The earth awakens and we get to see nature burst back into life and with it our senses. The soundtrack of spring is music to my ears, birds, wildlife, the waters moves, the skies change about practising all weathers. Little lambs, hares, blossoms, and spring flowers!
We start to see the fruition of the darker, colder days in growth and renewal. We see it in our British Flowers .
I love how flowers connect me to even slight shifts in our environment, they reflect what’s going on in the world. Take, right now a global pandemic, so many factors are affecting the flowers we are seeing. Spring flowers got us through the lockdown but the flower industry is a good place to start to understand the impacts locally and globally for not just the economy but people and their wellbeing.
The impact of how we treat our environment, we see in the weather , in the earth and then in flowers. See! Oh, this is a whole other blog but my point being how Spring Flowers feel so important in my heart right now, how they carried me/ us through and provided connection at a time we so needed it and still do. Spring Flowers – and @pipley flowers thank you because you helped us get through and change and adapt, whilst not compromising our ethos.
A time for rebirth, renewal of growth, green shoots and a thousand and one other clichés. The word “spring” has several meanings. It is to suddenly jump upwards or forwards, a natural source of water, a fitment in a chair or bed and of course it is also the season between winter and summer.
Lots about movement – Spring is. How we change and adapt, how we can be resilient. Take steps forward, even if we go backwards a bit too…that’s okay. All springs teach us that.
It teaches us patience and gives us excitement and teasers of what’s around the corner … you feel trickles of all the seasons in the flowers, and that’s what I love about spring flowers.
Some Spring British Flowers we might have in stock are as follows below, I’ve added a few meanings but like I’ve said before that’s some other blogging… the magic qualities of flowers … well that’s my heart and that’s a lot to spill in one go.
Bluebells– said to mean humility or gratitude. They can also represent everlasting love. It is believed that you can use a bluebell to call fairies, and you should not pick them because it brings bad luck to your home. Bluebells are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act, so they can’t be picked with the purpose of selling them.
Crocus– youthfulness, cheerfulness.
Daphne, Forsythia, Hellebore
Hyacinth– Pink hyacinths mean ‘playful joy’ which really reflects the essence of spring.
Leucojum (spring snowflake)
Narcissi – The gift of daffodils means ‘you are the only one’ and is believed to bring happiness..
Primrose– The primrose symbolises not being able to live without a partner, and is usually related to young love.
Snowdrop– hope, rebirth, purity and consolation
Soloman’s seal, Violets
Allium – means unity and patience, and is often given to someone who is seen as flawless and elegant, making it the ideal choice for brides-to-be.
Anemone, Apple Blossom, Antirhinum
Bluebells, Cherry Blossom, Daffodil
Dicentra , Freesia , Fritileria , Hyacinth
Iris– Royalty, faith, hope, wisdom
Lilacs– symbolise renewal and confidence which is why they are often given as graduation gifts
Lily of the Valley , Lupin
Narcissi , Ornithogalum
Spring Festivals & Rituals
Beltane…. May Day
Beltane honours spring at its peak and looks forward to the beginning of summer. Beltane to me is really a flower celebration. It’s a time I especially feel very blessed to be doing life with flowers and try to show gratitude for that . . . By showing off the amazing flower energy available. Celebrate flowers,nature, our connection to nature.
It marks the return of fertility to the land when livestock would have been put out to pasture, celebrating the new life that will emerge as the seasons transition.
The word ‘Beltane’ originates from the Celtic God ‘Bel’, which means ‘bright one’, and the Gaelic word ‘teine’, meaning ‘fire’. A festival of passion and light, and for us flowers.
More to come on Beltane but I just wanted you to know now how important I think spring is for flowers, and the energy we can draw from them.xx
After the lushious riot of color in autumn with it’s clear, brisk days, the quiet of winter sneaks upon us. The winter is a perfect time to start closely studying nature. It is easier simply because there is less stuff around. Fewer birds, fewer trees with leaves, just less going on. And sometimes we just need less going on to feel like we can enjoy the moment .
Nature in winter is a time of struggle and beauty. I think this is the same for people in Winter time. It’s harder to see the beauty of the winter but when you do see and feel it, it gets through, right down deep into you. It pierces the very darkest places with light.
There are less flowers available but what there is deserves your deep attention.
And the evergreen and dried materials are still abundant, and you get to add in the odd dried fruit slice, berries, pine cones.
There is no better time than Winter, to bring nature inside the heart- the home. Having flowers inside at Winter reminds me of growth even… if not especially in the dark, and of the life cycle. They make me feel warmer, safer… seen. Okay, I’m bias.
