Mar 07

Facebook is Fun AND Can Save You Money – Learn How!

It seems like you hear about Facebook everywhere these days.  Your kids are on it.  Your co-workers have profiles.  It’s even been a big hit in the theater (the movie “The Social Network” is based on the life of Facebook’s creator).  But do you have a Facebook account?  If not, why don’t you?  There are a number of different benefits to having a Facebook account, and it’s completely free!

Facebook is a social media network.  That means it has several goals.  Originally, Facebook was a way of keeping in touch with friends and family members.  College students were the original audience, but now, Facebook is open to everyone.  You can reconnect with friends from high school, keep in touch with classmates and even your professors, or send messages back and forth with family members who live out of state or even in another country.

Facebook has many fun opportunities for even those who use it only sparingly.  For example, you can create photo albums and share pictures with others, and you can even upload short video clips.  This makes sharing family photos, vacation snapshots, and even work-related images easy.  You can share websites and your interests just as easily.

Another fun aspect of Facebook is the games section.  They’re called apps, and while some of them do provide other functions, many of them are social media games like Mafia Wars and Farmtown.  These games let you share your actions and results with others on Facebook, making them almost a collaborative effort.  Some of them are even built around creating teams of Facebook friends to get ahead.

But there are ways of saving money with Facebook, too.  Many companies have created Facebook fan pages for themselves and their products.  By visiting one of these pages and clicking the “like” button, you can receive updates from that page in your news feed.  These updates might consist of new product information, store savings, and even discount codes.  By using these discount codes, you can save a bundle or take advantage of Facebook-fan-only events.  It’s like being a member of an exclusive club!

Village Garden’s Facebook fan page has a lot of offer our customers.  We post items that we think our customers will like, including links to sites about flowers, the history of holidays like Valentine’s Day, gardening tips, and sometimes just something a little whimsical.  We also post news events like store specials and the occasional discount, so “like” our fan page to keep in the loop!

Join Facebook –

Our Village Gardens Page:!/VillageGardens

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Mar 02

The History of Tulips

The tulip is one of the most colorful and popular flowers, especially for gardeners.  But where did this amazing flower come from?  The history of the tulip is very interesting.  It originated in Turkey and Persia.  The people of the region loved the brightly colored tulip, and the flower was used for decoration and in art as early as 1000 AD.  However, while today we often associate the tulip with the Netherlands, the flower wasn’t introduced to Western Europe until the 17th century!

During that time, biologist Carolus Clusius of Vienna was studying medicinal plants.  He had been hired to do so by the University of Leiden.  Hearing of his study, Ogier de Busbecq, Ambassador to Constantinople, send Clusius some bulbs of the amazingly beautiful flower grown in the region.  Leiden found the flowers to be incredibly beautiful and asked what they were called.  Due to a bit of confusion and mistranslation, he was told they were called the tulip, which is the Turkish word for turban.

Once Leiden planted a few of the flowers in his gardens, Tulip Mania took off in Holland.  Suddenly, everyone had to have these flowers.  In fact, prices got so high at one point that tulips cost more than some houses!  Tulips were very rare at this point, but once supply caught up with demand, the tulip market crashed and some where left bankrupt. 

During the 20th century, botanists discovered that the characteristic petals and colors that give the tulip its distinctive look were actually caused by a virus!  A healthy tulip is smoother and only one color.  The tulips were infected by viruses from potatoes and peaches.  Today, botanists have created hybrid tulips that have that amazing look without the disease.

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Feb 22

5 Fun Reasons to Send Yourself Flowers

One day you walk into work and see a huge bouquet of flowers on a co-worker’s desk.  Wow, you think, she must have a great husband, a secret admirer, or maybe she did something to really impress the boss.  “Who are these from?” you ask.  “Oh,” she replies, “I sent them to myself.  I just like getting flowers.”

Yes, some people do send themselves flowers on a regular basis!  But why?  Here are five fun reasons to send yourself flowers.

1.  It makes your desk at work look inviting.  Having a desk that features nothing but a computer and work related items is cold and can be off-putting.  Having flowers on your desk adds a nice personal touch.

2.  It might make others interested in you.  When a man thinks a woman is available and that no one else is moving in, he might take his sweet time making a move.  However, if he sees you getting flowers, he might assume someone else is courting you and decide to make his interest known.

3.  It will make you feel better.  It’s been documented in several scientific studies that the sight and scent of flowers actually affects a person’s mood.  With a bright bouquet on your desk, how could you be in a bad mood?

4.  You might start a trend.  Impress your single (or even your married) friends with the fact that you don’t need to wait for a man to send you flowers.  Maybe you’ll get others to send themselves some flowers, too!  Forget casual Fridays—start up Flower Fridays in which the whole office orders in flowers!

