Talking Flowers // October
October already? How did that happen?
Well, never mind the chills, we’ve a warming read all ready for you here, starting with a fascinating article on the language of flowers: just what is the right bouquet to send for all those key occasions?
And once again a new Flowercard People Award is bestowed - isn't it time you nominated that special person in your life?
We'll also be looking at dried flowers with tips on using them to make your home beautiful. Finally there’s a tasty make this month with our Chocolate Spoons recipe.
Simply click to go straight to any story:
- In Bloom: The Language of Flowers
- Your House in Bloom – all about dried flowers
- The Flowercard People Award – we reveal our October winner
- Coming Soon – sneak a peek at November's firecracker issue
- Talking Flowers Archive – catch up on previous issues
IN BLOOM: THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS
When you receive red roses from your spouse, did you know he or she was engaging in Floriography? Yes, that’s the official name for the language of flowers, a code where certain flowers carry certain messages! These secret messages were much used in Victorian times when standards restricted what could be said out loud, and not everyone could read.
The practice was so widespread that many dictionaries of flower language were printed, the most famous being John Ingram's Flora Symbolica. Floral messages were mostly communicated by Tussie Mussies - or miniature bouquets - very much like the bouquets in our Flowercards.
We thought you’d like to indulge in some floral messaging yourself, so we’ve compiled a list of flowers associated with all those important messages and special people in your life.
No prizes for guessing that a red rose expresses true love. A single red rose makes that message loud and clear, as in our Baroque Rose Flowercard. Red tulips also represent a declaration of love, whilst tulips in general allude to the perfect lover!
Orchids, also associated with love, are the Chinese symbol for having many children, so you could perhaps tell that special person you’re ready to settle down! You could, of course, keep it simple and use mistletoe, which always means... a kiss.
With its mix of roses and a calla lily (meaning magnificent beauty) we think the perfect Flowercard to show romantic love is Paintbox (pictured left).
Weddings and Anniversaries
Baby's breath, or gypsophila, signifies everlasting love, making our Purple Heart and Portfolio cards incredibly apt for celebrations of marriage, but for those silver and golden weddings, how about an orchid, which represents both love and mature charm? Looks like our Precious Orchid card is perfect for those big anniversaries.
A calla lily represents high aspirations, making our Cascade card the perfect choice to congratulate people on those new jobs and milestones reached.
Did you know every month has its Birthday flower? We’ll be exploring this in a future edition of Talking Flowers, but perhaps our Floral Dreams card (pictured left), with its dandelion print symbolising happiness, is perfect for marking any special occasion.
A striped carnation says "sorry I can’t be with you", making this flower a perfect farewell token and the bouquet to send to thank people after a weekend visit. You’ll find some fabulous striped carnations in our Sweet Sunrise card.
Mixed zinnia means in memory of an absent friend. A tea rose says "I'll remember, always" and of course the stunning poppy represents eternal sleep – though alas, no one can send a bouquet of fresh poppies, they wilt as soon as they’re cut! Our Tribute bereavement card combines a fresh poppy print with a brilliant bouquet, making it a sincere message of sympathy for those very sad times.
Pink carnations represent a mother's love, as well as saying you will never forget someone. Our Elegance card is filled with them, so just perfect for Mother's Day, or a much-loved mum's birthday.
Rosebuds represent beauty and youth, and white rosebuds in particular speak of girlhood, making them ideal for daughters. Our Posy of Petals gift card (pictured), with white, pink and red rosebuds of soap, is therefore a perfect way to show how much you love that daughter!
The Men in our Lives
A camellia is the traditional gift to a man, but as the Iris represents friendship, faith, hope, wisdom and valour, we think it’s an ideal flower to send for those men in your life. If you’re looking for a Flowercard for a man, our Iris Wishes symbolises so much, with pink carnations inside to say "I'll never forget you".
Lucky heathers and four leaf clovers are time-honoured symbols of luck, whilst a chrysanthemum symbolises wealth, abundance and truth - the perfect good-luck posy.
As well as their divine fragrance, freesias represent friendship and innocence, so our Freesia Dreams card (pictured) is the perfect way to celebrate any friend’s special day.
Yellow roses are also a symbol of friendship, perhaps because, like the best friends, they brighten up our lives. Best buddies are also symbolised by chrysanthemums, which say "you're a wonderful friend".
YOUR HOUSE IN BLOOM
As domestic gardens get ready for winter, fresh flowers become slim pickings! Here we look at air-drying your flowers to make them last and last. You can do this with a bouquet from a florist, or with flowers you pick.
Flowers with a papery feel usually dry well, with these specific varieties very good for air-drying:
- Love in a Mist
- Love lies Bleeding
- Pampas Grass
- Pot Marigold
1) Pick your flowers when they are well developed and starting to open up. If they are from the garden, you must also ensure they are dry – hidden droplets of water can lead to mould.
