“More than anything I must have flowers always, always” – Claude Monet
Nothing lights up a room like flowers. A strategically placed bouquet has the power to create a mood and make us feel special. We use flowers in massive numbers to celebrate the most important occasions in our lives and in smaller arrangements to brighten a gloomy day. Flowers give beauty, color and fragrance, strength and continuity, in a world that is increasingly difficult, hectic and often indifferent.
When flowers give us pause, and we consider them in all their glory, if only for a moment, we taste the sublime. Our reactions to flowers are so powerful that flowers must possess many of the qualities our souls long for.
The rose is the most popular of all the flowers, affectionately knows as the “Queen of Flowers”, the rose has been known as the flower of love since ancient times. A single rose expresses simplicity, white roses, purity and spiritual love and yellow roses fidelity. Orange or coral roses speak of desire and the classic bouquet of red roses speak of true love. A dozen roses say “I love you” over and over again.
Have you ever been to a restaurant where your salad had been adorned with flower petals scattered around the plate or to a wedding where fresh orchids atop the wedding cake or visited a tea room and served flowered syrup? Edible flowers are the new rage in haute cuisine. The look is elegant, yet preparing flowers for eating is simple and fun to do. Though new to many of us, eating flowers has been enjoyed for centuries. The first mention of people consuming flowers was 140 B.C. Flowers are calorie free and rich in nectar and pollen, and some are high in vitamins and minerals. Rosehips are very high in Vitamin C. Marigolds and Nasturtiums also contain Vitamin C. Dandelion blossoms not only contain Vitamin A and C, but also are high in phosphorous.
The Flower Show is a museum of living art, a knowledge base for local horticulturists and a recital for budding gardeners. Each year, from February through May, The Federated Garden Clubs of Florida (FFGC) present juried Flower Shows showcasing the talents of their members and introducing new varieties of flowers and greenery. Youth Garden Clubs showoff their arrangements to win ribbons and awards. In our northern states, after a long dreary winter, the most anticipated event of the spring is the Annual Flower Show. Cities such as Boston, who has been presenting their Flower Show over 132 years and entertained over 150, 000 visitors this past March, work throughout the year preparing for this spectacular event, enticing residents from other states with flower arranging competitions and top floral designers presenting glamorous tablescapes. The grandmother of all the flower shows is the Chelsea Flower Show held in London every May for one week. Chelsea Flower Show started in 1913 takes place in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Chelsea is the first event of the London “season” and heralds the start of the British summer. The Queen attends the event and in 2002 Prince Charles exhibited. His garden was called the “Healing Garden” and featured a tribute to his late grandmother. Also in attendance are celebrities and London society. Visitors travel from all over the world to attend this massive event and view the unbelievable kaleidoscope of colors created by roses, delphiniums, day lilies and too many more flowers to mention. I was fortunate to attend last year accompanied by several friends. The experience was both overwhelming and inspirational.