Good Garden

The magic of flowers - meanings and superstitions

Written by  Karen Escaland
Daisies Daisies primadaisy

Flowers are natural gifts that beautify our environment.
Whether used in an arrangement to grace the kitchen table or placed in a vase by the bedside, flowers provide a sense of invitation and welcome to guests and offer the sweet fragrances of springtime in the process. The gift of flowers can brighten anyone's day and bring an abundance of happiness to those who receive them.

Flowers are Magic
The gift of a single flower is often a reflection of a romantic intention or some other form of feelings that are being expressed to another. Such an offering can bring magic to the moment, if received by a special someone.

More than simply offering a pleasant experience to the senses, flowers can bring an acute sense of pleasure to the heart of the recipient.

According to previous studies, a floral aroma can have an impact on human emotions, in contrast to unpleasant odors, which can cause irritability and a sense of discontent. The very color of a flower may have a profound effect on an individual.

Flowers and Their Meanings
Contrary to what you may have been told, there are no specific meanings that are associated with flower types or colors. When giving the gift of flowers, people tend to personalize the experience by offering the types and/or colors that carry a significant meaning to the person or occasion. Due to the widespread belief, however, that certain meanings are attached to particular flower types, the Society of American Florists has composed a list of flower/meaning associations, in accordance with their histories.

Meanings according to type:
Anemone - Fragility;
Apple Blossom - Promise;
Baby's Breath - Festivity;
Begonia - Deep Thoughts;
Camellia - Graciousness;
Daisy - Innocence;
Forget-Me-Not - Eternal Remembrance; Holly - Domestic Happiness; Lilac - First Love;
Orchid - Delicate Beauty;
Meanings according to color:
Pink Rose - Friendship;
Red Rose - Passion;
Red & White Rose - Love and Unity;
Yellow Rose - Zeal;
Purple Tulip - Royalty;
Cut Flowers
As a result of the mounting global market and technological advances, an abundance of flower varieties are available throughout the year. Some of the most beautiful and diverse arrangements contain a mixture of fresh cut and other types of flowers or plants. Contained within this section are some of the more common varieties that are available through most local florists.

One of the more classic flowers - the rose - is available in a variety of genres, including the tea rose, the sweetheart rose and the spray rose. The nearly 120 arrays of roses that retailers commonly carry contain all shades of the spectrum, such as those of the red, pink, purple, orange, coral, peach and white families. The style of growth, as well as color, may differ from type to type. For example, tea roses will open from three to four inches, with stems spanning 12 to 30 inches in length; whereas the stems of spray roses may contain several

flowers each.

The variety and type of rose will determine its life span, but most will typically live between four and seven days after cutting. Due to their delicate nature, stems should be placed in the vase very gingerly. In order to reduce the build-up of bacteria, any foliage that is apparent

immediately above the water line should be removed. For maximum life expectancy, stems should be re-cut every two to three days.

Lilies may also be referred to by variety, such as in the case of the Asiatic Lily or Oriental Lily. These flower types can be recognized by their trumpet-shaped petals and can reach six inches in diameter. The height of their stems can reach up to three feet and may sport four to eight blossoms. Their color varieties include white, yellow, pink, red and orange.

Due to their poisonous nature - specifically concerning the members of the feline family - the National Animal Poison Control Center recommends keeping all forms of lilies out of the reach of your household pets.

Tulips - known by no specific variety names - grow as single blossoms, containing six petals each. Variations include those of the lily-flowering, double flowering, fringe-petaled and ruffled parrot genres. The color array includes white, yellow, pink, peach, orange, red, lavender and purple, as well as a bi-color variety. The orchid, also known as cymbidium, dendrobium, oncidium, cattleya and phalaenopsis, are available in a variety of shapes and sizes - the largest of these being cymbidiums. Including all varieties, there are currently over 17,000 species which span the globe.

Personal preference will dictate which flower, color and/or arrangement is most suitable for that special someone in your life, as well as which room of the house in which to display the arrangement. The Growing Popularity of Wildflowers While these were once seen as mere weeds, the misunderstood wildflower has recently gained popularity, as a result of the botanical education that's been offered by a variety of gardening experts. Wildflowers serve a purpose beyond that of simple beauty, as evidenced by the fact that small country gardens containing these types of flowers are known to attract birds and caterpillars. Growing such a garden is beneficial, both to the senses and to the area wildlife.

Among the more popular wild flowers are honeysuckle, foxglove, red campion, lesser celandine, herb Robert and forget-me-not. Certain areas of the world have developed such an appreciation for wildflowers that the uprooting of them is illegal. Many people agree with this, since they tend to think of it in terms of preventing the removal of the landscape's natural beauty.

About the Author Author Karen Escaland is the publisher of Avon Flowers a source of quality information for anyone with an interest in Flowers. For more articles please visit

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