Holly Vesecky (Owner & Designer, Holly Flora) gives expert video advice on: What are the various types of roses?; What is an orchid?; What is hydrangea? and more...
What is a peony?
A peony is a flower from China, originally. There are maybe 5 different shapes. Peonies come from cooler climates that have a winter: the East coast, Oregon, New Zealand, Holland. They have specific seasons, and they come in a range of colors - coral, ivory, red, and then a whole gamut of fuchsia, purple, and pink.
What are the various types of roses?
Roses are interesting because there are basically four types of commercially grown roses. There is one that is a local California grown rose that has been grown here for the last couple of hundred years. It is a commercial flower. It has a long stem and small head. There is also the Dutch rose, which are beautiful, hybrid roses that are long, small headed, similar to the California, but they usually have more petals and they are a little bit more outstanding and more refined. There are Ecuadorian roses which have a huge head and lots of petals. They have a strong growing season so they can make a larger head. The most beautiful roses, in my opinion, are the Garden roses that are also now commercially grown, but they are more unique flowers, they have more variety and they are supposed to look as though you plucked them from your garden.
What is a dahlia?
A dahlia is a round, daisy shaped flower that is similar to a mum but more garden soft, refined. There are a million different varieties that aren't commercially grown but should be. Dahlias are grown locally in California. We have the most amazing dahlia collection here. There is also a big dahlia society in England. There are really beautiful old world dahlias that would be amazing if they were grown here. We'd have flowers that you've never seen.
What is an orchid?
An orchid is a huge variety of things. It's the most diverse family of flowers. There are probably 250 orchids that we know about. I'm sure there are orchids we haven't ever been introduced to, or found yet. The most common orchids are cymbidiums, odontoglossums, and phalaenopsis. They're cut commonly because they have a great life span when cut.
What is a hyacinth?
A hyacinth is a bulb flower that's grown primarily in spring, but their season is expanding because of places they can grow now. I think hyacinths are almost always available. The little short flowers are 7 to 10 inches tall, and there are tons a flowerlets. Hyacinths are very cool, very fragrant, and if you buy them young, which is good idea, the flowers will last for two weeks.
What is amaryllis?
Amaryllis are really cool flowers. They are a bulb, and they are related to hyacinths. They are also related to lilies, so they have a lily shape, but they're bigger and more explicit in my opinion. I love them. Amaryllis are grown in Holland, primarily, but they're being grown other places now, so the season has expanded. They come in a huge range of varieties and styles, too.
What is an anthurium?
Anthurium are tropical flowers from Hawaii. They're grown in Hawaii and Thailand. Now they're growing them in Canada, too, which is interesting. They grow them in greenhouses in Canada, which seems absurd, they figure out a way to do it and the anthurium are actually really great quality. They come in a million colors, they're waxy, and they have a stamen that's one petal, one stamen.
What is hydrangea?
A hydrangea is a puffy English flower. They come in green, white, pink and purple. The cool thing about hydrangea is that the color isn't a product of breeding; it's a product of acidity in the soil. If you look at a PH paper, it has it's range from pink to purple or blue. The PH of the soil determines the color of the flower. It's pretty cool.
What is a tulip?
Tulips are cool because they used to be traded as a commodity in Holland for centuries. Now there is a big flower market there and they have auctions with tulips; it's just a huge industry in Holland and people love them. Here, they don't last very long but they are super special. They have this sweet thing where they grow to the light and they move and change forms. Sometimes tulips will change color, very nicely.
What is a daisy?
People don't really know classical daisies any more, because they think that they are mums but they are not. There are Shasta Daisies and Marguerite Daisies and they are more of a flower that you'd find in somebody's garden, rather than in a flower market.
What is a lily?
A daisy, people don't really know classical daisies anymore because they think they are mums but they're not. There are Shasta daisies and Marguerite daisies and they are more of a flower that you would find in somebody's garden than from the flower market.
What is a carnation?
A carnation is a pretty structured thing. It's usually just one flower on a stalk with tons of petals and they're usually a little frayed. Carnations come in white, pink, yellow, orange, green, purple - lots of colors - and they are grown locally and in South America, too. People are offended by carnations. They have a bad name for themselves, because they are so cheap and long lasting, people think they are not special. But carnations are key in current floral design because you can use them create shapes. People use them to make bulbs, boxes, cubes, triangles, topiary animals - whatever you want. Carnations are a good flower for that because they don't require water for days.
What is a chrysanthemum or 'mum'?
A chrysanthemum is like your grandma's flower, something you see in her garden. It's usually lavender, amber, yellow, or white, and maybe a three-foot-tall flower. People often think they chrysanthemums are daisies, but they're not; they're mums.
What is gladiolus?
A gladiolus is a pretty structured thing. It is from the lily family. It's a bulb. You grow them in late summer but you can get them anytime at the flower market. Gladiola come in a huge range of colors, but they are also considered a lower-end flower because they are long lasting and they are cheap.
What is an iris?
An iris is a bulb, just like tulips and amaryllis. An iris is usually purple or white. The most special iris is the bearded iris. They come from Holland and they come in a huge variety of colors and styles. They are so fun, but you can only get them in May.
What is an azalea?
An azalea is a garden flower that is usually sold in the plant form at florists. On the East coast, you can get cut azaleas but you can't get them here. They don't last very long. They are not strong.
What is a pansy?
Pansies are super sweet but they are also something that you grow in your garden. You might be able to purchase pansies at a florist, but it is not common because they don't have a long shelf life.
What is a poppy?
There is a huge range of poppies. Locally, we have the California Poppy, which is not sold commercially because it is illegal to pick them. There are also Oriental Poppies. The most common florists' variety is the Icelandic Poppy which has a longer shelf life, but it is pretty rare to find them. They have certain seasons and they are grown locally at your local farm.
What is a daffodil?
A daffodil is one of the old Dutch bulbs. The good daffodils are mostly grown in Holland. It is pretty diverse: there are about fifty varieties that are commercially sold. Daffodils are a spring thing, so you'll get them from December until February.
What is a violet?
A violet is a small lavender flower that is usually just grown in gardens, in a shady spot. It is commercially sold but it is sort of out of style. Violets are just so tiny, they don't last long; they are just for an event. You might get violets for your wedding. They're very sweet; they're like pansies.