If a thing loves, it is infinite - “William Blake”
Some writing on St. Valentine’s day.
I wanted to write a little about St. Valentine’s Day, it is often much maligned! I hear it’s created by the card companies, meal prices are hiked, I’ve never seen red roses so expensive. But I have to confess, I am a true romantic, I adore the idea of the old fairy tales, bouquets brought and given-secretly or in the open-as symbols of love.
As I researched a little for this blog, and studied some of my favourite contemporary florists - Shane Connolly’s ‘Discovering The Meaning of Flowers’ is a read I’d recommend. I learnt more about the truth behind different flowers and the true history of what we now lazily refer to as Valentine’s Day. The act on St. Valentine’s Day stems from an old-fashioned custom of sending floral bouquets to pass on messages. How powerful, how sweet, how important, to say what so often cannot be said. Those three words which can be so difficult to utter, spoken through a flower.
Apparently it was introduced in the 18th Century in Sweden by King Charles II, his idea went down well. What many people forget is that each flower had a specific meaning attached to it. Think of how we have developed our own common names for flowers from the complicated Latin phrases that denote their actual biological names. Charlie’s idea in the 18th century thus made it possible to conduct an entire conversation using only flowers.
For me the 14th February offers an opportunity. For you, for me, for all of us. To create flowers to be seen by all. The symbol of love to be carried from one to another, a special affection sent directly to a loved one. To remember them, to dote on them, to care for them, and in the gift of giving, much like Christmas, to make ourselves happier through giving. St. Valentine’s day - for the adored and the loved. And this happens in many ways, as Roald Dahl said ‘it doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you’ - and many people don’t realise the extent that they are loved. This is the excuse to tell them.
On my 14th February I’ll be offering an unconventional non-verbal gift to give to those you care for. Not a red rose in sight. A colour palette of pink, red, ivory and surprise, my alternatives to the usual suspects. But why not a red rose? Because of the oft-forgotten meaning of other flowers that are equally if not more special.
like the gift of a Ranunculus (one of my favourites) - ‘You are attractive/radiant charm’
These gorgeous blooms are so special. They come in wondrous different varieties across the colour spectrum They are a huge and numerous family of flowers, including those with soft layers of delicate petals. In my experience they all have a long vase life and change considerably during their blooming lifespan, developing, shaping, changing, but always growing from closed cups to open butterflies - as a great flower should. It will encourage you to open your eyes to each stage, never becoming tired of this delightful gift. From subtle ‘butterfly ranunculus’ to the jazzy ‘Cappuccino’ there’s a whole lot in there for a special girl, boy, mum, dad, loved one not listed. The charm of this flower is unending and, personally, I love to get my hands on it.
I hope this has provided a little useful, and got you thinking, and willing to celebrate St. Valentine’s day in it’s true form, a beautiful action for someone you care about, a recognition of love and achieving the generous gift of giving.
If you would like to order a bunch for someone you love, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org before midnight on Monday 11th February. We will be delivering across London and Essex on the 13th and of course, on Valentine's Day.
Lots of love and warm wishes as always.