Tuesday 30 December 2014

Flower of the Day : Hibiscus


Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae.
It is quite large, containing several hundred species that are native to warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world.
Member species are often noted for their showy flowers and are commonly known simply as hibiscus, or less widely known as rose mallow.
The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and small trees.
The generic name is derived from the Greek word ἱβίσκος (hibískos), which was the name Pedanius Dioscorides (ca. 40–90) gave to Althaea officinalis.

The leaves are alternate, ovate to lanceolate, often with a toothed or lobed margin. The flowers are large, conspicuous, trumpet-shaped, with five or more petals, color from white to pink, red, orange, purple or yellow, and from 4–18 cm broad.
Flower color in certain species, such as H. mutabilis and H. tiliaceus, changes with age. The fruit is a dry five-lobed capsule, containing several seeds in each lobe, which are released when the capsule dehisces (splits open) at maturity.
It is of red and white colours.
It is an example of complete flowers.

To learn more : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibiscus

Monday 29 December 2014

History - IGA 63 International Horticultural Exhibition

The International Horticultural Exhibition in 1963 in Hamburg was the second Horticultural Expo registered by the BIE (Bureau International des Expositions).
This event was hald three years after the first Floriade in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Official Designation : IGA 63 International Horticultural Exhibition
Hamburg 1964 (Federal republic of Germany)

Date : 26/04 – 13/10/1963

Theme : “All categories of the Horticulture: economic and cultural”

Category : Specialised Exposition

Organisational responsability : Federal Government

General Commissioner : Former Secretary of State Mr Karl Passarge was appointed Commissioner of the Federal Government.

Site : The Site with a total area of 76 ha is located between the station of Dammtor and the Milentor.
(source BIE)

Flower of the Day : Eschscholzia californica

Eschscholzia californica

Eschscholzia californica (California poppy, Californian poppy, golden poppy, California sunlight, cup of gold) is a species of flowering plant in the family Papaveraceae, native to the United States and Mexico, and the official state flower of California.

It is a perennial or annual growing to 5–60 in (13–152 cm) tall, with alternately branching glaucous blue-green foliage.
The leaves are ternately divided into round, lobed segments.
The flowers are solitary on long stems, silky-textured, with four petals, each petal 2 to 6 cm (0.79 to 2.36 in) long and broad; flower color ranges from yellow to orange, with flowering from February to September.
The petals close at night or in cold, windy weather and open again the following morning, although they may remain closed in cloudy weather.[2] The fruit is a slender, dehiscent capsule 3 to 9 cm (1.2 to 3.5 in) long, which splits in two to release the numerous small black or dark brown seeds.
It survives mild winters in its native range, dying completely in colder climates.

The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is located in northern Los Angeles County, California.
At the peak of the blooming season, orange petals seem to cover all 1,745 acres (706 ha) of the reserve. Other prominent locations of California poppy meadows are in Bear Valley (California, Colusa County), Point Buchon and numerous other locations.
Its native habitat includes California, extending to Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Sonora and northwest Baja California.

To learn more : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eschscholzia_californica

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2015

Pic of the Day : Myosotis alpestris

Myosotis alpestris & Myosotis sylvatica

Myosotis sylvatica (wood forget-me-not) is a species of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae, native to Europe.

It is a short-lived herbaceous perennial or biennial growing to 12–30 cm (5–12 in) tall by 15 cm (6 in) wide, with hairy leaves and a profusion of disc-shaped, intensely blue (occasionally white) flowers in Spring.
  • Stace describes this plant as having the following characteristics:
  • Upright, to 50 cm; softly hairy, with hairs at more-or-less right-angles to the main stem.
  • Flowers grey-blue, to 8mm across, flat in profile; sepal tube with hooked hairs; April–July.[2]
  • Mature fruit dark brown, shiny.
  • Mature calyx on spreading stalks longer than sepal tube; calyx teeth spreading to expose the ripe fruit.
  • Basal leaves stalked, in a rosette; upper leaves not stalked.
Generally found in woods, scree and rock ledges; common throughout the British Isles.

To learn more : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myosotis_sylvatica

Tuesday 23 December 2014

History - Spain at Venlo Floriade 2012

Floriade 2012 in Venlo. We'll talk about this time a pavilion with much interest, certainly one of the best horticultural pavilion of this Expo, the one of Spain.

Like most of the pavilions of nations, it is in the "Show World Stage", next to Kenya, Ecuador and pavilion of Belgium we visited last week.

An area of ​​560 m², the pavilion and terrace occupy almost all the place. This pavilion is the work of the Cabinet Pulgón and was of course made of materials environmentally friendly.

Some are even recycled materials, such as wood flooring, the planks from old boxes used to transport fruit and vegetables. For this new edition of the Floriade, Spain has chosen a very interesting topic because it is the wonderful biodiversity that characterizes the country!

