Wake up sleepy head!
The month of March is a fantastic time for flower admirers, growers and pickers alike as the colder winter months pass and give way to the fresher, brighter mornings that welcome the first days of spring. The once frozen muddy paths, barren fields and empty hedges of the countryside are beginning to awaken, blossom and bloom.
It’s a busy time for Mother Nature as so many of her creations start to stir after slumbering away the hard and bitter winter months. Not just the frisky squirrels now prancing in the parks or the humble hedgehogs that snuffle at night but also the hardworking, humble, Bumble Bee.
The return of bees, birds, butterflies and other beasts are harbingers for only one thing….Spring is back baby!
I predict a riot
Flower bulbs planted in winter have been busy growing roots whilst tucked safely underground, avoiding damage from the elements and with the days becoming longer an internal cycle kicks in. Slowly but surely with the warming weather and extra daylight hours, the once hardy little bulbs begin to reach out in an eagerness to touch the sunlight. Autumnal growers and gardeners will soon be rewarded for their previous toils. We all know and love the results…..
An explosion of new growth and a kaleidoscope of colour suddenly appear throughout the nation, popping up in gardens and decorating our paths, meadows and hedgerows. It’s almost as if these new blooms realise that after the bleakness of winter we could all do with a bit of cheer and with that in mind they are determined to put the smiles back on our faces.
First to the table
Early risers such as snowdrops and bluebells begin to carpet the floors of forest and woodland with the pungent yet familiar scent of wild garlic evoking childhood memories. These gorgeous, little warriors are soon joined in the ranks by the likes of the honest daffodil, the innocent crocus, the overshadowed primrose, the fragrant sweet violet and my personal favourite, the simply stunning tulip.
Everyone has a favourite something, be it; colour, food, animal, flower, etc….In our florists case the most popular answers were; blue, lasagne, panda and their favourite flower has always been the tulip, or for those that would like to know its full name and genus; spring-blooming perennial herbaceous bulbiferous geophyte, but they prefer tulip!
It just ticks all the right boxes for them, as not many flowers can look as good alone in a vase, as they do hidden in the crowd with a bunch of good looking friends. It has a solid, sturdy, clean stem and then enormous, vibrant petals encompassing the bits where the bees do their business! But the thing that gets them the most is the variety. Like the Japanese fish, the Koi Carp, tulips all have the same basic structure, but the combination of colours, shading, hues and tones is, well, dare it be said, endless? Tulips all share the same form but the differences are eternal.
A little history
Tulips, which are thought to get their name from the Persian word for turban, have been known for century’s to embody a deep and perfect love. Tulips, unlike the rose, can be given to symbolise unconditional love, not just to a lover or partner, but also to family, friends and colleagues, making it a very versatile flower indeed. So enamoured with the tulip upon its first introduction to Europe in the 17th century it lead to a kind of madness, tulip mania, especially in the Netherlands to which the tulip has become synonymous. Or used to be…
Great news for flower loving Brits
Many flower growers in the UK have also started growing tulips on a large scale which is great news for flower buyers because not only are they cutting out some serious transport costs and supporting local home grown growers (excuse the pun!) but they’re lowering their carbon emissions and footprint through less transportation time.
Flower Shops Network is a good example of such a florist. They use a trusted network of growers and flower sellers throughout the UK to ensure same or next day delivery of gorgeous floral creations. They have big ties to local farmers and growers and are promoting and supporting home grown enterprises rather than using the traditional Dutch flower markets. Locally sourced, seasonal and sustainable flowers are the future for the UK floristry industry, and Flower Shops Network got in there very early on in the game. Which basically means flower buyers get their stunning tulips from someone local at a slightly cheaper price, the correct term for this is; “Everyone’s a winner”?!
But just because tulips are their absolute favourite, it doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate the other gorgeous additions to gardens, parks and meadows in the warming month of March.
What about the others?
The daffodil, for instance has the best Latin name, Narcissus, which is just brilliant! A quick reminder for anyone that that may have forgotten their Greek Mythology, Narcissus was the guy that, spurned the love of a water nymph who out of spite cursed him so that he fell in love with his own reflection. So in love with himself that he couldn’t stop staring into his reflection in the river, he simply wilted away into nothing, but daffodils eternally grew in the spot by the river’s edge where he passed.
Did you know that there are over 50 different varieties in the daffodil/narcissus family? Many don’t! Most people know that some are pure yellow with huge trumpets yet others are smaller, paler and with different coloured trumpets, but 50 varieties? Wow. This is probably why the daffodil is one of the 2 birth flowers for the month of March, the other being jonquil, which is, unsurprisingly, another daffodil/narcissus flower! They look so alike that the best way to tell them apart is by their foliage and yet have such vastly differing symbolism.
The daffodil, for example, is associated with rebirth, renewal, creativity and the new beginnings of spring, they’re traditionally given as house warming gifts or to celebrate a new birth.
Whereas jonquils have associations with sympathy or sorrow from the ancient Greeks yet the Chinese tend to see them as a sign of good luck and prosperity. Often given to show support for those in troubled times or given as a test for truer, deeper feelings…..
What do the stars say?
The star signs of Pisces and Aries fall in the month of March and both have their differing birth flowers.
Pisceans, being a water sign should naturally have a flower associated in some way with water, and what better than the gorgeous water lily? Unfortunately it’s a tricky flower to admire at home unless you own ponds or lakes, in which case be mindful that, although stunning and graceful, it is considered an invasive species.
Ariens on the other hand have 2 birth flowers; the thistle and the fragrant honeysuckle, and both are gorgeous in their own ways.
The thistle with its striking, thorny appearance and proud purples is often considered a weed, not many know of its Celtic and Chinese traditions of protecting the soul. Not traditionally given as a gift, its beauty is rather woven into the foliage that surrounds a bouquet and has association with curing depression, headaches and fevers.
Likewise Honeysuckle, not traditionally given on its own, but true floral artisans recognise its beauty and sweet fragrance therefore often involve it in the background of a floral display. Known for its association with happiness, devotion and eternal bonds having honeysuckle in your home or garden is certain to keep the bees happy, which in turn keeps the planet happy.
Spring isn’t just a time for the birds and the bees to be busy. Farmers, flower growers and gardeners across the land are all busy sowing the seeds for some serious summer splendour; Flower Shops Network and our local florists love fresh flowers and encourage you to show your support by staying local when sourcing your beautiful bouquets and flower arrangements this March.
So do yourself and the wonderful ladies in your life a justice by booking a beautiful bouquet from their huge selection of hand tied floral displays. You’ve been pre-warned, no excuses, best to do it today?!March