbulent love, yellow tulips mean rejection and black tulips: ‘I love you so much I would give everything up for you’. If you gave a tulip in the sixteenth century, then you would be giving riches. In that time the flower was extremely popular and a speculative trade in tulip bulbs quickly developed. In those days you could buy a whole canal house in Amsterdam for the price of one tulip bulb! Those times are over, but you will still feel rich, with a beautiful bunch of tulips in your home.

Tulip bouquet from Lamber de Bie Flowers in Waterford , Kilkenny
Extravagant Spring Tulip Bouquet
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Step by Step on making a Christmas Door Wreath

How to make your own christmas door wreath

A step by step guide on how to make your own Christmas door wreath.

By Dutch Master Florist – Lamber de Bie

Decorate the door to your home with your own home made Christmas door wreath with a fools proof step by step guide by Dutch-Master-Florist, Lamber de Bie.

A beautiful wreath hanging from your front door is a wonderful welcome to all your family, friends and neighbors that will visit you over the festive christmas season.

With this easy to follow guide, anyone can make a magnificent door wreath and be the envy of all your neighbors.

There are a number of different base wreaths available to start making your own christmas wreath; You can use a metal frame that you can cover with moss or straw or even directly with noble fir, but the easiest option is to buy a ready made straw wreath base.

These straw bases are widely available from your florist or garden centre in a variety of seizes and are an in-expensive option. Make sure you choose an suitable size for your front door. Remember the finished door wreath will be approx. 3 to 4 inches wider after you add on the Noble Fir.

Next you need to get some fresh Noblis fir that you can get from your florist or garden centre and a hobby secretaurs and a roll of florist binding wire. A roll of garden twine can be used as a substitute for the wire.

What you need to make a christmas door wreath

Next we need to get some Holly with berries from the garden. However this evergreen Holly from my garden did not produce many berries this year and would also blend in to much with the green fir.

So I decide to cut some tips from this variegated Holly from my garden.

In order to grow a nice and compact Holly bush it is good to cut the tips of the branches every year, so your doing some important work to your garden at the same time.

Now we still have no berries on our Holly. So I decide to take some berries from my Cotoneaster bush. If you can’t find any berries in your garden you can always buy some artificial red berries from your local flower shop or garden centre.

Before we start with the making of our wreath we first have to cut our Noblis Fir branch into small twigs. Starting from the top of your branch (as in photo below)  cut off all the nice tips at approx. 4 inches long. You will need 2 to 3 large branches for an average door wreath.

Now we start with tying the florist wire firmly to your base, make sure the wire is wrapped over the wreath and from the centre of the wreath under the wreath back towards you.

Place the first of your noble fir on your wreath holding it in place with one hand. Start with the larger pieces on the outside and the smaller pieces on the inside of the wreath. All branches need to be pointing in the same direction facing up.

Next while still holding the branches with your same hand lift the wire over the wreath with your other hand and than bring the wire back towards you underneath the wreath. Keep your wire tight at all time and pull the wire firmly do your branches are tightly attached.

Keep repeating this process while still covering the cut end of the previously added twigs with the tops of the next layer, moving forward on the wreath by approx 2 inches every time. Remember to always lay every branch in the same direction.

When you are almost at the end -or where you began- you may have to cut the bottom of your stems so only the nice tops are viable.

Now secure the end of your florist wire with a so called “German Pin” These can be got from your florist, garden centre or hobby shop.

If you are hanging your wreath outside on your door or if you are making a wreath to put onto your table you can protect your door or table from rust and scratching by the wire by covering the the back of your wreath by a ribbon of plastic. Cutting a strip from a black bin liner works perfect.

Use the “German pins” on the inside and outside to secure your plastic protection.

Time to start decorating. First choose a nice christmas ribbon. Make sure it is a waterproof and wire-edged ribbon. The wire edge helps you to shape your bow and keep it looking well over the festive season.

We are first attaching a piece of ribbon that we will use later to hang the wreath from your door. Use approx 1 meter of ribbon, bring it around the inside of your wreath with the ends together at the back of the base.

Fold the ends together and attach the ribbon to your wreath using 2 “German Pins”. Keep the pins on the inside (not right at the back) to avoid scratching surfaces to your door.

This is how it should look from the front.

Now it’s time for the bow. Cut about 2 meter of ribbon and hold it in the middle lying over your index finger with your thumb holding it on the top. Now while holding the ribbon between thumb and index finger with your other hand fold the ribbon underneath itself , keeping your thumb in position and sliding the fold over your index finger and under neath the centre of the ribbon.  I hope this makes cense and I’m not making it sound more complicated than it really is. Next repeat this step with the other end of the ribbon and you should now have two loops as on the photo below. Repeat both steps to create your double bow.

When your bow is complete tie is in the centre tightly with a florist wire. Use this wire to tie your bow to the wreath over the ribbon you attached earlier to hang your wreath from.

Lay the straps of your bow across the wreath roughly dividing the wreath into 3 parts.

