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Flower Guide

Creating an Indoor Cactus Garden

April 5, 2017
Creating an Indoor Cactus Garden | A Better Florist

Living in a concrete jungle can make you yearn for the lush outdoors. This is why more and more city dwellers are blooming their home by putting aside some space for flowers and plants. Fortunately, the cactus exists for those of us not blessed with a green thumb.

In the plant world, the cactus is your low-maintenance friend. It thrives despite a lack of attention, unlike most flowering plants. They can also withstand a lot of heat, which is great in a city like Singapore where it’s practically summer all year round.

To create your very own cactus garden, here are a few simple steps you can follow.

Materials Needed

  • Cacti and succulents
  • Pots and containers
  • Rubber gloves
  • Garden trowel
  • Soil or cactus mix
  • Sprinkler or mister
  • Stones and ornaments (optional)

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Cactus Garden

Once you’ve gathered your materials, it’s time to get down and dirty. Got your gardening gloves on? Let’s go!

1. Place soil inside the pots of containers.

While glass bowls and ceramic containers can be used for potting cacti, gardening experts recommend terracotta clay pots because they can dry out the soil faster and promote oxygen exchange. (You can even buy cute vertical planters from Etsy if you don’t have a lot of flat space available in your apartment.)

Add a layer of soil about two-thirds of the way inside the pot. Some people like to mix soil with gravel or sand, but normal soil from your backyard is a-okay. Ideally, the soil should be a bit loose to mimic the normal dry environment of cacti. Alternatively, you can buy cactus mix from DIY or home improvement shops.

2. Place the cactus or succulents inside the pots.

Apart from cacti, consider buying a few other varieties of succulents to add different textures to your cactus garden. Some succulents from shops or florists already come potted, so you can keep them in those containers or transfer them to your preferred pot.  

Using your trowel, gently take the cactus out of its container and transfer it to your preferred pot. Be careful not to cut off the roots as that could affect the growth of your cactus. Add enough soil to completely cover the roots. The cactus can still grow, so make sure the pots you choose give them just a little bit of extra room. For bigger planters, you can arrange several succulents in it to maximise the space.

3. Add ornaments and arrange the pots and containers in a pleasing pattern.

If you’re a minimalist, the pots and plants are decorative enough for a garden. But if you want a pop of colour or character, you can add interesting rocks, shells or ornaments to suit your taste.

Final note: Try not to smother your succulents. As mentioned, they don’t need a lot of upkeep, so you can water them every other day—just enough to keep the soil moist.

There you have it! Three easy steps for your very own patch of Zen and green.

If you need any more ideas, check out A Better Florist’s the Hayden for succulents set in a beautiful reclaimed wooden box topped with some pebbles for that extra flair.

Flower Guide

What you need to know about Flower Delivery in Singapore

March 22, 2017
A Better Florist | Flower Delivery in Singapore

The renewed interest in the flower industry and online florists has made buying flowers easy and accessible. You can click on blooms and avail of free flower delivery in a matter of minutes from the comfort of your home or office. If it’s your first time to purchase flowers online, here’s a rundown of reminders to ensure a quick and painless transaction.

Flower selection

First thing’s first: What kind of flowers are you looking for? Who is the recipient? What kind of message do you wish to convey?

Before shelling out your bread for buds, work out the details of the floral gift. Flower selection is tied to the occasion. Roses are for romance, chrysanthemums for friends and daisies are for recuperation. Knowing the recipient’s preferences are also significant to the purchase, especially if the recipient has flower allergies. Or perhaps you just want a good bargain for your home’s floral requirements or for the centrepieces at your event. Whatever the case, make sure you have the details down before you proceed to the checkout page.

Flower delivery options

Once you’ve selected the perfect bouquet, there’s the matter of putting in the details of the flower delivery. Here’s where complications usually arise. To avoid miscommunication, be as specific as possible. Here are some helpful tips to consider for various types of delivery address.

Residential address

A residential or home address is relatively easy, just plug in the exact address, helpful landmarks, name of the recipient and ideal times for delivery. The time you put in basically lets the florist know that there’s someone who would receive the delivery. Otherwise, put in a note if it’s okay to leave the delivery on your doorstep or entrust it to your neighbour. Usually, the package is sent back to the office when no one’s on location to receive the delivery. This could cost you addition money and effort to retrieve or have it delivered again. In which case, the whole point of a fuss-free online transaction becomes pointless.