If the outdoor garden is not very big, it's all happening inside. Then enter!
Spain is characterized by a great diversity of environments, cultivation methods, it's this wealth that expo will show visitors in a manner both playful and enjoyable.

The exhibition is presented at various levels allowing visitors access to basic information and deepen this knowledge with many audiovisual media, but also an approach to discovery a little more tactile.

The pavilion of Spain receives many visitors who spend a lot of time, it's beautiful and it's interesting to learn a lot about what the riches of the land of Spain, productions varied depending on regions ... exciting!

Near the entrance, the pavilion has a small square with benches, allowing families to relax and children to play. A very pleasant visit, congratulations for this achievement.

Monday 22 December 2014

Flower of the Day : Camellia japonica

Camellia japonica

Camellia japonica (the Japanese camellia) is one of the best known species of the genus Camellia.
Sometimes called the Rose of winter, it belongs to the Theaceae family. It is the official state flower of Alabama.
There are thousands of cultivars of C. japonica in cultivation, with many different colors and forms of flowers.

In the wild, it is found in mainland China (Shandong, east Zhejiang), Taiwan, southern Korea and southern Japan. It grows in forests, at altitudes of around 300–1,100 metres (980–3,610 ft).

Camellia japonica is a flowering tree or shrub, usually 1.5–6 metres (4.9–19.7 ft) tall, but occasionally up to 11 metres (36 ft) tall.
Some cultivated varieties achieve a size of 72m² or more. The youngest branches are purplish-brown, becoming grayish-brown as they age.
The alternately arranged leathery leaves are dark green on the top side, paler on the underside, usually 5–11 centimetres (2.0–4.3 in) long by 2.5–6 centimetres (1.0–2.4 in) wide with a stalk (petiole) about 5–10 millimetres (0.2–0.4 in) long.
The base of the leaf is pointed (cuneate), the margins are very finely toothed (serrulate) and the tip somewhat pointed.
In the wild, flowering is between January and March. The flowers appear along the branches, particularly towards the ends, and have very short stems.
They occur either alone or in pairs, and are 6–10 centimetres (2.4–3.9 in) across. There are about nine greenish bracteoles and sepals.
Flowers of the wild species have six or seven rose or white petals, each 3–4.5 centimetres (1.2–1.8 in) long by 1.5–2.5 centimetres (0.6–1.0 in) wide; the innermost petals are joined at the base for up to a third of their length. (Cultivated forms often have more petals.) The numerous stamens are 2.5–3.5 centimetres (1.0–1.4 in) long, the outer whorl being joined at the base for up to 2.5 centimetres (1.0 in).
The three-lobed style is about 3 centimetres (1.2 in) long.[3]
The fruit consists of a globe-shaped capsule with three compartments (locules), each with one or two large brown seeds with a diameter of 1–2 centimetres (0.4–0.8 in). Fruiting occurs in September to October in the wild.
C. japonica leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera, such as The Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia). The Japanese white eye bird (Zosterops japonica) pollinates Camellia japonica.

To learn more : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camellia_japonica

IGA 63... The second International Horticultural Exhibition...

in Hamburg - Germany.

Specialised Exposition
 “All categories of the Horticulture: economic and cultural”

A few first day cover :

Friday 19 December 2014

Pic of the Day : Nerium oleander

Nerium oleander

Nerium oleander  is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, potentially toxic in all its parts.
It is the only species currently classified in the genus Nerium. It is most commonly known as oleander, from its superficial resemblance to the unrelated olive Olea.
It is so widely cultivated that no precise region of origin has been identified, though southwest Asia has been suggested.
The ancient city of Volubilis in Morocco may have taken its name from the Berber name oualilt for the flower.
Oleander is one of the most poisonous of commonly grown garden plants.

Oleander grows to 2–6 m (6.6–19.7 ft) tall, with erect stems that splay outward as they mature; first-year stems have a glaucous bloom, while mature stems have a grayish bark.
The leaves are in pairs or whorls of three, thick and leathery, dark-green, narrow lanceolate, 5–21 cm (2.0–8.3 in) long and 1–3.5 cm (0.39–1.38 in) broad, and with an entire margin.
The flowers grow in clusters at the end of each branch; they are white, pink to red,[Note 2] 2.5–5 cm (0.98–1.97 in) diameter, with a deeply 5-lobed fringed corolla round the central corolla tube.
They are often, but not always, sweet-scented.
The fruit is a long narrow capsule 5–23 cm (2.0–9.1 in) long, which splits open at maturity to release numerous downy seeds.

