The Pantone Color Institute has declared the color of the year for 2019: Living Coral. The vibrant, yet soothing shade is thought to represent our ever-changing environment. Look for the warm, salmon pink shade to pop up in home decor, apparel and accessories, cosmetics, housewares and paint colors.

          

The Pantone Color Institute has been selecting a single color of the year (with the exception of 2016 when two colors shared the honor) for the past 20 years. Their selection is based on careful trend analysis. They explore the entertainment industry, world-wide art collections, fashion, design, and trending travel destinations. They also consider modern lifestyles, recreation trends, and socio-economic conditions. This year, they clearly give a nod to the environment, calling attention to the preservation of our coral reefs.

Color is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities and this is particularly true for Living Coral. With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord.Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute       

Influences of Technology and Advertising

The Institute’s color choice also takes into account new technologies, materials, textures, and relevant social media platforms. They carefully monitor heavy hitters in the advertising world, like Apple and Airbnb, to provide hints as to trends on the rise.

Airbnb’s recent advertising campaign, shown here in a subway car, features a background very similar to Living Coral.

Floral Implications

2018’s designated color of the year, Ultra Violet, influenced wedding florals throughout the year. Greenery, the 2017 winner, impacted wedding trends in both color and use of natural materials. We expect Living Coral will do the same. In the floral world, the shade can be found in a variety of blooms: roses, dahlias, tulips, gerbera daisies, and peonies to name a few.

Dahlias     David Austin roses

gerbera daisies Bridal bouquet of coral tulips     Coral peonies

Living Coral pairs well with both light and dark colors. In floral arrangements, it is complemented beautifully by green foliage. It is equally at home with pinks and whites, or with fellow warm colors like yellow or orange. Living Coral pops against almost any shade of blue, particularly turquoise.

Coral anthurium sits front and center in this vibrant arrangement.

 

According to Pantone’s website, “Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.” Lilium agrees with their joyous assessment.  We receive a variety of fresh flowers weekly, including blooms in the coral palette. We look forward to finding creative ways to incorporate this year’s Pantone Color of the Year into our fresh arrangements.

Whether you are planning a large party, or a small gathering, the table decor needn’t cause any stress. While floral centerpieces are beautiful, you can create a tablescape with or without flowers, often using items you already own.

A tablescape, by definition, is simply an artistic arrangement of items on a table. The tablescape can convey a theme, celebrate a season, or just provide a personal touch. The items you choose do not have to match, but should complement each other.

Items you already have, or that can be easily obtained, make tablescapes a snap. You can use empty bottles or jars, petite potted plants, lanterns and other decorative objects like baskets, frames and mirrors. Candles of all sizes perfectly complement most arrangements. If you are celebrating a holiday, incorporate items to enhance that theme or season, such as ornaments, pine cones, pumpkins, berries, leaves and greenery.

Dress up your holiday table with colors and textures of the season. Plentiful nuts, gourds and leaves make perfect accents.
A simple, yet festive tablescape made with Mason jars, cranberries and fresh greenery.
Mix and match bottles and vases you have on hand, and fill with individual stems for a pop of color.

The most effective tablescapes feature items of various heights. The tallest item will be the focal point. Once that piece is selected, mix and match items of varying heights, colors and textures to create interest and dimension. A little imagination and a few minutes is all it takes to design an inviting table for your special guests.

Tropical flowers, sometimes referred to as exotics, are those that thrive naturally in tropical climates.  Favorite varieties include heliconia, ginger, pincushions, bird of paradise, orchids, anthurium and protea. These bright, eye-catching blooms make for unique arrangements that pack a powerful visual punch.

The Hula
This tall tropical beauty features ginger, heliconia, orchids and anthurium.

Unique Features

Tropicals are versatile flowers that make stunning arrangements on their own, or when combined with traditional blooms. As a rule, cut tropicals last longer than their more temperate relatives, usually 10 days to two weeks. Generally, tropicals feature bright colors and unique shapes not found in traditional varieties.

One of the most requested tropicals is bird of paradise. Aptly named, it resembles the plumage and beak of an exotic bird. It is sometimes confused with heliconia, particularly hanging heliconia. Both are staples in Lilium tropical arrangements, although heliconia is more readily available.

Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise
Hanging Heliconia
Hanging Heliconia
Heliconia is often thought to resemble lobster claws.

