Episode #513 Flower Memories
Flowers have a way of intertwining with memories in this episode of Life In Bloom. We’ll visit with my grandpa, Carnation Joe, discuss first memories of flowers, memorialize those who’ve gone before us and even enjoy some happy clouds.
“If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.”
– Claudia Adrienne Grandi
One of my favorite hobbies- is engaging in a conversation about Memories.. It may be a stranger I met while traveling or on an airplane.. or asking about the history behind an object… or even better- wondering what someone’s first memory of flowers may be…
It leads to sharing- and for me- it’s lead to some incredible discoveries- and life long treasured friendship… not to mention- commonalities- passions or shared adventures. For Me- Flowers are memory makers- creators and conservators… Let’s take the opportunity today- to make, share and invest- in some Beautiful Flower Memories!
Memories with Carnation Joe
Recently I was contacted by a hometown Friend- Richard Rader- Richard is a professional photographer in Fremont Nebraska- and he recently un-earthed a Vintage Interview- featuring my Grandfather- Carnation Joe Green- giving an interview in our Family Greenhouses….
The Greenhouses- and my GrandFather are long gone- but just as flowers provide a powerful ability to recall memories- this video does the same…
I can smell the damp earthy smell of the greenhouse- it’s a smell you never forget- and somehow
I’m transported back to that very day- and through this little magical piece of footage… I can share a minute or two with Carnation Joe and his stories… I hope you enjoy it every bit as much as do…
Red Carnation Arrangement with Lily
So – after that little trip down memory lane- I’m compelled to arrange a few red carnations… in fond memory of Grandpa Joe…
J finishes by adding a Lily- to the Red Carnation- to symbolize his Grandma Lily- Carnation Joe and
His Lily- together again… Thanks for the Memories Rich Rader- you’re a great friend!
Featured Flower: Gardenia
- Gardenia is a genus of flowering plants in the coffee family, Rubiaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, Madagascar and Pacific Islands, and Australia.
- The genus was named by Carl Linnaeus and John Ellis after Dr. Alexander Garden, a Scottish-born American naturalist.
- The leaves are opposite or in whorls of three or four, broad, dark green and glossy with a leathery texture.
- The flowers are solitary or in small clusters, white, or pale yellow, with a tubular-based corolla with 5–12 petals from 2 to 4 and a half inches in diameter.
- Flowering is from about mid-spring to mid-summer, and many species are strongly scented.
- Gardenia plants are prized for the strong sweet scent of their flowers.
- the species Gardenia jasminoides is cultivated as a house plant. This species can be difficult to grow because it originated in warm humid tropical areas and demands high humidity to thrive, and bright (not direct) light. Potting soils developed especially for gardenias are available. It grows no larger than 18 inches in height and width when grown indoors. If water touches the flowers, they will turn brown.
- The fruit of the species Gardenia jasminoides is used as a yellow dye on fabric and food
- Its fruits are also used in traditional Chinese medicine for their clearing, calming, and cooling properties.
- In France, gardenias are the flower traditionally worn by men as boutonnière when in evening dress.
- In the book The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton suggests it was customary for upper-class men from New York City to wear a gardenia in their buttonhole during the Gilded Age.
- Hattie McDaniel famously wore gardenias in her hair when she accepted an Academy Award, the first for an African American, for Gone With The Wind. Mo’Nique Hicks later wore gardenias in her hair when she won her Oscar as a tribute to McDaniel.
Here’s additional information I found out about Gardenia when doing my research…
Bloom 365 Idea/Tip/Trick – Rosemary
“Here’s my Bloom 365 Tip – helping you to enjoy flowers every day of the year…”
From Bloom 365 (#72)- J’s Award Winning Book- (Buy it here!)
Rosemary has profound effects on memory. Rubbing the fragrant stems and smelling the oil has proven to be an aid in memory retention.
Reference information about the Benefits of Rosemary on Memory!
Memorial Day Flower Foundation
Observing Memorial Day Flowers Foundation in action at Grand Rapids Veterans Cemetery. Interview foundation representative, interview participants.
Grand Rapids Veterans Cemetery Contacts:
Chaplain Bruce – Interview
Michael – PR, Tiffany Carr , Cheryl Price
Bank of America – Renee Tabbin
Blue Star Moms, Scouts (TBD)
Memorial Day Flowers Foundation – Bernardo Beate, Director of Operations
Kennecott Brothers (Transportation) – Courtney Hill
Memorial Day Flowers Foundations BOX Opening and Processing (Coming Soon)
Create your OWN Memorial Day Flowers Event- with the help of this Memorial Day Flower Box- the box contains 125 Stems of Flowers- Cost is $150 (Shipping is INCLUDED)… I became familiar with Memorial Day Flower Foundation and their Founder Ramiro – Penaherrera through their Events at Arlington National Cemetery.
I was enthralled by this flower collaboration- that brought flowers – from around the Country and Around the World – to that Historic National Cemetery, in order to commemorate the Service of the Soldiers in the US Military!