Habitat and range
N. oleander is either native or naturalized to a broad area from Mauritania, Morocco, and Portugal eastward through the Mediterranean region and the Sahara (where it is only found sporadically), to the Arabian peninsula, southern Asia, and as far East as Yunnan in southern parts of China.
It typically occurs around dry stream beds. Nerium oleander is planted in many subtropical and tropical areas of the world. On the East Coast of the US, it grows as far north as Washington DC, while in California and Texas it is naturalized as a median strip planting.

To learn more : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerium

Market Flower of the World #9 - Guatemala

These flower markets are rich in color ... like the women who sell these beautiful bouquets.

We find the richness of these markets in the works of the artist Meri Henriques Vahl and this wonderful creation: Flower Market, Chichicastenango, Guatemala, 2009 :

On Market Day, Guatemalan women bring offerings of flowers, fruits and incense to the church steps in Chichi’s central plaza. ‘Flower Market’ was awarded Best Quilt in the World, 2009, at the Mancuso Brother’s Best Quilts of the World competition; it also won First Place Art: People, Portraits and Figures, at the 2010 Houston International Quilt Festival. Technique: This is another fabric and tulle collage quilt using woven Guatemalan fabrics and recycled hand embroidered belts, plus some batiks. A tulle overlay was applied and stitched, trapping everything in place. Faces were traced onto white cotton from photographs, then enhanced with colored pencils and permanent markers.

To know more about the Art of Meri Henriques Vahl : http://meriartquilts.com/

Thursday 18 December 2014

Flower of the Day : Nymphoides peltata

Nymphoides peltata

Nymphoides peltata (syn. Villarsia nymphaeoides, Fringed Water-lily, Yellow Floating-heart, Water Fringe) is an aquatic plant of the family Menyanthaceae native to Eurasia. It has cordate floating leaves that support a lax inflorescence of yellow flowers with fringed petal margins. The fruit is a capsule bearing many flattened seeds with stiff marginal hairs.

The plants are commonly sold for use in ornamental water gardens. Outside their native range, however, they can escape cultivation and become nuisance noxious weeds.
Flowers of N. peltata are heterostylous and weakly self-incompatible.

Learn more : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nymphoides_peltata

Monaco pavilion, and its garden... at the Expo 1878 Paris

During the history of the Expos, the Principality of Monaco has always held a special place.
No need to show a too big pavilion, it just have to be beautiful and precious ... and always surrounded by a generous nature, green plants and flowers.

At the 1878 Universal Expo in Paris, Monaco was no exception to this rule, by presenting us a charming pavilion, around which a wonderful garden, which enchanted visitors of the Expo !

Monaco will be there at the next World Exposition... 
Expo 2015 Milano :

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Flower of the Day : Gazania rigens

Gazania rigens

Gazania rigens (syn. G. splendens), sometimes called treasure flower, is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to southern Africa.
It is naturalised elsewhere and is widely cultivated as an ornamental garden plant.
It is a spreading, low-growing, half-hardy perennial, growing to 50 cm (20 in) tall and wide, with blue-grey foliage and brilliant yellow, daisy-like composite flowerheads throughout the summer.

In Australia, where it is known as coastal gazania, the species has become naturalised on coastal dunes and roadsides in the Central Coast and Sydney regions of New South Wales as well as the coast of South East Queensland.
In South Australia it is found in the southern Mount Lofty area as well as on the Eyre peninsula.

More details : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gazania_rigens


Tuesday 16 December 2014

History - The Greenhouse of 1880 Florence Expo !

In 1880 the Italian Horticultural Federation organized the First National Expo in Florence and just to honor worthily the assignment, the Company Tuscany decided to complete their garden with the construction of a large greenhouse that was unprecedented in Italy.

This greenhouse was designed by famed architect Giacomo Roster and opened for the expo... and exists today again. 

Monday 15 December 2014

Flower of the Day: Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea

"Purple coneflower" redirects here. This common name is sometimes used for other purple flowered plants in the genus Echinacea.

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower or purple coneflower) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Echinacea of the family Asteraceae.
Its cone-shaped flowering heads are usually, but not always, purple in the wild.
It is native to eastern North America and present to some extent in the wild in much of the eastern, southeastern and midwest United States.

This herbaceous perennial is 120 cm (47 in) tall by 25 cm (10 in) wide at maturity. Depending on the climate, it blooms throughout spring to late summer.
Its individual flowers (florets) within the flower head are hermaphroditic, having both male and female organs on each flower.
It is pollinated by butterflies and bees. Its habitats include dry open woods, prairies and barrens, as well as cultivated beds.
Although the plant prefers loamy or sandy, well-drained soils, it is little affected by the soil's pH.

Learn more : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea_purpurea

Sunday 14 December 2014

Market Flower of the World #8 - Bad Kissingen in Germany... around 1910

Continue our tour of the world flower market in Germany ... this time in a city of Bavaria, famous for its spas : Bad Kissingen.
... And flowers certainly ...

Some additional views of the spa, always very flowery !