Cyclamen flowers are thought to symbolize goodbyes, which makes them particularly meaningful gifts for those who may be relocating or retiring. There are 23 species of cyclamen native primarily to Europe and Africa. Many species of cyclamen are hardy but the cyclamen persicum (also known as Florist’s Cyclamen) is often seen for sale throughout the fall and winter in less hardy zones as houseplants.
The cyclamen grows from a round tuber (thickened underground part of a stem) which may produce roots from the top, sides or bottom depending on the species. Leaves and flowers sprout from the growing points of top of the tuber. Leaf shape varies between species and even between different specimens of the same species. Flowering time occurs in any month of the year depending on the species. Each flower is on a stem coming from a growing point on the tuber. Flower petal shape varies and can be white, red, pink or purple. In some species the petal edges at the nose are curved outwards into auricles (little ears) but in most species, like the Florist’s cyclamen, have no auricles.
Most common cyclamen is probably the Florist’s Cyclamen and they can be found in shades of pink, red or white. The entire plant when in flower reaches up to only 8 inches high and though it can be grown outside, it is more popularly grown inside as a houseplant. Florist’s Cyclamen grown outside bloom late winter or early spring while those grown in greenhouses bloom sometime around the holiday season.
Florist’s cyclamen does best planted in a soil-based potting mix with the top of the tuber just slightly above soil line. Water whenever the soil feels dry. When the flowers begin to fade let it dry out for two months. Do not water the tube or it will rot. New growth will start to show around September, at which point it is important to resume watering. Apply a low nitrogen fertilizer every couple of weeks and give the plant bright indirect light during the winter. During its dormant state (summer) keep it out of bright light.
Some species of cyclamen are now endangered as a result of its population being severely depleted by collection from the wild. In a few areas plant conservation charities have educated local people about harvesting carefully at a sustainable level and many nurseries are propagating cyclamen without harm to the wild plants.
Ever wanted to know more about Spode Blue Italian china?
According to this blogger:
Tilman Lichtenthaeler, a Spode collector and researcher, carried out an architectural quest to trace the building types in an attempt to unravel the mystery of the source of the Italianscene. He found there is no one place in Italy that corresponds to all the features included in the picture. The scene is a composition made up of several elements. The ruin on the left, although architecturally incorrect, might have been based on the Great Bath at Tivoli, near Rome. The row of houses along the left bank of the river is similar to those of the Latium area near Umbria, north of Rome. The castle in the distance is of a type which occurs only in Northern Italy in the regions of Piedmont and Lombardy.
The suggestion is that a travelling artist from Northern Europe made sketches of the scenes he encountered as he made his way through Italy. On his return home the sketches were combined into an attractive scene which, later, Spode used and chose to call the Italian Pattern. It is not possible to date this. There may even have been a print from a painting and then another painting taken from the print by a different artist…..
When Chinese porcelain made its way to the west in the 17th Century, it instantly became a hit. Along with this fine china came stories that greatly influenced the Western countries and the culture of making and collecting fine china begun. One of the most popular china patterns is the Flow Blue which has its origins in the pottery houses of Staffordshire, England and Josiah Wedgwood II is commonly credited for its creation. Flow Blue is gets its name from the slightly hazy quality in the design where the bright white contrasts with the stunning cobalt blue color. This bleeding of the blue color onto the white was essentially an accident as European porcelain makers tried to copy the beautiful porcelain designs coming from the far east.
Flow Blue to date is highly collectible antique blue and white china and is a kind of transferware where the decorative patterns were applied with a paper stencil to white-glazed porcelain blanks. With the introduction of the transferware technique it paved the way for the creation of less expensive chinaware as opposed to the hand painted Chinese porcelain which only the wealthiest could afford.
The first Flow Blue patterns incorporated themes and motifs from the Orient such as temples, Asian style scenery and pagodas. Later on floral and pastoral patterns were created for the Victorian market. During World War II, interest in Flow Blue waned but in the late 1960s an interest in antique created a new surge of popularity for this pattern.
The Flow Blue China comes in four basic styles namely: Oriental patterns (Asian style depicting temples, pagodas, Asian scenery, garden and people dressed in Chinese style clothing), Romantic Flow Blue (flowers, animals, trees and quaint town scenes), Floral Flow Blue Patterns (features flowers, vines and leaves), Brush stroke (mimic hand painted brush strokes and is hand painted with pink or copper luster and may include other colors).
The most sought after patterns are shown in each of the categories below.
1. Watteau by John William Adams (1890 – 1910)
2. Non Pariel by Burgess & Leigh (1891-1900)
3. Italian Scenery by W. Adams (1890)
4. Oriental by Ridgways (1890) and continued into 1920s
5. Peruvian by John Wedgwood (1849)
1. Amoy by Davenport (1844)
2. Scinde by John and George Alcook (1840)
3. Manilla by Podmore & Walker (1845)
4. Cashmere by Thomas Edwards(1850)
5. Cabal by Thomas Edwards (1847)
1. Argyle by W.H. Grindley (1896)
2. Lonsdale by Ridgways (1910), produced on a semi-porcelain medium.
3. Blue Danube by Johnson Brothers (1900 – 1904)
4. La Belle by Wheeling Pottery Co, West Virginia (1900s)
5. Seville by Wood & Sons (1900s), New Wharf Pottery made a new varieant dating 1891.
Brush Stroke Patterns:
1. Cashmere by Ridgway & Francis Morley (1850-1860)
2. Aster & Grapeshot by Joseph Clementson (1840) and is known as Blueberry in Quebec
3. Spinach or Hops by Petrius Regout, Societe Ceramique, Maastrich, Holland
4. Tulip & Sprig by Thomas Walker (1845)
5. Strawberry by T. Walker (1856)
Overall Flow Blue is a very beautiful china pattern, highly collectible and with many collectors out there looking for rare and unique pieces.
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