The Art of Giving Flowers

i-dont-always-give-flowers-but-when-i-do-its-just-for-you

The giving of flowers is a custom that has stood the test of time, beginning with the ancient civilization of Rome and Egypt and going forward through the middle Ages and into the Victorian period of history, flowers never exhaust in beauty or tradition.

Flowers have long been thought of as a way to publically display affection and thought without using verbal expression. One of the joys of public display is the idea that one can provide a visual representation of respect, love, kindness, sorrow, congratulation or a variety of other emotions and still remain quite anonymous if the sender is so inclined.

While gifting flowers is generally associated with positive emotion there are instances when it can be quite the opposite. One such notable expression was the giving of Red roses in an upside down fashion. This would indicate that the romance was over or the suitor was no longer interested. Again, without words the sender was able to convey a message either publically or privately for a specific recipient.

In modern society flowers have become even more important and associated with almost any occasion from birth to the end of life and certainly all milestones in between. One of the more notable instances connected to floral arrangements and bouquets are the wedding.

Flowers from the first date to the wedding

Before Facebook, it was necessary to find a suitable mate through the process of conversation and “courting”.  A suitor would often spy a beautiful woman and spend the appropriate amount of time trying to gather information and muster up the courage to finally speak to said woman. After a few awkward conversations an afternoon date was often agreed upon wherein the suitor would arrive at the woman’s family home bearing a gift of flowers  from one to many, often times even an additional grouping of flowers for her mother as well.  Roses and wild flowers were often popular and certainly the type of flowers depended on the location of the suitor and his intended.  As the courting continued the size of the bouquet would vary and the significance of the flower choices would intensify to reflect the gamut of emotions from purity to romantic love, leading to the eventual engagement and impending wedding. The wedding would of course involve more flowers.

Why the June Wedding Became So Popular

Between the 1400 and 1500s, May was the month that all enjoyed their ‘annual bath’! As people were only able to bathe thoroughly once each year, the ultimate outcome would have been a very smelly population indeed. Thus by June they still smelled somewhat fresher than they would in April next year. No wonder June was thought to be a good time to hold a special event such as a wedding.

A Rose by Any Other Name

Traditionally, roses have been the most popular flower for giving. There is a message conveyed for most colors of the rose from pure love and friendship to romantic love. While Roses have maintained their status many women long to save the flowers they receive. This has also become a custom beginning with pressing the last remaining bud between the pages of a book, storing in a locket or hanging the roses upside down to dry. Today there are many ways to save the beautiful expressions of love one receives.

Here are a few easy Do-It-Yourself tips to keep the Roses

First take the roses out of the vase and rubber band the stems together very securely. Once they are rubber banded place a push pin in a wall, perhaps in your closet or laundry room and attach the roses to the wall hanging upside down. In a few days theroseswill be completely dry. From 6-12 inches away use hair spray or cleat spray paint and gently spray the petals. Leave hanging one more day and place in vase or even tie ribbon around the stems and place on a bookshelf. If the Roses are kept out of damp, humid, or wet places they will last for several years.

If you do not want to keep the entire bouquet of roses here is another way. This technique is ensures not only the preservation of the roses themselves but that the fragrance lives on as well. There is a common belief that a smell can revive memories and elicit feelings similar to those of falling in love. A jar or bowl being full of happy scents, beautiful petals and happy memories, is a wonderful reminder of the occasion. Once the flowers begin wilting carefully take the petals off the stems and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or tin foil, even newspaper will do. Space the petals so they are not clumped or stacked, they can be a bit overlapping if space is limited. They need to dry for two or three days in a non humid climate. It may take longer if you are in a tropical or humid area.

Once the petals and leaves are completely dry place them in a mixing bowl and add your favorite scented oil using a spray bottle or medicine dropper. Toss gently with your fingers until all of the leaves and petals have been touched. The potpourri should never be wet or soaked, just lightly misted. Place in a vase or a jar and as the scent starts to fade remist with the scented oil.  For a seasonal addition or to enhance the decor even more, place in a large bowl on the center of a table. Feel free to add Pine cones or nuts or even rocks and glass marbles. Add scenting as needed to keep fresh.

Choosing Your Arrangement

Whether the arrangement is for a new birth, wedding or the unfortunate passing of a loved one, the sentiment behind the flowers is the most important aspect of the gift. Even in the face of sorrow a fresh, bright, perky arrangement that is esthetically pleasing and offers a delightful aroma is the best choice. There are customs that dictate which flowers are appropriate for each event and then there is the intimate knowledge that comes with having a specific recipient in mind. Roses, carnations, gladiolas, or gerberas can all be wonderful choices. Time, circumstance, color and availability will dictate the gift that is being delivered. As important as the gift of flowers is the meaning behind the flowers. Never underestimate the profound inspiration or encouragement flowers can deliver. Claude Monet was quoted as saying – “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”

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Flower of the Month

The retail world offers many “selection” of the month clubs. Flowers naturally are the top selection. Over the years each month has become associated with a flower.

