February 18th, 2007

Have you ever wondered…

Posted by Lifecruiser in Swedish, Nature

…..how flowers know when it’s time to bloom?

I, myself, haven’t actually. I’ve just taken it sort of for granted. Until now. I just happened to stumble over an article on the web that tells me the advanced, but yet so “simple” answer. As if we could call anything in the nature for simple…

I’m not the only one that haven’t known the answer to that question - it’s only in May 2005 a Swedish researcher, Ove Nilsson, found the precise gene that is in charge of the flowering!

What exactly is it that makes flowers open then?

“We discovered that the genes that determine when flowering occurs are active in the leaves, not in the tips of the shoots where the actual flower opens. The gene that we found produces signal molecules that are conveyed from the leaves to the tips of the shoots, where they control the formation of proteins that in turn are responsible for the actual flowering.”

This signal molecule is neither a sugar molecule nor a protein (as they guessed earlier), but a type of messenger RNA (mRNA), a tiny piece of the genetic material that controls the formation of proteins. The point in time at which flowering occurs is thus pre-programmed in plants’ genetic code in the same way as when humans and other animals reach sexual maturity.

Source: Linneaus300.com

So, how about that? The expression that we humans bloom in the puberty isn’t that far away from the truth, is it?

And what about this Tulip about to bloom, it does remind us about it, doesn’t it? *lol*

♥ Join Green Thumb Sunday ♥
Lifecruisers flower in puberty
© Lifecruiser 2007 (Tulip House, Stockholm)

Cruise list: Gattina, Happy and blue 2, Maribeth, RennyBA, Haddock, Hootin' Anni, Tricia, Froggie, Mar, TorAa, and Dave.
February 11th, 2007

18th Century Flower Potpourri

Posted by Lifecruiser in Swedish, Nature
Lifecruisers yellow flower
♥ Join GTS ♥

Already in the end of the 18th century there were poptpourri’s of flowers in Swedish houses, which an article from 1780 can tell. The oldest potpourri pot is dated 1663 from Germany though. The word Potpourri is French and means pot and pourri, which actually means rotten.

Potpourri is flowers that get salted or put in pots and makes the air in a room nice smelling and refreshing. Maybe they needed it more back then, than we do nowadays, to cover up their bad odor *yuk* since they didn’t wash themselves as often as we do.

Very commonly used were Thorn roses, Lavendel and Carnations, which were cleaned from their calyxes and stalks and put in layers with fine salt in suitable and nice looking vases. A more rich mix they used were: Orange blooms, Thorn Roses, Carnations, Lavendel, Rosemary, Southernwood, Myrtle, Hyssop, Salvia, Pansy, Lime tree flowers.

Later on I’ve heard that all kind of spices can be used. I think my favorite would be cinnamon around xmas time - maybe oranges too - and vanilla the rest of the year. In the beginning it should be stirred daily, then once a week, then when you want good smelling air. Otherwise it should be covered.

I think that most of the scented flower petals (or herbs!) will be suitable for a potpourri. I’ll do as I always does: trust my nose on this… *lol*. Just make sure that they are completely dry before adding the spices, fragrance or essential oils and fixatives or they might get mold.

If you have an old potpurri that has stopped smelling, I’ve heard that orris root will hold the scent and can be used to refresh it with. Just take several tablespoons chunks of it, or a teaspoon if it’s in powder form and add some drops of your favorite fragrance oils until it smells like you want - maybe a little more since it will disappear some of the smell later. Don’t forget to stir it again for a period.

I’ve also heard that some use other fixatives like dried citrus rinds, cloves, coriander seeds - oh Im sure there are even more.

I don’t see that kind of Potpourri’s nowadays. People always seems to be in a hurry and don’t have the time to prepare these kind of dried flowers.

How about just bringing in some foliages and flowers and just put it on a plate or bowl on the dinner table?

Something so simple makes such a big difference!!!

