All About the Tulip

Have you heard about the tulip?  This amazingly beautiful flower has a long and varied history.  Many people love to put bouquets of tulips on their tables and plant them in their flowerbeds to brighten things up.  But how many people really know where the tulip came from?

Originally, the tulip was a wild flower that grew in Asia.  The Turks were the first people to start cultivating it around 1000 AD.  They planted tulips in their palace gardens.  Later, in the 17th century, biologist Carolus Clusius brought tulips home with him, introducing the flower to Europe.  He named it “tulip” after the Turkish word for turban.

The tulip soon became popular with gardeners, especially in Holland.  The first bulbs sold for incredibly high prices, especially once botanists started to hybridize the flowers to create different colors.  These hybrids were so expensive that in some places they sold for more than a home in Amsterdam.  Eventually, of course, the growing availability of tulips drove the price down, but they remained incredibly popular among all people.

One very interesting fact was discovered in the 20th century.  The amazing flame colors and the frilly petals that made tulips so popular were actually caused by a virus!  These brilliant tulips were infected by the mosaic virus.  A healthy tulip is actually solid and monotone.  Today, diseased tulips are not sold.  Instead, the tulips most people grow are hybrid plants that have the amazing looks without the virus.

Send some tulips in Houston, TX, today!

Labor Day Cookout Ideas

Many people like to celebrate Labor Day by having a cookout. But if you’ve done this year after year, you might be looking for some new cookout ideas. Here are a few different ideas, both traditional and a bit different.

Traditional:

hot dogs, hamburgers, steak

BBQ:

Ribs, chicken wings

For the non-beef eaters:

Grilled chicken breast, grilled fish

Sides:

Grilled corn, Sesame parmesan zucchini, baked beans, grilled squash

Non-grilled sides:

Fresh salad, breadsticks, potato salad, coleslaw

Dessert:

Ice cream, ice cream pie, fresh watermelon, lemon bars, Rice Krispy treats

Off the grill and into the crockpot:

Sweet crockpot ribs, beans, crockpot potatoes, cheese dip

What kinds of food do you usually make for Labor Day? Leave us some ideas in the comments below!

Summer Love – Keep It Burning!

Summer seems to be a great time to start a new romance. If you’ve discovered love this summer, you may be afraid that it will fade as the temperature drops off. However, there are many ways to keep your summer love burning. Here are a few things to keep in mind when your summer romance seems to start to cool.

Talk to each other. No summer romance can survive a lack of communication. It doesn’t matter how you keep the lines of communication open, just do. If you don’t get the chance to see each other that often, then resort to alternative methods. Call, email, text, leave notes for each other…whatever it takes. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to be in constant contact with each other—a little space is good, too.

Make time for each other. In today’s busy world, it can be hard to make time to be together. But if you want to keep your summer love going, it’s important to make time. Sure, phone calls and emails are great, but they are no substitute for being together. If necessary, set aside a few days a month as your special date time. Don’t let anything be scheduled on those days. If you want your romance to succeed, you’ve got to commit to it.

Learn the little details about your significant other. What music does he/she like? Food? TV shows? Many summer romances start out as just surface relationships—they’re physical, but often you don’t really get into the little things. Learn about each other and then put that knowledge to use.

These are just three little things you should do to keep your summer love going. If you put a little effort into it and that spark is there, you won’t have any trouble keeping your relationship going.