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Flower Fact Friday: Hypericum

Hypericum is mainly used for ornamental purposes, but did you know it also has medicinal properties?

Hypericum flower (St. John's wort)

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Why is hypericum called St. John’s wort?

More commonly referred to as St. John’s wort, hypericum has tiny yellow star-shaped flowers used as an herb. Its nickname is derived from the feast honoring St. John the Baptist on June 23rd, which is widely celebrated in the Christian and Catholic communities. It is tradition to pluck the herb on the night of the feast, and take it to church to receive a blessing. The herb was believed to have special powers to ward off evil spirits.

Origin & Characteristics

The hypericum plant is native to the mediterranean region of Europe, and also North Africa, the Middle East, and West Asia. The plant has leafy stems that are 24 to 36 inches in length and has round berries in clusters at the top. There are more than 400 cultivars of hypericum, and in a wide range of colors such as red, brown, ivory, pink, and burgundy for example. One third of those cultivars are used as ornamental cut flowers.

Medicinal Properties

Almost 2,400 years ago, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, recommended St. John’s wort to treat nervous unrest. The medicinal properties lie in the black dots along the margin of the blossom, which contain hypericin. The chemical makeup of hypericin is believed to produce sedative and pain relieving effects. In the Roman era, St. John’s wort was used to treat wounds from the battlefield. Hypericum is thought to treat mild depression, insomnia and anxiety. Used externally, it is used to treat wounds, mild burns, skin disorders and bruises. 

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Boxed Floral Specials for Autumn

Autumn season has officially begun, and many retail floral shops and event planners are getting busy. Window displays are decked out in harvest decor, pumpkins and earthy hues. Every year we create boxed specials containing colorful and unique fresh cut flowers in season.

Please contact the Sales Department at 1-888-548-ROSE, to pre-book any of the available autumn floral specials. (Refer to flyer below)

Autumn Floral Specials 2014

Boxed floral specials available for 2014 autumn season. 

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Autumn Flowers 2016

There’s something wholesome about the fall season. The changing foliage, the crisp air, the warm shades of nature—dormant, yet vivacious all at once. This quarter is one of the most abundant in varieties throughout the floral year. Our flowers come from all over the world, which allows us to bring the most unique flowers to make your floral creations stand out. You will be seeing euphorbia, hypericum, kangaroopaws, crocosmia, sunflowers, and other varieties throughout the season.

Novelty Fall Pom Box

Every year this specialty box is highly anticipated among floral designers. It is the perfect representation of autumn, including daisies, spider mums, cushions, disbuds and pom poms in gold, bronze, orange and rusty red. The box is available every week from September 26th through November 21st, 2016. If you love them so much, you can set up a standing order to receive a box every week.

Novelty Fall Pom Flowers

Novelty Fall Pom Box











Peony Season From Chile 

Every designer, and every bride loves peonies. Luckily for both parties, these austere blooms are in season from November until early January. Every variety has a rotation cycle, meaning certain varieties become available at different points throughout the peony season. Ask our floral experts to provide a chart with approximate rotation dates and variety names.

Chilean Peony Season

Chilean Peony Season











Weekly Garden Roses 

Although garden roses are in season year round, there are some varieties we suggest for your floral designs within the fall color palette. Romantic Antike and Caramel Antike are both cup-shaped garden roses, for a classic and traditional look for centerpieces. The auburn and golden yellow color would combine beautifully with fruits and earthy foliage. Red Piano also has a nostalgic cup-shaped head with side shoots that give it a hand-picked aesthetic. In the yellow palette, we recommend Lemon Pom Pom and Catalina. For a sophisticated floral arrangement, David Austin varieties up the ante and we love Edith with its light fragrance and also the ruffly-edged buttercream rose, Beatrice. Visit our garden rose gallery to browse all of our varieties.

Garden Rose Collage

Garden Rose Collage


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Autumn Flowers in Season


There’s something wholesome about the fall season. The foliage changes, the air becomes crisp—a sense of warmth overcomes our surrounding. Autumn is a great season for weddings. Not only is the weather favorable, but a larger array of floral varieties are readily available. Halloween and Thanksgiving is also approaching, and our farms have already begun to grow and harvest the earthy, auburn tones that are popular around this time of the year.

Below are some popular rose varieties. You may recognize Free Spirit, a peachy-orange rose with beautifully ruffled edges. The tangerine-orange hue of the Santana rose is impressive. The ever so seductive and classic Forever Young and Freedom are two of our best-selling red roses. If you like bi-colored roses, Circus and High Magic are excellent choices.