Anthurium is another favorite tropical. The heart-shaped, waxy leaf (spathe) surrounds a spike (spadix) that is actually made up of tiny flowers. The wide variety of color options range from white to green, pale pink to vibrant red.

Sourcing Options and Challenges

After extensive research and product testing, Lilium opts to purchase tropicals from growers in Hawaii. Compared with product from growers in Costa Rica, Columbia, and Indonesia, we have found Hawaiian tropicals to be fresher and longer lasting. In addition, Hawaiian farms focus on sustainable farming practices, including a state-wide ban on certain pesticides, to protect their natural resources.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature has targeted the Hawaiian islands in recent months, creating a major impact on their flower production. Lava flows from eruption of Mount Kilauea in May destroyed most of one of the largest orchid farms on the Big Island. Over 25 years of growth were quickly destroyed. Put into perspective, it takes an orchid two to three years to grow from a seedling to a mature plant. Recovery will take time.

As if the Hawaiian growers weren’t dealing with enough, Hurricane Lane is now bearing down on the islands. Rainfall to date is measured in feet, not inches. Maui, Oahu and Hawaii are being hardest hit, with flooding further damaging their flower farms.

What does that mean locally? Florists have had to seek out new resources. Some flower varieties, including tuberoses, are difficult to obtain at all. Of course, prices rise as the demand exceeds the supply. In short, tropicals are still available. We continue to receive shipments from Hawaii weekly. Be flexible, and allow the floral designers to create arrangements using the best florals and foliage available.

Orchids were among the crops hard hit by Hawaii’s volcano and flooding. Shown here, cymbidium orchids are paired with popular tropical protea and monstera leaves.

Versatile Use

Tropical flowers and foliage make beautiful vased arrangements, but why stop there? We love to mix and match tropicals with traditional blooms in a variety of designs. The completed look is always unique and eye-catching.

Tropical bridal bouquet
This one-of-a-kind bridal bouquet features plumeria, bird of paradise, ginger, pincushions and orchids, combined with traditional roses and greenery.
Sympathy easel sprays need not be traditional. This tropical spray features mokara orchids, ginger, anthurium, pincushions, oncidium orchids, monstera leaf and foxtail fern.

If a sunny tropical vacation is not in your immediate future, but you want to invoke the spirit of the islands, a tropical arrangement is a great option. Their unique shapes, stunning colors and fragrant blooms are sure to brighten your day.

 

 

There is everlasting love and everlasting life, but sadly, there is no such thing as an everlasting flower.  If there is any downside to purchasing fresh cut flowers, it is the fact that they are perishable. Fresh flowers are so beautiful, we want them to stay that way as long as possible. While there is no method that will make your flowers everlasting, there are some tips that will make them longer lasting.

Location, Location, Location

When a flower is growing in the ground or container, the sun is its friend. But the moment a flower is cut, the sun and flower are no longer on speaking terms. Sunlight speeds the deterioration of cut flowers.  Place your fresh arrangement in a cool location, out of direct sunlight. In addition, make sure your flowers are not sitting directly under an air vent.

If you have a boutonniere or corsage,  store it in the refrigerator away from fruits and vegetables. An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it makes fresh flowers sickly. Fresh fruits and veggies emit ethylene gas, which speeds up the aging process for flowers.

Water

If you are putting cut flowers into a vase, start with a fresh cut on all stems. Trim stems at an angle using sharp scissors or a sharp knife. This will help them draw water up the stem more easily. Floral stems have capillaries  that are used to draw in water. If you use a dull blade to trim stems, you are squeezing the capillaries closed, preventing the flow of water to the flower.

Start with clean water and a clean vase. Many internet sites will advise adding various elements to the water, including aspirin, sugar, bleach, vinegar, or even a penny. If you purchased your flowers locally, however, the chances are your flowers have already been treated with a natural flower food and do not benefit from any of these additives.

If you receive an arrangement already in a vase, be sure to top off the water daily, making sure all stems are submerged in the water.  For best results, pour out the water and completely replace it with clean water every two-three days.