Now add small branches of Holly by pushing the ends into the straw base or by using the “German Pins”. Place two pieces, one on either side beside the bow and one piece at the bottom opposite the bow, again dividing the wreath into 3 sections.

Make sure you cut the ends of  your ribbon in a neat way just over the edge of your wreath. The easiest way to do this is by folding the ribbon lengthwise in half and than cutting it at an angle.

Now add small bunches of berries into the centre of your holly. The “German Pins” are the easiest way to do this.

Next we need to choose the rest of our decorations. For this wreath I have chosen 9 small natural cones and a small bunch of gold, glass baubles. I am using a hot-glue gun to add all these following decorations to my wreath. These glue guns can be bought from hobby shops and some DIY shops. Alternatively you can attach a florist wire to each decoration and push the wire into your straw base.

Be careful using your hot glue gun as this gets very, very hot to melt the glue.( do keep away from kids ) Add some glue to your cones and push into place and hold for upto 10 seconds.

Place the cones at the base of the Holly leaves, creating 3 neat clusters on your wreath.

Repeat the same with your gold baubles.

And this the finished product, you own christmas door wreath. When attaching the wreath to your door you can use a heavy duty staple gun to staple the ribbon to the top of your door, when your door is open so after christmas there are no markings on your door.

Here’s some examples of christmas door wreaths we have made for our customers at Lamber de Bie Flowers.

Door wreath with cinnamon sticks and dried fruits.

Wreath with natural cones, artificial red berries and red ribbon.

Elegant door wreath with white and silver decorations and white ribbon.

Hope you have fun making your own christmas door wreath and please leave a message to this post telling me how you got on.

For a look at the full range of Christmas flowers by Lamber de Bie Flowers, click on the picture below.

Happy Decorating from

Lamber de Bie

Dutch Master Florist

and all the team of Florists at Lamber de Bie Flowers

www.lamberdebie.ie


Orchid plants, a perfect house plant.

Orchids make perfect House plants.

Here’s a little about the Orchid plants we sell in our flower shops at Lamber de Bie Flowers.

At Lamber de Bie Flowers we have a love for all flowers, however orchids have a very special place in the hearts of our florists. We hope that this article will pass on a little of our passion for these wonderful flowers and make you enjoy your orchids as much as we do.

White phalaenopsis orchid plant
White phalaenopsis orchid plant makes a perfect stylish house plant

Orchid Care

Orchid care is more like an art than a science. Of course, you can easily get general directions on how to care for a particular orchid genus. For example, Cattleya needs medium bright light, or Miltonia likes intermediate temperature. However, there are many “fudge” factors to create the perfect condition for your very own growing environment. All elements need to complement one other for your orchid to thrive. You will also need to observe your plants to gauge their happiness with the current treatments. However do not be put off by this as most orchids do very well as houseplants and a little knowledge can often mean you have your orchid plants for many years, flowering once or twice a year for up to easily three months at a time.

Miltonia orchid flowers
Beautiful orchid flowers

Routine Orchid Care

Six elements are essential to your orchid care program. These elements are the ones that you provide your orchids on a daily/weekly/monthly basis—water, temperature, light, air movement, humidityand fertilizer. They all work together to ensure the health of your orchids.

1. Water

To water or not to water, that’s the question. Orchid casualties, most of the time, are caused by over-watering. So how much should you water? It will depend on your humidity, air movement and temperature. As a general for the average home once a week in small quantities. Make sure your orchid plant is not positioned right above a radiator or in front of a heat source as this will not only mean that the plant will dry out but also the dry air might burn leaves and flowers.

After watering your orchid plant always make sure there is no water remaining in the base of your outer pot. Placing it on the kitchen sink to drain all access water for an hour after watering before you place it back in your decoratice pot will avoid this problem.

2. Temperature

Finding out what type of orchids you have will give you a pretty good idea of what temperature it needs. Generally speaking, the temperature ranges are cool, intermediate and warm. In most homes the orchids do  well as long as they are not to close to any heat source. Orchids would be very happy in e.g. a not heated room like a hall or bedroom as long as the temperature does not go below 12 C.

3. Light

The leaves an orchid have can tell you a lot about the light level it needs. To make your life a bit easier, orchid growers categorize the light levels as low, medium and high. Most orchids are happy in a light position as long as there is no direct sunlight. Some direct sunlight early morning or late in the afternoon is no normally not a problem.

4. Air movement

If I put you in a glass jar with no wind, I bet you wouldn’t be very happy (or healthy, or able to stretch out). Orchids also need air movement to be healthy. The more humid a place is, the more essential air movement becomes.

5. Humidity

Humidity is just water in the air. Most orchids come from the Tropics, where the air is very humid. As the air in most homes is quite dry because of our central heating systems it is a good idea to spray the orchids daily with pure clean water. Best is to boil the water and than let it cool to room temperature.

I took this photo below in a flower shop in Tokyo wher you can see how they sprayed the foliage of the orchid plants twice a day. Never spray water on the flowers, only on the foliage and remember that water will drip onto the soil so you may need to reduce your watering if you spray daily.

