Week 1 of Flowers

As mentioned in last week’s blog, the three flowers chosen for this week are Alstroemeria, Bells of Ireland (did you guess it?), and Chrysanthemum.


The cut flower alstroemeria, which we refer to as alstro, is a flower that we always have in stock because of its year round availability. Alstro symbolizes wealth, prosperity, fortune, friendship and devotion; hence, their presence in wedding and seasonal arrangements. Due to it various beautiful colours, It is also ideally used for vase arrangements.

Here is a couple of pretty examples of alstro uses in bridesmaids bouquets and vase arrangement. As you can see, the blue and purple alstros look gorgeous in photograph, which I know is very important to the bride. When choosing flowers, with the price you’re paying, you may want the flowers to have their own highlights in photographs.
The next photo shows the vase arrangement with purple and yellow alstros. Admittedly, it isn’t my favourite, not as much as the blue and purple combination, but yellow is a wonderful colour to brighten any room, and a nice shade of purple is the colour of dream and calmness.


Bells of Ireland / Molucella Laevis

I love the name. Bells of Ireland, the summer flower of prosperity. The molucella laevis is, however, native to Turkey, Syria and Caucasus, and it is known as Canterbury Bells to New Zealanders and Australians. The name ‘Bells of Ireland’ is possibly stemming from its green colour meaning good luck.

Bells of Ireland can be used for either tall or short arrangements, by themselves or combined with other flowers to create a modern floral arrangement. They make wonderful gift to someone who is celebrating a new exciting event. It is also a celebration of life.

The poem that was posted in last week’s post was from Ellen Tilley’s Garden Verses and Vices (1925).


When I first started working at the flower shop, it was difficult to remember all the names of the flowers, and worse were the ones with a name like chrysanthemum. Then a coworker said to go with mums. “Could you get me the mums,” she’d say and I couldn’t help but giggled at the name.

Chrysanthemum is actually an umbrella term for the species in the family Astaeraceae. Mums bloom in various forms, varieties, shapes, and colours. Perhaps you have heard of “King’s Pleasure,” “Whiteout,” and “Kermit” without knowing they are species of mums, and neither did I until my little research.

You can see how alluring they are alone or combined with other flowers! As you know, each colour has its own meaning and you can use it as a guide when gifting mums. For example, red is the colour of romance and desire; white is for truth and purity; and and yellow is for friendship and good health. Also, mums are November birth flower so if you know someone whose birthday is in November, ask your florist to include mums in the arrangement. They’ll realize how special they are to you!
Interestingly, mums are the “Gift of Death” in Italy. The author of the blog Anita’s Italy suggests travelers to avoid gifting mums when they’re in Italy. How true is that?! This shows how the use and meaning of flowers are significantly affected by cultures. A quick Google search can show you that it is the opposite in Vietnam. Whereas in Italy mums are a gift of death, in Vietnam mums (hoa cúc) are popular during the Lunar Festival (Tết).
Next week we will go through three more flowers that are in “A Book of Flowers”. Here’s a hint for one of the three flowers:
“But when soft hours on breezy pinions move,
And smiling Mary attunes her lute to love,
Each wanton beauty, trick’d in all her grace,
Shakes the bright dew-drops from her blushing face,
In gay undress displays her rival charms,
And calls her wondering lovers to her arms.”
See you next week!
Hope you enjoyed reading this post.

~~ Quyên Ngô

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