Here are some of the British flowers and foliage stocked by us in the winter…
I’ve put a few meanings in… not all though, and it teasers if this and that.
Anemones… The beautiful Anemone, I love anemones in bouquets and as a bunch of just them. The color range, the shape, how sensitive they are. They symbolise ‘I would like to be with you’, expectancy, consideration and honesty.
Amarylis/Hippeastrum– The amaryllis symbolises pride and enchanting beauty, and marks friendship and affection. I feel like the Amaryllis keeps us warm in the colder months. Just one in a vase with a little foliage. A deep red one. Oh, my heart. The goosebumps.
Evergreens – continuity of life, symbols of immortality, since they are the only trees to stay green when all the others lost their leaves, they are a reminder of the things that remain constant.
Heather– wellbeing, protection, health, good fortune, and hope.
Holly– protection and good luck
Ivy– marriage, faithfulness, healing… of the heart, friendship.
Mistletoe– peace and happiness
The ancient Greeks, Druids, Celts, and Norse revered mistletoe as sacred, having traditions regarding its collection and use for protection, blessing, and medicine. According to some Christmas customs, believed to have originated with Norse legends, couples who meet under hanging mistletoe are obliged to kiss, plucking a single white berry from the bush until the final berry is removed.
Pines– peace, healing, life cycle, love and joy
The Winter Solstice signals the beginning of the winter season. It occurs every year on December 21 or 22. The ancients knew that the winter solstice was the longest night of the year—and that meant that the sun was beginning its long journey back towards earth. It was a time of celebration, and for rejoicing in the knowledge that soon, the warm days of spring would return, and the dormant earth would come back to life. On this one day, the sun stands still in the sky, and everyone on earth knows that change is coming.
After the solstice, the days will start to get longer, and as the old adage says,”When the days lengthen, the cold strengthens.”
The sun begins its climb toward summer and each day brings us one day closer to spring… the struggle and the beauty of winter!
I will blog nearer winter about some flower rituals you can do for Winter Solstice and the Yule time period
Ahhh, but let’s not rush to winter too much yet, these blogs are about how it’s British Flower Week but also how we stock locally grown flowers most of the year round. Gosh, there is always more to say, always …
As the summer comes to an end we find ourselves in the golden, and flame hues of Autumn.
I love Autumn…I love it for all it’s deepness of colour, all it’s textures, the way you can smell the ends of summer. I love the collecting, the harvesting and the drying of natural materials. There are less flowers but what there is, is still plentiful and full. I love that there are seed heads, leaves, fruits and grasses and pops of flame coloured flowers to work alongside. I love the feasting of Autumn, the sharing out of what we have, the way the light and dark meet and everything shimmers. Flowers at this time of year remind us of what has been in the light, and prepares us for the darker days… they make a heart feel cosy. . .
We will continue to stock British, locally grown and ethically sourced flowers throughout Autumn, and below are some we might have in.. this is not the full list!
Here is another point of perfect balance on the journey through the Wheel of the Year, its counterpart being Ostara or the Spring Equinox.
Night and day are again of equal length and in perfect equilibrium – dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But we are again on the cusp of transition and from now the year now begins to wane and from this moment darkness begins to defeat the light. The cycle of the natural world is moving towards completion, the Sun’s power is waning and from now on the nights grow longer and the days are shorter and cooler. The sap of trees returns back to their roots deep in the earth, changing the green of summer to the fire of autumn, to the flaming reds, oranges and golds. We are returning to the dark from whence we came..
I love making an autumn harvest altar abundant in leaves, twigs, flowers, hips, dried herbs, seed heads, candles, scent, that runs through from Sept to Nov, adding, taking away and layering to reflect all the nature around us but also keeping the light going into the dark. I like to share it, add foods to it, feast from it, and use it to focus my energies in preparation for winter…
Like most growing living things, British grown flowers are affected by the seasons, the weather, everything… and that’s what we love too… xxx
At Floriography we believe each season possesses its own unique beauty, energy and of course flowers, and flower energy. There is no season, even the very depths of winter that doesn’t bring us treasures of the heart in the form of flowers, herbs and foliage.
We are constantly surrounded by growth, by movement, by life that nature provides us. It is all there to be guided by, held by, comforted by. I believe that the closer we are to nature, more specially for us ‘flowers’, the more connected we are to each other.