Orchid plants
Orchid plants in a flower shop in Tokyo

5. Fertilize

Many people swear by the “weekly weakly” routine of fertilizing their orchid plants. But some orchids are more fertilizer-hungry than others and sometimes it is important to hold off giving any plant food to your orchids. I find a small dose (half of what is indicated on the orchid food) every week when in bud or in flower and only once every two to tree weeks when the plant is not producing flowers.

Stunning spider shape orchid flowers
Beautiful orchids for in your home from Lamber de Bie Flowers

Long Term Orchid Care

Your orchid care routine should also include some less frequent but equally important tasks. These are usually the on-demand tasks that happen once a year or once every several years.

1. Repotting

As kids out-grow their clothes, orchids also out-grow their pots. Proper orchid care needs to include periodic repotting. Your choice of potting materials is also critical the success of growing and blooming your plants. Special orchid compost is available in all good garden centre.

2. Propagating

After you have your plants for a while, you may want to make more orchids out of the original plant. You can produce more orchids by breeding, diving, planting keikis or planting cut stems. Read about how to breed and divide as well as plant keikis or cut stems.

3. Spike support

Congratulations! You see a spike coming out, which at least means you didn’t kill it! What should you do now to make sure the flowers come out beautifully? You don’t want to mess it up in this critical moment! When a spike appears you support it with a cane and tie the stem loose to the cane, make sure you do not restrict the stem and check if you need to loosen your ties when the orchid flower stem grows.

Happy growing!

Soft pink orchids
Pale pink dwarf phalaenopsis orchids from Lamber de Bie Flowers

The Phalaenopsis Orchid

Phalaenopsis is an orchid genus of approximately 60 species. Phalaenopsis is one of the most popular orchids in the trade, through the development of many artificial hybrids. The white Phalaenopsis Orchid has been the best selling houseplants trough the Dutch Flower auctions for the past two years.

The flowers of some Phalaenopsis orchids supposedly resemble moths in flight. For this reason, the species are sometimes called Moth orchids.

They are native throughout southeast Asia from the Himalayan mountains to the islands of Polillo, Palawan and Zamboanga del Norte in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines and northern Australia. Orchid Island of Taiwan is named after this genus.

Most are epiphytic shade plants; a few are lithophytes. In the wild, some species grow below the canopies of moist and humid lowland forests, protected against direct sunlight; others grow in seasonally dry or cool environments. The species have adapted individually to these three habitats.

Phalaenopsis shows a monopodial growth habit: a single growing stem produces one or two alternate, thick, fleshy, elliptical leaves a year from the top while the older, basal leaves drop off at the same rate. If very healthy, aPhalaenopsis plant can have up to ten or more leaves. The inflorescence, either a raceme or panicle, appears from the stem between the leaves. They bloom in their full glory for several weeks. If kept in the home, the flowers may last two to three months.

Phalaenopsis orchid is a super popular orchid because of its big, colorful and long-lasting flowers. Some of them are fragrant and some of them are miniature or compact.

Its growing requirements are quite simple and they can live comfortably at home with you as long as you provide some tender-loving care. (Don’t get carried away; they don’t like you like that.) People also love them because they grow relatively quickly and could flower up to twice or more per year. They require more patience than your typical garden plants that flower in a few weeks, but for orchids, they’re pretty fast. Flower spikes tend to re-flower if you cut them back to an old node, so your Phalaenopsis can brighten up your indoors for several seasons.  They can really be a centre piece of a room, adding a touch of exotic elegance. They are well-worth the investment, especially if they flower more than once.

White phalanopsis orchid
Pure white orchid flowers from the Phalaenopsis orchid. The number one best selling house plant trough the flower auction in Aalsmeer, Holland in 2011.

Phalaenopsis Orchid Care

As you may guess, coming from tropical places, Phalaenopsis orchids love a warm environment. During the day, they like to stay in the 70-86 °F (21-30 °C) range, while during the night, they like to be in low to mid 60s (16-20 °C). The day and night temperature difference is essential to set flower spikes, so the constant temperature typical in office buildings does not work for them. And because these orchids don’t have water storage organs, they like to be kept lightly moist at all times (but not drowning in water either!). Even though their light requirement is low, they do not do well in dark rooms. The best indoor place for them is by the window with morning sun or indirect sun all day.

Colors

Moth orchids come so many colors and markings that I can’t even list them all.

The only color you will not find is blue. Beware when you mail order “blue orchids” from vendors who claim that they have them (even if they show a photograph); in reality, they are simply purple or lavender colored orchids. Nowadays the trendy moth orchids are the harlequin Phalaenopsis. They either have dark maroon blotches, marbled patterns, fringed edges or any combination of these.

If you are a beginner, I definitely recommend that you start with Phalaenopsis orchids. It is very rewarding to grow and is extremely difficult to kill. (Except in a blender; that’s pretty easy.)

Happy growing!

Pink flowers Phalaenopsis orchids
The fantastic Phalaenopsis Orchid plants are available in many colours from white to pinks, purple , red and yellow and green.

Oncidium Orchids.