For condominiums and HDBs, in addition to the crucial details discussed above, it would be helpful to give the guard or receptionist a heads up that you are expecting a delivery. For extra strict buildings and establishments, you can even give them the name of the florist to reduce back and forth communications between you, the receptionist and the delivery person. Either let the receptionist know that you’re expecting a delivery from so-and-so florist and have them sent up to your unit or leave a note on the checkout page that the package would be received by the receptionist or guard. Naturally, if you opt for the latter, give the guard or receptionist the heads up.

Hospitals and commercial establishments

For public or commercial establishments like offices, schools or hotels informing the guard/receptionist about the flower delivery is helpful. While it is standard procedure for them to call up to your office or room before they’re cleared to proceed, it would at least expedite the process. Give your name and unit/room number. The guard would also be able to properly guide the delivery person to the right location. Time of delivery is crucial for public and commercial establishments because of the specified working hours, so make sure you indicate the window hours for delivery.

Finally, for flower delivery to hospitals, we recommend that you call the hospital or the ward first in case they don’t allow deliveries on patients’ rooms. Certain flowers can also aggravate certain conditions especially if the person is prone to allergies. In such cases, you may want to send hypoallergenic blooms or unscented flowers.

Purchasing flowers does not need to be daunting, in fact, it has never been easy. All you need is a little know-how and good connectivity to get those flowers delivered in a snap.

Flower Guide

The Beginner’s Guide to Flower Selection

March 15, 2017
Beginner's Guide to Flower Selection

Gifting flowers is a sweet and classic move towards letting someone know that you care. While buying flowers may be quite cumbersome before, online florists has made the process easy breezy these days. You can buy flowers and have them delivered in a matter of minutes within the comfort of your home.

So you’re thinking about giving flowers to your loved one and you don’t know where to start. Don’t fret, we have the perfect guide to help you throughout this whole process.

Consider the basics

First, you need to deal with the basic details.

Who’s the recipient? The types of flowers you send to your mother or a boss is different from a bouquet for your significant other. Red flowers may be romantic for your romantic partner but wildly inappropriate for a boss. Below is a basic guide on flower meanings to help you out. Of course, if you know the recipient’s favourite blooms, you’re already on the right track. It’s also helpful to find out if the recipient has allergies, so you can avoid certain flower choices. Check out this list of allergy-prone flowers to avoid.

What’s the occasion? Is it for Mother’s Day? Valentine’s Day? Or maybe there’s no special occasion and you just want to express your appreciation. Occasions can dictate not only the type of flowers you send, but also the floral arrangements for your bouquet.

Do you have a budget? Another detail to consider is your budget. If nothing else, this can narrow down your flower selection based on your price range.

Flower customs

Another key factor to consider are the customs of certain cultures. In order to avoid unintentionally offending your recipient, be aware of the basic dos and don’ts especially in a multi-cultural environment such as Singapore.

For example, the Chinese culture associate the lotus flower with wellness and purity. The lotus symbol appears quite a lot in their arts as well as religion. It is also in Chinese tradition to send flowers as gifts for unpleasant occasions. In particular, yellow chrysanthemums and white flowers are considered funereal flowers symbolising death. Alternatively, red flowers are considered auspicious, while poenies and orchids are associated with prosperity and luck, respectively.

Flower meanings

Below are some of the most popular flowers in Singapore along with their meanings:

Roses symbolise love and passion. This makes roses a staple during Valentine’s Day and anniversaries. They figure quite heavily in arts and poetry as metaphors for beauty and desire. While a red rose says “I love you,” white roses evokes loyalty and pure love. Other shades, such as pink, can convey admiration and blossoming love.

Orchids is growing in popularity because they are not only elegant, they’re also fairly low maintenance. They’re symbols for beauty and sophistication. Their exotic appeal articulates a sender’s admiration and romantic inclinations. It also illustrates the sender’s unique and refined taste.

Tulips is another favourite for romantic gestures. They represent perfect love and commitment. This sophisticated flower also exemplify elegance and grace.

Iris can be perfect for any occasion. Generally, they represent hope and devotion. Depending on colour, you can send purple irises for wisdom, yellow for passion, blue for faith and white for purity.

Chrysanthemums are great for friendly affection. This “golden flower” is an allusion to positivity and prosperity. They’re usually given for loved ones who recuperating or a gesture of good will. Red chrysanthemums can indicate love, white can mean truth and yellow can symbolise jealousy.

Sunflowers are symbols of optimism. Its “sunny” aesthetic can lift anyone’s spirit, so you can send these blooms to someone who needs some cheering. Perhaps you’d also want to send them for some joy and inspiration. This is why a sunflower is usually a fail-safe choice for its positive message.

You can always consult your online florist for the meanings behind different flowers for the perfect bouquet.