Lifecruisers Potpourri flowers in a bowl
♥ Join GTS ♥

Cruise list: That frolicsome kid, Sisah, TorAa, Claudie, Debbie, Ruth, Maribeth, Hootin' Anni, Carol, and Gattina.
February 7th, 2007

Flower Power Liberation

Posted by Lifecruiser in Photo, Nature
Lifecruisers flower power liberation
© Lifecruiser 2005 (Fuerteventura, Spain)
Join Wordless Wednesday

Cruise list: Gattina, Kuanyin, TorAa, Incog, Debbie, Mary (Mert), Mysterious Lady, Frances, Amy, Biker Betty, Celeste, Friday's Child, Letha, Melli, Michelle, Write From Karen, That frolicsome kid, Sanni, Addie, Maribeth, Dariana, Beckie, Linda, Delightfulduchess, Donna W., FelineFrisky - Diane, Eija, Wendy Ann Edwina D'Cunha e Pereira, Lynn Tucker, Mar, Michelle, Elementaryhistoryteacher, Holly Schwendiman, Rav`N, Eph2810, Pass the Torch, Happy and blue 2, Nikita, and Udit.
February 4th, 2007

The Green Alien

Posted by Lifecruiser in Odditys, Nature
Green unknown flower
♥ Join GTS ♥

This plant really is like a green alien to me. What on earth is this? Any one that know? We spotted it in the island Fuerteventura in Spain in 2005.

Strangely enough, it reminded me of a satellite dish even though it isn’t round, but I’m weird ;-) Maybe it’s the green aliens way of communication…? *LMAO*

TIP: Head over to Mélange to read about the unusal smelly Corpse flower if you haven’t already had a look! I’ve never seen or heard of anything like it before!

♥ Join Green Thumb Sunday ♥

Cruise list: Aka R'acquel, Martin, That frolicsome kid, TorAa, Haddock, Kylee, Deb, Joe blogs, Debbie, Acey, Nikita, and Gattina.
January 31st, 2007

A wordless shit chat

Posted by Lifecruiser in Photo, Nature
Lifecruisers shit chat
© Lifecruiser 2005 (Fuerteventura, Spain)
Join Wordless Wednesday

Cruise list: Melli, Crissybug, Claudie, Uisce, Brony, JHS, FelineFrisky - Diane, Holly Schwendiman, Celeste, Sonny, Jan, ADDIE, Amy, Janice (5 Minutes for Mom), Jenny-up the hill, Michelle, Janet, Gattina, Friday's Child, Elementaryhistoryteacher, That frolicsome kid, Rav`N, Letha, Maggie, Sanni, Misslionheart, Debbie, Starrlight, TorAa, and Udit.
January 28th, 2007

300 year of passion counts

Posted by Lifecruiser in Swedish, Nature
Lifecruisers Passion Tulip
© Lifecruiser, Tulip House, Stockholm

This is our celebration to the passion of nature. Today Sweden start a 300 years anniversery of the birth of Carl Linneaus, the passionated (at least for nature ;-) Swede that travelled around the world making up a sexual system of all living things.

It’s him we shall thank for a lot of the species names in the system. He started it all. Think about it, what a work to categorize it all! Truly amazing work he did. I do wonder though if he had that much time left for passion with his wife….? *lol*

From what I can understand Linnaeus was rather open and frank when he compared it to the human sexual reproduction and at that time people were a bit chocked at first, but his very useful scheme took the world by storm.

Sweden celebrates his birth 300 years ago with a lot of events during this year, starting with an opening by the Swedish Royal King and fireworks among other popular happenings. Though even other countries celebrates him with exhibitions some time during the year: Japan, France, Polen, Germany and Great Britain.

They’re giving out an anniversary book, named System och passion (”A Passion for Systems”) which I’m planning to get later if I can find it on any sale, because it’s reather expensive. It will use photographs to show how his system is built up, describing both history and development of the plant classification system from then to now.

If any one of you have the chance to go to the Chelsea Flower Show the 22-26th May in London, there will be a whole garden celebrating Linneaus. I really would have want to go to there, not only for the Linneaus garden, but it’s Chelsea flower show for gods sake!!!! Any gardeners dream, but even ordinary people that appreciate flowers will be in heaven…

Even his journeys are covered by a film about his expeditions, covering the seven continents he went to - it’s quite an achievement just to make a film about it, can you imagine how it was when Linneaus travelled that route 300 years ago???