And that’s why at Floriography we use seasonal, and local flowers, we want you to feel what is being given to us by nature, to connect more deeply with the landscapes, and the earth around you… to feel the flower energy, to experience the full strength of nature, and it’s many offerings. I want you to start seeing and naming the flowers out and about. I want you to notice, to let the flower love in. It keeps me sane (ish), that’s biggg! We want you to look, touch, smell, hear the flowers and let your senses come alive, and to know that experience is real, it exists around you, all these flowers, right now, today, are growing somewhere near you. That’s a special feeling if you let it in.
Each day this week I’m going to cover a season, it’s flower power, a few meanings and a few flowery rituals …
Below are Flowers that we often stock in the Summer, and a few meanings. but remember colour and everything impacts upon that but that’s several more blogs. Also keep in mind what we have might differ, it can change a bit cause it’s nature! Plus we also stock more than what is on the list.
Alstroemeria– devotion and friendship
Astilbe– patience and dedication towards a beloved one.
Astrantia– star…’you are a star’
Brodiea – Triplet lilies- calming and stillness
Campanula– gratitude, humility and everlasting love
Cornflower– hope for the future, the beauty of the life cycle.
Delphinium- cheerfulness, goodwill, joy and protection. Also to remember a loved one no longer with us.
Forget me Not– true love, faithfulness, and memories .
Foxglove– both healing and hurting… like intense love!
Freesia– thoughtfulness, innocence, purity and friendship.
Gladioli– strength and integrity
Iris– messenger to heaven, faith, and hope.
Lavender– purity, silence, grace and calmness.
Lilac– love, passion and spirituality
Lily – humility, innocence and the departing of a soul.
Lupin– admiration, imagination and happiness
Peony– romance, good fortune, compassion and bashfulness.
Poppy – sleep, peace and death.
Ranunculus– attractiveness and charm…
Rose– all the different kinds of love, fertility and beauty.
Scented pinks– love and affection, the flower of God’s.
Statice – Remembrance and Gratitude
Stocks – contented existence, and a happy life.
Sweet Pea– delicate pleasure, goodbye and thank you for the time we had .
Sweet Williams -Strength, Bravery, Home
Alstroemeria, Astrantia, Cornflower
Calendula– sunshine and fire, creativity and passion
Cosmos– wholeness, beauty and passion
Dahlia– elegance, internal strength, change, warning, and grace.
Eryngium– independence and attraction
Fever Few– healing and protection
Godetia– Enthusiasm and charm
Larkspur– strong bond of love, attachment,and an open heart.
Mallow– home, roots, spiritual conection, health and protection.
Nigella – ‘Love in the Mist’- perplexity, openness to love, and kiss me
Phlox– sweet dreams,unity, and harmony
Salvia– healing, wisdom, integrity and esteem.
Scabious– love, purity and peace
Sunflower -loyalty, adoration, longevity and joy
Sweet Pea, Sweet William
Verbena– healing, creativity and happiness
Zinnia– endurance, lasting friendship and goodness
What is the Summer Solstice?
On the 21st June in the Northern Hemisphere the sun reaches its northernmost point in the sky, reaching the height of its power. The longest day and shortest night of the year occur on this date, marking the beginning of summer, and is known as Summer Solstice, or Midsummer.
The term ‘solstice’ is derived from the Latin words for “sun standing still”, and refers to the point at which the sun’s visual trajectory north or south across the horizon comes to a halt. Summer Solstice celebrates the abundance of the earth, at a time when nature is ripe, flourishing with offerings of life. It’s a time to express gratitude for the life-giving sustenance the sun provides and all that it manifests. It is a dual celebration, honouring the LIGHT of the Sun, as well as the beginning of a new cycle of decreasing daylight as the sun begins its journey southward. From now on the hours of sunlight will decrease each day, connecting us once again to the inner world.
The longest day brings to us the blessing of more LIGHT, but as we celebrate our dependence on the physical sun, we must not forget to honour the spiritual fire within each and every one of us. It is symbolic of the light of our consciousness shining more brightly in our awareness, and fires up our passions and reminds us to live by our hearts.
The energies of nature have by now reached their highest point; the earth bursting forth an abundance of fruit, vegetables, flowers and plants – ripe and ready for the picking. Just as the rampant fresh growth exists on earth, the same occurs within our own inner worlds. Nature offers a wonderful reflection to our own lives, if only we learn to tune into it’s rhythms. Summer solstice is a time to experience the fullness of our own expressive and expansive selves, to reach our full potential as we open up to unbridled creative flow, and take outward action towards manifesting our dreams. Celebrate all of your achievements and honour who you are right now, and take stock of who you are becoming. Just as nature overflows in abundance, so can we, so Midsummer is a fertile time for raising our energies and receptivity to abundance. How can we do this? By doing something symbolic to honour this time, and most importantly by dancing in the spirit of celebration. I offer some celebratory ideas below to help you connect to the energies of the Solstice with flowers..