Oncidium,  is a genus that contains about 330 species of orchids from the subtribe Oncidiinae of the orchid family (Orchidaceae).

This genus was first described by Olof Swartz in 1800 with the orchid Oncidium altissimum, which has become the type species. Its name is derived from the Greek word “onkos”, meaning “swelling”. This refers to the callus at the lower lip.

Most species in the Oncidium genus are epiphytes, although some are lithophytes or terrestrials. They are widespread from northern Mexico, the Caribbean, and some parts of South Florida to South America. They usually occur in seasonally dry areas.

Yellow Oncidium Orchid plants
Bright yellow flowers on the Oncidium Orchid

The flowers of the Oncidium genus come in shades of yellow, red, white and pink. The petals are often ruffled on the edges, as is the lip. The lip is enormous, partially blocking the small petals and sepals.

Some Oncidium orchids are very long : Oncidum altissimum and Oncidium baueri can grow to a height of 5 m, while Oncidum sarcodes can reach 3 m.

They are known as ‘spray orchids’ among some florists. There are literally hundreds of excellent hybrids in the Oncidium alliance.

When people think about Oncidium orchids, sprays of little yellow dancing ladies come to their minds. These flowers have out-of-proportionally big lips that look like the skirt of evening gowns. When hundreds of them are on a single spike, it’s like the celebration of a festival.

But the dancing ladies orchid is only one of the diverse Oncidium orchids. In fact, with 600 species. Their flowers come in yellow, brown, white, red, pink and a combination of these colors.

How to Grow Oncidium

Oncidium orchids demand intermediate temperature and light level. You can grow them by a window facing anywhere except north. Under the skylight is also a good location. Provide them day temperature of 65–75°F (18-24°C) during the day and 55–65°F (13-18°C). You should water them year round, but make sure that they get sufficiently dry before watering them again because they don’t like to be wet all the time. If your growing area does not have 50-60% humidity, increase it by putting your oncidium orchids on a humidity tray. The leaves of oncidium tend to get black spots easily, so ensure that your growing area has enough air movement to keep these little spots under control.

Yellow orchids
Yellow Oncidium orchid flowers

Brassia Orchids

Do you think spiders are really cool? Then consider growing your own spider–spider orchid that is, genus Brassia.

Even if you don’t like spiders, you’ll love the Brassia orchid. It’s a beautiful, aromatic flower with long, slender“spider-leg” sepals. The upper petals are a light-yellow green and the lower sepals are creamy with a hint of rosy red. Maroon markings ring the blossoms and the lip, which is nearly translucent and resembles a pointy chin.

The Brassia orchid is native to the wet forests of tropical Central and South America and is named for a 19thcentury, British botanical illustrator, William Brass.

Brassia orchids can be cultivated outside the tropics as long as specific growth requirements are met. Give your “spiders” high humidity (50 to 70%) and bright, non noon day light. Bright and diffuse light is perfect for these orchids.

Pot your “spiders” in a mix of charcoal, peat moss, perlite and medium bark. Water regularly, particularly during their growing period (usually spring and summer). Brassia orchids produce pseudobulbs during this time, which are used to store energy for the plant. These pseudobulbs possess one to two flat, elongated leaves, and both leaves and pseudobulbs grow straight up. Brassiaplant can measure from 1 to 2 feet long, from pseubulb to leaf tip.

A spike emerges from the base of each pseudobulb which produces between 8 and 12 blossoms. These blossoms are usually around 3 inches in size and bloom alternately up the spike.

Brassia orchids need a lot of water while producing flowers, but don’t like to get too wet. Good air circulation is important, too, otherwise you will see brown spots on the leaves. A small fan can be used to facilitate circulation, but never let the fan blow directly onto the plant. Daytime temperatures should remain between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18C to 23C). Night time temperatures are only slightly cooler with a range of 55 to 65 (12C. to 18C.) degrees.

Creating beautiful flowers uses up a lot of energy, so, much like an athlete after a big game; Brassia orchids need to take a break after their growing period. At that point temperatures need to remain at the lower end of the 55 to 60 (12C. to 16C.) degree range. Less watering is required, perhaps as little as once a week, but don’t let the pseudopods or leaves dry out.

Take good care of your Brassia orchids and when summer arrives, you will be rewarded with dozens of fragrant and stunning blossoms. You can show them off to friends and family, or simply sit back and admire your handiwork. Either way, Brassia orchids won’t disappoint.

Happy growing!

Brassia Orchid
Brassia Orchid Flowers
Brassia Toscana Orchid
Bratonia Toscana Orchid
Spider orchid plant with flowers
Spider orchid house plants from Lamber de Bie Flowers

Cambria Orchid

The Cambria orchid is a hybrid with spectacular colors that is becoming very popular. It is not terribly difficult to grow and it excels at the average temperatures in most homes. The Cambria is also known as the Beallera orchid.

Cambria orchids are happy when room temperatures are in the 64 to 68 degree Fahrenheit ( 18C. to 20C.) range. They do well in a location which is nicely lit but with indirect sunlight. A window with a southern exposure is perfect for them. The Cambria Orchid does not like to have light at root level so a regular planting pot should be used and not a transparent one such as is used with some other species of orchids.