  

Purchase Long-Lasting Varieties

At Lilium, we are often asked how long a customer can expect their flower arrangement to last. In general, five-seven days is what you can expect. Anything beyond that is a bonus. There are certain varieties, however, that are longer lasting than others. Lilies and orchids are among the varieties that stick around for a while. Tropical flowers, like ginger, heliconia, pincushions, and birds of paradise can last up to two weeks.

tropical arrangement
This arrangement is created using long-lasting tropicals, including cymbidium orchids, mink protea and monstera leaves
Ginger, heliconia. anthurium and mokara orchids fresh from Maui make a striking and long-lasting arrangement

 

Hydrangea is one of the most popular blooms used in fresh arrangements, but tends to be high maintenance. One of its unique characteristics is that it drinks from its petals as well as its stem. If you have a hydrangea that looks sickly, try submerging it (head and all) under water for a few minutes and it will perk back up.

Reliable Roses

There is a misconception that roses do not last very long. If you purchase premium roses that are cut at maturity, they will last longer. Roses cut too early will not open consistently, and their heads will droop. Lilium uses Corazon roses from Rio Roses. The Corazon is an award-winning Blue Ribbon rose with a proven track record. The blooms open 4″-5″ inches across, but in spite of the impressive show, the heads will not droop.

Reliable Roses
Corazon roses are the star of this classic rose arrangement

 

Lilium believes that educating consumers about properly caring for their arrangement or plant is an important step. We want customers to be satisfied with their purchases, while being realistic in their expectations of a perishable product. On every Lilium arrangement, potted orchid or plant, a care card is attached. In addition, care instructions are printed on the back of our message cards. We can’t prevent the demise of a cut flower, but we can work together to prolong its life.

 

This blog has nothing to do with flowers, but as a florist, we work day in and day out with brides, party and shower hostesses, and event planners who all rely on the ever-important (but often neglected) RSVP. Just consider this a public service announcement: RSVPs are important!

Everyone who has hosted an event can relate. The non-RSVPers wonder, “what’s the big deal?” You know who you are. Let’s focus on why it is a big deal to RSVP when it is requested. This applies to weddings, showers, parties, and any event where RSVP appears on the invitation. It isn’t simply a matter of etiquette, or an antiquated concept; it has very practical implications.

In our business, we hear stories of frustration over getting a reliable head count. Brides and their parents are working with a budget. If they serve a meal, they have to give a count to the caterer. They have to tell the venue how many tables and chairs are needed. The list can go on to include china, glassware, linens, centerpieces and a multitude of rented items.  Likewise, party hostesses are purchasing food, beverages, and party favors, and planning things like seating and activities with no idea how many will attend. In some cases, a host makes lodging and transportation arrangements for potential guests from out of town. As you can imagine, it is difficult to successfully plan without a commitment from the guests.

Fear of Commitment?

I’ve asked myself why people seem to disregard an RSVP request. Is it a generational thing? Is it reluctance to commit? Too much trouble? I can’t really blame this one on the Millennials. No one seems immune. It isn’t a time-consuming task. In most cases, hosts make it pretty easy to RSVP. In the case of less formal invitations, like E-vites and Facebook events, it is as simple as the click of a mouse. Printed invitations almost always include a response card, as well as a stamped and addressed envelope for mailing. Short of making personal phone calls and text inquiries (and I know some who have had to resort to this), what does a host have to do?

That leaves the commitment excuse. “I’m just not sure what I will be doing three weeks from Saturday, so I just won’t commit. If it turns out I’m free, I’ll make an appearance. If not, they won’t be expecting me.” Make no mistake, an RSVP is a commitment. Anyone who has planned a wedding knows the angst of creating a guest list. Tough decisions are made. Distant cousins twice-removed are crossed off, while Uncle Jim and his plus-one make the cut. If you were so fortunate as to make the cut,  Répondez s’il vous plaît (RSVP). Make the commitment, take the plunge, show up. Put it on your calendar and protect that date.

Regrets

If you have a conflict, decline promptly, or send your regrets. You aren’t required to give an explanation, but you might offer a brief note expressing gratitude for the invitation and indicating the reason you are unable to attend. E-vite and Facebook invitations allow you to straddle the fence with a “Maybe” response option. Whenever possible, however, make a decision and let the host know. You just might open up a spot for one of those distant cousins who is dying to attend.

Respect the Guest List

I am dating myself with this bit, but “back in the day” when I got married, the ceremony was in the church sanctuary followed by a reception in the church’s fellowship hall. Yes, we requested RSVPs on the invitations, but it was just to have a ballpark estimate of how many to expect. How many did my cake need to serve? How many cups of punch would we need? It didn’t really matter if someone brought an extra guest or two along.

