Barbara's Custom Floral & Gifts, Inc.
 Your Local, Friendly Florist

Sunflowers Bring out the Smiles  

These bright, showy flowers bring a smile to your face and sunshine to any day.
While you may admire sunflowers as they bloom in gardens and along roadways this time of year, you can also bring these magnificent flowers and their sunny disposition indoors.
Let them inspire you, as they have so many others. These include the Native Americans, who originally cultivated them for food and medicine as early as 3000 B.C., and Dutch painter Vincent van Gough, who painted them in vases and in all stages of life - from full bloom to withering.
Brighten your day today! Our sunflower bowls are available in two sizes. The small bowl with 5 blooms begins at $49.95 and the large one starts at $69.95.  Call us at 303-693-3840 to order some sunshine today.
Value for YOU
At Barbara's Custom Floral & Gifts, we pride ourselves in providing great value to you. Simply call us to take care of your floral and gift basket needs, and consider the task taken care of in a prompt and professional manner. Here's what you receive:
* The highest quality and freshest products and flowers available.
* Flowers and plants that are treated, preserved and misted so that they enjoy maximum life in your home or office.
* A photo emailed to you of the gift basket or floral arrangement, so that you can see what was delivered on your behalf.
All of this is always available from Barbara's, your friendly, local florist!


Your Garden Flowers Can Make Fabulous Indoor Arrangements
What can be more satisfying than cutting and arranging flowers from your very own garden? These are flowers you have cared for throughout the growing cycle. Bringing them indoors is a culmination of all of your efforts.
Before picking up your garden shears, however, you may want to consider a few things. For instance, do you want to use the flowers for a special occasion or as an every day treat? Do you know where you are going to place the arrangement once it's designed? What kind of container are you going to use? Finally, how do you treat these flowers to make them last as long as possible?
The first thing to do is choose a container that works well with the height and color of the flowers in your garden. The container you choose depends on style and how formal you want to be. A formal container may be reflective or shiny. An informal container may be a textured basket or something wooden. Sunflowers would look great in a wooden container, but they may not look quite as good in an expensive crystal vase.
Location of the arrangement also is important. If you are using the arrangement on a dining room or kitchen table, use a container that is low and round, like a short bowl. There's nothing more aggravating than having to peer around an arrangement to speak with the person across the table. If you want an arrangement for the fireplace mantle or on a table in front of a wall, a tall and cylindrical vase would be a better selection.
Now that you've chosen the container and decided where the arrangement is going to be placed, you can pick up those gardening shears and head for the garden. Oops! Wait! We haven't discussed how to process the flowers you're going to cut.
First, you'll want to fill a bucket of water about one-third full with temperate water. Next, you'll need to put preservative in the water and let it dissolve. You can pick up some floral preservative from the floral department of your grocer story. You'll need two or three packets per gallon of water. Other options are diluting a can of lemon-lime carbonated soft drink in the bucket of water, or adding about 2 tablespoons of mouthwash to a gallon of water. If you use a soft drink, make sure it's not a diet drink and that it is clear - not yellow or lime colored.
Now, you can head out to the garden. I recommend cutting your flowers early in the day - around 7 a.m. - and keeping the stems as long as possible. Remove all of the growth that falls below the water line in you bucket. Allow them to drink for one to two hours. Then, put the bucket in a cool location, such as a basement, for another hour or two. When you are ready to design your arrangement, recut each stem you are going to use at an angle under the water. This prevents air bubbles from traveling up the stem, causing bent neck.
Finally, you're ready to design! The first rule of thumb is to make sure your flowers are 1 times the height of your container. For a vase arrangement, arrange five stems of greenery around the lip of the container. Then place five stems of flowers on top of the greenery. You can place these flowers close to or above the lip of the container. (Lilies and other draping flowers work well around the edge of the container because they create a fuller arrangement. They also fill out the design nicely towards the middle and top of the arrangement.) Next, you'll arrange four stems 2 to 3 inches above the first level of flowers to form a square. Now, place two stems another 2 to 3 inches above the second level. Finally, place one stem in between the top two stems. This last stem should be another inch or two above the two stems. To fill in, you can use filler flowers such as asters or baby's breath. Finally, you can place additional greens between the flowers. This keeps the flowers in place and adds fullness to the arrangement.
It may take a few tries before you're satisfied with your creation. You can always rearrange a few flowers to make sure the design looks right. Take your time and stand back to look at the finished arrangement. We know you're going to feel satisfied knowing your arrangement complements the room, as well as the occasion. Plus, the added bonus is that you created this arrangement with flowers from your very own garden.  Hooray!!!

Include Your Plants in Your Vacation Plansvacation

Don't forget about your house plants when you are making your vacation plans. With proper planning, they will do just fine. 
Be sure to water your plants thoroughly the day before you leave. You can let them sit in a water-filled saucer for about 30 minutes for full absorption, but never leave them in sitting water while you are away.
Move plants located in sunny windows to places of bright, indirect light. If you have a sunny bathroom, you can put your plants in the shower, water them thoroughly and then close the shower door to keep the humidity in.
If nobody will be watering your plants while you are gone, you might consider using wicks. You can make your own wicking system using an old blanket that can be torn into 2-inch wide strips, shoelaces with the plastic tips cut off or wicking material available at garden centers and a bucket filled with water. Wet the wick/strip/lace and insert it carefully, with a knife, along the inside edge of the pot as close to the bottom as possible. Place the other end of the wick/strip/lace into the bucket of water so it reaches the bottom. Place a stone on top of it, so it can't float up. Place the water bucket next to the plant at a slight elevation. That should keep your plants moist while you are enjoying some R & R.
Decorating Trends
Stepping into a Faraway Bazaar
designThe Nomad decorating trend of the 2008-2009 season spotlights the bright colors often featured in tribal handicrafts found across the world - the golden oranges, deep fuschias, and brown-tinged reds.
These bright colors remind us of faraway bazaars and the handicrafts displayed there. In that sense, this design style celebrates the wandering, adventurous nature in all of us, as well as the global influences that shape our world.
In Nomad, elements are displayed in collections, and handicrafting is evident in the objects themselves and in their simple, geometric patterns.
In floral arrangements, designs are intricately woven to showcase the same artisan quality displayed throughout this decorating style. Complementary flowers include:
* Sunflowers
* Gerberas
* Irises
* Asiatic lilies
* Parrot tulips
* Dahlias
* Miniature Callas
* Anthuriums
* Gladioli
* Banksias
* Leucadendrons
* Leucospermums
* Delphiniums
I am honored to be one of the wedding florist nominees on Channel 7's A-List. I would be very appreciative if you could take just a minute of your time and cast a vote for Barbara's Custom Floral & Gifts. Click here and register your vote today. Thanks!