A humidity level that is quite high is needed for Cambria orchids–one in the range of 60 to 70 percent. There should be lots of holes in the planting medium for air circulation and good drying. The planting mixture should look dry before watering. You should give this plant some fertilizer with every third or fourth watering.

Cambria Orchid House plant
The beautiful Cambria Orchid Plant

When people are having trouble with Cambria orchids, the reason is most often over-watering. The plant will do much better in a traditional nursery pot with plenty of holes in the bottom than it will do in a more elaborate ornamental pot. If the plant came from the flower shop in an ornamental pot, it is going to be a good idea to repot the plant. An ornamental pot holds in too much water and doesn’t allow for enough air circulation around the roots. The orchid will need repotting approximately every two years. Just make sure your planting mixture is very porous and don’t pack it in the pot too tightly.

The thing that makes the Cambria orchids so popular is that it does not need anything special done in order for it to bloom. If you take good care of it, it will go ahead and bloom all on its own. The plant develops a bulbous at its base from which the flowers will grow. Any number up to four spikes may develop, and because they rise straight up from the base, there is lots of room for the showy flowers to be seen.

The Cambria orchid has remarkable flowers which can come in many mixed colors. Some of these include purple with white, as well as with light and dark reds and oranges with any number of white variations. Once a shoot has stopped blooming, you can remove it from the plant. The orchid will grow new shoots again, and then a hard, green pseudobulb will develop.

In spite of what many websites may say about Cambria orchids, it does not need to be put away in a cool room or not be watered as often in order for new blooms to grow. This is one of the reasons this plant is so good as a house plant. Just take good care of it in terms of light, water, and a little orchid fertilizer, and it will flower on its own when it is ready again.

Purple and Pink Cambria Orchid
Purple and Pink Cambria Orchid flower

Vanda Orchid

The purple Vanda orchid has become very popular in bridal bouquets and other wedding flowers over the past few years. Dispite the fact that the Vanda is available in an aray of colours the dark purple Vanda orchid is still the post popular of the vanda orchids, both as house plant as in wedding flowers. I fond the stunning deep purple colour of the vanda combines very good with deep red roses or other strong colours when creating a real statement with your flowers for your wedding day.

Popular orchid for wedding flowers in deep purple
The vanda orchid is popular in bridal flowers

Vanda orchids produce some of the most magnificent flowers in the world. As a result, they are ranked among the top five genera in horticulture. Native to India, Himalaya, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Southern China and Northern Australia, these plants produce large (1 to 4 inches in diameter) flowers in a wide variety of colors. The plants bloom every few months and the flowers can last for up to three weeks.

The genus name “Vanda” comes from the Sanskrit name for Vanda tessellate, and these plants, along with over 50 species in the genus, can be found in India, Himalaya, the Philippines, New Guinea, and other parts of Southeast Asia. In their native habitat, these plants grow on trees with their roots in the air. As they experience tropical downpours they absorb water into their thick fleshy roots, which will maintain them until the next downpour. In addition to producing beautiful blooms, these plants are essential for growers who produce hybrid plants for cut flowers. All Vanda orchids have monopodial growth habits and produce growth from the crown of the plant.

Vanda orchids like daytime temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit  (24C. – 29C.) and night time temperatures around 65-75 (18C. – 24C.) degrees. These plants like full morning sun but need to be shaded at noon and in the early afternoon. If your plant’s leaves are light green, they are in the right amount of sun. Dark green leaves, however, mean you need to move the plant to a sunnier location.

Vanda orchids are mostly epiphytes and produce a lot of aerial roots. You can grow these beauties in a pot or in a hanging basket with medium or coarse fir bark. Potted orchids can be watered once or twice a week. Hanging basket orchids will need to be watered more often, but let the roots dry a little between waterings. Also, water your plants early in the morning, so the leaves will be dry by nightfall.

Humidity should be maintained at 80%. In the home, place the Vanda orchids in a tray of pebbles filled with water. Feed these plants all year round with a high nitrogen fertilizer. Mix one teaspoon in a gallon of water and feed once a month.

Unfortunately, many Vanda orchids are endangered, because their natural habitat has been destroyed. Vanda coerulea are in particular trouble, and it is against the law to export any Blue Orchid that has been collected from the wild.

Purple Orchid Flowers
Purple Vanda Orchids
Bright purple orchid plant
Purple is the most common Vanda Orchid, however this orchid is available in a variety of colours.

Miltonia Orchids

Miltonia Orchid House Plant
Miltonia Orchid comes in many colours from almost white to pink and deep red.

When people talk about Miltonia orchids, they usually refer to both Miltonia and Miltoniopsisorchids. The reality is that these two types of orchids come from different places and have almost opposite requirements intemperature and light. People also use the nick name “pansy orchid” to refer to both Miltonia and Miltoniopsis, but in fact Miltonia species looks nothing like the garden flower pansy. Miltoniopsis is the one that look like the sweet-looking pansy.