Today’s weddings are a little (a lot) more complex, from venues to menus. For reasons previously mentioned, it is imperative to have an accurate count of guests. Apart from the price tag attached to each guest, the bride and groom have chosen the friends and family they want with them on their special day. Respect that. The names on the invitation envelope are the parties invited. Period. If your name is the only one that appears, you are going solo.

A Few “Don’ts” and a “Do”

For some this may seem like common sense; for others, it may as well be Greek. So, it bears pointing out. Don’t assume they are fine with you bringing your children along. If your invited spouse or date can’t make it, don’t feel free to substitute another guest. Don’t put them on the spot and ask if you can bring your sister who happens to be in town that day, or worse yet, just bring your sister without asking. There will be no place card at the table with her name on it. Awkward!  Perhaps your invitation will be addressed to you “and guest.” In that case, by all means, bring a date or a friend. The host has graciously allowed you a plus-one.

Who Should RSVP?

Everyone. Even if you are part of the wedding party, you need to RSVP. If you verbally told the host over lunch two weeks ago that you planned to attend, you still need to RSVP. Never assume the host knows you plan to attend.

You don’t have to read up on your Emily Post Rules of Etiquette, or seek the advice of Dear Abby or Miss Manners. You don’t need fancy words, or creative writing skills. It’s as simple as “yes” or “no,” “accept” or “decline.” Check a box or click on the screen. At the end of the day, it’s really a matter of showing respect and courtesy to the host/hostess, who was kind enough to invite you to join in their celebration.

The ’80s called and they want to back in. No problem! Who doesn’t love a good throw-back? This year, look for a number of wedding trends that pay homage to the past… like, totally.

Cascading Bouquets

If you are old enough to remember 1981, chances are you were parked in front of a television watching Lady Diana Spencer marry Prince Charles in July of that year. Diana’s wedding style sparked trends across the bridal industry, including puffy sleeves, mile-long trains, cathedral-length veils, and the cascading bouquet.

The newlywed princess’ large cascading bouquet featured white orchids, gardenias, roses, freesia, stephanotis and ivy

Today’s version of the cascade bouquet is less structured, more haphazard and “undone.” The cascade effect can be created with flowers or greenery, including ivy, trumpet vine, eucalyptus, berries, jasmine or wispy ferns.

Modern take on the cascading bouquet trend
Source: The Knot
Photo credit: Swan Photography
Source: David Austin Roses Facebook

There is another royal wedding just weeks away. The highly anticipated event is sure to ignite a number of bridal trends. Stay tuned!

Old-Fashioned Flowers

Garden flowers that might be considered old-fashioned are in vogue. Showy and versatile dahlias are replacing peonies as the “it” flower in bridal bouquets and arrangements. Zinnias and chrysanthemums also make the list. Chrysanthemums, often associated with autumn, are available year-round in a variety of colors. Brides are selecting blooms that convey a fresh-picked from the garden appearance.  Most garden-style flowers are locally-sourced, which make them an economical option as well.

Martha Stewart Weddings’ bouquet features two trends: cascading design and dahlias.
Bright zinneas give traditional roses and hydrangeas a more organic, garden-style vibe.

Trends that Come Full Circle

Wreaths and flower crowns are back, with a modern twist. You can still use wreaths as door decorations, but there are many other uses. Floral wreaths encircle the wedding cake, accent light fixtures, and serve as aisle markers. Flower crowns are not just for the flower girls. Brides have adapted the trend for their own wedding day look. Some opt to wear them as headpieces, while others carry them in place of a traditional bouquet.  Don’t forget the pets! Our furry friends can be as festive as the rest of the bridal party with a coordinating floral collar.

      

Although elements of the ’80s are circling back around, few brides want a full-blown, “to the max,” retro wedding.  Pick and choose among the trends to give a subtle nod to the era. Today’s brides are embracing the past, but putting a fresh spin on these old favorites.  If you are planning nuptials in the coming year, let Lilium help you incorporate the latest trends into your special day.

 

The holidays are barely behind us, but we are headed full-steam toward Valentine’s Day. In the world of sports, all eyes turn to the Super Bowl February 4 and the Olympic Games on February 9. In the flower game, however, the biggest event of the year happens a few days later on February 14. Whether you mark the day with cards, flowers or candy, Valentine’s Day is one of the most anticipated (and sometimes dreaded) days of the year.  In honor of the big day, we thought we’d share a few fun facts about Valentine’s Day.

