Saturday 19th January is National Tulip Day and the official start of the new tulip season. On this day, Dutch tulip growers will transform the Dam in Amsterdam into a sensational pick-your-own tulip garden.
Most people are unaware that the tulip is the national flower of Turkey and Iran, as it is indelibly linked in most people’s minds with Holland. The Dutch fascination with tulips began in the 17th century and by that centuries end had become a mania! Huge sums of money the equivalent of tens or even hundreds of thousands of ponds were spent on single tulip bulbs. In one case, a merchant gave a very large townhouse, six horses, a carriage, 24 cows, 12 barrels of wine and six large cheeses for one bulb!
Indeed one of the first attempts of boom and bust in European history was occasioned by this self same tulip mania in 17th century Holland!
The gift of red tulips, symbolises romantic love, yellow tulips symbolizes happiness, white tulips symbolises an apology, and a bunch of mixed coloured tulips express your opinion that your lover has beautiful, sparkling eyes!
Tulip flowers have a vase life of between three and seven days .In order to ensure that your tulips last for the longest possible time, cut the stems under water, and remove all lower foliage. Also, keep tulips away from fruit and other ethylene producing items.
The word tulip comes from the Turkish word for turban, as it was the Turks who first cultivated the tulip flower in Asia more than a thousand years ago.
Nowadays, of course, it is the Dutch who are the biggest cultivators of tulips. However, they are still grown in the UK, with Lincolnshire being the largest producer – not surprisingly, since the county has a lot of flat land, very similar to the Netherlands.
Tulips are in season from now until the end of April, with the season continuing even into May.
This means that tulip flowers can be used in wedding flower arrangements all through the winter and spring months. We think that flower arrangements of tulips work best if you mass one type of tulip together, as this seems to intensify their shape and colour.
Tulips are very simple flowers with clean, almost minimalist lines. The impact and beauty of tulips is lost if they are mixed with other flowers. Tulips work best alone, or mixed with just one other flower. For example, pure white tulips in a black glass goldfish bowl vase, or dark purple tulips in a mirrored cube would make ideal table centres for a wedding dinner. Tulips also make excellent, economical table centres when they are twisted around the inside of a clear glass goldfish bowl with their leaves removed.
With Christmas fast approaching you may feel as if your ‘to buy for’ list keeps getting longer; and that finding the right gift for everyone can be a challenging task. Our friends at Activity Superstore have released an interesting article on the psychology and history behind gift giving. It looks at how the gifts we choose and the way in which we present them communicates so much about us, our feelings towards the receiver, and the complex social structures within our community.
Why do we give gifts?
Key life events and celebrations such as Christmas, birthdays, weddings or anniversaries stand out as the occasions when we feel most compelled to give gifts. However, there are other underlying reasons for why we might choose to do so.
To build relationships
Presenting a gift to another individual can establish or reinforce relationships. According to French sociologist Marcel Mauss, the act of not gifting or rejecting a gift communicates the dismissal of a relationship.
A way of showing love and commitment
Gifts are used to communicate the feelings someone has towards another person. A great example of this is when a man offers flowers to their partners as they are traditionally thought to symbolise feelings of love.
Ever heard the saying ‘it’s the thought that counts’? Opening a gift may fill you with happiness, or even disappointed if it wasn’t quite what you would’ve wanted, nonetheless; receiving a present makes you feel something. This is because we attach symbolic meaning to the gifts we give and receive.
To receive something in return
In today’s notion of gifting, there’s often an expectation that this offering will be repaid by receiving something in return. However, it’s essential to get this bit right, as gifting too much or too little can cause embarrassment or hurt feelings.
To help others
On the other hand, we give presents with the knowledge that this gesture won’t be reciprocated, such as to children or our pets. Appreciation for the recipient is the biggest motivator in this type of selfless gifting. Another example of this would be donating to charity, which gives us the feel-good factor.
To find a mate
Animals such as Chimpanzees are known to give gifts as part of the mating ritual, and humans are not much different. A study found that males who gift more generously have a higher success rate of attracting mates compared to females who are more likely to buy gifts for family and friends.
Still not sure what to buy your significant other? Use the gift matrix below to help you make the final decision.
Wedding flowers are one of the most important elements of planning your special day. So how do you select the florist who will provide the flowers for your wedding? What questions should you ask?
Here are our tips:
1. Tell the florist about your venue, the number of guests, the general style you want to create, and your ideas about the decor and colour. If you are like most brides and have collected wedding magazines, show them pictures of previous weddings and floristry taken from these magazines.
2. Ask to see a photo portfolio of the florist’s previous work.
3. Inform the florist your budget – they can then advise you on the best way of meeting your needs.
4. Tell them – how many guests / tables, how many bridesmaids, ushers etc
5. The florist should visit the venue with you at least once.
6. Ask the florist :
a) How many weddings / events they will have on the same day as your big day
b) What flowers will be in season
c) Are there any additional costs – delivery, installation, collection, etc?
d) Can the florist supply candelabras, vases, urns etc or do you need to source these items myself?
Make sure the florist is receptive to your ideas, and that you feel comfortable with them. Remember you are trusting them with one of the most important days of your life!
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The Home of Exquisite Flowers
Welcome to our new online flower boutique.
Shop our latest flower collections, including our new and stunning flower hat boxes, bouquets and rose gifts. For an extra special treat, why not add a bottle of champagne, chocolates, a hamper or a candle?
We want to make sending flowers and gifts a simple and pleasant experience. If you have any problems, our friendly team are always available to talk to by phone or email. We want all of our customers to leave feeling happy!