Kousa Dogwood

dogwood2The Kousa Dogwood is a small deciduous tree 8–12 m tall, native to eastern Asia. Like most dogwoods, it has opposite, simple leaves, which are 4–10 cm long. The tree is extremely showy when in bloom, but what appear to be four petaled white flowers are actually bracts spread open below the cluster of inconspicuous yellow-green flowers. The blossoms appear in late spring, weeks after the tree leafs out. The Kousa Dogwood is sometimes also called Chinese Dogwood, Korean Dogwood, or Japanese Dogwood.

The fruit is a globose pink to red compound berry 2–3 cm diameter, though these berries tend to grow larger towards the end of the season and some berry clusters that do not fall from the tree surpass 4 cm. It is edible, a sweet and delicious addition to the tree’s ornamental value. The fruit is sometimes used for making wine.
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Orléans Passion

Return to calm and nature of passion Orléans …

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A walk in parks, gardens and arboretums, forests, perhaps in the mountains away from the noise and fury, listen, feel, breathe, live…Jean-François Grossin

Visit this breathtaken french blog with amazing photos → here

Lotus Flower

cropped-lotus-flower44Lotus flower is one of the most ancient and deepest symbols of our planet. Lotus Flower grows in muddy water and rises above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty. At night the flower falls down in the mud. At dawn opens it again seductively beautiful. The Lotus symbolizes purity. It also represents long life and happiness.

The Lotus flowers, seeds, young leaves and rhizomes are all edible. In Asia, the petals are sometimes used for garnish, while the large leaves are used as a wrap for food. According to Egyptian mythology, the Lotus is related to the sun, as it flowers at the day hours, and closes by night. It is credited that the flower has given birth to the sun.

Japanese Wisteria

Wisteria is native to the moist woodlands and streambanks of China, Korea, Japan, and the Central and Southern United States. All parts of Wisteria are toxic and can cause stomach discomfort upon consumption.

The Japanese Wisteria has a fabled past in American horticulture.  It was first introduced in 1860 by George Rogers Hall and quickly became a mainstay in U.S. gardens everywhere!  The flower racemes are amazing even in the wisteria world as they can reach nearly 18″ in length and have a pleasant fragrance, reminiscent of grapes, of which they resemble very closely.  The blooms may take a few years for them to start showing up, as a Wisteria must pass its juvenile stage for it to become the prodigious bloomer it is famous for being!  Grow this beauty up and over a patio cover (beware of the vines twining around the timbers- as after a year those tiny vines will become thick and can crush wood beams very easily).  As with the Chinese Wisteria, this can be trained into a gorgeous specimen tree as well.

Wisteria floribunda
Japanese name : Fuji ‘Yae-Koku-Ryu’
yae = double-petaled
koku = black
ryu = dragon

Peony

tree_peonyOne legend has it that the peony is named after Paeon, a physician to the gods, who received the flower on Mount Olympus from the mother of Apollo. And another tells the story of that same physician who was saved  from the fate of dying as other mortals by being turned into the flower we know today as the peony.

The traditional floral symbol of China, the state flower of Indiana, and the 12th wedding anniversary flower, peonies are known as the flower of riches and honor.

With their lush, full, rounded bloom, peonies embody romance and prosperity and are regarded as an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage.

Chrysanthemum

chrysanthemumNamed from the Greek chrys- meaning golden and anthemion, meaning flower, years of artful cultivation have produced a full range of colors, from white to purple to red. Daisy-like with a typically yellow center and a very decorative pompom.

They are the November birth flower, the 13th wedding anniversary flower and the official flower of the city of Chicago. In Japan, there is even a  Festival of Happiness  to celebrate this flower each year.

A symbol of the sun, the Japanese consider the orderly unfolding of the chrysanthemums petals to represent perfection, and Confucius once suggested they be used as an object of meditation. It’s said that a single petal of this celebrated flower placed at the bottom of a wine glass will encourage a long and healthy life.

Chrysanthemums symbolize optimism and joy.
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Amaryllis Saga

AMARYLLISLegend has it that the amaryllis – the stunning  flower we’ve come to associate with the holidays – began as a shy, timid nymph. Amaryllis fell deeply in love with Alteo, a shepherd with Hercules’ strength and Apollo’s beauty, but her affections were unrequited. Hoping that she could win him over by bestowing upon him the thing he desired most – a flower so unique it had never existed in the world before – Amaryllis sought advice from the oracle of Delphi.

Following his instructions, Amaryllis dressed in maiden’s white and appeared at Alteo’s door for 30 nights, each time piercing her heart with a golden arrow. When at last Alteo opened his door, there before him was a striking crimson flower, sprung from the blood of Amaryllis’s heart. With this romantic – albeit tragic – tale as its beginning, it’s not surprising that today the amaryllis has come to symbolize pride, determination and radiant beauty.

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Hortensia – Hydrangea

3443167870_524d70f3a5_zMany Europeans, especially French, have put many of our plants on the map of Europe in recent centuries. They did it with imported plants such as Hydrangea coming from the North American and Asian continents. Hydrangea and Hydrangea Arborescens Quercifolia comes from North America, all the other species of the same plant are from Asia.

It was the beginning of the 1800s as Hydrangea macrophylla and large flowered Hydrangea began to appear in Europe. It is this plant, with its colorful blue to pink shades was of interest to botanists and collectors.

It was also the French botanists who started with hybridization of large-leaved Hydrangea to give us rainbows in all the beautiful colors we see today. Hydrangea macrophylla – Mariesii perfecta a hybridization of the French botanist Victor Lemoine, 1904, was one of the earliest hybrids in the European market. Hyrdrangean is today one of the 10 most beautiful flowers in the world. We have the French to thank for that we received so many beautiful flowers in our gardens.

Tulips

tulipThe vibrant tulip flowers are one of the most popular spring flowers in the world. They have been cultivated for as much as 500 years now. The history of tulips can be traced back to Central and Western Asia. They were brought to Turkey by the nomadic tribes.

Tulip flowers are considered to be a symbol of perfect lovers, their passion, love, romanticism and dreaminess.
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Calla Lily

6955988070_42e3648149_zOr zantedeschia, is a genus of 28 different species all native to the southern parts of Africa with a tropical climate, from South Africa up to Africa aligned with the northern point of Madagascar. The genus calla was originally named by the famous Swedish botanist Carl von Linné but as it became apparent that the genus needed to be split up, the German botanist Karl Koch named the new genus after his fellow botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi from Italy. It became a major hit in Europe and is still very popular, especially as a wedding flower.