Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunflowers for Floral Design

Sunflowers are an awesome, stunning flower to use in summer and fall floral bouquets. They are readily available at this time of the year and are inexpensive. As a florist, and maybe a home gardener, one can grow this flower for their shop as long as the flowers are processed and hardened correctly. There is a very strong trend towards “garden flower designs”, kind of a natural flower patch and wildflower look.

Sunflowers come in a variety of dramatic Indian summer and fall colors. The annual sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is the flower most people picture when they think of a sunflower. They range from bright, sunny yellow to dark reds, to chocolate brown, and  all colors in between, including variegated varieties. Sunflowers have long, strong stems and are long lasting. As a matter of fact, if you do not use your sunflowers as fresh flowers, hang them upside down and dry them and use them in your dried flower fall arrangements. In your garden, they can be cut just before the flowers die off and dried over a few weeks. For design projects, it is important to leave a sufficient amount of stalk.

Sunflowers are beautiful in a tall vase, mixed with your favorite greens, maybe a little boxwood and eucalyptus. Statice, wax flower, solid aster, and salal leaves might also accent your container of sunflowers. Because sunflowers are large and showy, and  because they are hearty with thick stems that stand up well in a vase, and this is the very reason they are perfect for this type of arrangement.

Some varieties of sunflowers have one big head or flower. They are usually the giant sunflower varieties. Other large headed varieties, have a few much smaller heads that form on lower branches. Some varieties have multiple heads. These are typically mid sized sunflowers. Miniature sunflowers make lovely fresh bouquets also. Florist can make use of all varieties. Talk with your customers. Make suggestions to them. Educate your customers to try new and different types of flowers and foliage. It will make your job as a designer much more interesting when you can use new and exotic flora. They will be thankful for the unique ideas. You are the professional; that is why they trust you for their floral needs.

Just a fact for fun; sunflowers have a special property called heliotropism, which means that as it grows, the sunflower turns its face/flower head, to the sun throughout the day. In the morning, the sunflower's bud faces east to catch the rays of the rising sun and by night, the bloom is facing west to capture the last sunshine as the sun sets.

Natural, nutritious and attractive, sunflowers have it all. That is probably why sunflowers have spread from their native home in North America, and are now grown around the world! 

Vincent Van Gogh Sunflowers Floral Picture Framed Art Print 

Heirloom Sunflower Seeds Flash Blend Certified OrganicPackage of 4 Autumn Harvest 10" 

3 Way Metal Floor Lamp w Sunflower and Silk Shade

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