There was more than one Saint Valentine, but the one most associated with Valentine’s Day is the one who defied Emperor Claudius II by helping couples to marry in secret. The emperor felt single men made better soldiers, and forbade them to marry, but Valentine was sympathetic to their plight. Valentine’s actions cost him his head, but he is immortalized centuries later as we celebrate love. Isn’t that romantic?

Nothing takes you back to those classroom Valentine’s Day parties like a box of conversation hearts. Invented in 1866, Necco (New England Confectionery Company) now produces 8 billion conversation hearts each year. Production continues year-round to meet the February demand. Each box contains assorted messages (50-60 different ones are produced each year), including current references like, “IM Me.” If you have a few boxes left once Valentine’s Day has passed, don’t worry. They have a shelf life of five years!

       

Vernona, Italy, home of William Shakespeare’s fictional lovers Romeo and Juliet, receives approximately 1000 letters addressed to Juliet each year. Letters to Juliet are answered by members of the Club di Guilietta, who take their task very seriously.

Casa di Guiletta in Verona
Visitors to Casa di Guilietta leave behind love notes

 

Overall, $18.2 billion is spent on Valentine’s Day each year. The average man spends $150; the average woman spends $74. Approximately 9 million people will purchase a Valentine gift for a pet.

Hallmark began mass-producing Valentine’s Day greeting cards in 1913. Today, approximately $1 billion is spent on Valentines, making it the second largest card-giving occasion, behind Christmas. According to Hallmark, 50% of the US population purchases Valentine’s Day greeting cards. Of that number, half are purchased in the six days prior to February 14. Procrastinate much?

Hallmark's popup flower bouquet

Hallmark Valentine                                   

Chocolates are a favorite gift choice for Valentine’s Day. We often see those heart-shaped boxes on retail shelves before the Christmas clearance signs even go up. Why chocolates? Historians tell us that physicians in the 1800s advised their patients to eat chocolate to calm their pinings for lost love. Chocolate increases the brain’s level of serotonin,  the feel-good chemical. In the mid-1800s, Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates specifically for Valentine’s Day. He designed the heart-shaped boxes himself, adorned with roses and Cupids. Whether we purchase the chocolate to celebrate love, or mourn the lack of it, Americans spend $1 billion on Valentine’s Day chocolates each year.

Flowers remain the most popular expression of Valentine’s Day affection, with red roses topping the list of romantic blooms. Americans will purchase 220 million stems of roses for their Valentines this year.

The tradition of sending flowers comes from a custom of using non-verbal methods of communication. Looking back to the 1800s once again, specific flowers were assigned meanings to convey certain sentiments. Years later, we still honor many of the sentiments attached to our favorite blooms. The classic red rose symbolizes love, beauty, romance and perfection. Tulips stand for perfect love. Peonies are most often associated with romance and bashfulness, with some believing they bring good luck.

Corazon roses from Rio Roses, premium blue-ribbon roses, are known for their large, long-lasting blooms.

 

Tulips from Holland represent perfect love.
Fan-favorite peonies are not officially in season, but a few lucky florists will have them in stock.

Weekday Valentine’s Days are the busiest for florists, as people take advantage of sending flowers to their loved ones at work. With Valentine’s Day falling on Wednesday this year, consider sending an arrangement early in the week. You will get the best selection of flowers before the rush, and the recipient will be the first in the office to receive flowers (making them the envy of their co-workers, and making you the hero).

When it comes to sending flowers, anything goes! According to the Society of American Florists (SAF), about one third of women send flowers to their husbands or boyfriends. No significant other in your life this year? SAF says that about 20% of women will send flowers to themselves for Valentine’s Day. #wewontjudgeyou

Whether you are celebrating with your sweetheart, or celebrating single-hood, have a  Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

The color experts at the Pantone Color Institute have named their Color of the Year for 2018: Ultra Violet. The annual announcement is much-anticipated by designers, manufacturers and trend watchers throughout the country. The chosen color influences fashion, cosmetics, and all things for the home, from paint to textiles, furnishings to florals. Ultra Violet (Pantone 18-3838) is a celestial shade of purple, that falls on the cooler end of the spectrum. It calls to mind  the vastness of the galaxy and all its mysteries.

