Patriotic Plants

Every country has a patriotic holiday, whether it's the American Independance Day, the French Bastille Day or Australia Day down under. Often floral gifts are given in colors that honor a country's flag. Perhaps the national flower is given, too.

Here is an idea for a patriotic container that can be universally given on a national holiday.

In a generous container plant a few Strawflowers (HELICHRYSUM bracteatum). They come in a crash of bright colors, many striped in multiple tones. These flowers do double duty in that if they are cut, they retain their colors when dried. In the Victorian Language of Flowers, strawflower means "never-ceasing rememberance". (It's nice that they also look like festive frozen fireworks when in full bloom!)

Around the strawflower, scatter a few seeds of Nasturtium (TROPAEOLUM). You could also plant some young plants, but the seeds germinate so readily that unless you're after instant gratification, you don't need to. Nasturtiums come in many of the same bright colors that Strawflowers do, but the reds/oranges/yellows/maroons are the most popular. Nasturtium means "Patriotism" in the Language of Flowers. (As an aside, remember that fresh Nasturtium flowers and leaves taste great tossed into a salad at a picnic!)