Why Being a Pansy Isn’t All That Bad.

Perhaps you think being called a “pansy” is a put-down.

…You may be right.

Urban Dictionary defines “pansy” as a person who is “very pathetic and wimpy; weak, spineless, a sissy”.  It is generally used as an insult.

Although, this term is more than contradictory. Surprisingly, one of this season’s most strong and resilient flowers is actually the pansy.

Pansies are one of the most popular and recognizable cool weather annuals.
Floral breeding has actually produced pansies that are better able to stand up to the cold:
(Click here for more information on icicle pansies!)
Many pansies are bicolored, making them striking plants for their small size.
And although they appear delicate, they are surprisingly hardy. (Especially in the snow!)
Symbolically, a honeyflower and a pansy left by a lover for his beloved means “I am thinking of our forbidden love”. In 1858, the writer James Shirley Hibberd wrote that the French custom of giving a bride a bouquet of pansies (thoughts) and marigolds (cares) symbolized the woes of domestic life rather than marital bliss.
The pansy has also attracted the attention of poets and artists including William ShakespeareWilliam WordsworthPierre-Joseph Redouté, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

There really isn’t any room to call the pansy “pathetic” or “wimpy”.

In fact, if you are ever called a pansy, just reply with a simple “Why, thank you!”

And if you’re still in a winter slump, remember that pansies are in full bloom in the Spring…

which is just around the corner!



In a Frigid Funk?

“It is the memory that enables a person to gather roses in January”


During the colder months, we tend to slump into a winter routine; motivation seems to be at an all-time low. We focus on the temperature (often below freezing here in New Jersey), the howling, frigid winds, and the impending snowstorms (sometimes even hail!). The idea of having to bear  the arctic environment outside of our cozy houses sends shivers down the spine; traveling elsewhere just seems that more tedious. We dread the idea of shoveling snow.

But mostly, we forget the little things that make life beautiful. We forget the roses.

This winter season, focus on your “roses”: You know, those little things… however insignificant they may seem, that bring you joy. Perhaps it’s the satisfaction of catching your favorite television show, or finding a wonderful book. Try to remember seeing the smile of a loved one or sharing a good laugh with a friend. Pull out some pictures of fun times and simply reflect. …Maybe having a dish of spaghetti and meatballs brings you sheer joy (because food always equals happiness!).

Leave us a comment with some of your favorite “roses”!

As the shop keeps our heaters on full-blast, we’ll also be remembering our “roses” all winter long.

…of course, if you’re really having trouble remembering your roses, we’ll always be selling them  here at the shop.


Year of the [Snap]Dragon

As the Chinese New Year approaches, many people of Chinese decent will celebrate and welcome the New Year by displaying and sending flowers.

The Chinese year 4710 begins on Jan. 23, 2012, which is also the year of the dragon.

Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest.

In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

Flower markets in Hong Kong and other parts of China as well as Chinese communities in the U.S. and other countries will be bustling on the days leading up to the actual holiday.

According to SanFranciscoChinatown.com, “Every traditional Chinese household should have live blooming plants to symbolize rebirth and new growth. Flowers are believed to be symbolic of wealth and high positions in one’s career. A home with a plant that blooms on New Year’s Day signifies a year of prosperity.”

The most popular New Year’s flowers include peach blossoms, peonies, narcissus, orchids, chrysanthemums, and most fitting for this year, snapdragons.

Antirrhinum is a genus of plants commonly known as snapdragons from the flowers’ fancied resemblance to the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when laterally squeezed (thus the ‘snap’).

The name literally means “like a nose” in Ancient Greek and probably refers to the nose-like capsule in its mature state.

Several species of Antirrhinum are self-incompatible, meaning that a plant cannot be fertilised by its own pollen.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year with your own Snapdragons!

Snapdragons are perennial plants often sold as cold-season annual plants and do best in full or partial sun.

They are available in a range of heights: dwarf (6-8 inches), medium (15-30 inches) and tall (30-48 inches). (Want to grow them yourself? Plant them in a soil that drains well to prevent the roots from rotting.)