The Botanical Gardens of South Africa

Spring has sprung, the sun is shining, and the season is in full swing! It’s time to get out there and start enjoying spring’s greatest gifts, the flowers. You could take a stroll through your local park, do some work in the garden or go where the flowers are the most spectacular… the South African botanical gardens, a plethora of our nation’s natural beauty.

With botanical gardens situated across the country, there is little excuse not to go and lose yourself in the splendour of nature for just a while. The most famous of these botanical gardens is arguably the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, situated in Cape Town. Set against the eastern slope of Table Mountain, the Kirstenbosch gardens have two separate areas, the cultivated gardens and the protected area which is home to indigenous fynbos and forest. The cultivated garden is home to an array of flowering species of plants, while in the protected area one can see the King Protea, which occurs naturally there, in full flower. One of the truly amazing parts of the Kirstenbosch botanical garden is the Afromontane forest, which is awe-inspiring when walking through.

Sticking to the coastal botanical gardens we move on to one of the lesser-known treasures in South Africa, the Durban Botanic Gardens. This is the oldest surviving botanical gardens in South Africa, having been established in 1849. The highlight of these gardens is without a doubt the Orchid House, which is home to several different species. The best time to visit the Orchid House is without a doubt during the spring months, September through November.

Moving away from the coastal cities we find ourselves in the capital of South Africa, the Pretoria Botanical Gardens. Surrounded by urban development, this is a much-needed refuge from the hustle and bustle of modern life, not just for us, but for the wildlife that occurs there. There are over 220 recorded species of birds meaning that during spring the garden comes alive to the sound of thousands of bird calls. Stroll through the gardens and you can climb to the top of a ‘koppie’ from which you can view the entire gardens and the surrounding city, a scene that sets alight the senses with sound and colour.

The last botanical garden on this list is the Johannesburg Botanic Gardens. Placed just outside the city centre, the gardens are home to over 30 000 trees, 4500 species of plants, an arboretum, a Rose Garden and Herb Garden. The gardens are also frequently the venue for concerts and live performances.

This article by no means covers all the Botanical Gardens within South Africa, but rather the ones that, for many South Africans, are close to home. The gardens are perfect for spending a beautiful spring or summer day, whether you are taking the entire family on an outing or you wish to take that special someone on a romantic picnic, the gardens provide you with the perfect setting.

NetFlorist offers a range of fully stocked picnic baskets, complete with red roses, champagne or a beautiful bottle of red wine that makes those romantic moments so much easier to come by. For those family moments, NetFlorist also offers healthy fruit baskets and gourmet hampers that will have the whole family smiling.

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We realise that it is not always possible to get away for the day and take that stroll through the gardens, so why not send that special someone a piece of the garden instead with our stunning flower bouquets and flower arrangements. From proteas and orchids to lilies and roses, NetFlorist will deliver their own personal piece of the spring bloom, right to their door. NetFlorist delivers flowers nationwide and to all the major cities; Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria, and Durban.

Tulips – Fun facts and caring tips

Taking care of your cut tulips and plants

Tulips are known for their beauty, popularity and being a favourite all year long. Today there are over 3000 varieties of cultivated tulips and a whopping 75 wild tulip species! Every year Holland grows and exports billions of tulips around the world. In this post, we are going to share some fun facts, and tell you how to care for your tulips, as fresh cut flowers and potted plants.

See more: TOP 6 TIPS FOR IRIS CARE

Fun Facts:

  • Few know this, but in South Africa, Tulips are actually wintering flowers. They are rare in the warmer months of the year when they are grown in cold rooms.
  • Worldwide they are the third most popular flower, only beaten by Roses and Chrysanthemum.
  • They are the only cut flowers that grow in water!
  • Tulips feel the drop in temperature at night and close their petals.
  • The tulip’s petals are edible! Depending on the colour, they range from being sweet, to tasting a bit bland. PS. If you want to try this, the pink, white and peach petals are the sweetest, and the red and yellow the most flavourful.
  • About 90% of South Africa’s tulips are exported.
  • Tulip bulbs multiply when dormant.
  • Tulips are one of few flowers that have pores along the stem that absorb water!

Tried and tested myths that actually work:

  • If your tulip’s head flops to the side, simply pinch it through the neck with a needle or pin. The head will lift up soon after that and you might get an extra day or two of its beauty.
  • Or, you can drop a coin in the water. The reaction from the water and the copper has the tulip lifting its head up again.