Why the confusion? Because some time ago, these two orchids belong to the same genus, Miltonia. Growers distinguished the two by referring to the now Miltoniopsis as “cool-growing” or “Columbian” Miltonia, even though Miltoniopsis orchids are not necessarily cool growing nor from Columbia. Then one day, some taxonomists say, “Enough is enough!” and created the genus Miltoniopsis. But you think that solved the confusion problem? Nothing is that straightforward in the taxonomy world! After the separation, the hybrids between Miltoniopsis and Miltonia orchids retain the name Miltonia, even when some of them clearly have Miltoniopsis heritage and have the pansy appearance.

Orchids as house plants
Miltonia orchids make perfect indoor plants

At Lamber de Bie Flowers, with their flower shops in Waterford and Kilkenny you will find orchids both as house plants and as cut flowers almost all year round. It is our love for these amazing flowers that makes us look not only for new varieties but also for clear information on how to look after your orchids. If you have any questions regarding the care of your orchids, contact us or call into our flower shops and we will do all we can to help and find out specific information about your orchids when needed.

Lamber de Bie flowers, Kilkenny. kilkenny@lamberdebie.com +353 (0)56-7770161

Lamber de Bie flowers, Waterford. waterford@lamberdebie.com +353 (0)51-379440

www.lamberdebie.com

How to choose the right flowers for your wedding.

Choosing the right flowers for your wedding

wedding flowers florist ireland
Lamber de Bie Flowers

Your wedding day really is one of the most important days of your life. Making everything perfect for this day is a daunting task. Finding the correct venue, selecting the perfect wedding dress, picking the most beautiful invitations, and choosing wedding flowers, are just some of the things you have to contend with.

Let’s see if we can’t make these tasks simpler. Today we will go over everything involved in getting the right flowers for your wedding. Finding the perfect flowers starts long before your wedding day. Here are some things you should consider beforehand.

What colors are you using in the wedding? This is a very important factor affecting the whole wedding. Flowers are available in almost every color these days. You wouldn’t want to fall in love with a certain flower and then find that it doesn’t work with your color scheme at all.

Lamber de Bie, Wedding Florist.

Decide if you want sophisticated or simple flowers. Roses are the flower of choice for traditional wedding services. If you want something different, a little more modern, go with orchids or tulips.

The budget is a big consideration when choosing wedding flowers. Flowers such as carnations are less expensive than roses, and roses cost less than orchids. Know your budget before going to the florist to pick the flowers. If your flower budget is small, you re better of with a few large displays than a lot of small ones. For the venue you can place one very large floral display in the centre of the room that can be admired by everyone, and decorate the individual tables with just some rose petals in the colour of your wedding and some tea-lights.

Unusual Bridal Flowers

How many people in your wedding party need flowers? Make sure you know the number of attendants before getting flowers for your wedding. Your wedding bouquet is the most important. Some brides have one bouquet that they keep and another to throw at the reception, so decide if this is something you wish to do. All of the bridesmaids need flowers, as does the maid of honor. The flower girl if you have one and the Mother of the bride will need flowers. You’ll also want boutonnières for the groom and his attendants.

Another thing to remember when choosing wedding flowers is decorating the church and reception hall. Some places flowers are used in the church are at the altar, on the end of pews, and the front door. If you want to go all out, throwing rose petals along the isle is nice. For the reception hall, you’ll need centerpieces for each table, a larger centerpiece for the bride and grooms table, and flowers around the wedding cake. Remember to take the colors used on your wedding cake into account when picking flowers. You wouldn’t want anything to clash.

As you can see, there are quite a few things to consider when choosing wedding flowers. You want the wedding to be beautiful, and picking the perfect flowers will go a long way in achieving this goal. A little organization and planning is all it takes to have the perfect wedding.

If you like to see some more ideas go to the wedding section on our website by clicking on the picture below.

Lamber de Bie Flowers

Wedding Trends 2011

Wedding Trends – 2011 – A Vintage Year

Vintage style bridal bouquet
Vintage style bridal bouquet in pinks and purple

Spending almost every sunday in January & February at wedding fairs in different hotels in the South-East in Ireland may result in aching feet and a sore throat, but it certainly is a fantastic way of getting up to speed with current wedding trends, as Lamber de Bie (Lamber de Bie Flowers) found out.

The main season for all the wedding fairs in the South-East of Ireland is always in the first two months of the year. Lamber and his team are attending wedding fairs in both Waterford and Kilkenny almost every Sunday during this time. Some of the hotels that Lamber de Bie Flowers were attending are; The Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny, Waterford Castle Hotel, Waterford, Langtons Hotel, Kilkenny, Woodlands Hotel, Waterford, Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny, The Step House Hotel, Borris, Co. Carlow, The Lord Bagenal, Loughlinbridge, Co. Carlow, and many more. At the many wedding shows the wedding suppliers showcase everything that is current and ‘Must Have’ for prospective brides to be. Including an incredible selection of wedding dresses. Indeed the focus of the majority of the brides was the bridal fashion shows, which provided an ideal opportunity to have a sneak preview of what’s in fashion. Big skirts are very much ‘in’ but bodices remain fitted, and in the majority of cases, strapless. There is less intricate beading and glitz about. This seems to have been replaced instead by trails and fabric embellishments.

