Botanical Origin Stories

Allium

Allium (genus Allium), are a large genus of onion or garlic scented bulbs. The generic name, Allium, is the Latin word for garlic. But don’t let their relation to garlic and onion fool you; in the garden, these globe-like flowers have bulbs that are both regal and playful.
 
The typical shape of an Allium bloom ranges from round, to oval, to cascading. The flower head is a cluster of individual florets, which bloom in a variety of colors such as white, purple, and green. To maintain these flowers, the garden must have abundant sunlight and adequate drainage. Drainage is of top importance for keeping these flowers alive because the bulbs are large, and will rot with too much moisture.

New Growth Designs Alliums require no sunlight or drainage, as their blooms stay pristine year around with no maintenance. New Growth Designs Allium stems are modeled after the Giant Allium, commonly called Gladiator Allium, and are offered in white, green, and purple.

Cherry Blossom

As Cherry Blossom trees (Prunus serrulata) are well known across the United States, they were only introduced to the states in the early 1900s. David Fairchild, a former government employee, is responsible for bringing Cherry Trees to the United States from Japan. Fairchild fell in love with the flowering trees in 1902 on a trip to Japan. Returning to the States he ordered over 100 trees to plant on his farm in Chevy Chase, Maryland. President Taft eventually saw the Cherry Blossom trees as a way to form a friendship with Japan. The trees became a symbol of friendship between Japan and the United States after the mayor of Tokyo donated more than 3000 trees to the city of Washington D.C. in 1912. After the formal planting of the trees in the Tidal Basin by First Lady Helen Taft and the wife of the Japanese Ambassador, the national love affair for Cherry Blossoms officially began.
 
New Growth Designs Cherry Blossom stems are actually modeled after cultivars, featuring natural, wood-like stems displaying mostly double layered flowers of 5-25 petals each.

Hyacinth

For many, blooming Hyacinths are one of the first signs of Spring and a friendly hint to start hanging up your bulky winter jackets until next season. Initially, Hyacinths were planted just in the gardens of eastern Europe, but eventually this gentle messenger of Spring began to appear throughout Europe. In 1734, a ship carrying flower bulbs sank off of the coast of Holland and when spring came around, Hyacinths were in full bloom along the shoreline by the waves. While popular amongst gardeners in the United States, the majority of Hyacinths today are grown commercially in the Netherlands as bulb plants and as cut flowers. Hyacinths are highly fragrant, densely compacted, bulb shaped flowers. The flowers bloom and open fully, resembling a starfish and are not to be confused with the Grape Hyacinth (Muscari). The waxy, densely packed flowers blossom in shades of white, peach, orange, yellow, blue, red, and lavender. This iconic spring plant won the hearts of many around the world long ago, but is still very relevant today and can spruce up just about any space as a potted flowering bulb plant or in a fragrant bouquet of cut flowers.

Lilac

Commonly referred to as the “Queen of Shrubs”, Lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) are highly fragrant and hardy bushes that we often use in our gardens. Their scent, which is at its highest potency in full sunlight, makes them a stand-out plant in the garden and also a common fragrance used in soaps and perfumes.

Lilacs are native to Europe and the temperate climates areas in Asia. Here in the United States, many think that Lilacs arrived during the colonial period around the 1700s and were first planted at the Governor Wentworth Estate in New Hampshire. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew these shrubs in their own gardens, and were also grown in America’s first botanical gardens.  

You probably remember seeing these shrubs in your grandmother's garden, which may evoke nostalgic feelings, which is likely why Lilacs are still prominent today. If you have Lilacs in your yard or garden, you know how precious it is to see them bloom, but you have little time to admire them as they only last a few weeks.

While in general, Lilacs represent renewal and confidence, each color has a different meaning. White Lilacs stand for innocence and purity, while purple represent spirituality, love and passion.

Lily of the Valley

Also known as May Bells, Our Lady’s Tears and Mary’s Tears, is a woodland flowering plant with sweetly scented, pendant, bell shaped flowers born in late Spring in the temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere.