Taking care of your cut Tulips:

  • First off, always buy tulips while they are still in bud. By the time you get home, they might have already opened, especially in the South African weather!
  • The first thing to do with your cut tulips is to cut down the bottom of the stems as its pores have closed. When you cut the stems, you open the pores again for the stems to absorb the water.
  • Once placed in a vase, only add about 5cm of water. Only top water up once a day. Don’t over water it, as it absorbs the water faster, causing the head to flop sooner.
  • Fresh tulips don’t need plant food – it simply needs fresh water to stay alive.
  • Fresh tulips are better on their own in a bouquet, as they only have a five-day life expectancy.
  • REMEMBER: Tulips thrive in a cool environment as they are fragile.
Tulips in vases

Spoil someone special with a beautiful tulip flowering plant or bouquet from NetFlorist.

See more: PROTEA FLOWER FUN FACTS

Caring for your Tulip Plants:

  • Tulip plants are grown in cold rooms in South Africa.
  • Keep the plants away from heat as it causes faster development.
  • Only water your plant twice a week. If you want, you can put water in a drip tray and place your tulip pot in there so it can absorb the water as needed.
  • Once the colour of the tulip flower starts showing, the life expectancy of the tulip plant is around a week to a week and a half.
  • Once the flower dies, you can cut it down and take the bulb out of the soil. Place it in a dry and dark place, or plant in a dry area in the garden.
  • The bulbs multiply in the ground in their dormant state.
  • In the late summer, you can plant your bulbs again for them to bloom during the winter season.
Tulips potted plants and bouquets available.

NetFlorist has the most amazing range of potted plants and flowering plants, like these beauties: Tulip flowers.

Tulips are beautiful flowers and although they don’t have an exceptionally long lifespan, they are beauties you want in your home and office! NetFlorist has tulips that come in just about every shade of colour and we know that these amazing flowers are an awesome gift for just about any and every occasion.

SA Marriage week – Focusing on the wellbeing of your marriage

GIFTS TO SPOIL YOur BETTER HALF THIS MARRIAGE WEEK

One of the most beautiful quotes about marriage is something we came across in the book turned movie, The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks: “Marriage is [about] becoming a team. You’re going to spend the rest of your life learning about each other, and every now and then, things blow up. But the beauty of marriage is that if you picked the right person and you both love each other, you’ll always figure out a way to get through it”.

Since we’re at the start of SA Marriage week, which will be 1 – 7 September 2016, we decided to join in on the theme of “Do something, give something”. This is not just in terms of buying gifts for your significant other, this is also about the smaller things in life, such as making a sandwich and sharing it while sitting on the couch and watching a movie. With this in mind, we thought of a few ideas in which you can incorporate romantic gifts from NetFlorist to show your better half how much they mean to you.

Love and marriage

A happy marriage is about spending quality time together.

  1. Show your romantic side when you buy a dozen blood red roses and hide them from her all around the house. Start off with a little note at the door, leading her to the first rose and take her through the house until she finds the last rose which will be in your hand, as you smile like a silly loon!
  2. Escape the everyday life by packing a picnic basket filled with snacks and bubbly and take your significant other away to a beautiful place where you can enjoy the treats and each other’s company. In the end, that is what love and marriage is about – spending quality time together.
  3. The key to a successful marriage is doing things for one another. If you know that your significant other has had a rough day, fill up a bath with bath oil, a fizz ball and have a glass of wine handy for when she comes home. Little gestures like this can go a long way!
  4. Celebrating your six-month anniversary? Order a box of six doughnuts to celebrate the half dozen months together and make a toast to the next six months in a happy marriage.
  5. In married life, one sometimes has to stop amidst the hustle and bustle and make time for each other. Buy a couple’s moonlight spa voucher and enjoy the night getting a few treatments, dinner and just enjoying each other’s company.
  6. SA Marriage Week is about creating harmony in the home, and this includes sharing. Why not kick back and relax in the comfort of your love nest, and share a delcious dinner, complete with snacks and wine? We have a wide variety of snack and booze hampers for you to set the mood and give you a real chance to reflect.

All in all, we want you to make sure that you use this week to reflect on your marriage, focusing on its wellbeing and creating harmony in the home. A successful marriage takes work, which is why doing small things for each other really goes a long way. No matter what you decide to do during SA Marriage Week, NetFlorist is here to help you make it beneficial!

Happy marriages is about the small things in life

SA Marriage week – Celebrate your love with presents

Spring Flowers to celebrate Spring Day

Spring flowers That will dazzle

Spring is the time of the year where the flower blossoms bloom, the sun shines warmer on the earth, and jeans, woolly shirts and boots are replaced with shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops. It is also the time to shake off the embrace of the winter months. It is a beautiful time of year where everything just seems to come to life. During this time, it almost feels like a necessity to add a bit of colour to your life, and a great way to do this is to buy spring flowers that please the senses.

As we will soon be swinging into Spring the 1st of September, many will be on the hunt for spring flowers to buy and send to loved ones. But, which flowers do you send that convey the message of springtime? We have selected a bunch of flowers we are fond of for Spring Day for you to choose from.

