Kalanchoe for a Kid in Crisis

t’s a miracle we make it into adulthood alive.
All the dumb choices, narrow misses and blind luck that get us through our adolescence can sometimes run us smack up against our worst enemy- ourselves. Success, failure, love and loss are amplified at that age, and it takes a couple of decades on Earth to finally realize that yes, this too, shall pass. If you know a young person that’s struggling with the transition into life as a human being, sometimes a little nature can be a big reminder of that great, big world out there, and how both beauty and life and all the good and the bad that comes with it, are a part of the experience. If you are looking for a potted plant that can say all that, look no further than the kalanchoe.

Decorate for Day of the Dead with Marigolds

Tracing back to the ancient Aztecs, the celebration of Dia de Muertos falls on November 1st and 2nd each year as a day to remember and honor the departed loved ones in your life. A national holiday in Mexico, but celebrated around the world, the Day of the Dead is a time to decorate small alters, clean and beautify grave sites and to gather with friends and family to reminisce and tell stories about those who have died. Favorite food and beverages, treasured belongings, freshly baked bread and candied sugar skulls are all a part of the fiesta, but one of the most important decorations are the marigold flowers. Said to be the favored flower of the dead, the Mexican marigold (Tagetes erecta), sometimes called cempasuchil or Flor de Muerto, is an essential part of the traditional celebration.

Pagan Plants for All Hallow’s Eve

The origin of Halloween is shrouded in myth and mystery. Said by some to have started after the christening of the Basilica in Rome by Pope Gregory III who established All Saints Day on November 1st, the night was supposedly set aside for prayer and fasting to prepare to honor the saints who did not have a designated day. Suspiciously, one can’t help but wonder then how this lead to the traditions of roaming the night in scary costumes, visiting house to house and celebrating the night by smashing intricately carved gourds. There is much more evidence to support the pagan birth of this ritualized eve of disguise and debauchery. In its efforts to transform the non-christian, end of summer harvest festival, traditionally called Samhain in Gaelic speaking parts of Europe, the church gave the holiday a polish and a new name. Halloween, however, remains a night for spirits and spooks, parties and pagan ritual. From the hollowed-out gourds to some of the old English plants below, this night remains one in which worldly creatures might wander into the other-worldliness of the spirit realm. Celebrate with some of these pagan plants that have held spiritual significance to those that wandered before us.

Pick Up Some Mums for Mother-In-Law Day

We are all born with at least one mother, but many of us pick up another along the way through marriage. If you’ve been lucky enough to score a good one, celebrate on Sunday, October 26th during Mother-in-Law Day with a bouquet of chrysanthemums. These fall flowers are at their prime this time of year and come in a wide array of colors, shapes and sizes. Whether she thinks you hung the moon or is the type to complain that you hung it crookedly, flowers as elegant and diverse as the mum are sure to please anyone- even someone that can be a bit hard to please at times.

Celebrate United Nations Day with a Peace Lily

Dedicated to world peace and the betterment of human society, the United Nations was created through a charter in 1945 and established on October 24th of 1948. Each year on this day, the anniversary is celebrated around the world in more than 100 member countries to mark the global organization’s efforts toward mitigating poverty, hunger, conflict and other worldwide challenges. This year, send a message of solidarity with their humanitarian aims with a peace lily.

Add Flare to Fall Arrangements with Chinese Lanterns

Like tiny, orange paper lanterns strung together along a stem, the hanging fruit of the Physalis alkekeng, (called Chinese lanterns, winter cherry or Japanese lantern) will light up a bouquet of autumn flowers. These uniquely shaped plants offer a wonderful harvest look to any arrangement and are fun to tuck into a vase or add along the edges of a table or wreath. In great fall colors like burnt umber and pumpkin orange, these long-lasting stems are the perfect choice for an autumnal bouquet.

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