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.

We live in the age of online shopping. Most everything we might need is available with a few keystrokes. The lure of Amazon Prime, with a multitude of merchandise options and free delivery beckons. No traffic, no parking hassles, no crowds. Why, then, would we choose to shop locally? Why pick up the phone and call, or even better, why visit a retailer in person? There are several great reasons:

Support the Local Economy

Keeping your shopping dollars in your community is one of the best reasons to shop locally. The taxes you pay go back to your city, allowing local government to invest back into our neighborhoods. We should note that there is a difference between shopping local and shopping locally.  You might pat yourself on the back for skipping the e-tailer, yet you complete your shopping list at a major chain, or big-box, store. While these stores do employ local citizens and collect local sales tax, much of the revenue goes outside the community.

According to Forbes magazine,

For every dollar spent at a locally-owned establishment, nearly 45% of that revenue stayed in the local community, with another 9% going elsewhere within the state. In contrast, for every dollar spent at a chain store, only 14% of the revenue stayed in the local community, mostly in the form of payroll. The balance of that money flows to out-of-state suppliers, or back to the parent corporation.Forbes.com

By the numbers, three times as much money stays in your community when you shop at locally-owned businesses vs chain stores. When you shop locally, in essence, you are taking care of your own.

Build Relationships Locally

Those of us who remember watching Cheers on NBC a few years back, fondly recall the theme song about wanting to go “where everybody knows your name… and they’re always glad you came.” We feel good when we walk into a business and they recognize us, or remember what we like or don’t like. You can’t replace the human component.

When I walk into a favorite local restaurant for my takeout lunch, they see me coming and start making my salad. They know I want my dressing mixed in, and to leave off the ham. That they know my preferences makes me feel valued, and makes me want to return. At Lilium, we keep notes on customers’ preferences. It might be one customer who loves peonies, while another is allergic to lilies, and another whose favorite color is purple. Customers have confidence when they call that we know what they like, and will meet their expectations. If there is any issue, they know where to find us, by phone, email or in person, to resolve it.

Local is the new black

High Quality Products and Services

Despite the convenience of ordering online, or through a 1-800 number, you really have no idea of the process your merchandise will go through on its way to your doorstep. In the case of fresh flowers, the moment the stems are cut, the flowers begin to decline. The faster a cut stem is placed in water and into a cool environment, the longer it will last. Flowers ordered online and shipped often arrive in poor condition, having traveled in non-refrigerated vehicles, been jostled in a delivery truck, or left on the porch. Yes, you might save a few dollars, but the product you receive (if you receive it at all) is disappointing.

Shopping for flowers, or other perishables, in your community insures the product will arrive quickly, and will be fresh. In addition, you are more likely to get a one-of-a-kind product that will please both the sender and the recipient.

Where we shop, where we eat and have fun–all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place.Sustainable Connections

When you do business locally, you will generally work with people who are trained and have an understanding of the products they are selling. They will take time to get to know the customer, and make sure the customers’ needs are met. Local businesses often depend on word of mouth to grow their customer base, and will protect their reputation in the community by selling a quality product and giving good customer service.

Make a Difference, One Purchase at a Time

We may often feel helpless about making a difference in the world. There are so many global issues that are beyond our control. Where do we begin? Start from the ground up. Consider what you can do to strengthen your own community. Local retailers are invested in their communities. They are more likely to support local causes, such as schools and non-profits. Where you spend your money says a lot about what you value. Make sure you add value to your community by buying at locally-owned businesses.

 

 

A Lilium arrangement of fresh flowers makes a thoughtful gift, but sometimes our customers want to add a little something extra. Our focus is always on flowers, but we have carefully selected a handful of products to complement our fresh arrangements. So, you might choose to deliver a special gift along with your arrangement, on its own, or as part of a custom-made gift basket.

Extra Fragrance

Lafco Candles and Room Diffusers

Lilium is an official retailer of Lafco candles, made from clean-burning vegan waxes and natural essential oils, with pure cotton wicks. Their scents are created to enhance a space without being overpowering. Lafco layers the fragrance into the wax so that it can be continuously enjoyed until the last burn, usually 90-100 hours. Each candle comes in a hand-blown art glass vessel that will be a beautiful decorative piece, long after the wax has burned. The candles are packaged in a white gift box accented with black ribbon, and therefore, presentation-ready.

New Scents

In addition to customer favorites Feu de Bois/Ski House, Champagne/Penthouse, Marine/Bathroom, Seville Spice/Towne House, and Chamomile Lavender/Master Bedroom, along with holiday fragrances Tree and Golden Chestnut, we recently added several new scents:

  • Black Pomegranate/Wine Room
  • Olive Blossom/Villa
  • Lemon Verbena/Porch

Extra Lafco Black Pomegratate/Wine Room extra scentsextra scents

Lilium also carries Lafco room diffusers. Each comes with a refillable hand-blown art glass container, reeds, and a bottle of essential oil fragrance. Available fragrances include Chamomile Lavender, Champagne and Feu de Bois.