Autumn Roses

Aside from our roses, we bring other fillers and focal varieties: mini callas, Magical Hypericum Berries (new at Virgin Farms), Asiatic lilies, Oriental lilies, assorted spray roses, and carnations. As always, we’re here to lend a hand—if you’re looking for a specific variety, we can help you find it.

Sprays, Lilies, Carnations

Each year we offer the Fall Novelty Pack. It’s a tray with an assortment of poms including spiders, disbuds, cushions, and daisies. We custom pack it within the box size you choose, along with other product you need. For instance, some of our customers order the Fall Novelty Pack and a few bunches of roses or fillers. Once the box is filled to capacity, we’ll ship your order. This is a popular floral tray, so reserve those poms before they’re sold out!

Shipments begin Monday, September 23rd through Tuesday, November 26th, 2013.

Novelty Fall Pack

Follow us on Pinterest to get inspiration and ideas for your designs, arrangements and events this fall season. Check back soon for more blog posts, and subscribe to our newsletter to receive specials and promotions!

What are your favorite varieties during this time of year? Share in the comments section. 

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Flower Fact Friday: Sunflowers

Did you know that sunflowers always face the sun? Heliotropism is a diurnal behavior of plant parts that move in the direction of the sun. Sunflowers are native to North and South America and were domesticated around 1000 B.C. In greek the word ‘helios’ means sun and anthos means flower.

The sunflower is a large blossom made of a disc and surrounded by ray florets, which are usually yellow, but depending on the variety can be maroon or orange. The head consists of about 1,000 to 2,000 petals. These radiant flowers are cultivated mostly for their seeds and as fresh cut flowers. The seeds are refined to produce sunflower oil, and accounts for 14% of the world production of seed oils. Sunflower seeds have excellent health properties, especially zinc, which is accountable for functions in the immune system. Other nutritional properties include fiber, calcium, vitamin E, iron, and selenium.

At Virgin Farms we generally bring in the mini sunflowers from Ecuador. Sunflowers are popular around harvest time, and especially for Thanksgiving. They symbolize adoration, loyalty and longevity. When processing your sunflowers, remove the leaves below vase level and cut the stems at a sharp angle. Be sure to use a vase strong enough to support the weight of stem and bloom.

Mini Sunflowers

Mini Sunflowers

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Flower Fact Friday: Dutch Flower Auction

Have ever wondered where did your tulips come from? Well, most dutch flowers such as amaryllis, kangaroo paws, and gerbera daisies are grown in Holland. In the Netherlands, the famed Aalsmeer Auction is where half of the world’s flowers and bought and sold.

The Aalsmeer Auction has been around since the early 20th century. The flowers are housed in a warehouse that is two million square meters. Buyers from all over gather to bid on flowers for the best lowest price. Before the auction begins at 6 a.m., buyers get a chance to visit the cooling rooms to inspect the flowers that will be auctioned.

Dutch Auction Clock

Dutch Auction Clock (source:

How Does the Dutch Auction Work?

At the facility, an auction clock is displayed overhead and a starting price is displayed. The price decreases until the first buyer pushes a button bidding the lowest price. The auctioneer will then ask the buyer how many buckets he or she will purchase at that price. Then the auction continues with the rest of the flower lots.

Technology and Dutch Flower Auction

Today, technology has changed the traditional way of auctioning. Buyers with a license can participate remotely from their computers. Many of the flowers never make it to the auction warehouse, in efforts to reduce carbon footprint and ship directly instead. Improvements to the digital bidding platform allows buyers to see photos, and a description of the length, size and condition of the flowers. The demand for flowers is such that most flowers are already sold before they’re even grown and harvested. This is usually the case around busy holidays in the industry like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

The Future of the Dutch Flower Industry

At Wageningen University near Amsterdam, researchers are working on ways to reduce energy and labor costs. They are testing containers that would store flowers for weeks at near-freezing temperatures. This method would allow flowers to be shipped by boat instead of planes.

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Throwback Thursday: Trip to Ecuadorian Rose Farms

When you receive your roses from Virgin Farms, it’s not just a product. There’s a story to each rose, from the time it is planted in the ground to the time they are harvested. In September we will be visiting the farms to take you on a journey of the cultivation process.

The pictures below are from our visit to Ecuador in 2004. The cool weather and high altitude is what makes conditions optimal for growing robust roses. There is plenty of work involved in making sure the rose plants have the proper level of sunlight, hydration, and fertilization.

