Botanical Origin Stories
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.
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 (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.
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.
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.