This documentary “The Expedition Linné” is planned to be released in March 2007 by the world-renowned National Geographic photographer Mattias Klum and producer Folke Rydén. We really want to see that one. If we get the chance, we’ll also report to you about it.

1732 Linnaeus went on his first adventurous expedition, to the sub-Arctic Lapland (high up in the northern Sweden), which was practically unknown at that time. It was from this trip he wrote the first work to use the Sexual System: The Florula Lapponica.

One can only speculate in how difficult that work must have been at that time, with no modern help tools. As you can see in the picture, it wasn’t much he had.

Carl Linneaus
Photo: Sören Hallgren
© The Linnaeus Museum
(Carl Linnaeus home 1743-1778)

The Linneaus 2007 site
Chelsea Flower Show 2007
Chelsea Flower Show 2006 Panorama pictures

♥ Join Green Thumb Sunday ♥

Cruise list: Dot, Gattina, Haddock, That frolicsome kid, Martin, TorAa, Nils, Deb, Debbie, Guppyman, Acey, Claudie, Anita, and Maribeth.
January 27th, 2007

Photo Scavenger Hunt Silver

Posted by Lifecruiser in Photo, Nature
Lifecruisers contribution to theme Silver
© Lifecruiser (Grocery shop, Stockholm, Sweden)

Theme: Silver | Blogroll Info | Next week: Gross

Cruise list: Desert Diva, Rach, Mummy B, Friday's Child, Teena in Toronto, Pastormac's Ann, Eph2810, Meeyauw, PEA, Mysterious Lady, Biker Betty, Stacy, Claudie, MamaDuck, Deb, Sandy, Melli, Hootin' Anni, Gattina, Kay, That frolicsome kid, Srp, Incog, Shoshana, Debbie, TorAa, Sally, LibertyBelle, Frances, Pat, and Eija.
January 21st, 2007

The 2lip House & Ice Garden Party

Posted by Lifecruiser in Swedish, Nature, Party
Tulip House 1  Tulip House 2
Tulip House 3  Tulip House 4
♥ Join GTS ♥

“Med en enkel Tulipan uppå bemärkelsedan, vi har den äran att få gratulera!” (With a simple Tulip on the special day, we have the honor of congratulating!”)

That is the beginning of an old traditional Swedish song that is mostly forgotten by now. I’ts only persons from the stone age like me that remember it nowadays ;-)

We went especially to a newly opened Tulip House here in Stockholm Saturday afternoon to get some nice Tulips to bring to Tricias 1 year blog anniversery. There isn’t anything more promising and hope giving than Tulip bulbs. It brings memories of the spring….

I first met Tricia from one of the blogrolls I’m participating in, but the one that interests me the most is this Green Thumb Sunday blogroll which she started in June 2006.

If you haven’t been at her Garden blog As the Garden Grows yet, I recommend you to have a stroll in her garden blog. You can find a lot of very useful garden information there together with many wonderful flower and garden pictures.

She is the most friendly and sweet Canadian nurse that actually is on a sick leave and need to nurse herself :-)

In fact, she need to blog less according to herself. She is forcing herself to write too much ads-post for PPP to get in some money now when she isn’t working. She is going to swallow a camera pill next week to investigate her bowels from the inside and it’s just way too expensive!

I know from own experiences and from near and dear ones, how difficult it can be with bowel problems and diseases. If you never have experienced it - be very grateful. She has had a tough time and really is in the need of a good party.

The Party is over at Tricias Musings with the most wonderful Ice Garden and a very cool Ice Bar! Pop over and congratulate her and cheer her up with some nice birthday gifts!

♥ Join Green Thumb Sunday ♥

Cruise list: Melli, TorAa, Genie, Deb, Debbie, Dave, That frolicsome kid, Maribeth, Anita, Gattina, and Tricia.
January 20th, 2007

Photo Scavenger Hunt Wild

Posted by Lifecruiser in Travel, Photo, Nature
Lifecruisers contribution to theme Wild
© Lifecruiser 2005 (Iguazu Falls, Brazil, South America)

Theme: Wild | Blogroll Info | Next week: Silver

Photo from our trip to Iguazu waterfalls (on the border of Brazil and Argentina) from Estancia Aventura, Paraguay on our South America trip 2005.

