Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blue Flowers, Bioengineering, and Bow Wow


Today, Vanna White Dog (whom most of you know is really a boy named Riley) has invited Clover to help display our Flowers de la Semaine.  That’s Riley on the right.  You can see the whole flower arrangement below. 

Along the way, we’re going to learn a little about blue flowers—the real and the not-so-real.   

Florigene “blue” rose. Click on photo to go to website.

Okay, here are the doggies and the flower bunch.  I put these together with delphiniums from the farmer’s market, and lilies and hydrangea from the grocery store.  I also added a little Queen Anne’s Lace from my yard.  Total cost was about the same as a movie ticket and a Diet Coke.   Well, and maybe a bag of Reese’s Pieces.  In Montana, that’s about twelve dollars.


“Clover, stop sniffing and look at the studio audience.” 


“She’s so fickle.  I can’t count on anyone.”  

I love these flowers.  My inspiration was the blue in the  the outer petals on the delphiniums, and the  hydrangea. 



Real blue flowers are rare.  I couldn’t resist! 

Have you ever noticed that much of what we call blue is actually purple?  

Here are a few “true blues” (with links to their sources):     

The corydalis…

the bugloss, or forget me not…

Anchusa capensis 'Blue Angel' BUGLOSS 'BLUE ANGEL'  FORGET ME NOT from Sooner Plant Farm

…and this Rocky Mountain native, the blue columbine. 

Columbine Blue Star

In 2004, a company called Florigene produced a genetically engineered bluish-purple rose using blue genes from pansies.  The photo at the top of the post is that flower. 

Although roses have been cultivated for over 5,000 years, the blue rose has eluded breeders until very recently.  This is because roses lack the gene necessary to produce the blue pigment—called delphinidin. 

The Florigene blue rose does not appear to be commercially available yet.  I read in one source that this company is trying to refine the color, shooting for a sky blue shade.

Florigene does market a line of genetically engineered “blue” carnations (which are really closer to purple), including this one called “Moonvista:” 

Okay.  I generally avoid political issues.  But.  Even if I could get okay with tampered-with crops to lessen world hunger, it is okay to engineer flowers as a marketing scheme?   

These flowers would be exciting to design with, but I’m not sure I could use them with a clear conscience. 

I like the “true blues” better... 

Blue Flower

  …morning glory... 







…and these, which are now sitting on my kitchen table.     


“Enough about the dang flowers already.  Can we go to bed now?”


Protege said...

Ah, what a lovely post about what is so close to my heart; flowers. I love blue flowers, especially the Forget-me-not you picture here are beautiful.
I also do have blue flowers in my garden that survive winter in a pot and bloom with the most beautiful delicate flowers each year, the whole summer.;) xo

Gal Friday said...

Oh look at those little white posers!! :-)
It is true--if you really look at a "blue" flower, it really appears purple(with even tints of red-purple, I have found).
I have two blue flowering plants in my garden-a Jacob's Ladder(soft blue blooms)and also a geranium, "Rozanne". I need more blue, though!

Ingrid Mida said...

I'm not sure I can decide who is cuter - the flowers or the dogs!! Thanks for making me smile this morning.

Lola said...

Allium is garlic! In italian AGLIO!!! One of my favorite ingredients and a potent natural antiseptic.

I love your flower/doggy posts, they always make me smile. Hydrangea... an old favorite, although I go for the all-white version when I can. :)


Ms. Lucy said...

I love the flowers...blue is such a tranquil colour. But- I just love it best when you post the doggies!!

Profoundly Superficial said...

What well-behaved doggies! My cats Rosie and Liesje would knocked over the vase, drunk the water and munched the flowers into oblivion!

Pyzahn said...

Oooo, I love blue flowers. My ceratostigma is just now starting to bloom. (common name: plumbago). It's an electric royal blue and it will grow in shade or morning sun.

A relatively new annual is Blue Star, also called Laurentia (I think that's the spelling). It loves hot climates, humidity and sun.

Blue seems cooling on a hot summer day. But not as cool as Riley and Clover.

Northmoon said...

I love hydrangias! Such a beautiful arrangement. And your pups are so cute too.

I think artificially creating blue roses is wrong. somehow it takes away from the specialness of the 'real' blue flowers, and adds nothing to the true beauty of roses.

La Belette Rouge said...

I LOVE it when you post the puppies!!!! The only issue is that when you do I start to howl with coos and Lily runs over to see if I am looking at pictures of her and then she sees that I am not and then we have to have a talk and I have to convince her that I am not in the market for another Westie. But, it is worth all of that to see Riley and Clover. Oh, and, the flowers are pretty too. I love hydrangeas.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh, I would spend my last dime on flowers! These delightful photos show why! Charming!

see you there! said...

You put together a beautiful arrangement and then got those darling models to stand still? You are amazing.


lakeviewer said...

Lovely. Do you have hydrangea where you are?

Awesome Sara said...

gosh those flowers are gorgeous!!!

Cynthia L. H. said...


I need your Doggies AND your Flowers!!!


;^) ;^) ;^)

sallymandy said...

Protege, and Tina, and Pyzahn: wish I could see your blue flowers!

Ingrid, and Lola, and Ms Lucy, and Belette: I'm glad you and other readers like these dog-and-flower posts, because I love making them!

Northmoon: I tend to agree with you. Food is one thing (and I'm not even sure about that) but flowers are another.

ProSup and See you there: It took a looong time to get one photo of both doggies being still. Riley gets the role of Vanna because he's way more willing to lie down and stare at the camera. :)

Pamela: I would, too! And there are some actual bargains out there.

Lakeviewer: Not really. I have a friend with a bush in the shade by her house, that does pretty well--but generally we don't see them here. I think it's too dry..?

Sara: thanks! I'm enjoying them.

Cynthia: you can have them every week...here on the blog!

notSupermum said...

Lovely post about a lovely subject. I really like blue flowers, and one of my faves is the allium family. Some of the alliums I like are more of a purple colour, but nice to see you included them all the same.

p.s. cute doggies!

Jane said...

I love the floral mix and your two pooches are cute too.

Woman in a Window said...

I'm partial to blue flowers as well, that are really purple. What's up with that? There's the colour and then the mystery of it as well. Makes me question perception.

Lori ann said...

Oooh how pretty your flowers are! and how cute your darling puppys.

That was such an interesting read. We live in an area of many flower growers and nurserys, I love to see the pickuptrucks with bunches of flowers on their way to market.

oh! and my grandma showed me how to bury pennies around the base of pink hydrangeas to turn them blue!

Lianne said...

Your flowers are always so beautiful, and set off with the pups, what a great way to start the day. Thanks.

sallymandy said...

Thank you, everyone. I love posting these guys and flowers, so I appreciate the encouragement to keep doing it.

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