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Saturday, August 27, 2005

An Appreciation of Flowers

Many of us regularly buy flowers for loved ones and friends, to congratulate, console or just cheer up. But what do particular flowers mean? Find out in this interesting article about what flowers and colors really mean. Enjoy!

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An Appreciation of Flowers

Karen Escaland

Avon Flowers

Flowers serve a multitude of purposes, only one of which is the beautification of our environment. Regardless of their placement in the home ~ in a cheerful arrangement on the kitchen table or in a simple bedside vase - flowers offer a warm reception to guests and provide the sweet, earthy smell of spring. A nice flower arrangement will give anyone a pick-me-up on a dismal day, bringing a sense of joy to its recipient.

Magic of Flowers

The act of giving a fresh-cut flower is often associated with romance and an expression of one~s feelings. The magic, if any, is in the ~air~. A sweet smelling scent that is pleasing to the nose and human senses.

Studies have shown that the fragrance of a flower can stir a variety of emotions in the human breast. Unpleasant odors, on the other hand, may cause irritability and instill a sense of displeasure. In addition, the coloring of a flower may also impact its beholder.

Flowers and Their Meanings

While it's long been believed that particular meanings are associated with flower varieties and/or their colors, such is not the case. Rather than adhering to commonly held stereotypes, most people today offer flowers that express a personalized message through the giving of a specific type or color that's significant to the recipient. As a result of this Old World belief, however, the Society of American Florists has accumulated a list of associations between flowers and their meanings, based on their available histories.

Here are a few by type:

* Anemone-fragile
* Apple Blossom-promise
* Baby~s Breath-festivity
* Begonia-deep thoughts
* Camellia-gracious
* Daisy-innocence
* Forget-Me-Not-remember me forever
* Holly-domestic happiness
* Lilac-first love
* Orchid-delicate beauty

Meanings according to color:

* Rose
* Pink - Friendship
* Red - Passion
* Red & White - Love and Unity
* Yellow - Zeal Tulip
* Purple - Royalty

Fresh Cut Flowers

Due to the technological impact and shift in the global market, there are more flower varieties ~ on a year-round basis ~ than ever before. The integration of wildflowers into a bouquet or flower arrangement can prove to be breath-taking, and offers more diversity to the consumer. This section highlights some of the more common types of fresh cut flowers that can be found at most local florist shops.

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 are also available in more than one variety. The common Lily, the Asiatic Lily and Oriental Lily are all members ~ though different branches ~ of the lily family. Made apparent by their trumpet-shaped petals, lilies can reach six inches in diameter, with stems reaching up to three feet in height, housing four to eight blooms. Among the colors that are expressed through the lily family are white, yellow, pink, red and orange.

According to the National Animal Poison Control Center, lilies can cause serious problem for cats. It is recommended that you keep lilies out of the reach of your pet.

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.

Popularity of Wildflowers

Wild flower gardens are growing in popularity as the world learns from gardening experts that wild flowers are not merely a weed. Wildlife like birds and caterpillars are attracted to miniature countryside wild flower gardens. Truly-there are benefits to growing a wild flower garden.

Some of the most widely appreciated ~ and well-known ~ wildflowers are honeysuckle, foxglove, red campion, lesser celandine, herb Robert and forget-me-not. These flowers are so appreciated in certain parts of the world that it has become illegal to uproot them or destroy them in any other way. Since this would mean the destruction of the landscape~s natural beauty, many people are in favor of this practice.

Author Karen Escaland is the owner and publisher of Avon Flowers a website dedicated to providing quality information for anyone interested in Flowers. Karen has more articles at