At the beginning of Lockdown I posted a simple Facebook competition asking people to share the name of their favourite flower, aiming for something quick and easy anyone could join in with as well as in the hope of opening up some conversation; everyone can name a few flowers without having to be Alan Titchmarsh!
The result was some sweet, inspiring answers which gave me a boost of positivity just when I needed it!
“Peonies and lilies always remind me of my Nan
when we walked together down her garden’s path.
I can still smell them to this day.”
I was so surprised and moved by the thought put into many people’s answers. They were heartfelt favourites with beautiful stories attached. At a time when we have been separated from our friends and family there was a strong feeling of nostalgia; remembering happy times spent with our closest allies. It was inspiring to hear how flowers can conjure these happy memories.
“Fuchsia reminds me of my childhood holidays in Galway.
Growing wild in the hedgerows. We had a cat called Fuchsia!
I try to have some growing in the garden every year.”
“Sunflowers…have a special place in my heart too
and memories of fields and fields of them in France."
There were many answers linked to childhood reminiscences of time spent with a special Grandparent or of blissful times spent on holidays. Even just their subtle scent can take you straight back to a simple but gorgeous glimpse of your past.
“Gladioli, because they are beautiful year after year and remind me of my Nan”
“Sweet peas growing in Grandad’s garden and with my Dad on his allotment, they are the best flowers!”
“Freesias are my favourites, they were my Grandma’s favourites and I had them in my wedding bouquet to remind me of her.”
As a Florist I have a deep connection to flowers (and foliage – Florists love foliage!) They have been a huge part of my life, even luring me to make a brave change of direction in my career, many years ago. They have opened up a wonderful job full of creativity, comradery and a wholesome connection to the seasons. For me I feel this is a huge perk of my profession; to work responding to the season and relishing the shifting colours and textures they bring. It’s also an industry in which I have worked some long and stressful hours, cementing close relationships with some fabulous people I am proud to call my closest friends.
From a simple and superficial point of view you could describe a bunch of flowers as pure frivolity, to “make things look pretty.”
Firstly, I’d like to point out there’s nothing wrong with having pretty things around you to make the house look nice. Although my Husband may argue there is a limit to how many pretty cushions one small house can take!
Secondly, and more importantly, flowers are more than that. They can create links to significant moments in our past and crucially to loved ones we may be missing. One deep sniff of the Sweet Peas in my cutting patch at home conjures up a happy moment with a dear, inspirational friend and the most beautiful bunch she gave me, fresh from her allotment cut especially for me.