Iguazu has 275 (!) waterfalls with an average height of 40 an 80 meters! Much more beautiful than The Niagara Falls! We were visiting Niagara the month before, so we really had it fresh in our memories for comparison.

The Iguazu falls is situated in the beautiful Iguazu National Park, which has 67.000 hectars of tropical rainforest, so it really is out in the nature and not at a city area like Niagara falls.

I think I have to write an own post about this fantastic trip later on… See it in pictures is not quite like in real life, but gives you a hint :-)

Lifecruisers photos from Iguazu Falls
Lifecruisers photos from Paraguay
Lifecruisers photos from Brazil

Cruise list: Pastormac's Ann, Expatraveler, Marcia, Tanya, Tricia, Meeyauw, Desert Diva, Teena in Toronto, Roman, Daisy the Curly Cat, Angelo, Frances, Becci, Gewels, Sanni, Srp, Christina, Cuidado, Eph2810, My 2 cents, Mari, Morning Glory, Beckie, Barbara H., Rach, Rebekah, Mummy B, That frolicsome kid, Kim from hiraeth, Carol M., Dave, Melli, Libertybelle, Zoots Mom, Irish Church Lady, Hootin' Anni, Amanda, Jan (bbsgirl), Debbie, Dragonheart, Maribeth, Abe-hap, Sonny, Zingtrial, Caylynn, Linda, Eija, Gattina, Leigh, and Pat.
January 14th, 2007

Carnations tip dated 1923

Posted by Lifecruiser in Swedish, Nature
Carnations tip dated 1923
♥ Join GTS ♥

This is an article from the old magazine Husmodern (The House Mother), that I found recently and made me aware of the fact that already in 1923, they were interested in gardening in a more advanced way than I actually thought before that.

Not that I didn’t believe that they did gardening at that period, but to write articles about the subject was new to me.

I guess some things never change or change very little. Has the evolution in some fields really come forward at all or are we just presuming that it has? *lol*

I’ve tried to translate the article:

“The foresighted flower friend

sets the carnations sprouts in July to get flowers at Christmas

In older days it was very common to have carnations in a pot in the homes. Then a time period came when they was searching for more easy cultivated flowers to the window garden and the carnation pot disappeared.

Though recently has the interest for more complicated, more advanced pot flower cultivation become more and more popular, so even the pot carnation has had a renaissance. And if all goes well, maybe we’ll have flowers at christmas.

The most safe way to try to cultivate room carnations is to take the sprout cuttings during July, of strong, beautiful plants and put these in sand. On big carnations plant schools (we have a couple of very big ones in Sweden) they also put carnations in sand - you can get to see one after another of greenhouses spread themselves as small deserts of Sahara, sand and sand and sprout cuttings of carnations.

In and for propagating, side sprouts is cutted from the mother plants lower part. They should be cut at the fourth or fifth leaf joint. One can put these cuttings in a box or small pots filled with sand. If you have a forcing bed, it’s the best alternative to put them down in there.

The cuttings shall during 4 weeks be kept at the same moist level, not too dry or too wet. After about 4 weeks they are rooted. Then it’s time to plant them in a pot with sand mixed strong mud soil. Now you of course want to spread out like a bush, which is why you must cut off the top, so it’s forced to grow side sprouts.

When the fall comes it’s time to plant it in a bigger, 7 cm wide pot together with compost and manure. Put the carnations cool and light in the beginning, but towards the winter more warm among other flowers and the soil must never get dried out.

During the setting of the blooming they need light, warmth and a be kept at the same moist level with addition of fertilizers during the blooming. A support for the tie up is needed too”.

So why not keep this in mind and try it out later?

♥ Join Green Thumb Sunday ♥

Cruise list: That frolicsome kid, TorAa, Lynn Tucker, Mar, Carol, Deb, and Chippenham blog.
Next Page »