Friday, March 14, 2014

Silver Tree Cones

Leucadendron Argenteum, commonly known as the Silver Tree, is grown for its luscious silky foliage. It's really difficult to capture in a photo just how luminous and silky the leaves are.  They are really special.  But my mature Silver Tree specimens have been producing something extra special - these gorgeous silvery orbs!  

Leucadendron Argenteum, like all leucadendrons, are dioecious, meaning that the male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. The male plants produce flowers at the end of the stems or branches that have a gorgeous perfume.  But the female flowers go on to produce these amazing cones.  They are silvery and velvety, but have an almost metallic appearance.  And they are quite large, some larger than tennis balls.    

The Silver Tree Cones are always a real eye catcher when I take them to market.  They glow as the light catches them, but they're tactile too, with their velvety softness. 

The stems are usually covered with the soft silvery foliage, but I prefer the cones on clean stripped stems.  They make a real statement!

In amongst other flowers they add a highlight.

And they dry wonderfully!  If you get a chance to have some of these beautiful cones in a vase, don't throw them out when the arrangement is past its best.  Lay them in the sun for a week or two and you'll have a fantastic red-brown cone on the end of a long stem, with a silvery fur lining.  Inside each segment of the cone is a seed and you may like to try germinating some to grow.  In its native habitat in South Africa, the Silver Tree is listed as rare and endangered so you'll be doing your bit to make these gorgeous and startling plants more widely known.  

The dried cones look great in dried arrangements and last for years.  

I love growing these special plants! Look out for them and snap them up when you see them - they aren't available often.  Not only are they striking and long lasting, but when they're no longer fresh they are still beautiful.  You can't ask more of a cut flower than that!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tasmanian Waratah Wedding in November

It's such a thrill to be part of someones special wedding day - I love doing flowers for weddings!  Erica's wedding was in November and in Tasmania that can be a tricky time for weather.  It was obviously not the case on that particular day!  What a wonderful spot for a wedding.

I "met" Erica internet style.  She was a customer in my trees4thewood online store and discovered my flower farming activities online.   Having worked on the Overland Track, a world famous bush walking track through spectacular Tasmanian wilderness, she was keen to use Tasmanian Waratahs for the main flower in her wedding bouquet.  These gorgeous flowers grow wild in areas along the track and you can't miss them when they are in flower.  

I was excited to be asked to provide her flowers and had a ball creating something to show off the Tasmanian Waratah.  As you can see, the colours she chose for the wedding are really styled around the waratah.  Ivory, grey and red are a classic combination.

What a fabulous day for a beach wedding!  The colour of that sea is just spectacular.  And I think it really makes that gorgeous red just glow.  The brides and bridesmaid's bouquets use Tasmanian Waratah, Safari Sunset Leucadendron, Berzelia (Button Bush), Agonis Flexuosa foliage and Eucalyptus foliage.  We decided to remove the waratah's leaves so as not to have too much green in the bouquet.  At that time of year, red and green can look a little christmassy.

Mini bouquet for a 3 year old flower girl! Cute!! And what a handsome little guy too.

The grooms boutonniere or button hole - Berzelia (Button Bush), Waratah, Leucadendron and Agonis Flexuosa foliage.

Thanks so much for letting me be part of your day, Erica!  It looks like it was a very memorable and happy one.