My Father, 3rd generation florist Mel Schwanke, signed up for the Marines at the start of World War II and became a combat wounded Purple Heart recipient – so this commemorative effort is personal for me – as it is for many participants.
Each flower that is placed at a grave is an emotional symbol of respect and remembrance for those who have defended our country at great cost, and their families. The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation has created this opportunity (for the nation’s flower industry) to share the power of flowers with the families and friends of our armed services.
My Father Mel – was a tremendous Supporter and Admirer of the Important Work the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation provides at cemeteries all across the USA. Events like this one today reach out to members of the local community to commemorate those who served.
When presented with the chance to participate with the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, our friends at Blue Star Moms, the Boy Scouts, and Bank of America were moved to join us here at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home and Cemetery to create a powerful local Flower Event that honors and commemorates the Soldiers and their families laid to rest here in Grand Rapids.
The goal – is to lead by example – by organizing a Local Event here in Grand Rapids that may spark and inspire more begin a grass roots events – small and large – all across the Country. Such events can provide local recognition, respect, and honor – through the power of FLOWERS – to the Great Men and Women in all branches of America’s Armed Services.
For more information- visit www.MemorialDayFlowers.org
First Flower Memories (with Mary Lou & Lorraine
J discusses the first memories of flowers and his presentations to the social sorority group along with including footage with Mary Lou and Lorraine.
For Many Years- I gave presentations to one of the longest Standing Beta Sigma Phi Sororities – in the Country… it also so happened that this particular group- included my Mother In Law- Mary Lou Blank- and her best Friend Lorraine Schultz…
This was a group of Michigan Ladies- that had known one another for over 50 years… and they are close knit wonderful friends- and a true pleasure to be around- It was a Delight of mine- to get together with them- and create flowers for them to take home…
Flowers Memories are Important and for me very Interesting and Valuable- so I thought it would be fun to ask These Ladies about their First Memories of Flowers- and learn a little more about how Flowers affected them…and the role it played in their lives… “
Happy Clouds Cocktail K
Colorful and fun, this deconstructed Negroni is inspired by Bob Ross’s popular painting show ‘The Joy of Painting’ (premiered in 1983) and his iconic phrase “Happy Little Clouds.”
1.25 oz. gin (Used Empress Gin – color)
1.25 oz. Butterfly Pea-Infused vermouth (used plain dry vermouth)
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir ingredients and strain into a coupe. Serve on a glass mirror with a piece of cotton candy.
*Either add cotton candy to the drink or eat it before or after taking a sip.
Create Your Own Memories with Flowers
J creates an arrangement for a party or event to make the celebration more memorable.
Memories of Family and Friends are very important part of my Life in Bloom…
I’ve had incredible friends and family- that have influenced my Flower Arranging Skills
and others that have inspired me to greater heights… and then there are those
that taught me to live, laugh and love…
For me- Flowers are the Finest way to honor and reflect upon a cherished friendship or loved one…
Hydrangeas- the symbol for heartfelt emotion…
Dahlias- represent a Lasting Bond – between two people- and represent Strength, Grace and Kindness
and Zinnias- are associated with Friendship, endurance- goodness and lasting affection…
The victorian Meaning of Zinnias- is “thoughts of an absent friend”…
Sunflowers or Blackeyed Susans represent Loyalty and Adoration
Hostas mean Friendship and Devotion
Let’s create a beautiful arrangement- and recall my wonderful friends and family no longer with us…
So many have asked- and here is a list of the people featured in these photos…
J’s Aunt Alyce Smith (and J)
Ron Wayne- AKA- Auntie Mame
Bettina Burklund (and J)
Dorothy Swanson (with J and Shelly Thompson)
Haskell Eargle (and J)
J and Pat Doyle
The Legend- Col Richard Seaboldt, J , and Bobbie Ecker-Blatchford
J and Eleanor
Mary Lou and George Blank, Kelly and J (Kelly’s Parents)
Carnation Joe Green and His Lily (J’s Grand Parents)
Viewer Feedback with Cabby and Tony Flynn….
Now it’s time to share some Flower Fan Mail-
“Today, I’m especially excited to share flower crowns Shared with me by Tony Flynn and created by his wife Cabby Flynn for their twin granddaughters Maggie and Josie, on the occasion of their 5th birthday… This is WONDERFUL…
And Tony and Cabby could not resist modeling the crowns as well – Flower Crowns always make people smile don’t they? Thank you for Sharing your LIFE IN BLOOM- with all of us… You’re THE BEST!
“Thanks for sharing Tony! I LOVE to see pictures of your flower arrangements – AND Flower Crowns, of course. Send them to email@example.com – the letter j at the letter u- bloom.com and watch for more Schwankes on upcoming shows”
Memories are at the ready to be enjoyed – and flowers can spark reminiscing and even enhance the experiences of the past. Flowers engage the senses and make important occasions all the more special –not only in the present, but for enjoyment in the future as well. For Life In Bloom, I’m J Schwanke.