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.

 

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.

Moms have always held a special place in our hearts, long before a date was designated in their honor. Ancient Greeks and Romans held festivals to honor maternal goddesses. Early Christians began their own tradition of honoring the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ, during Lent season.

Dscf9777-MU-banner-Virgin-Mary-square

In the 17th century, England expanded this practice to include all mothers, calling it Mothering Sunday. Following a special prayer service, children would bring gifts and flowers to pay tribute to their own mothers.

original_mothering-sunday-notebook-card

Today’s moms can thank Julia Ward Howe for visualizing Mother’s Day as we know it in the United States. In the late 1800s, Howe, an abolitionist, suffragette and writer famous for penning the Battle Hymn of the Republic, suggested a national celebration of mothers that would be dedicated to peace. She encouraged women to rise up against war in her Mothers Day Proclamation, and initiated Mothers’ Peace Day. It was Anna Jarvis, however, who took the concept to the next level. Jarvis, who had no children of her own but wanted to honor her own mother, lobbied for Mother’s Day to be named an official holiday. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Today, Mother’s Day is celebrated in 46 countries. While many have their own unique traditions, it customary to honor mothers with flowers, cards, gifts and family meals. In Australia, carnations are worn–red or pink carnations honor a mom still living, and white is worn in memory of a mom who is deceased. Chrysanthemums are also a popular choice because Australian mothers are typically called “Mum.” Japanese children present their mothers with red carnations, which represent gentle strength. Here in the U.S., we tend to select flowers we know are mom’s favorites. The Spring season offers many blooms, including roses, tulips, hydrangea, hyacinths, lilies and orchids.

Goodnight Moon
Goodnight Moon
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

 

 

 

Chikka Chikka Boom Boom
Chikka Chikka Boom Boom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Lilium is a custom florist, Mother’s Day is one occasion when we do design a menu from which customers can order. This insures we have an ample supply of fresh Spring florals to meet the high demand of this special day. This year, our Mother’s Day arrangements are named in honor of our favorite bedtime stories. To view Goodnight Moon, The Giving Tree, Guess How Much I love You and other 2016 Mother’s Day designs, visit our website.

Mother will love our Secret Garden arrangement of pink roses, peonies, hydrangea and berries
Secret Garden