Ultra Violet influences across multiple categories

Pantone’s Power

Pantone is synonymous with color for a vast array of industries, but it started in the printing industry. They developed an innovative color matching system in 1962, including a swatch book, that ensures colors chosen would match from one print job to the next. The idea spread to include other industries, including plastics, digital technology, fashion and home. As the existing standard for accurate color communication, their color of the year selection becomes more influential with each passing year.

Ultra Violet dominates graphic design and packaging.
Ultra Violet influences beauty products

When choosing the annual color of the year, Pantone experts consider influences from fashion, film, technology, art and travel. They visit venues and events all over the world, including art shows, auto shows, and world events like the Olympic Games, making note of how color is being used.

Pop culture also influences the choice. For example, musical icons Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix have often been associated with shades of purple. The color evokes creativity and originality. It is also associated with royalty, wealth and complexity.

We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is the kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level. From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute

Purple Pairings

The shade has both warm and cool tones in it, which makes it versatile. Ultra Violet blends well with other shades of purple, and also serves as a strong complementary color. Suggested palettes include:

 

 

Purple Reigns

In the floral industry, purples are popular for all occasions, but there is definitely a trend toward purple for weddings. Flowers in shades of purple are available in abundance, and, as you can see from the suggested palettes above, they pair well with many other hues a bride might want to include.

Ultra Violet can be incorporated into floral arrangements for any occasion. It can be either masculine or feminine, so it is a very versatile color. Flowers that capture the spirit of the 2018 Pantone color of the year include calla lilies, hydrangea, dahlias, lisianthus, zinnias, asters, roses, scabiosa, lilacs, chrysanthemums, delphinium, hyacinth, orchids, stock, violets and tulips.

Stop by Lilium or visit our website at www.liliumflorals.com to explore your passion for purple, and visit the Pantone Color Institute website at www.pantone.com to read more about this year’s pick.

 

Funerals are not generally at the top of the list of conversation topics, yet we all have to experience them sooner or later. While this is the season of giving thanks and celebrating family, death does not acknowledge any particular season. It is a difficult time, when we are often at a loss as to what to say or do. Whether planning a funeral for a loved one, or expressing condolences to a family member, friend, or business associate, flowers are a traditional expression of sympathy.

The use of flowers in funeral rites goes way back; I mean WAY back. Excavations of ancient burial sites in Iraq have unearthed evidence of plants and florals surrounding the human remains. Without getting too morbid or graphic, before modern day embalming methods were available, flowers were used to mask the odors of the deceased until burial took place. Although that is not an issue today, the tradition of surrounding the casket with flowers endures.

In the early 1900s, C. Austin Miles wrote the hymn, “In the Garden,” which became one of the most frequently-sung hymns at funerals all over the United States. The visual was so strong that funeral homes designed their facilities so that caskets would sit among flowers and plants to create the illusion of resting in a garden. The tradition endures more than 100 years later. A background of flowers lends warmth and beauty to the funeral service, creating a comforting environment for the bereaved.

white and green easel spray
White and Green Easel Spray

Flowers are often given to express sentiments we have difficulty putting into words. If fact, when Lilium customers order sympathy flowers,  writing the card message is often more difficult than selecting flowers. Flowers are a visual expression of love, sympathy and respect. They indicate a shared burden of grief. While some flowers have symbolic meanings, most select flowers that best reflect the personality or preferences of the deceased, or convey particular sentiments to the family. White, particularly a white lily, is most often associated with sympathy flowers. White is also a versatile choice for either a man or woman. Alternatively, color palettes can be selected for a more feminine or masculine look. However, it is not necessary to use somber colors. Many choose to view the funeral as a celebration of the life of their loved one, and select bright colors for the service.

Casket Flowers

Typically, casket flowers are purchased by the family of the deceased, and they are placed on top of the casket at the viewing/visitation and during the service. A full casket cover will cover the entire top of the casket. This works best if the casket will remain closed. If the casket will be open, a half casket cover is recommended. It can be easily moved to one end when the casket is open, then moved back to the center once the casket is closed.

White and Green Casket Cover
Vibrant Casket Cover
Rose Casket Cover

Easel Sprays

Easel sprays are used at formal funerals, memorial services and graveside services. Following an indoor service, they generally accompany the casket from the funeral to the grave site, and remain there after the burial.

There are several options for easel sprays, including traditional (or blanket) sprays, wreaths, crosses, and more modern, asymmetrical sprays. Flowers can range from traditional roses to vibrant tropicals. They can be designed to be feminine, or with masculine colors and textures.