2) Divide them into little posies and strip away the leaves. Tie each with an elastic band, which will shrink with the flowers as they dry to keep them secure. Use an opened paper clip to create a hook from the elastic band so you can hang the flowers.
3) For most flowers, hang them upside down in an airy and warm place, preferably in the dark or low lighting: strong light will bleach the colours.
4) Don't crowd your flowers; ensure the air can circulate to let them dry fully.
5) Most flowers take around 2-3 weeks to dry. Test for dryness by gently flexing the head, if it gives it's not ready. They should feel crisp to the touch.
6) Once dry, you can spray flowers with hairspray to protect them.
Getting creative with dried flowers
Dried flowers can be displayed in a vase (without water, of course!) and we think coloured glass vases work especially well with the dusky, soft shades of a dried petal.
Arrangements in a basket or bowl also look adorable. For this you will need a block of florist foam to poke the stems into. A good tip here is to sort the flowers by size first and arrange them so the larger ones are near the base.
Pay attention to the colours you are selecting each time so that they are evenly spread throughout the arrangement, or create a pattern if that’s the effect you are after.
Many people also frame dried flowers – especially if the bouquet was sent for a special occasion. To do this you will need a box frame; they are easy to find in craft shops or on the internet. Gently arrange your flowers in the frame until you get the look you are after – only then should you introduce any glue! We recommend a drop of silicone glue on all the parts of your the flowers that make contact with your frame. Again, this is easy to buy from craft suppliers. Box framed flowers can be made incredibly personal by adding a little label stating who sent them, the special occasion and the date: a piece of art with a story to tell!
Every month we receive so many stories about wonderful people, it is incredibly hard to choose a winner!
This month we have been very moved by the dedication of Evelyn Gibson and her husband Colin, from Essex, and are delighted to announce they are our Flowercard Award winners for October.
This wonderful couple has been nominated by Evelyn’s sister-in-law, Geri O'Byrne, who tells us:
"My husband Liam had a brain haemorrhage in 2007, which has left him disabled & living in a nursing home. Evelyn and Colin have a busy schedule working and caring for their three teenage children, but they still visit Liam weekly, Evelyn on Monday evening and Colin on Wednesdays. Evelyn always buys lovely birthday & Christmas gifts for Liam to give to me. They have been very supportive to our family and receiving a FlowerCard People Award would show them our gratitude."
We are delighted to honour their kindness with our Flowercard People Award, and take our hats-off to the devotion and support Evelyn and Colin have shown over the years.
We’ve already contacted Geri with the good news. She told us:
"What a lovely surprise, I completely forgot about entering Colin and Evelyn for your monthly award. They are going to have a lovely surprise receiving their card. I would like to send them your Paintbox design. Also I would just like to say that I have sent quite a few of your Flowercards, which everyone has loved and never seen before."
If you know people like Evelyn and Colin who deserve a Flowercard, why not nominate them for a Flowercard People Award?
Every month we’ll select a winner to receive your choice of Flowercard, with your personal message on the front, for FREE. Even if they don’t win this month, they’ll still go back into the draw, to be considered again and again.
So what are the qualities we'll be looking for in our Flowercard People Award?
Well, that's up to you! Maybe people who always think of others, individuals who've stayed strong through difficult times, friends who've shown courage, kindness, selflessness and determination. You tell us by nominating them.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR FREE FLOWERCARD NOMINATION
- Please describe why your nominee deserves a FREE Flowercard in no more than 100 words in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Be sure to include a daytime phone number for us to contact you, should your nomination win.
- To help us identify your email, please type 'Flowercard Award Nomination' in the subject line.
- Please read the Flowercard Award Terms and Conditions
MADE WITH LOVE
As those autumnal winds start to blow, we thought this quick, easy and above all tasty recipe for Chocolate Spoons was the perfect little treat.
Dip them in coffee or hot chocolate for that just-melted delight. They're a perfect surprise at your next coffee morning, and a great finale to any dinner party.
Blogger Luschka has kindly written down her recipe for these super spoons at her blog Diary of a First Child. Just follow this link to read all about it. Thank you Luschka!
Next month we’ll be looking at the November birth flower, the chrysanthemum, with a peek at the birth flowers of all the other months too.
There'll also be a feature on winter beauty routines, to keep you gorgeous and healthy until spring. We’ll also show your how to make a traditional orange pomander; a great gift or a pretty way to fragrance your own boudoir! And of course our Flowercard People Award and will put the spotlight on our lovely customers – could it be you this time?
If you enjoyed this edition of Talking Flowers, please tell your friends, or share the link on Facebook. Maybe they’d like to sign up for the magazine too!
Our latest Flowercard People Award will be announced - it could be your friend or relative if you enter them today!
And we'll also share our recipe for Hot Chocolate Spoons - an essential treat to keep away those autumnal chills.
If you enjoyed this edition of Talking Flowers, please tell your friends, or share the link on Facebook. Maybe they'd like to sign up for the magazine too!
TALKING FLOWERS ARCHIVE
Catch up on what you've been missing by browsing through the latest back issues: