Articles Tagged 'flower meanings'

May 8, 2017

Flower Feature: Peony

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The peony is a gorgeous flower admired for its impressive bloom, lush petals, and unique texture. Mainly found in white, peonies also grow in an array of hues from light pink and purple to a deeper red.

 

Single Pink Peony - Perfect Peonies - by Kathy Woodard - via The Garden Glove.com

Single Pink Peony – Perfect Peonies – by Kathy Woodard – via The Garden Glove.com

 

Nearly unrecognizable in the early bloom stage, the peony starts out as a tightly condensed flower bud. Once the bud is cut and placed in warm water, the petals begin to open up. It continues to expand until becoming this elaborate, beautiful flower full of color, texture, and dimension. Though it looks delicate, the peony in full bloom is prized for its sturdy foliage and low maintenance care.

 

 

A particularly old genus and highly valued throughout the world, peonies hold significant symbolic and mythological meaning. In wedding practice, the peony represents a happy marriage, wealth, romance, and honor, making it a perfect flower for decor, gifts and offerings.

 

Fully Opened Pink Peony - Perfect Peonies - by Kathy Woodard - via The Garden Glove.com

Fully Opened Pink Peony – Perfect Peonies – by Kathy Woodard – via The Garden Glove.com

 

Peonies are one of the oldest species of flowers, dating back to 1,000 B.C with origins in Asia, specifically China. A traditional floral symbol of China, the bloom is referred to as “the king of flowers.” Representing riches and honor, it is symbolically used in Chinese art. In addition to its beauty, the peony was valued for its medicinal properties. Roots and seeds were said to cure over twenty different illnesses, including teething pain, snake bite wounds, and epilepsy. Once the flower became known in the Americas, it was imported for spring and summer weddings of the wealthy.

 

 

There are two common myths relating the peony to Greek mythology. The first myth states that the peony was named after Paeon, the Greek physician of the gods. Paeon was a student of medicine under Aesculapius, and used the peony root to heal Pluto. Once Aesculapius found out, he became enraged with jealousy and tried to kill Paeon. To save Paeon’s life, Pluto transformed him into a Peony flower. Pluto’s act bestowed the flower with compassionate meaning, elevating it to be respected and praised by all. The second myth ties the peony to a nymph named Paeonia. She was beautiful and attracted the attention of Apollo. Upon learning that Aphrodite was watching, Paeonia became bashful and turned bright red. This angered Apollo. So the God turned Paeonia into a red peony, and the flower became a symbol of bashfulness in the flower kingdom.

Peonies are a beautiful bloom. Working with them in wedding arrangements requires thought and care as you want them to open up the perfect amount on the day of the wedding. To avoid browning, try to use the flowers when they are in season (April through June) and avoid taking them out of water too early. Available in a variety of colors, they look lovely on their own or as a perfect complement to other blooms. As a flower feature for your wedding day, this one-of-a-kind flower looks extraordinary in bridal bouquets and centerpiece arrangements.

 

 

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April 5, 2017

Flower Feature: Marigold

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The marigold flower is one of the most recognizable flowers around the world, known for its vibrant yellow and shades of gold that resemble the sun. The marigold genus includes 56 species and varies from annuals to perennials. Though marigolds may be known as common garden flowers, they are beautiful, significant and meaningful in the flower kingdom. Grown all over the world, many see them as common weeds, yet when stripped down to their core, their beauteous shades of gold, orange, white and yellow are like no other.

 

Dark Orange Marigold - Marigold Flower - via Pinterest.com

Dark Orange Marigold – Marigold Flower – via Pinterest.com

 

Marigolds often vary in display as many have a pompop-shaped head made up of large amounts of small-layered petals, mirroring the sun. Other marigolds in the kingdom offer a variety of shades from darker petals on the inside to a lighter petal outline in more red-orange and maroon tones.

Symbolizing the warmth of the rising sun, it is obvious why they are open for the world to see when the sun is shining on them. Marigolds are spiritual flowers signified as offerings to the gods in a variety of cultures and often used in many sacred ceremonies in Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism, to name a few. Though there are different types of marigolds, their bright yellow and red-orange tones tie them to the same basic meaning. Originally given a negative denotation due to their cultural use and meaning of grief, jealousy and cruelty, they have been linked back to a positive and optimistic representation of creativity and warmth. This species is said to have a lot of history since its name is derived from offerings to the Virgin Mary, as marigolds replaced gold coins, later inheriting the connotation of Mary’s Gold. They are also famously used in Mexico’s Day of the Dead ceremonies and are a beloved part of their traditions.

 

 

The marigold flower is a great species to have in your personal garden not only because of the color qualities they offer, but also because they act as a natural pest deterrent. They are a carefree grower, meaning they don’t require a lot of love and attention, but rather grow on their own with basic care. They can blossom in almost any soil, yet thrive the most in a well-drained soil base. They bring light, texture and love to a garden and, as an extra treat, are easy to care for.

