The Incredible Flower and Sand Carpets of La Otorava

In the Spanish town of La Otorava, Tenerife, the festival of Corpus Christi Festival is celebrated by lining the streets with beautiful themed carpets made from flower petals and colored volcanic sand.

Featuring some of the most fragrant art displays in the world, the feast of Corpus Christi attracts thousands of visitors from all around the world, eager to see what the skilled alfombras (carpet makers) come up with every year. In the Canary islands, Corpus Christi has been celebrated for the last 300 years, but the first person to ever create a flower carpet is believed to be Leonor de Castillo Monteverde, who in 1847 decided it would be a good idea to decorate the road in front of her house with flower petals, for the procession to walk over. It measured only three square meters, but made a strong impact on the community, and eventually became a local tradition. In the 164 years since then , La Otrava flower and sand carpets have only been suspended twice, in 1891 and 1897.

The tradition of making large carpets with scented flower petals and volcanic sand from the foothills of Mount Teide has come a long way since its humble beginnings and the artworks are becoming more spectacular with each passing year. Several days before the celebration, local families and even design companies draw the carpets on paper, and on the big day, men and children draw the outline on the streets, while women fill the designs with various flower petals. All the locals get involved in this beautiful celebration and create a truly pleasant atmosphere.

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Lily Allen Portrait Is Made of Real Lilies

British singer Lily Allen is getting married this Saturday and London florist McQueens wanted to celebrate the event by creating a unique portrait of the artist, using actual lilies.

A team of six flower experts worked nine hours arranging the Asiatic lily blossoms into an Andy Warhol-style portrait of the acclaimed artist. The one-of-a-kind floral masterpiece measures six by ten feet and numbers a total of 1,800 lilies. Asiatic lilies were chosen because apparently they represent romance, femininity and purity. The lily portrait was a collaboration of English florist McQueens and The Flower Council of Holland, and will on display for a week, at one of McQueens’ London branches.

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Thailand’s Beautiful Soap Flowers

They look like beautiful exotic flowers, and they even smell the part, only unlike the real thing, Thai soap flowers last forever.

Although these days, soap flowers can be bought as souvenirs from all around Thailand, these scented masterpieces originated in the villages around Chiang Rai. When they weren’t too busy tending to their farms or working in the rice paddies, locals practiced carving on pieces of soap. Their hobby turned into a fine art, and the delicate soap flowers they sold at the local night markets soon captured tourists’ imagination.

The art of soap carving is passed down from generation to generation, and since it’s all done using a few carving knives, the beauty of the flowers depends a lot on the skill and finesse of the artist. Chiang Rai remains the best place to buy soap flowers as souvenirs, and visitors can witness the carving process first hand.

Take a look at the jaw-dropping soap flowers and tell me if you could ever use any of them for washing your hands. I’d maybe do it if it was the last piece of soap on Earth.

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Incredible Flower Carpets at the Genzano Flower Festival 2010

If you’re a flower enthusiast, and you happen to be in Rome, in the second week of June, you just have to visit the small town of Genzano, for its world famous Infiorata.

The Genzano Infiorata is a flower festival that can be traced back to 1778. Every year, local artists cover an entire street (Via Belardi) with intricate flower carpets, inspired by famous artworks, religious paintings or geometrical shapes. The flower carpets are made by talented local artists who have to stick to a previously agreed upon theme, like ‘The Colors of Michelangelo’ or ‘The Designs of Bernini’.

The Infiorata of Genzano begins with the harvesting of millions of flowers, 2-3 days before the event. They are stored fresh, in caves around Genzano, while the artists draw their masterpieces on the pavement of Via Belardi, for the Saturday parade.

Preceded by a ‘mini Infiorata’, where children from local schools create the flower carpets, the Infiorata ends on the Monday of the third week of June, when children are allowed to destroy the colorful artworks, by playing on them.

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Rainbow Roses Are for Real

I know they look ‘photoshopped’ but these amazing flowers are the real thing, and can be bought at some select flower-shops around the world.

Invented by Peter van der Werken, the owner of a flower company close to Den Bosch, Holland, rainbow roses look like they’ve been seriously modified in programs like Adobe Photoshop. But, they are actually the result of careful flower engineering. Dye is inserted into the stem of the rose as it’s growing, and the petals simply absorb it. Sounds easy enough, but it’s a very difficult process.

Sadly, you can’t buy rainbow rose bushes, only cut, or dried flowers. And even those come at a price meant to keep most of us away. Five cut rainbow roses sell for $55 and two dozens cost up to $325. But it you’re going to spend a small fortune on a flower, why not buy a freeze-dried rainbow rose that will last for years.

Rainbow Roses are special, but I for one like the common kind better. I guess I’m old fashioned.

via TheFunTimesGuide

Rainbow-roses

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Titan Arum, the largest flower in the world

But before you think about getting one for your special someone, there are a few things you should know. First of all the Titan Arum‘s flowering stalk reaches a height of 3 meters and has a diameter of over a meter, so it’s going to be pretty hard to carry. And second of all and, most importantly, it reeks like a decomposing dead body…that’s why it’s sometimes known as “the corpse flower

It’s native to the rainforests of central Sumatra, Indonesia and it rarely blooms in captivity, so when that actually happens it’s a pretty big deal. Haven’t seen one up close yet, but considering the smell, I consider myself lucky.

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