Poppies for Memorial Day

Origin

  • The poppy as a wartime symbol comes from the famous poem  “In Flanders  Fields,” written by John McCrae in 1915. In it he described the graves of  soldiers among the fields of poppies:

    “In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on  row…”

Memorial Day Symbol

  • In 1915 an American named Moina Michael was inspired by the poem to wear and  sell red poppies on Memorial Day to benefit  servicemen in need. The practice spread to other countries.

VFW and the Poppy

  • In 1922, the VFW sold poppies nationally. They soon began their “Buddy Poppy”  program, selling  artificial poppies made by disabled war veterans.

Veteran’s Day Symbol

  • The poppy eventually became a symbol of honor and remembrance for servicemen  who died in any war, not just World War I, and the poppy is now associated with  Veteran’s Day as well as Memorial  Day.

In Other Countries

Other countries have similar observances involving poppies on Nov.  11–Canadians wear red poppies, and in Great Britain, wreaths of poppies are  laid at a London war memorial.

The Meaning of Flowers at Your Wedding

 
Wedding flowers have been around for a long time. It’s hard to say exactly how long, but there are signs that it’s been a tradition since the earliest days of civilization.

Wedding flowers – the origin

The first recorded use of wedding flowers can be attributed to the Greeks. Flowers and plants would be bundled together to form a garland wreath worn upon the head, much like the better-known Caesar’s laurels. It was considered a gift of nature, and thus extremely appropriate for a wedding. Traditionally, the Greek bridesmaids would be responsible for this honor. The garland bouquet would often contain bulbs of garlic. This wasn’t to make the wedding smell like your grandmother’s kitchen, but instead to ward off any evil spirits that might see fit to intervene in the ceremony or curse their future together.

The tradition of wedding flowers remains to this day. We might not fashion wreaths to wear, but the meaning and appropriate nature of flowers remains the same. That’s why it’s such a great idea to provide floral gifts to a wedding couple

Wedding flowers around the world – international traditions

Wedding flowers aren’t just a Greek tradition. They’ve been adopted all around the world due to their natural beauty and wide appeal.

· Wedding flowers in Sweden – In Sweden, it was tradition for young girls to carry small bouquets of fragrant herbs down the aisle. The groom would also put thyme in his pockets. The reasons? Warding off any trolls that might decide a wedding was a perfect place to find a tasty snack.

· Wedding flowers in Germany – In Germany, the bride and groom both would hold candles that had flowers and ribbons tied to them.

· Wedding flowers in England – In England, it was tradition for the bride and her bridesmaids to proceed to the church together, led by a small girl who would sprinkle blossoms in their path to assure long life and happiness for the bride. The tradition of “flower girls” remains to this day.

Wedding flowers – a lesser known reason

Wedding flowers and fragrant herbs played another important role in weddings during Europe’s middle ages. During that time period, it was traditional to bathe only twice a year. This was due to the labor involved in preparing enough hot water for the process, as well as the rarity and expense of soap.

These bath times usually fell before Christmas, an important time of year for everyone, and during the summertime. The problem was that weddings usually took place in the spring. The result of this was that the wedding party wasn’t usually at their most fresh.

A solution was devised using floral and herbal arrangements. Herbs would be sewn or placed into the dress, and the bride would carry a large bouquet of flowers (often wearing them in her hair as well). This masked any bodily odors and made the wedding more enjoyable for both bride and groom.

Naturally, this is no longer a problem today, but these popular traditions still remain. The appeal of wedding flowers is now purely aesthetic, however, and since this has been widely accepted a great deal of effort has gone into designing new and elaborate decorations for the ceremony.

Modern uses for wedding flowers

Wedding flowers have taken off in popularity to the point where you will be hard-pressed to find a wedding that doesn’t involve them in some way. Some of the new traditions include:

· The bouquet – This is perhaps, next to the bride herself, the centerpiece of the entire ceremony. A great deal of science has gone into developing a system of matching the blooms present in the bouquet with the season, with physical attributes of the bride, and with the location of the ceremony itself.

· The corsage – Another popular component of most modern dresses is the corsage. Worn about the wrist, it is usually designed to match the dress and bouquet.

· The boutonniere – This is a male tradition. Originally, flowers would be pushed through the buttonhole of a jacket, but nowadays it’s proper for the groom to have the boutonniere pinned to his left lapel. It’s also appropriate for it to match the bride’s corsage and bouquet.

· Table centerpiece – Perfect for the reception ceremony, an extravagant centerpiece on each table leaves guests with nothing but fond memories. It’s now standard practice to include these in every reception.

Conclusion

Wedding flowers are steeped in history and will likely remain tradition for many years to come. If you’re looking for an appropriate gift for a couple, and feel that a toaster or wine glass set is too impersonal, a gift of wedding flowers will always be appreciated. Delivery right to ceremony or the home of the newlyweds is one way to ensure they are able to enjoy your thoughtful contribution.

 

The Yellow Rose

Yellow Roses are the most common flower of friendship.

Throughout history, yellow has been closely associated with  the sun, making these roses excellent for cheering people up. Yellow roses send  a message of appreciation and platonic love without the romantic subtext of  other colors. The color represents feelings of joy and  delight.