 

Floating Marigold - Photo by Nathan Michael - via SF Girl By Bay.com

Floating Marigold – Photo by Nathan Michael – via SF Girl By Bay.com

 

Marigolds offer a great pop of color in wedding work and are often featured in outdoor spring and summer weddings. They work really beautifully in flower crowns, wild flower bouquets and hanging floral displays. Pairing and complementing seamlessly with other energetic colors like fuchsia, maroons, bright pinks and greenery, their color palette brings vibrancy and dimension to any wedding décor. Marigolds are often found in many wedding ceremonies of different religions and cultures. Standing alone, or paired with a complementing bloom, the marigold flower will forever bring a smile to your face with its enthusiastic, animated and spirited presentation.

 

Bridal Marigold Bouquet - via Pinterest.com

Bridal Marigold Bouquet – via Pinterest.com

 

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February 15, 2017

Flower Feature – Hydrangea

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One of the most beautiful and well-known species in the flower kingdom, is hydrangea. Hydrangea originated in many regions of the world, including North and South America, Europe and Asia. Now worldwide, they are very famous and a popular flower grown in gardens, while also being used at special occasions and weddings. Offering a variety of species in the kingdom, it is most famous for its hydrangea and Dutch hydrangea variety. The hydrangea species is famous for its large soft clusters and overwhelming beauty in its natural state. The hydrangea flower is grown on a hydrangea bush in single clusters containing multiple little flowers and blooms. Though each individual flower is very small, hydrangea’s florets are known for coming in full round clusters at the top of a single stem.

 

White Hydrangea Bouquet - A Modern Style - via Martha Stewart Weddings

White Hydrangea Bouquet-A Modern Style- via Martha Stewart Weddings

 

Hydrangea are most popular and known for their pure white petals, yet they are also grown in a variety of colors including purple, blue and pink. A small fact that many don’t know about hydrangea is that the color of the hydrangea flowers depends on the acidity of the soil they are grown in. This can determine whether they will produce, for example, blue or white flowers. Offering a complete range of colors, Dutch hydrangea bloom in a little more variety of colors than the average hydrangea, including white, green, and all shades of pink, blue and purple.

 

 

Hydrangea, though grown in many parts of the world,  thrive in moist soil with partial shade and die instantly when exposed to direct sunlight and heat. Another fact about the hydrangea is that they are the ‘camel’ of the flower world,  meaning they require and flourish off a huge amount of water. Hydrangea need to drink excessive amounts of water a day to stay crisp, fresh and silky. They get their name from the Greek word ‘hydro’, which means water, and ‘angeion’ which stands for vessel. This symbolic name is very fitting, since this species requires a lot of water to grow and lasts a long time.

 

Blue Hydrangea - Haute Hydrangea - photo by Hamptons Hostess

Blue Hydrangea – Haute Hydrangea – photo by Hamptons Hostess

 

Representing honesty, gratitude and the thought of giving, hydrangea makes for the perfect package for many occasions. Another aspect of this species is that its unique look can adapt to many wedding styles. From classic, romantic, modern, colorful or even neutral styles, hydrangea can modify and complement their surroundings beautifully. Hydrangea are a staple flower in the summer and spring, but are also used for special occasions during the other seasons. As we mentioned earlier, hydrangea are offered in blooms of white, purple, blue and pink, making them the perfect statement piece that complements both arrangements and brides. These flowers look beautiful and delicate, yet are very strong and have a long vase life with plenty of water. They are a classic choice, and one that complements each and every occasion.

 

 

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February 6, 2017

Flower Feature: Tulips

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Tulips via Flickr

Tulips via Flickr

 

Popular in home gardens worldwide, the tulip is an essential asset to many floral design recipes. Known for its wide range of colors, bright bulbs and symbolic value, the tulip flower is a fan favorite.  In fact, tulips are the 3rd most popular flower in the world.

There are over 75 species of tulips, such as the Dutch tulip and parrot tulip.  Tulips are available in a variety of shapes, dimensions and colors, making them extremely versatile.

 

 

Tulips were first recorded growing in the Ottoman Empire. The word tulip comes from the Turkish word for turban, due to its tall, round shape. Today, many recognize the tulip as the emblem of Holland. When roaming the streets of the Netherlands, beloved tulips play a significant role in the nation’s cultural traditions and are loved by locals and tourists alike. Tulips were first brought to the Netherlands in the sixteenth century. Flemish botanist Carolus Clusius wrote a book about tulips in 1592 and they suddenly became so popular that his garden was raided and bulbs were stolen regularly! As the years went by, the Dutch became so fanatically obsessed with tulips that bulbs became immensely expensive.  Tulipmania, the name now given for this curious enthusiasm for tulips, peaked in 1637 and is considered the first example of an “economic bubble.”  Buying one tulip bulb at that time would have cost you 10 times the average national income.

 

 

Blossoming in vibrant shades of every color of the rainbow excluding blue, tulips are often thought to symbolize different things based on their color.  Purple correlates with royalty and elegance, red with love, white with forgiveness, and yellow with cheerfulness and joy.