JANUARY

January is known for Carnations. The word carnation comes from corone. They are still used in traditional Greek ceremonies. The carnation naturally comes in every color except blue and black.

FEBRUARY

February is for violets. Violets have been commonly dubbed as the flowers of modesty. The heart-shaped leaves conceal the delicate inner parts of the flower. The flower is also a reminder of honesty and faith.

Violets vary from blue violet to deep purple and even white. Violets are said to instill peace and promote harmony while reducing anxiety. Violets grow in the wild and are cultivated for sale.

MARCH

March walks in the daffodil. They are often referred to as the “Lent Lily” due to the time of year. daffodils are bright and cheery, usually bright yellow. There are more than fifty species of the flower.

APRIL

April celebrates sweet peas and daisies. There are over 22,000 species in this category. Daisies always have five petals. Sweet peas are a hybrid native to Southern Italy created by a Scotsman Henry Eckford.

MAY

The most widely recognized use of the Lily may be The fleur-de-lis . Used by royals and on coat of arms. Associated with purity and innocence it is an excellent flower for weddings, new births, and baptisms.

JUNE

June is for Roses. The Rose is the national flower of England. In 1986 the Rose was adopted as the official flower of the United States. The Rose represents the states of New York, Iowa, North Dakota and Georgia.

JULY

July heralds in the larkspur, also a type of Lily.  Each color of larkspur has a different meaning. White conveys a happy nature, and purple normally represents a first love. This flower means enduring love.

AUGUST

August brings the gladioli is Latin meaning sword.  This mainly refers to the shape of the leaves of the gladioli. The name is fitting since the gladiator’s weapon of choice was generally a sword.

SEPTEMBER

September chooses the Aster.  Asters resemble daisies except with starry-shaped flower heads. Asters repel snakes and attract butterflies.

OCTOBER

The Morning Glory is named because it blooms for a few hours in the early morning. It begins to wilt as the day goes on. The Morning Glory can develop roots and become a thicket in the wild.

Vibrant oranges and yellows mark the marigolds. Marigolds bloom within fifty days of planting. They grow as long as there in no danger of  cold temperatures.

NOVEMBER

November is time for Chrysanthemums. These gentle flowers are meant to bring happiness and symbolize forever love. Also called mums, these blooms are used in the making of rice wine.

DECEMBER

Poinsettias are commonly associated with Christmas. Poinsettias come on both white and red with bright green leaves. Originally cultivated in Mexico and Central America, they arrived in the States in 1825.

The most popular flowers will always be the rose, tulip, and carnation. With only twelve months have not begun to explore the world of flowers. There will always be more flowers to smell and discover.

New and Improved

Hello Blog Friends!

We are happy to be back among you. We are working hard to keep up with the social media and would love for you to join us whenever and wherever possible. Please like and follow us –

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and our brand new TUMBLR will launch tomorrow. As always, the web never sleeps and neither does our website.

We love to receive comments, pictures, suggestions, ideas and recipes that have to do with flowers from Italy and beyond.

See you soon!

Bella

Celebrity Flowers

We focus on Italy and flowers and love. Well part of love is romance of a wedding. This month has already boasted some gorgeous celebrity weddings with beautiful flowers. Here is a gallery for the latest. Stay tuned for Monday, it will be the flower of September blog!

Why So Many June Brides?

True Tuesdays-

Here is a fascinating fact- Since time immemorial young ladies, and second time rounders as well, have chosen the month of June as the most popular choice for their wedding day.

However the original reason for this choice may surprise you.

Back in time between the 1400 and 1500s, May was the month that all enjoyed their ‘annual bath’! As people were only able to bathe thoroughly once each year, the ultimate outcome would have been a very smelly population indeed. Thus by June they still smelled some what fresher then they would in April next year. No wonder June was thought to be a good time to hold a special event such as a wedding.

While June has past, September is also a great time for a wedding. Now that bathing is available and encouraged all year long…all you need to do is choose the flowers that fit your theme and we can help.

Ciao,

Bella

 

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The Gift That Keeps On Giving

 

We normally do not do reprints or repost other blogs. Today is an exception! We have discussed how to preserve Roses from a bouquet and how to make your own potpourri, but I have now stumbled on precise directions on how to replant your Roses and add them to your garden. Need less to say this was exciting and it seemed worth sharing! Enjoy and please share your results if you decide to try this or if you have already had success.

HOW TO REPLANT YOUR BOUQUET AND ADD TO YOUR GARDEN!