Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Throughout the fall and winter months, many kinds of fruits appear in supermarkets. A number of these are suitable for floral design. One of the most striking is the pomegranate.
According to legends, we wouldnít have winter if it werenít for this fruit. This has been grown since prehistoric times. They are reportedly native to Persia (modern-day Iran). The Romans referred to it as the apple of Carthage.
Unlike some fruits, this one still grows wild in parts of Asia. In the Temple of Solomon, the pomegranate was used as a motif. They also appear in Egyptian hieroglyphics from the 16th century B.C. Remains of 3000 year old fruits were found in a shipwreck off the coast of southern Turkey.
Much loved by the ancients, the pomegranate is very unusual looking. The decorative fruits are greenish yellow or brown with reddish areas. Depending on the variety, these can range in size from that of a golf ball up to a medium-sized cantaloupe. Pomegranates are very long lasting fruits. That is one reason they are a favorite for floral designs.
Those in warm climates can grow their own pomegranates to use in floral arrangements. These are hardy only in USDA zones 7B through 10. In other areas, it can be grown as a pot plant and kept indoors or in a greenhouse during the colder months.
Pomegranate plants can be grown either as shrubs or trees. With proper pruning, you can keep it to 12 feet or below in height. These are well suited to both full sun and partial shade. They do require a well-drained soil. When grown in outdoor gardens, they can withstand mild drought and salty soils. Normally unaffected by diseases and insects, the pomegranate is easy to grow.
If you are planning on buying a pomegranate plant, choose your variety carefully. The Shirobotan and Chico varieties donít even bear fruits. So donít bother with them. Though you could grow your own plant from seeds, this is not the preferred method. It would take some years for the plant to be old enough to produce fruits.
In the language of flowers, the pomegranate is considered a symbol of love.
In floral design, there are so many ways that pomegranates can be used. For
a holiday party or dinner, place some of the fruits with candles and some glittery stars on the table. Who needs any other table decorations?