Picking The Right Flowers

How to choose the right flowers for the right occasion

Picking out the right kind of flowers for different occasions can be quite a challenging task. What kind of flowers to get, or what color should they be or what form they should be in i.e. hand bunch or basket or vase etc. Many such factors must be taken into consideration before making a final choice of what bouquet to be sent. Some flowers and colors have different symbolisation and knowing these could be quite helpful in knowing what would be the right kind of bouquet to be sent.

Birthdays, being the most common occasion for sending flowers can have a wide variety of flowers to be sent. For a general birthday anything bright and cheerful in any form could be sent and would be well appreciated. For milestone birthdays such as 25 years or 50 years etc special colors like red and gold and silver can be added to the bouquets. Even number of flowers can signify the occasion for example a 60th birthday could have 60 roses of any color or maybe 59 of red color and 1 of white to symbolise the 60 years of life. Any flower goes for birthday. Be it roses, carnations, to lilies, orchids, calla lillies, hydrangea’s to name a few.

Anniversaries and Wedding bouquets are another occasion where flowers are sent and you can never go wrong with reds and pinks with a primary focus on roses which are a complete fail safe option. Avoid sending yellows or any such off beat color. Lilies can be a good option in this case as they have a very delicate feel and a very classy look that can enhance your bouquet.

New Borns are easy to send for. You can use pinks for girls and shades of whites and blues for a boy and can add balloons and stuffed toys of the said colors to give an additional celebration touch to the bouquet. Adding Chocolates to them could enhance the overall gift. Orchids, Roses, Carnations etc all go well with these. Adding some chrysanthemums to give a more fuller look can add more depth and beauty to your bouquet.

Funerals, Condolences whilst not a very celebratory occasion, one can send flowers to comfort the grieving ones and flowers such as pale yellows, whites etc are a good choice. Sending wreaths to a funeral home are one of the few options that many do opt for. Fragrant flowers are also an option such as tuberoses or oriental lilies which emit a soft fragrant that can fill up a room in no time.

Valentines Day or sending flowers to someone who you like, sends a strong message by sending red or pink flowers to the special someone. Gifts have their place but flowers speak a more direct language of love in this particular field. When you speak of love the only color that comes to mind is red and the only flower that comes to mind is rose. Red Roses adding with a touch of white gypsophila or white chrysanthemums can give a beautiful touch to the bouquet. Long Stemmed roses is a must in this matter.

Thank you flowers to thank someone for their help or assistance have to be a more personal touch. Knowing what the receiver would like helps convey a personal message and having a hand written card adds to character to the bouquet and passing on the message in a more personal tone. The bouquet need not be huge or exaggerated but something small but with classy flowers will certainly convey the message elegantly.

As such a few occasions have been highlighted and one can never go wrong with sending soothing and cheerful colors for any such occasion. Extreme contrasting colors are also a good choice but only for certain occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries or sending a congratulations message across.

Choosing the correct color combination is primary than to choosing the flower. Once you have a good color combination then the flower aspect becomes secondary and if you get both right then you have one beautiful bouquet that is sent across to your loved one.

I have highlighted some basic options for sending flowers and you can experiment with the bouquets and see for yourself what really defines your style and persona.

Making a Hand Tied Bunch

Steps to Create a Simple Hand Tied Bunch of Flowers

Making a hand bunch may look difficult but knowing the basic technique and choosing the correct flowers will make your bunch a breeze and a few easy steps and you can easily make your own beautiful bunch of flowers.

Your first step should be picking up a bunch of flowers that you wish to make your bunch with. You can start with a few basic flowers such as roses, carnations, lilies and maybe some smaller filler flowers such as gypsophila or chrysanthemums.

First remove all the foliage and dried leaves from all of the stems of your flowers. We start with making the base of the hand bouquet and for this you need to group a few of your larger flowers (lilies) together. Add your roses, carnations and start to build the body of the base. To give the correct shape you need to add them in small groups so that the bouquet looks balanced (if you add two roses on one side of the bunch then you add another on the opposite side so as to level and balance out the bunch. The basic idea is to focus on making the shape round of the bunch and the main idea is to keep the flowers getting fuller by adding them close to each other and this will add to getting more fullness and body to the bouquet. This will create your base of the bunch and if you have done it the correct way all of your stems will be shooting out at the base in every way possible. If your stems are straight and pointing down then you have not gone the correct way. At this point it would be best to shuffle a few flowers to get the flowing round shape of the bunch.