Delicate and fragrant, these elegant beauties are native to Europe and are a popular wedding flower and perfume fragrance. While actually not a lily at all, Lily of the Valley is a member of the asparagus family. These herbaceous perennials spread underground via rhizomes often forming extensive colonies of delicate and fabulous ground covers. The plants will thrive for decades in cool shaded areas, but don’t survive in long stretches of warm weather.

The plant is comprised of leafy shoots of 1-2 leaves along with spikes supporting 5-15 white, bell-shaped flowers, each with 6 petals. In moderate amounts it is used as a healing tool of herbal medicine, however if ingested it is very poisonous.

In France it has become a popular tradition to sell & gift bunches of Lily of the Valley each May 1st, as a symbol of Spring signifying the ‘return of happiness’.

The New Growth Designs Lily of the Valley is comprised of a one leaf shoot with a spike of 10 flowers, and a second leaf shoot with 2 leaves and 5 flowers. It is available as a component spray (sold by the dozen), and in a variety of potted styles, sold individually.

Muscari

      Muscari (commonly called Grape Hyacinth) are native to the Mediterranean region and more specifically, Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria. The highly fragrant flowers are typically planted as spring-flowering garden ornamentals and are a favorite among gardeners as they tend to attract bees. Most Muscari grow in deep grape-like clusters of blue, white, yellow, or pink urn-shaped flowers that are borne at the top of a leafless flower stalk, growing to be 6-8 inches high. Despite being commonly called “Grape Hyacinth”, Muscari are not related to Hyacinths, but are members of the Lily family. Muscari are reliable, hardy and some species can even be utilized in traditional herbal medicines. Unfortunately, after these beautiful flowers are cut, they only tend to last around 4-8 days. So perhaps they are best enjoyed in the garden where one can share them with the Bees.

Paperwhite Narcissus

Commonly called simply Paperwhite, is a perennial bulb plant native to the Mediterranean region and naturalized in the Azores, Corsica and the southern areas of Texas, California and Louisiana. While naturally an outdoor garden plant, Narcissus Paperwhites are easy to force into bloom indoors and are particularly popular during the Holidays through the winter months and into early Spring. Tall fleshy stems produce bunches of strongly fragrant white flowers amongst equally tall slender leaf shoots. Paperwhites are part of the genus Narcissus which also includes Daffodils. The Narcissus Paperwhite was the very first item replicated from nature and produced by New Growth Designs. It remains one of our most popular items. Paperwhites are available by the Stem and Potted in our exclusive hand-made Terracotta pots.

Peony

For over 4,000 years, Peonies (Paeonia) have been prevalent all over the world because of their striking, voluminous blossoms. As explorer Marco Polo once described them, “Roses as big as cabbages”, they are sure to catch your eye. This quintessential spring flower begins to bloom as early as April and through the months of May and June. Unfortunately, the flowers are short-lived once fully bloomed. Although their growing season may be brief, nothing says springtime better than blooming peonies.

The Peony is native to Asia, Southern Europe and Eastern North America, but can easily be seen as traditions and symbols all over the world. Peonies are widely known for being the floral symbol of China, in which they hold the name of “King of Flowers” and are highly regarded, prized possessions. In the U.S., Peonies are Indiana’s state flower and a common gift to couples celebrating their 12th wedding anniversary.

They are commonly known as being a representation of riches, honor, and a happy marriage. With their lush, full, rounded blooms Peonies embody romance, prosperity, and are even regarded as an omen of good fortune.

Ranunculus

Ranunculus are known for their delicate and soft petals, which makes them a popular choice for wedding bouquets. Each flower consists of around 100 to 130 petals, making them full and abundant in appearance and an eye-catching addition to any arrangement.

Informally referred to as a Buttercup, Ranunculus belong to a large genus of around 500 species of flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae. The nickname Buttercup originates from an old game that children used to play. They would place the flower under their chin and, if their chin glowed yellow, it meant that like butter. The truth is that this has nothing to do with butter; the petals bounce back the UV light and this is why you notice a color change. The flower does this in order to attract bees and it really is an ingenious idea.

In Latin, the word “Rana” means frog while “unculus” means little. Essentially, the name ranunculus means little frog. These flowers were first found in Southwestern Asia where it believed that the flower got this name because it was found growing along the streams that little frogs called home.


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