Feminine Cross Spray
Sympathy Easel Spray
Tropical Easel Spray

Plants

If you want to send something longer-lasting, plants are a good option. You should take into account whether or not the family is local, with the ability to easily transport the plants home.  If so, you might choose a single, large plant in a nice container, or perhaps a European garden. The European garden is an assortment of flowering and non-flowering plants arranged in a basket, and finished with moss and, sometimes, curly willow. You get the best of both worlds, with a colorful blooms in a long-lasting arrangement. Flower and plant options will vary by season, so check with your florist to find out what is available.

Sympathy European Garden
Spring European Garden

A potted orchid is another beautiful choice. A fresh orchid’s blooms may last two to three months with proper care. Lilium dresses up their orchids in a decorative container with moss and curly willow. An orchid can also be included in a European garden to create a stunning and long-lasting arrangement.

Double Stemmed potted orchid

Fresh Arrangements

A fresh arrangement is always an appropriate expression of sympathy. Have an arrangement delivered to a residence, workplace, or to the funeral service. Like plants, vased arrangements can be taken home after the service and enjoyed for several days. Designs range from low and lush bouquets to tall and stately arrangements. Whites and greens are often requested for sympathy arrangements, but there is no right or wrong color scheme. You can specify a favorite flower, or color palette, that best expresses your sentiments.

Please visit our website to see options for sympathy flowers. Lilium is a custom shop, and we will work with you to select a meaningful arrangement to express your condolences.

Not born with a green thumb? If you choose to grow succulents, your lack of aptitude with plants will be your little secret. Succulents are easy to plant, easy to maintain, and easy to incorporate into any decor. Plus, there are hundreds of varieties of succulents from which to choose, making endless creative possibilities.

SUCCULENTS ARE LOW MAINTENANCE

By definition, succulents are drought resistant plants that store water in their leaves, stems and roots. The storage of water gives them a fleshy appearance, known as succulence. While you can’t forget about them completely, they need very little attention. To create a low maintenance arrangement, make a little effort up front. Make sure the plants have good drainage. You can purchase cactus soil, or add sand or gravel to ordinary potting soil. Be sure your container has a hole in the bottom for drainage.

Succulents are slow-growing plants, so place them tightly together in the container. After planting, water well, then allow the soil to dry out between watering. Over watering is the most common mistake made by plant owners. Succulents do not like to sit in water. They need more water in the spring and summer, but less in the winter when they enter a dormant phase.

Succulent arrangement
Lilium created this long-lasting botanical arrangement using finger cactus and assorted succulents.

SUCCULENTS COME IN MANY VARIETIES

There are few categories of plants with greater variety than succulents. From tall and spikey to low and mounded, from vibrant greens to pinks and reds, with and without stripes, some blooming, some cascading.  Many varieties are prolific reproducers, with offshoots called pups. If your container becomes overcrowded, simply pinch off the pups.

Burro's Tail Succulents
Burro’s Tail

 

Hens and Chicks Succulents
Red beauty Hens and Chicks
Trachyandra succulents
Trachyandra

 

Propagating  succulents is as painless as maintaining them. Remove cuttings and allow the clipped stem to dry out and form a callous. Then, simply place the cutting into prepared soil. New roots will grow, and you will have a brand new plant.

SUCCULENTS MAKE HIGH IMPACT DISPLAYS

Because of the vast array of colors and textures, succulents look great when displayed individually or in a collection of plants. They are so versatile, however, that they fit right in with traditional florals. They can channel fun and funky, contemporary, or soft and elegant. Succulents give an interesting twist to cut flower arrangements or traditional plant baskets.

 

Vased arrangement with succulents
Succulents make beautiful additions to cut flower arrangements.
Succulent arrangement
Multiple varieties of succulents combine to create a striking arrangement.

The sky is the limit when selecting a container to display your plants. You might choose a traditional pot, urn, bucket, bowl, wooden box, wall vase, or a more unconventional vessel like a sea shell, bird bath or hollow log. Any container will do, as long as it provides adequate drainage. Succulents lend themselves to many different styles from rustic to contemporary.

Finish off your display by adding “mulch” of polished river rocks, colored aquarium gravel, pea gravel, sea glass, marbles or moss. With minimal attention, your succulent garden will thrive. For more information on creating a succulent bowl, or a fresh arrangement using succulents, contact Lilium at 817-481-1565.