Tulips bloom in the spring and early summer and produce wonderful wedding work. The bulbs bloom in a classic cup shape, with layers of petals curling out from all angles.  Tulips’ dark centers create beautiful contrast with their light outer petals.

 

Tulips via Pinterest

Tulips via Pinterest

 

Being single bloom stalks, tulips look best when grouped as a bunch. Tulips look great paired with greenery, smaller species like baby’s breath and wax flowers, and with other colored tulips. Tulips are great for any time of year, but tend to shine at garden-style weddings in the warmer months.

 

 

Charming, classic, and versatile, it’s easy to see why tulips never go out of style.

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December 8, 2016

Flower Feature: Dahlias

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Purple Dahlia Bouquet via Deer Pearl Flowers

Purple Dahlia Bouquet via Deer Pearl Flowers

 

Full-bodied and bright, dahlias are all about the drama. While you may think  you’ve seen one dahlia, you’ve seen them all, the term ‘dahlia’ actually applies to 42 species and over two thousand sub-varieties and hybrids. From the exotic Firework dahlia, whose petals stand strong and stoic, to the Bitsy dahlia, whose inner petals cloak their center and softly extend outward layer after layer, the endless variations in size, color, and texture are mind-blowing.

 

Why so many blooms under one umbrella?  It all began in 1789, when botanical explorers traveled to Mexico and collected dahlias from their native land.  The original Mexican dahlia spread about 2 inches across with a single set of petals and a central disk or head, similar to a sunflower.  The species was transported to Madrid, where horticultural growers discovered dahlias to be natural and eager hybridizers, and soon dahlias were readily adopting many different colors and sizes.

Excited by their adaptability, dahlias established a stylish cult following among gardeners and flower enthusiasts across Europe in the mid-1800’s, and hybridizers across the world have been experimenting with dahlia breeding ever since.

 

Dahlia Card Table Arrangement / Shelley and Safa / Gurneys Montauk / Flora and Fauna

Dahlia Card Table Arrangement / Shelley and Safa / Gurneys Montauk / Flora and Fauna

 

Despite achieving incredible range in size ( 1-inch to 1-foot wide!) and covering almost all manner of colors and patterns, hybridizers remain stumped by the dahlia’s staunch resistance to blue.  Horticultural societies across Europe offered sizable cash prizes to anyone who could produce a true blue dahlia throughout the 1800’s, but there has yet to be evidence of a blue dahlia even today!  While the reason behind this refusal remains a mystery, dahlia breeders continue to cultivate new varieties every year, hoping to unlock even more potential from these generous Mexican blooms.

The Victorians saw the dahlia as a symbol of commitment between lovers, friends, or family members.  When given as a gift, dahlias were seen as an expression of dignity and elegance, a gesture of gratitude or admiration for a loved one who has performed a noble deed with grace.  Today, dahlias have come to symbolize change, transition, or a departure from the norm, recalling the flower’s eager willingness to take on many forms.

 


From a design standpoint, dahlias’ full-bodied petals and proud posture make them a seductive and eye-catching addition to bouquets and centerpieces. Their strong, trusty petals make smaller varieties a great filler for bouquets that need a pop of playful texture, while larger dahlias naturally carry a wonderful festive air about them that’s impossible to repress.

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November 28, 2016

Flower Feature: Anemones

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These charming, vibrant blooms with their signature black center derive their name from the same Greek word meaning “the wind’s daughter.”

Anemones / Kristen & Dave / New York Botanical Gardens / Chad David Kraus Photography

Anemones / Kristen & Dave / New York Botanical Garden / Chad David Kraus Photography

 

Anemones open in the day and close up at night, a unique trait that played a symbolic role in the Greek myth of Aphrodite and her lover Adonis, a mortal.  The story goes that the two lovers would go hunting together in the woods, Adonis chasing game on foot and Aphrodite trailing behind him in her swan-driven chariot. Aphrodite’s ex-lover Aries soon grew jealous of their bond, and while Adonis was out hunting alone, his rival disguised himself as a boar and brutally attacked Adonis with his tusks.  While Adonis fought for his life, he was no match for a god and fell to his death on the forest floor.

Aphrodite rushed to his side, but it was too late.  In mourning, she sprinkled ceremonial nectar on her lover’s wounds and carried him out of the forest.  Turning back, she saw crimson anemones had sprouted out of the ground where each drop of blood had fallen.  The wind blowing the flowers open or closing them in stillness is said to represent the gain and loss of love.

There are over 150 varieties of anemones in a wide range of colors and shapes, bearing one to three blooms per stem.  Anemones’ petals are extremely delicate, but beautiful to watch furl and unfurl around their black or yellow fringed centers as they burst open towards the light, creating beautiful gestural lines.

 

 

Anemones make a stunning statement in bouquets and arrangements, thanks to their wide, deep centers and pastel or jewel-toned petals.  If you’re looking into a black-and-white wedding, anemones are one of the few flowers with true black centers that bring an impactful pop to a white bouquet or arrangement.

No matter your style or color scheme, incorporating anemones into your décor will bring drama, detail, and elegance to any ceremony or reception.

 

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