Extra scents
Lafco’s Ski House room diffuser combines the scent of burning wood with a hint of mountain spruce.

Jardin de Rochelle Aroma Porcelain Diffusers

Combine the elegance of delicate porcelain flowers with their signature scents with Jardin de Rochelle diffusers. Lilium offers chrysanthemum, peony and narcissus designs and fragrances. The porcelain flower extends down into the oil and wicks the fragrance throughout the room. The 4-ounce bottle of fragrance will last several months. Each diffuser comes packaged in a beautiful gift box.

 

Erbario Toscano Luxury Home Fragrances

Erbario Toscano is the latest addition to the Lilium lineup of luxury home fragrances. The Italian-based company strives to evoke the essence of the Tuscan region with fragrances including Black Pepper, Tuscan Berries, Lavender, Sicily Citrus and Tuscan Spring. The room diffusers are sold with a 3.38 ounce bottle of fragrance and a set of dipping sticks. Simply dip the sticks into the fragrance and allow the scent to fill the room. Flip the sticks periodically to refresh the fragrance.

Extra Luxury – Spongelle Body Products

Lilium offers Spongelle body wash-infused buffers (with or without a gift box) in French Lavender and Coconut Verbena scents. The buffers cleanse, moisturize and also rejuvenate the skin with their blend of Yuzu, Edelweiss and Vetiver Root extracts. Each buffer lasts a minimum of 14 uses.

Spongelle buffer - extra luxury
Body wash infused buffer in French Lavender

We also offer Spongelle body lotion in the same two scents. While the body buffer cleanses and refreshes, the lotion restores moisture and softness. Key ingredients include shea butter, argan oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil and vitamin E. In addition,  all Spongelle products are dermatologist tested and vegan friendly.

Spongelle lotion - extra luxury
Spongelle body lotion in Coconut Verbena

Extra Sweet – Godiva Chocolates

Godiva chocolates are recognized all over the world as the premier chocolate brand. The Draps family began making their chocolates in Brussels, Belgium more than 90 years ago. Inspired by the legend of Lady Godiva, the family named the company in her honor. To this day, the company bases their philosophy on qualities exhibited by Lady Godiva: boldness, generosity, and a pioneering spirit.

Godiva has been the official chocolatier of the Royal Court of Belgium since 1968, but you don’t have to be royal to enjoy the finest of chocolates. Lilium offers boxes of Godiva chocolates in assorted sizes, making the perfect gift to complement your floral arrangement.

Godiva chocolates - extra sweet
Assorted Belgian chocolates presented in the iconic gold Godiva gift box

Extra Plush

If you are sending flowers to welcome a new baby, celebrate a child’s birthday, or commemorate a special holiday, consider adding a super soft and sweet plush animal. Lilium is an official retailer of Jellycat soft toys. Jellycat is known for their fun original designs and the “squidginess” of luxurious materials. Most importantly, all Jellycat products meet the US Safety Standard (ASTM), and are safe for all ages.

Gray bunny - extra plush
Jellycat Bashful Bunny
tutu bunny - extra plush
Lulu Tutu Lilac Bunny

 

Extra Special

We are committed to making your gift extra special. Most of our gift add-ons will be delivered in a signature green Lilium gift bag, dressed with tissue and ribbon. We take special requests, too, so just let us know how we can make your gift perfect.

Dahlias are summer showstoppers. With blooms up to 10 inches across and a wide variety of hues, they command attention in summer gardens or added to fresh arrangements. From white and pale blush to deepest crimson and purple, dahlias offer a rainbow of options for floral designers.

Family Traits

Dahlias’ multi-layered petals provide a texture that is unique to each variety. Some feature dense cylindrical petals that resemble a honeycomb. Several varieties have long, spiked petals, while others display soft, feather-like petals. Dahlias are members of the aster family, and you may notice a family resemblance to their relatives, the sunflower, daisy, chrysanthemum and zinnia. Of the 42 varieties, the largest is the dinner plate dahlia, which is aptly named. Their blooms reach up to 10 inches across.

  

Seasonal Beauties

At Lilium, dahlias start arriving in July and generally stick around through October. They are ideal for use in arrangements for all occasions, and in wedding bouquets and centerpieces. Because they are available in such a wide range of colors and varieties, dahlias can be incorporated into almost any theme or color pallette.

Candle light, dahlias
Blush Dahlias Photo By Jason Kindig
Photo credit: Swan Photography
Photo credit: Taylor Pritchett

Dahlias Have Many Uses

The versatile dahlia is native to Mexico, where it is the national flower. It is cultivated for its beauty, and for more practical purposes as well. The dried blooms can be used for dyeing textiles. All varieties (other than white) contain mordants, which work as a dye or stain when applied to fabric.

Not only are the blooms beautiful, they are edible. In fact, the dahlia is a staple ingredient in Oaxacan cuisine. Dacopa, an intense mocha-tasting extract from the flower’s roasted tubers, is used to flavor beverages throughout Central America.

Yes, dahlias may be tasty, but we think they are just too pretty to eat. We will stick to admiring them in fresh Lilium arrangements all summer long.