You can wrap the stems at the base with tape, or use rubber bands or string but do not tighten them too much that you are unable to add more stems to the bunch. You can add some few greens to the bunch around the perimeter and some ferns. You can add a few chrysanthemums also to the centre of the bunch to break the monotony of the bigger flowers and create a different matching colour scheme. Be careful not to try and stuff the additional flowers to the existing bunch into the tape or string that is tied to the bunch. Always go on the outer side of these. Once you have put a few flowers and you feel you are getting a little heavy in the hand you can do another round of tape or string and hold the stems tighter and you can remove the old tape or let it stay.

You may want to further clean up the bouquet and adjust the flower stems where some flower have got too close or overlapped and hidden and push them up towards the top of the bunch so that they can be seen. Now towards the final touches of the bouquet add some more fillers to the empty gaps and give it the final body of the bunch after which you can turn the bouquet upside down and tie the final tape or string. At this point you want to cut all the stems that are shooting out at the base so that all of them are the exact same length and make sure they are long enough to hold using two hands.

Now it is time to either wrap the bunch with paper or you can simple go for ribbon straight away around the base of the stems. Make sure you have ribbon measure to be more than you think you will require. Starting from the top, hold the ribbon and use a pin to shove it up inside the stems to hold it into place. This will hold the ribbon so that you can easily start wrapping the bouquet round.

You can go round from the top till the base of the stems and you can go all the way down or just leave a few inches and stop and again use another pin and shove it in the end making sure it goes thru the ribbon and thru a stem and is firmly in place.

Thats it! Your basic bouquet is tied and you can either put this in a vase without having to remove any ribbon or just hand it over to someone that you want to present the bouquet to. It takes some practice but you can easily make your own bouquet.

Many florists here in India pack the bouquet in cellophane or any other hand woven paper which requires a little more skill but does hide hide the stems of the flowers and is more useful when you are presenting the flower bunch to someone in person.

 

So you can see that making a bunch of flower is not that difficult. You just have to just follow a pattern and the rest will just fall in place.

Lilies: Oriental and Asiatic

Oriental Lilies and Asiatic Lilies

Lilies or Liliums as they are known in the local Indian flower market are truly great flowers and their form, bloom season and graceful appearance have their own beauty and elegance. Lilies are in various colors and in different forms which may not be noticeable to the layman but there are different grades and textures of these beautiful flowers. Lilies are tall star shaped flowers that give elegance and height to any flower garden or for any bouquet for that matter.

Stargazer is one of the famous hybrid lily from the Oriental group of lilies that are known for the fragrance and large star like appearance. They are flowers that have a very fast growth rate and can grow up to 36 inches and bloom 4 – 5 bulbs per stem. The most striking feature of these lilies are that they are dotted with red freckles in the center and phase out towards more whitish towards the outer edges.

Another variety of Oriental Lilies are the pure white ones which do have small dotted white spots which may not be very visible.

Lilies grow best in containers. They come in different heights and sizes and can be planted individually or along with other plants. They look beautiful on wooden decks and patio’s and can instantly beautiful anyone’s garden or deck instantly.

Lilies come in two major different forms i.e. Asiatic and Oriental. The best way to tell them apart is by their blooms and their fragrance.  Oriental have a strong fragrance while Asiatic have no fragrance at all. Oriental lilies can instantly fill a room with a strong spicy fragrance especially in closed air conditioned rooms or office spaces.

These two also differ in their shapes and their placement on the stems. Both of them have a roundish shape but oriental lilies will have a more wrinkly edge and Asiatic will have a more smooth edge on their petals. Asiatic usually look like an upside down umbrella and usually grow one bloom per stem. Oriental will have a more starfish shape and will have multiple blooms per stem.

From a more technical point of view the Asiatic have a more whitish bulb growth whereas Orientals have more of a yellowish color bulb growth.  Leaf shape on the oriental will be more larger and wider tapered where as on Asiatic will be small and thin and in bunches.

Asiatic lilies come in more colors than Oriental in Indian markets. However both these flowers have their distinctive charm and can add a stunning effect to any flower bouquet be it a hand bunch or a vase bouquet with just lilies or a basket bouquet for that matter. Oriental lilies will definitely last longer than Asiatic ones provided they are cared for.

We at May Flower use more of Oriental Lilies as they are our favorite but do use Asiatic as well as per the season of their availability.