5.  Who needs a reason?  Send yourself flowers just because you feel like it!

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Feb 11

Make Your Valentine’s Special

With only a few days left before Valentine’s Day, many people are thinking about love and relationships and how to make the day special.  Many people have plans to go to dinner someplace nice, maybe see a movie or go to a concert, and generally enjoy the company of their special someone.  But what can you do to make this night really special?  Here are a few thoughts.

Pick an event that you both will enjoy.  Don’t go to a concert if you know you’ll fall asleep during it.  Yes, there’s something to be said for making the date all about making your Valentine happy, but Valentine’s Day is about both of you being happy.  Be sure that whatever you do, you enjoy it, too.

Recreate a past Valentine’s Day or a past date.  Think about where you went for your first date, first anniversary, or even for your honeymoon.  Go back to the same restaurant, stay at the same hotel, or try to go to a similar event.  Don’t just recreate these memories, though—make new memories to go with them.

Another way you can make this Valentine’s special is to go all out.  Make it a date above and beyond any previous date.  If you usually get her a single red rose, get her two dozen.  Take her to one of the top rated restaurants around.  If you’re planning on spending the night at a hotel, upgrade to a suite.  Go that extra mile and make it a Valentine’s neither of you will ever forget.

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Feb 08

Rose Meanings

Many people will be sending their significant others roses this Valentine’s Day.  Most will go with red roses, the traditional color of love.  But what about all those other roses?  What do their colors mean?  Here is a handy guide to rose meanings.

  • Red means love, passion, and beauty, but it can also mean respect or courage.  Red roses are the most popular and the most traditional.  Sending someone red roses is one way of telling them that you’re in love.
  • Yellow roses, on the other hand, stand for friendship, joy, or happiness.  They say “I care about you, but I’m not romantically in love with you.”  Sending yellow roses to your spouse on your anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or birthday doesn’t really say love. 
  • Pink roses are perfect for thank you gifts since they convey appreciation, admiration, and grace, and thankfulness.  Pink roses are great for someone who has done you a favor or as a way of telling someone you are grateful they are in your life.
  • The white rose stands for innocence, charm, and purity.  This is one of the reasons why it’s often carried as part of the Bridal bouquet and used in wedding arrangements. 
  • Orange roses convey a sense of desire.  They do not mean love, so they’re more appropriate during the beginning of a relationship.  They may also mean admiration or enthusiasm. 
  • Purple or lavender roses aren’t sent as often as other roses.  This is because they mean love at first sight.  They’re a great rose to give on the second or third date to say that you want to move ahead in the relationship.  They’re also a nice alternative to the more traditional red rose.
  • You can, of course, mix roses of different colors together.  Some of these combinations have very specific meanings.  Red and white mixed roses stand for unity and make a great arrangement for an anniversary.  Mixing yellow and orange roses says you have passionate thoughts for the recipient.  Red and yellow is a colorful way of saying congratulations.
  • The number of roses you send has significance, too.  Most of us are familiar with the traditional dozen red roses.  This bouquet means romantic love, just like the red rose.
  • If you send two dozen roses, you’re saying that you love someone so much that the standard bouquet just isn’t enough.  “I’m yours forever” is what this is saying.
  • Another way of saying “I love you” in a simple, understated way is with a long stemmed rose.  Alone or in a vase with two or three others, the long stemmed rose conveys your love, your thanks, or, in the case of a bouquet, can mean that you will always remember the recipient. 
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Feb 02

Romantic Valentine Events in Kansas City

Valentine’s Day is coming up in a few weeks, so now is the time to start planning your romantic evening.  Here are a few things in and around the Kansas City you can do to make this Valentine’s Day incredible special and romantic.

Head out to a number of the romantic restaurants in Kansas City.  There are many great places to eat in the city, including places like the French restaurant Fou Frog, the award-winning Bluestem, and the elegant Shields Manor Bistro.  Just be sure to make a reservation—these top restaurants will fill up quickly.

Get out of the house for the night by staying in one of Kansas City’s romantic hotels.  There are many different hotels in the area offering Valentine’s Day specials.  These may include things like later check out times, champagne in the room, and more.

Go for a romantic carriage ride at Zona Rosa.  The carriage rides will be available from the 12th through the 14th.  As an added bonus, if you spend $50 at select shopping, entertainment, or dining locations, you will get two complimentary tickets!  Otherwise, the tickets are $10 per person.

Finally, pamper your date by spending the day at a spa.  There are a number of great day spas in the Kansas City area that are having Valentine’s Day specials.  While you might not get much out of a cucumber facial, rest assured she will.

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Jan 25

Upcoming Romantic Events in Kansas City

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and that means many different romantic events are scheduled in and around Kansas City.  Here are some romantic events coming up in the next month.

Bluestem Restaurant has a number of different events in February.  If you want to have your romantic dinner early, the restaurant is offering an early Valentine’s Day celebration on the 11th, 12th, and 13th.  On Valentine’s Day, a three-course dinner is available.  Of course, you need to make reservations, especially for the Valentine’s Day dinner. 

