Bouquet of the month, Summer 2014

Happy Summer! Continuing on with my series of a bouquet per month during my transitional phase from San Francisco to traveling the world, I had to keep it creative. May shows off my bouquet of dried flowers that I left to my roommates when I moved out, June shows the dramatic purples inspired by the bouquet's recipient — the first I've specifically made for someone else and not just for myself, and July and August are both sourced a lot from my parents' garden, created during my stay at their house.

There are a lot more flower varieties this season, and I lot more I didn't know how to identify. Most of them I didn't get at all so I didn't include, but for the ones that I guessed on, there's a star by their name. If you're reading through this and know I'm wrong, let me know! 

*Aster

  • Name: Astér is Greek for star, and these are also known as Starworts or Frost Flowers.
  • Species: 180
  • Color choices: Red, blue, purple, pink, white
  • Native to: Eurasia
  • Vase life: One to two weeks
  • Use: as filler flowers to add a wildflower feel
  • Meaning: Luck and magic
  • Fun facts: Mythologically they were connected to fairies, who were rumored to sleep inside of the bloom, and were burned to frighten away serpents.

Craspedia

  • Name: Can be called Billy buttons and Woollyheads
  • Species: 23
  • Color choice: Yellow
  • Season: Summer and fall
  • Native to: Australia and New Zealand
  • Vase life: One to two weeks
  • Use: For a pop of color, and in dried arrangements
  • Pair with: Whites and greens

Jasmine

  • Name: Comes from the Persian yasmin, which means fragrant flower.
  • Species: 200
  • Color choices: Yellow, white
  • Season: Summer
  • Native to: Europe, Asia, and Africa
  • Use: To give your bouquet movement, and to make it smell amazing.
  • Meaning: Sensuality, grace, elegance
  • Fun facts: (1) Used to make tea, syrup, essential oil, and perfume. It’s also burned to bring love, wealth, and money. (2) It’s the national flower of Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Philippines and is particularly cherished in the Chinese, Indian, Thai, and Spanish cultures.

Lilac

  • Name: Scientific name is Syringa Vulgaris, after the Grecian nymph Syringa, who turned into a bush to escape from the god Pan.
  • Species: 200
  • Color choices: Purple, pink, white
  • Season: Spring
  • Native to: The Balkan Peninsula
  • Vase life: Up to three weeks
  • Use: To make your bouquet smell amazing
  • Pair with: Try flying solo with these! They can hold their own.
  • Meaning: Renewal, innocence, and youth
  • Fun facts: During the first time they were cultivated in the US, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington joined in.

Peony

  • Name: Named for Paean, the Greek Gods’ Physician. He was the student of Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing. When Asclepius grew jealous of his pupil, Zeus turned Paean into the peony flower to save his life.
  • Species: 30
  • Color choices: red, maroon, yellow, pink, white
  • Season: Late spring, early summer
  • Native to: Asia, Southern Europe, Western North America
  • Vase life: Five to ten days
  • Use: If you want to charm the pants off of anyone looking at your bouquet.
  • Meaning: Bashfulness
  • Fun facts: There’s an ancient superstition that you should not allow a woodpecker to catch you picking the fruit of a Peony plant, because it might pick your eyes out for it.

Protea (King)

  • Name: Also called Honeypot or King Sugar Bush (uhm, amazeballs). The term Protea is derived from the Greek god Proteus.
  • Species: 81 (though there are 1600 Protea species)
  • Color choices: Yellow, pink
  • Native to: South Africa
  • Vase life: One to two weeks
  • Use: To make a crazy statement
  • Pair with: A lot of greens
  • Fun facts: (1) It’s the national flower of South Africa, and (2) it’s adapted to be able to survive wildfires.

Russian Sage

  • Name: The scientific name, Perovskia atriplicifoli is named after the Russian General V.A. Perovski
  • Color choice: Purple
  • Season: Summer and fall
  • Native to: Central Asia
  • Vase life: Two to three weeks, but the flowers fall off really easily. It’s a bit of a mess.
  • Use: To add height! And they smell great, almost spicy.
  • Fun facts: Not related to what’s typically known as sage, but is also eaten fresh, or smoked. Medicinally it has been used to reduce fever and relieve dysentery.

*Thistle

  • Color choices: Blue, purple
  • Native to: Asia, North America
  • Use: To add texture to a bouquet
  • Pair with: Traditionally feminine florals, for a nice contrast
  • Fun facts: It's the national flower of Scotland, as it held a high place in ancient Celtic ritual. It’s importance originated when an invading Norse army was trying to sneak up on a Scottish Camp — a barefoot soldier stepped on a flower and cried out, warning the Scots of the incursion.

Learn the names of even more flowers on my Pinterest Page