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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated this year on the 8th March and whilst it passes almost unnoticed in many countries, it’s an important day for it recognises the role women play in society whilst underlining the shameful fact that in many countries worldwide women aren’t treated equally to their male counterparts.
Several occasions are put forward for its inauguration but the generally accepted one for an international marking of the occasion is in 1911 when women across Europe demonstrated primarily for suffrage – the right to vote and to hold public office, but secondarily and potentially more importantly, to be granted the same rights in the workplace as men.
Since then it has been celebrated annually but in many different ways. In many of the eastern European countries it’s celebrated as a national holiday but in Montenegro and in China, it’s only a holiday for women!
In other countries it’s taken on a less serious note and is seen more as a celebration of women rather than a chance to highlight inequalities. In countries such as Serbia, Croatia and Romania, it’s treated a little like Mothers’ Day or Valentine’s Day when men offer gifts or flowers to the women in their lives.
Whilst not celebrated like this in Cyprus or the UK, if you’re looking for a good excuse to buy a gift to show your mother, sisters, girlfriends or wives how much you love them, order a hand delivered bouquet of flowers for them from Cosmea Gardens. You can guarantee they’ll be very happy but they’re likely to be very surprised too as few know about the occasion.
On a serious note, this year’s International Women’s Day highlights the continuing saga of violence against women, particularly topical in the light of the recent Indian bus rape story and the Oscar Pistorius story in South Africa. These are high profiles examples of violence to women but every day in every country women suffer domestic violence in the home, behind closed doors and are either too ashamed or too scared to speak out about it. This year, the organisers of the occasion want governments around the world to hold to their promise of eradicating violence against women, not just in the home but in parts of the world where violence against women is commonplace. Sadly, this has been the theme of the year for six out of the last eighteen years and still the problem persists.
Let’s hope that finally this year, the people who can do something to wipe out this blight on human relationships take that step forward.
For now, thinking of the happier side to the day, which woman in your life would you like to send a bouquet of flowers to? Who would you want to tell that they mean so much to you? Who do you want to tell that you hold them in the highest regard and that your life wouldn’t be the same without them?
We’re sure there are plenty, so, to make sending that special gift easier click here to discover the beautiful bouquets that the woman in your life would love to receive.


Valentine’s Day is right here!!

I was given a jolt the other day when I found that my wife, who is usually totally disorganized, had purchased and secreted away a Valentine’s Day card for me. Those of you that read this blog regularly know that she’s very much a last minute kind of girl and one year was searching Platres, the Cypriot mountain village, on the actual day, for a card and gift. Having said that it was one of the more memorable Valentine’s Days with me convinced she’d find nothing and instead I got a fabulous and huge card with words like they were written for us and a naff but forever memorable pink stuffed rabbit on a spring that croaked ‘I love you, I love you’ with every slight movement! Now this year it’s my turn to be disorganised as I’ve yet to order flowers or a card. Still, she’s currently in the UK visiting her mother so I’ve got plenty of time to get things done. If you’re not so lucky in having your partner go away at the time you need to get things organised then don’t panic. All you need is a laptop and a credit card and you’re away without him or her even noticing. This is what you do…
Send yourself a secure email with your card details but not the security code, you’ll have to remember that one. Then whilst checking the computer for football scores or the latest soaps, quickly read the email whilst logged on to Choose a fabulous bouquet from their marvellous selection and enter the card details from your email. Perhaps throw the odd comment across to your partner such as ‘city have just gone ahead, I can’t believe it!’ or ‘I knew that would happen, Josie’s going out with that Darren that had an affair with her mother’ and they won’t suspect a thing!
What’s even better now you (and I) have left it so late is that Cosmea Gardens are rewarding us laggards by offering an online discount – can you believe it, we think we’ve messed up and still we get the best deal. It’s certainly not like my Christmas shopping where by leaving it all last minute I buy the very first thing I see, no matter what the cost, because the countdown to Christmas is ticking away and I’ll never get it all done. Psst, don’t forget to use coupon “verylastminute” to save 10% on a minimum of 50Eur purchase.
The card is the next detail and if you haven’t organised it, you can still take the lazy way out by using one of the online card designers who will send a personalised card to your beloved with just a few details and for even fewer euros. What could be simpler? Now I’m wondering whether it’s possible to do the same with dinner for the big night too, meals on wheels – OK, maybe not a pizza or take away delivery, but a sumptuous three course meal with champagne? Come on Google… D.E.L.I.V.E.R.Y.O.F.V.A.L.E.N.T.I.N.E.S.D.I.N.N.E.R
Ah, no luck this year but maybe next year with you internet entrepreneurs?

The Basics of Flower Arranging – Part 1

OK, I think it’s time we got down to the serious business of arranging flowers. As I’m often told, although there are plenty of wonderful flower colour combinations, there’s no such thing as colours that don’t go together in an arrangement – after all does Mother Nature decide which colours should grow near each other?

What’s more important is making sure that, as in nature, we try to help the flowers last, giving as much pleasure as possible.

There are two aspects of this – preparation of the flowers and ensuring that the medium they are displayed in is suitable and properly prepared. In this post we’ll look at the display medium and in a later blog we’ll look at how to prepare your flowers.

The most important thing cut flowers need is moisture and this can be delivered in two main ways, through being immersed directly in water or in a water retaining medium.

Secondly, cut flowers need food or they and any foliage will fade quickly.

The temperature of the water is important, cool water will slow the rate of opening and subsequent degeneration of the bloom, warm water assists many blooms to open quicker, very useful if you want to manage the blooms for a particular time. Whichever you use, it’s important to start off with freshly boiled water which has been allowed to cool – this will kill any bacteria which could shorten the life of the cut blooms.

The water (and plant food) will need to be changed every two to three days to ensure that bacteria is not allowed to build up

Green oasis, the dense foam used for arrangements must be soaked  thoroughly in water before use and cut flower food added in a more concentrated form once you are ready to start arranging.

We’ll look at more helpful tips in a later blog but I find that when I buy my flowers and products for arrangements from Cosmea Gardens the staff are always happy to advise on ways to make the best of the beautiful blooms they sell.