If you don’t want to eat dinner at Bluestem, you can have tea and pastries or sandwiches from 11 am to 1pm on Valentine’s Day.  Once again, though, you’ll need to make reservations! 

Red Hot Night is February 12 at the Kansas City Convention Center Grand Ballroom.  This event serves as a fundraiser for the Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinic.  It includes cocktails, dinner, live entertainment by Liquid Blue, and a silent auction.  Going to Red Hot Night is a great way to have a great romantic dinner plus help out a great cause.

Love art?  Then you might want to attend Love in Art: A Romantic Journey Through Europe at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  This event, held on Feb. 12, features a gourmet three-course dinner at the museum’s Rozzelle Court Restaurant, then a self-guided tour through the many different masterpieces in the exhibit.

On February 13, the Harriman-Jewell Series presents Joyce DiDonato, one of the top performers in the world.  She returns to her hometown for her fourth recital this February.

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Jan 19

Fun Things to do Inside

In many places around the country, it’s cold outside.  With so few outdoor activates readily available in the winter, parents are often left with the task of finding something fun for their kids to do inside.  If you want to get them away from the TV and the video games, here are a few fun things to do inside.

Cook or bake.  Making meals often seems like a chore, but getting the entire family to pitch in can turn this task into a fun family event.  Younger children can get the table and help gather ingredients for the dishes.  Older children can put together a salad and other simple dishes, while teens can help with the actual cooking.  Of course, another family activity following dinner is cleaning up!

Play board games.  While kids may be all about the video games these days, they may find (to their surprise) that they enjoy playing old fashioned board games just as much.  Pull out Monopoly, Checkers, Clue, and other classic board games and spend an afternoon teaching your children that you don’t need electronics to have fun.

Do arts and crafts.  Look up some fun crafts on the internet or pick up a craft book from a local bookstore and make some fun artwork with your children.  They can make different decorations for their rooms or make artwork to hang on the refrigerator.  If a relative has a birthday coming up, they can even make some homemade gifts.

Read.  Kids might not think reading is cool, but set aside an hour or so for the whole family to read.  Brave the cold to go to the local library and have everyone pick out a book.  If you have young children, read to them.  Another fun activity is to have everyone take turns reading a single book aloud.

These are just a few things to do during the colder months.  No matter what you do, have some fun and enjoy the time you have with your family.  Soon enough, the weather will get warmer and everyone will be out playing sports and doing other outdoor activities.

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Jan 11

The Power of Flowers to Lift Your Spirits

If you’re feeling down, one of the best ways of lifting your spirits is to stop and smell some flowers.  Flowers have this ability of making us feel better.  How?  Well, just the sight of bright, cheery blooms is often enough to make us temporarily forget about our troubles.  The smell also helps lift our spirits.  How can one be sad or depressed when there are such great smelling flowers in the world? 

But while their physical traits can be quite uplifting, the main power of flowers is in their ability to make us remember things.  Scent, they say, is perhaps the most powerful sense associate with memory recall.  When we see or smell flowers, we are reminded of where they can from.  This memory can make us feel much better.

If the flowers were a gift from someone, the memory is of that person.  Thinking about him or her can be very moving, especially if the sender is a significant other or close friend.  Even if the flowers came from a co-worker or a business associate, the memory can still make you feel better.  Anyone who took the time to order flowers appreciates you, and just knowing that there’s someone out there who appreciates what you’ve done can be quite uplifting.

The other memory flowers can evoke is the memory of growing them.  This comes from cutting flowers out of your garden and putting them one your table or desk.  Looking at these flowers can remind you of your own garden.  This, in turn, can remind you of how peaceful it feels to work in the garden or how proud you are of seeing all of your flowers in bloom.

The power of flowers is great, and it’s important to remember that flowers can really brighten someone’s mood.  Next time you know someone needs their spirits lifted, send them flowers.  They will be very thankful.

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Jan 05

Why Plants are the Perfect Gift for Winter

Need a great gift idea for someone who has a birthday coming up this winter?  Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with a gift for someone in the middle of the cold season, especially if they are an outdoor person.  However, one great gift idea for anyone this winter is a plant.

Why are plants the perfect gift for winter?  Well, the main reason is that plants remind us of spring and summer.  They are bright, cheery, and colorful in a time when, depending on your location, you may find yourself in short supply of all three.  If you look outside in the dead of winter, often you see brown, dead grass, piles of snow, sheets of ice, bare, brown trees…all in all, a colorless landscape that seems so dull and depressing.  Plants help remind us that life will return to our outside world in the spring.  Flowering plants and indoor flowers can especially bring color into our homes and our lives.

Plants bring their living energy into our homes, and during the dead of winter, this boost of energy can be very nice.  We often feel sluggish in the winter months.  Some attribute this to the cold, while others say it has to do with the lack of bright, cheery sunshine.  Whatever the reason, surrounding ourselves with living plants and flowers can help bring some energy back into our homes and help make us happier and more energetic during the cold.

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