Spring Flowers - Roses, Tulips and gerberas

Beautiful flowers for Spring Day – Gerbera Daisies, Tulips and Roses.

Roses

Roses are popular among many, and as a flower with vast meanings and symbolism, that is no surprise. Roses are the perfect addition to any home or office to brighten up the space for spring. Regardless of the colour, roses are a beautiful gift with their subtle fragrance and beauty.

Sunflowers

Known for their bright yellow petals and brown/green centre, sunflowers are great flowers for adding warmth and a sunny feeling in a home or office. They symbolise power, strength and positivity as they always turn their faces towards the sun.

Tulips

The world’s most recognised and a favourite amongst many. Since tulips are so popular, they are the perfect gift to a loved one to transition into spring. Send a bouquet of tulips in a variety of colours and brighten someone’s living space.

Buy Spring Flowers for Spring Day

A bunch of flowers to celebrate Spring Day – Daisies, Roses, Tulips and Irises

Irises

A strikingly unique and beautiful flower, ranging from deep purple and blue to white and yellow. The meaning of sending irises is that of hope. It is perfect as a spring flower, as it gives the hope of new beginnings and bright futures.

Daisies

South Africans will know these beauties by the amazing burst of colour they are part of from August to October in the Namaqualand. Every year the Namaqualand Flower Route attracts multiple visitors, making it one of the largest attractions in South Africa during springtime.

Beautiful Spring flowers for Spring Day

Flowers for Spring – Irises, Daisies and Gerberas

No matter which Spring flower you choose, you can be sure that they will be appreciated by the smiling recipients. Spring deserves to be celebrated, so show some floral happiness to someone special this Spring Day 2016 with NetFlorist!

Wedding bouquets and traditions

Why do we have wedding bouquets?

We have celebrated weddings with long and beautiful wedding dresses, wedding bouquets, veils that cover the blushing bride’s face and the bridal party supporting the bride and groom at the altar while vowing to love one another for eternity. But, where these things come from? Where did the whole wedding bouquet and wedding flowers come from? Here at NetFlorist we just love our flowers, so it is important for us to have the ins and outs of all things flowers. So, for today we are going to share the history of wedding bouquets and the tossing thereof with you. Also, what to keep in mind when choosing your flower types and colours.

 

Wedding bouquets:

In ancient times a bouquet of strong smelling herbs and spices were carried by the bride to drive away evil spirits, bad luck and ill health. During Roman times, the tradition expanded to include flowers in the bouquet, as a symbol of fertility. The bride and groom wore floral garlands to signify their new life and the hope of fertility. The bride adds her floral garland to her wedding bouquet whereas the groom adds the same flowers as the bridal bouquet to his buttonhole – stemming from the medieval times of the Knight wearing the traditional colours of the lady, declaring his love for her.

In the olden days where superstitions etc. were popular belief, the bride was considered to have tons of good luck. Thus started the tradition of tossing the bridal bouquet.

Order Wedding Bouquets at NetFlorist

Perfect Wedding Bouquets for the blushing bride and her bridesmaids!

Tossing of bridal bouquet:

Being the bride and having tons of luck also meant that you where the target of people wanting a piece of whatever luck you had. This ended up badly as sometimes the gown and flowers where torn piece by piece from the bride by the crowd. As a distraction technique, brides later on started a tradition, that stems from England, to toss her bouquet into the crowd and make a run for it. Today, in a more civilised era, the bride tosses the bouquet at the reception to the single women that form a crowd, with the belief that whoever catches it will be the next to get married.

When choosing flowers for your wedding, the type of flower today may not be as important as finding the flower who’s colour matches your colour scheme perfectly.

 

Beautiful arrangements of wedding flowers

Beautiful floral table arrangements that will make a statement!

Choosing the perfect bouquet of flowers:

In the old days when thinking of flowers for your wedding, like the bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids and the centrepieces, one tended to choose flowers whose meanings had some significance to you. While flowers with a love connection, like roses and carnations, were (and still is) popular, there are many other flowers that have powerful meanings like daffodils (new beginnings), iris (faith), and calla lily (holiness) to consider.

Colour also plays a significant role in a flower’s meaning too. The favourite wedding flower, the rose, has different meanings depending on the colour. Red roses symbolise passion, the bridal white rose means happy love and the yellow one signifies joy and a promise of new beginnings. The same goes for the chrysanthemum: the red symbolises love; the white kind symbolises loyal love and truth.

Weddings are something special as it marks the start of a new beginning with your significant other. Choosing the flowers for your bouquet is something that needs to be thought about, although it shouldn’t be the very axis your world turns around. Now that you know why there are bouquets, why they are tossed and what are the significance behind them, go forth and choose beautiful flowers from the NetFlorist range that will be perfect for your wedding, from rustic to classic – we have them!