Vintage style wedding arch
Vintage style wedding arch at entrance to the church

And as for colour and styles, well vintage is without doubt the buzz word for weddings this year.

So what sums up a vintage themed wedding? Colour-wise: cream, ivory (never white) and all shades of pinks from pale to dusky with a splash of cerise. Green is also popular, particularly olive green and the soft grey/green of eucalyptus. Overall the look could be described as cottage garden, very flowery, natural and pretty.

Reception designs seem to fall into two groups, quirky or elegant. For quirky it’s ceramic jugs and pitchers, individual glass vases, bone china cups and saucers. A sort of mix and match, church hall/ marquee on the village green type of feel. On the elegant front, brides at the show loved the tall glass martini vases, filled with water and roses petals (in vintage pink of course). Storm lanterns and decorate birdcages also seemed to tick a lot of the boxes with many brides who were looking for a variety of designs for the reception, rather than repeating the same one all the way trough.

A contrast from the vintage muted shades is purple, a colour witch looks to be big over the next couple of years. A top table of trailing amaranthus and purple vanda orchids was one of the most popular items on display. – one bride even took her bridesmaids shoes out of the box so she could match them up (they went perfectly).

So to sum up the wedding look for 2011/12 – well, it’s very flowery, which is great for florists, with lots of pastel shades and natural greens accented with splashes of purple.

Amnesia wedding rose
Amnesia rose

Flower-wise, roses are going to be even bigger this year, in particular the more (and it’s that word again) vintage colours, such as Amnesia, Hypnose, and Amalia should fit the bill.

Away from roses, hydrangeas continue the cottage garden theme, along with delphiniums, gladioli and for something a little more up-market for the bridal bouquet, vanda orchids.

Who would have thought that just a couple of Sundays at the different wedding events in the south east of Ireland could provide you with such valuable insights!

http://www.lamberdebie.ie

Lamber de Bie Flowers are based in both Waterford and Kilkenny, Ireland and can be contacted trough their website; http://www.lamberdebie.ie

How to make a Christmas Door Wreath

How to make your own christmas door wreath

By Dutch Master Florist – Lamber de Bie

 

Decorate the door to your home with your own home made Christmas door wreath with a fools proof step by step guide by Dutch-Master-Florist, Lamber de Bie.

 

A beautiful wreath hanging from your front door is a wonderful welcome to all your family, friends and neighbors that will visit you over the festive christmas season.

With this easy to follow guide, anyone can make a magnificent door wreath and be the envy of all your neighbors.

There are a number of different base wreaths available to start making your own christmas wreath; You can use a metal frame that you can cover with moss or straw or even directly with noble fir, but the easiest option is to buy a ready made straw wreath base.

These straw bases are widely available from your florist or garden centre in a variety of seizes and are an in-expensive option. Make sure you choose an suitable size for your front door. Remember the finished door wreath will be approx. 3 to 4 inches wider after you add on the Noble Fir.

 

 

Next you need to get some fresh Noblis fir that you can get from your florist or garden centre and a hobby secretaurs and a roll of florist binding wire. A roll of garden twine can be used as a substitute for the wire.

What you need to make a christmas door wreath

 

Next we need to get some Holly with berries from the garden. However this evergreen Holly from my garden did not produce many berries this year and would also blend in to much with the green fir.

 

So I decide to cut some tips from this variegated Holly from my garden.

In order to grow a nice and compact Holly bush it is good to cut the tips of the branches every year, so your doing some important work to your garden at the same time.

 

Now we still have no berries on our Holly. So I decide to take some berries from my Cotoneaster bush. If you can’t find any berries in your garden you can always buy some artificial red berries from your local flower shop or garden centre.

 

Before we start with the making of our wreath we first have to cut our Noblis Fir branch into small twigs. Starting from the top of your branch (as in photo below)  cut off all the nice tips at approx. 4 inches long. You will need 2 to 3 large branches for an average door wreath.

 

Now we start with tying the florist wire firmly to your base, make sure the wire is wrapped over the wreath and from the centre of the wreath under the wreath back towards you.

 

Place the first of your noble fir on your wreath holding it in place with one hand. Start with the larger pieces on the outside and the smaller pieces on the inside of the wreath. All branches need to be pointing in the same direction facing up.

Next while still holding the branches with your same hand lift the wire over the wreath with your other hand and than bring the wire back towards you underneath the wreath. Keep your wire tight at all time and pull the wire firmly do your branches are tightly attached.

 

Keep repeating this process while still covering the cut end of the previously added twigs with the tops of the next layer, moving forward on the wreath by approx 2 inches every time. Remember to always lay every branch in the same direction.

 

When you are almost at the end -or where you began- you may have to cut the bottom of your stems so only the nice tops are viable.

Now secure the end of your florist wire with a so called “German Pin” These can be got from your florist, garden centre or hobby shop.