Flowery Baby Girl Names!

annegeddes

Flower names for girls are one of the trendiest categories of baby names today. Since my oldest is expecting her first baby we are spending a lot of time with baby name books.

First came Lily, one of the trendiest girls’ names of the nineties ~ my little Rosebud has a bff named Lily.  Then Daisy began showing up on the choicest babies.  Rose became the middle name du jour.  And flower names for girls, last a craze a hundred years ago, became the most fashionable group around.

I am compiling names for my pregnant daughter.  I’m hoping for a boy since I have soooo many girls but if she does have  girl here, is a rundown of the choicest flowery baby girl names:

THE TRENDIEST

Daisy — Charming and simple, Daisy started off as a nickname for Margaret, now more popular than the original.

Iris — Former dowdy old lady name revived when Jude Law and Sadie Frost chose it for their daughter.

Jasmine — The most exotic of the popular flower names, with many spelling variations: Jazmin, Jazzmyn et al.  Related: Yasmine and cousins, along with the lovely British favorite Jessamine or Jessamyn, actually French for jasmine. (again my daughter has a bff named Jasmine!)

Lily — Also stylish as Liliana, Lilia, and in France, Lilou.

Rose — The middle name of the moment, with many variations — from Rosa to Rosalia to Rosemary — that would make lovely first names. My 3rd daughters middle name.  Love it! but it is a family tradition not trendy for our reasoning.

Violet — The adorable daughter of celebrities Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck has brought this lush flower choice before the public eye.  In France, Violette is chic, while in Italian it’s Violetta. Several Violets have been born recently to my oldest daughters group of friends!

BRITISH BLOOMS

The British are famous gardeners and have long been more hospitable to flower names than Americans.  Here, some heard most often in the British Isles.

Bryony — Name of a vine with green flowers, also spelled Briony, popular in England and rarely heard elsewhere.

Flora — Vintage name with considerable charm.

Ivy — Taking off in a big way in the U.S. thanks to its use as a middle name for baby Blue, daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z. Ivy is what I am pushing my daughter to choose if she has a girl.  Mom should hush…….she wlll never pick it unless I say I don’t care for it 🙂

Marigold — Posh British choice rarely heard elsewhere.

Petunia — Outside of the U.K., heard only in cow fields. lol

Pansy — Adorable  yet the teasing possibilities render this one an unlikely choice.

Poppy — Popular in Britain and beginning to be heard elsewhere too; a perfect companion for Daisy.

Primrose — Prim and dainty yet offbeat, the quintessential British name.

EXOTIC FLOWERS

Amaryllis — The flower may be similar to a lily, but the name is considerably more offbeat.

Aster — The little girl on TV’s “Dexter” has this name, which could become more popular with the rise of the whole flower genre.

Azalea — The z will definitely keep it exotic.

Calla — Another lily relative, also similar to the trendy Callie/Kaylee family of names.

Dahlia — This one seems to be percolating and I  expect to hear more. We have a Dahlia in our 5th grade class!

Lilac — The two l’s, the similarity to Lily, and the beautiful color and scent of the original flower make this choice a winner.

Lotus — Only for the seriously exotic.

Orchid — Another hothouse bloom not for the shy.

Tulip — Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell used this as a middle name for one of their twins, and singer Tiny Tim picked it as a first several  decades ago.  An everyday flower that makes a less-than-ordinary name.

Zinnia — Any z name is off the beaten track.

FLOWER NAMES THAT DON’T SOUND LIKE FLOWER NAMES

Azami — Japanese for “thistle flower.”

Fleur — International words for “flower,” which also include Flor and Fiorello/Fiorella, make inventive flower choices.

Gelsey — Persian for “flower,” a balletic choice.

Iolanthe — Greek for “violet flower” — for those who want to make Violet a lot more exotic.

Jacinta — Spanish for hyacinth and more suited to use as a name.

Leilani— Hawaiian name that means ‘heavenly flower” and also has stylish double L sound. I know a few Leilani’s from different decades.

Linnea — Swedish botanist Carl Linneaus named this small white flower, also called the twin flower, after himself.

Marguerite — The French for daisy is newly chic there, as is Capucine (a actress from the original Pink Panther back in the day), which means nasturtium in France.

Zahara – A Hebrew name meaning flower popularized when Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt chose it for their daughter.

babyrose

Violet for Your Baby Girl

puplebabies

Violet is soft and sweet but not shrinking. The Victorian Violet, one of the prettiest of the color and flower names, was chosen by high-profile parents Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. Violet has begun a sure-to-be rapid climb to popularity, and is one of the Top 10 most-searched names.

Funny for a name that dozed quietly for decades.  Popular a hundred years ago, Violet began its steep descent by 1920, bottoming out in the early 1980s.  But it started rising again about a decade ago and climbed even more sharply after Garner and Affleck chose it for their daughter.

 Today, Violet is closing in on the Top 100, joining other such popular flower names as Lily, Daisy, and Rose.  Viola is the Italian and Scandinavian version, used by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night.  Violetta is the frillier, more operatic version.