Archive for November, 2010


See the new tab at the top of the page?  GROUPS IN THE NEWS

Click on it for a once a month round-up — viewing the great group dynamics that turned into great accomplishments.


If your organization has made a difference with a community project in the past month, send a press release or published media url link, to salonhostess@gmail.com and efforts will be made to include it.

Nancy R. Peck


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Victoria giant water lily

Giant water lilies at botanic center

Huge water lilies—Victoria amazonica and Victoria cruziana—have leaves that can measure up to nine feet in diameter. They are native to the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin. Flowers are white the first night that they open and become pink the second night and are pollinated by scarab beetles.

While the expansive leaves are delicate, the plant can support 70 pounds IF the weight is distributed across the surface. The girl pictured here stands on a wood sheet. 

The plant was named for the new Queen Victoria in 1837. . . It isn’t every day that someone names a gigantic plant after you.

Image:  Lily pond in front of the Linnaean House of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 1902.

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plant Braille marker

Plant Braille markers

We had found our way to the Center in Watertown, Massachusetts with the combined help of GPS, pencil notes, Google maps and finally by querying dog walkers. Precise parking lot at last located, we followed our noses along the historic 38-acre campus paths. Just past an ages-old Copper Beech was the reception entrance, where we were to get a visitor pass. A staff member guided us through a dark hall and then outside to paths leading to the horticulture center. 

This is the story of a few garden club gal-pals paying a visit to the Thomas & Bessie Pappas Horticulture Center located within The Perkins School for the Blind.


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cranberry harvest New England

New England cranberry harvesting

Once a year, every year, I buy my token bag of cranberries. After all these years, I’m still trying to perfect cranberry sauce. While this year’s attempt boils, I filter through YouTube to see just how cranberries are harvested. My favorite video is this PlumTV production featuring a Nantucket bog harvest.

P.S. Feel free to send me The Absolute Best & Irresistible Cranberry Sauce recipe.—Nancy

Top photo source: ‘jkb’, Creative Commons

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flower parade Netherlands

Flower parade in the Netherlands

In April, the Bloemencorso van de Bollenstreek annual flower parade in the Netherlands travels 25 miles between Nordwijk aan Zee and Haarlem.

Photo source: Teun Spaans, Creative Commons

May your holiday travels be safe and scenic—views unobstructed.

floral parade Netherlands

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‘Tis the season when our favorite floral designers are in high gear. Design studios and floral shops are hubs of exhilaration. Ever wonder how they do it? Ever had some questions for a designer? I was fortunate to gain an e-mail interview with busy designer, Rachel Cho.

Floral Design by Rachel Cho

Floral design by Rachel Cho

Rachel is a favorite floral designer in much of New York City. Upscale, trendy, versatile—her arrangements are voluptuous. Her mission: To create inspired floral arrangements that leave our customers speechless. “Every arrangement we make is unique to one’s occasion, mood, style, and personality.”

I can’t do her talent justice here with one photo, so explore her website for arrangement visuals, ordering info, and tidbits about her background. Her fresh spirit shines through and her attention to service is evident. www.rachelchoinc.com

A highlight of the year is her participation in the unique Tulips & Pansies event, next one scheduled for May 19, 2011. Do tune into the Tulips & Pansies model runway video (link at the bottom of the post). And you thought Chiquita had amazing neck muscles! 

Let’s get right to it. I asked . . .

Are there particular flowers or other elements you would recommend for December? Anything new in the floral business or holiday flower styles this year that customers might like to know about?  Right now tulips, amaryllis, hyacinths and other bulb flowers and berries such as ilex and berzelias are starting to come in, which marks the start of the holidays for me. I love seeing (more…)

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Since the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Swiss-born scientific illustrator Cornelia Hesse-Honegger has depicted and studied over 16,000 morphologically-disturbed insects. She has concentrated on Heteroptera in Sweden, France, German and Switzerland. Other nuclear plants and refining sites were included.

mutated bugs Cornelia Hesse-Honegger

Illustration by Cornelia Hesse-Honegger

Various write-ups about Hesse-Honegger’s work can be found online. A good article is found here: http://www.chembiodiv.com/highlight.htm. It points out that 30% of bugs examined had some damage of varying degrees such as missing feeler sections, malformed wings, asymmetric body parts, ulcers, spots, altered pigmentation. In comparison, the maximum mutation rate in undisturbed habitats is 3%. In addition, findings show that wind direction and topography are more factors in affectation than proximity to facilities.

Hesse-Honegger’s illustrations have been exhibited in various museums in Europe and the United States. More images may be seen here: http://www.wissenskunst.ch/

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