 

If you are hanging your wreath outside on your door or if you are making a wreath to put onto your table you can protect your door or table from rust and scratching by the wire by covering the the back of your wreath by a ribbon of plastic. Cutting a strip from a black bin liner works perfect.

 

Use the “German pins” on the inside and outside to secure your plastic protection.

Time to start decorating. First choose a nice christmas ribbon. Make sure it is a waterproof and wire-edged ribbon. The wire edge helps you to shape your bow and keep it looking well over the festive season.

We are first attaching a piece of ribbon that we will use later to hang the wreath from your door. Use approx 1 meter of ribbon, bring it around the inside of your wreath with the ends together at the back of the base.

Fold the ends together and attach the ribbon to your wreath using 2 “German Pins”. Keep the pins on the inside (not right at the back) to avoid scratching surfaces to your door.

 

This is how it should look from the front.

Now it’s time for the bow. Cut about 2 meter of ribbon and hold it in the middle lying over your index finger with your thumb holding it on the top. Now while holding the ribbon between thumb and index finger with your other hand fold the ribbon underneath itself , keeping your thumb in position and sliding the fold over your index finger and under neath the centre of the ribbon.  I hope this makes cense and I’m not making it sound more complicated than it really is. Next repeat this step with the other end of the ribbon and you should now have two loops as on the photo below. Repeat both steps to create your double bow.

 

When your bow is complete tie is in the centre tightly with a florist wire. Use this wire to tie your bow to the wreath over the ribbon you attached earlier to hang your wreath from.

 

Lay the straps of your bow across the wreath roughly dividing the wreath into 3 parts.

 

Now add small branches of Holly by pushing the ends into the straw base or by using the “German Pins”. Place two pieces, one on either side beside the bow and one piece at the bottom opposite the bow, again dividing the wreath into 3 sections.

 

Make sure you cut the ends of  your ribbon in a neat way just over the edge of your wreath. The easiest way to do this is by folding the ribbon lengthwise in half and than cutting it at an angle.

 

Now add small bunches of berries into the centre of your holly. The “German Pins” are the easiest way to do this.

 

Next we need to choose the rest of our decorations. For this wreath I have chosen 9 small natural cones and a small bunch of gold, glass baubles. I am using a hot-glue gun to add all these following decorations to my wreath. These glue guns can be bought from hobby shops and some DIY shops. Alternatively you can attach a florist wire to each decoration and push the wire into your straw base.

 

Be careful using your hot glue gun as this gets very, very hot to melt the glue.( do keep away from kids ) Add some glue to your cones and push into place and hold for upto 10 seconds.

 

Place the cones at the base of the Holly leaves, creating 3 neat clusters on your wreath.

 

Repeat the same with your gold baubles.

 

And this the finished product, you own christmas door wreath. When attaching the wreath to your door you can use a heavy duty staple gun to staple the ribbon to the top of your door, when your door is open so after christmas there are no markings on your door.

 

Here’s some examples of christmas door wreaths we have made for our customers at Lamber de Bie Flowers.

Door wreath with cinnamon sticks and dried fruits.

Wreath with natural cones, artificial red berries and red ribbon.

Elegant door wreath with white and silver decorations and white ribbon.

 

Hope you have fun making your own christmas door wreath and please leave a message to this post telling me how you got on.

 

For a look at the full range of Christmas flower by Lamber de Bie Flowers, click on the picture below.

 

Happy Christmas

Lamber de Bie

Dutch Master Florist

http://www.lamberdebie.ie

 


Decorating with Apples


Creating your own table decorations is great fun and does not have to cost much, while you can impress your friends with wonderful, creative decorations for your dinner table.

For this display I used the large Night-Lights that burn for 8 hours. (these can be bought in most good supermarkets). Small night-Lights normally only last 2 hours, and there is nothing more annoying than halfway trough your dinner party the candles are finished and the effect of your hard work is lost.

For this display I used 7 small red apples, 10 orange, large headed roses and some large orange/green Oak leaves (these can be bought in any good florist during September trough to the end of November). Alternatively you can look for autumn leaves in your garden or in the park.

Take your Night-Lights out of the metal cup they come in and place this cup upside down on the apple. With a sharp knife follow the edge of the metal cap only to cut through the skin. Next you can push the metal cap into the apple. You than lift the cap (pierce it with a sharp knife, and lift it) and all there is left to empty out the apple so that the night- light fits into the opening.

Before putting the candle into the apple dry the inside with some tissue paper to avoid the wick getting wet.

To stop the apple becoming brown brush very lightly some oil (cooking oil is perfect) over the fresh cut. This will seal it from the air and stop the browning.

Your roses are cut right at the base of the flower so they will stand up on their own.

All there is left than is to play around with the composition on your table.

As the roses are not in water they will not last longer than a day. After your guests have left you can take your roses and leave them floating in a shallow bowl with water so you will get full pleasure from your displays.

Have Fun, and let me know if you have any ideas.

Lamber de Bie

Dutch Master florist

http://www.lamberdebie.com