We all love receiving flowers (note to men out there; especially us ladies!) it makes us feel special, lifts our mood and makes our day. Whether you are given a single flower or a huge bouquet you still get a lovely warm feeling.
Many of us get a buzz out of giving flowers too, so really it’s a good choice when you want to put a smile on someone’s face. Be it, birthdays, celebrations, valentine, new home, as an apology, when someone is ill, sad or ‘just because’. This lovely tradition that we give flowers is as popular today as it ever has been.
So when did the idea to give flowers all begin?
The history of flower giving goes back thousands of years when flowers and herbs were believed to have magical powers. References to the giving of herbs and flowers are mentioned in Ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Chinese stories and myths. They showed that they were an essential part of social customs.
Remnants of flower petals have been discovered in many excavation sites found by archaeologists. Impressions from flowers and stems of herbs such as sage and mint have been found in an ancient burial pit in Israel that dates back nearly 14,000 years ago. It’s quite amazing to have a bit of insight into what people were doing way back when.
Now let’s fast forward a ‘few’ years…
The French and English through the Middle Ages kept the tradition going but it was really the Victorian era where feelings where kept hidden. Conversation was, shall we say, not as ‘open’ as it is today, that the giving of flowers was to become a popular pastime. It was a way of expressing feelings without actually having to say anything. The gentleman could convey his affections and express secret messages simply by the type of flowers he was giving.
The significance of a flower is believed to have been imported to Europe after the French and British witnessed it in Turkey. To understand what each flower meant, flower dictionaries explaining the language of flowers (floriography) were most popular among the ladies at this time as each flower had a different meaning. Even the colour of a same flower meant something different so without a flower dictionary to guide you it was inevitable that many misunderstandings occurred.
However; not all flowers were received gracefully. If the lady didn’t like the gentleman she would simply point the flowers downward and he would know that she was rejecting him. If she liked him, she would hold them upwards. Sounds quite civilised but maybe a touch awkward for the gentleman getting rejected!
Which Flowers to choose that won't Confuse!
The meaning behind the type of flowers that we give these days is somewhat different to times gone by. Today when we give flowers its more likely we will choose flowers that we know the person receiving them prefers. Maybe a bunch of different flowers that complement each other either by colour, variety or texture. We don’t usually put any emphasis on what each flower means and will present them with no thought to any hidden meanings as our ancestors once did. Having said that, we all know that a red rose symbols love and romance and is still given for that reason today.
Whatever the reasons are that you give flowers no one can deny that they make us feel good. Flowers uplift our spirits as well as brightening up the home, but it’s a sad fact that flowers don’t live for long.
So what can you do to help them stay fresh and enjoy your beautiful blooms longer?
Try these simple steps;
The vase that your using needs to be washed in hot soapy water to wash away any bacteria left from previous displays. Also make sure the vase is big enough, if the flowers are too cramped they will start to wilt quickly.
Before you put the flowers in your vase, trim the stems (with sharp scissors) on a 45 degree angle about 2cm from the bottom of the stem. This will help the flowers take up the water.
Remove any greenery from the bottom of the stems; keeping the water cleaner.
Add a floral preservative to nourish your flowers and help kill bacteria.
Change the water at least every 2-3 days. Rinse the flower stems if possible to wash away any of the smelly bacteria build up.
Spray your flowers with water to absorb more moisture.
Remove any dead or wilted blooms and leaves.
Keep your flowers away from heat, bright light and drafts.
Keep flowers away from fruit; they give off small amounts of ethylene gas that will age your flowers faster.
As nice as it is to have beautiful flowers around your home you can only keep them alive for several days and who doesn’t feel a bit sad when it’s time to throw them away!
So why not consider a flowering plant instead? They can be enjoyed for longer and brighten up the dullest corner of any room bringing the outdoors in. A perfect accent to any room.
Better still; why not grow your own? Choose your favourite plant seeds or plug plants and see how easy it is to grow your own flowering display.