Once the roses are harvested, they are transported to a packaging facility onsite. The roses are checked for quality assurance, and sorted by stem length. Employees then package each bunch in protective insulation and cardboard. The bunches are taken by lot into a cooler where it is a chilly 32℉. The cold chain method preserves the roses’ freshly harvested state until it arrives to you. This is why your flowers often look thirsty upon arrival to your shop. Once you hydrate your flowers, they begin to bloom and show off their beauty.

Visit to our Ecuadorian Farms in 2004

We will be sharing photos and live streaming from the farms in September. Be sure to follow us on social media go on the journey with us! Instagram @virginfarms

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Flower Fact Friday: Eucalyptus

In the floral design world, nothing is impossible. The more unusual the elements, the more original the design. Even fruits and vegetables have been incorporated into arrangements, giving it an earthy appeal. Herbs like lavender, sage, foxglove, St. John’s wort (hypericum), and seeded eucalyptus make unique cut flowers.

Eucalyptus is native to Australia and Tasmania and belongs to the myrtle family. The name is derived from the greek word “eucalyptos,” which means well-covered. Australian aborigines used the plant as a remedy for fevers, wounds, coughs, asthma, and joint pain. The fragrant oil contained in the leaves have beneficial properties: antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and expectorant.

An interesting historical event took place in the mid 1800s. In Algiers, France a German botanist named Baron Ferdinand von Miller discovered that eucalyptus could be used as disinfectant in fever districts. The seeds were sent to Algiers and planted in the marshy regions. The plants thrived and converted the area into a dry and healthy environment, and as a result drove away mosquitoes and prevented the malaria disease from spreading fevers.

There are many types of eucalyptus, but the most popular in floral design are seeded eucalyptus, baby blue, and silver dollar. It is mainly used as a filler in arrangements and bouquets. Eucalyptus can also be dried and preserved as potpourri.

Types of Eucalyptus

Types of Eucalyptus (source:



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Flower Fact Friday: Do flowers make people happier?

Scientific studies show that a person’s mood improves with the presence of flowers. It’s no wonder on special occasions the go-to gift is a floral bouquet. Think of the immediate behavioral response provokes at the sight of the colors, texture and scent of flowers.

In a study conducted at Harvard University, participants reported feeling happier and more positive jumpstarting the day with the presence of flowers. People are usually least energetic in the morning and it is quite common for moods to warm up as the day progresses. Different scenarios were studied to determine the psychological influence of flowers. When a bouquet of flowers was incorporated into the morning routine, participants felt perked up and enjoyed seeing them.

Another study showed that flowers or plants in a home have a positive emotional impact on people. Results conclude that there were feelings of more compassion and less anxiety. Other people reported experiencing a boost of energy that lasted throughout the day. Further observations determined that the best location to place flowers in a home is a kitchen, since it is a common gathering place throughout the day.

Desktop Flower Red Eye RoseIn hospitals, flowers present in the room showed increased well-being among patients. Studies indicate that people were more positive, needed less pain medication, had lower blood pressure and pulse rate, and felt less anxious or tired. Next time you visit a friend or family member, bring them a bright beautiful arrangement of mixed floral varieties and make sure they are aromatic to invigorate the sense of smell.

The color of flowers also determine mood response. Are you experiencing creative block? Studies show that looking at greenery and leafy plants inspired creativity. In an office with plants and flowers, there was better cognitive performance among employees. Flowers with brighter colors and that are next to each other on the color wheel produce a calming effect. Bolder and saturated colors energize people.

In conclusion, flowers in general are beautiful to look at and beneficial for your overall health as scientific studies have proven! Now that you have learned these interesting facts, share it with your customers and let them know that flowers are the perfect gift and remedy for any ailment.

Happy Flower Fact Friday!


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Wedding Garden Rose Guide

Our partners at Alexandra Farms have compiled a Wedding Guide for all the garden roses. We thought this guide would be useful for you all, and in addition it can serve as a look book for your wedding clients. Each page includes photos of the garden rose variety, a description, a photo of progression of the bloom, and if it is fragrant.

At the end of the guide, there’s a comparison chart of varieties by color group. This is a useful visual to compare textures, color variations, and bloom size. Also handy, Alexandra Farms have provided a care & handling chart and some interesting facts to know about garden roses. For instance, they highlight the fact that garden roses are somewhat variable. The same bunch of David Austin Constance garden roses may have different shades–some more pink in the center, while others have a peachy center. This is what makes flowers unique, and it is nature’s beautiful product.

Download the Garden Rose Wedding Guide

Vitality Wedding Guide

Vitality Wedding Guide

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