They are a wonderful way of expressing gratitude for the bounty of life, and to honour the LIGHT of the Sun, and also the LIGHT within you.
Mandala’s are particularly powerful because the symbolism of the circle represents eternity, the ever spinning wheel of the year and wholeness. A mandala is also a sacred vessel; a container of energy that can be filled with intention
HEALING: for self, others, the planet
PEACE: inner peace, world peace
MANIFESTATION: of something specific like a new job, home or relationship. Or a certain quality such as more love, harmony or fulfilment in your life.
Making a mandala is a wonderful way to connect to nature, grounding and earthing you to Mother Earth. It can be a really mindful exercise too; focusing your mind on the present moment, and releasing gratitude for what you do have.
Here are some photos of mandalas we have made
Use natural materials you are drawn too,and just feel the order and chaos within you meet and feel okay… if you need a starting idea start here. Gather or buy some yellow and orange flowers and make a SUN MANDALA offering on the Earth. Pick the petals off and arrange them in circular patterns. The act of creating something beautiful and full of energy is a healing act. As you do it, infuse it with your prayers/thoughts and hold a vision of peace for our planet.
A really lush way to spend Summer Solstice is creating, and wearing garlands or crowns of flowers in your hair
The flower crown making and wearing process definitely gives me a deeper connection to nature, to me it feels magical when I wear flowers.
Flowers that symbolise Summer Solstice: Brightly-coloured flowers, particularly yellow, golden, orange and red hues.
Daisies: These wonderfully uplifting and joyful flowers are the epitome of Summer, and are symbolic of the innocence of youth, as they will imbue your summer days with that light, fresh feeling. This clean, bright flower is an icon for love too. so why not make a daisy-chain and offer as a friendship bracelet, necklace or crown to a loved one as a symbol of your love.
Sunflowers: ‘The sunflower has long been associated with solar energy, and summer months because it’s bright head looks like our own bright cosmic sun. What’s more, the sunflower is physically drawn to the light of the sun. It moves its head to follow the rising and setting sun.’
Achillea– healing of the heart,
Agapanthus – lasting love, I love you
And all of these are also still found into late summer
As part of British Flowers Week 15th – 21st June 2020, we are encouraging you to create British Flowers Week Windows, or arrangements, in your homes or places of work; preferably where passers-by can enjoy them. This can be as simple as a single stem, a handpicked bunch, a drawing or anything you like. There is an official website you can check out for ideas including flower cut-outs and pressed flower guides to dress your window https://www.britishflowersweek.com/. We can deliver Stems , bouquets or other styles of arrangements to your doorstep to assist, simply go to our online order form Make an Order . We would love to see what you create! Please share your photos with us of your British Flowers Week Window, or floral arrangement on social media using #BritishFlowersweek #floriographybyvera and like and share our post to be entered into our Floriography British flowers week competition.
Each day this week Vera will be talking about the different seasons of flowers which you can read either from the blog page on the websiteor on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/floriographybyvera/, we look forward to seeing your flower window displays.
Many of you are aware that non essential shops can open again next week, as long as they follow a set of guidelines and government set legislation. After a lot of feeling, thinking, and reflecting together, we won’t be opening Floriography as a walk in shop. It doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel like that makes sense to reopen as a ‘shop’, this isn’t all over and won’t be for some time, and for us it’s highlighted so much about society that we do not want to engage with, or propel.
We are not prepared to forget what has happened and drive forward in a way, that only thinks of economy. This is a social crisis marathon, and we have signed up with our hearts to be in it for the long haul, to keep finding ways to be about the flower love and the fight for equality. We aren’t going to be driven by this government, and we are not going to sacrifice the lives of many so we can just get on with what we do. We are going to make changes, adapt and resist being part of an economy driven society. We do what we do cause we love it. We love people. We want equality and we need time, energy and some money to make sure we do not compromise our beliefs. We are going to keep that flower love and energy coming at you.
We are going to continue using the beautiful 154 Wells Road as our flower studio/ flower heart and keep spreading the flower love in the community, and all across Bristol from there. We are doing this six days of the week, it’s free delivery within a mile, and you can order our seasonal healing bouquets or a selection of stems chosen by us to be creative with yourself online Make an Order, by phone, or by visiting Floriography and outside you will find order forms that you can fill in and put through letterbox (pigeonhole coming soon).
The website has and continues to be updated and improved (thank you Emma), remember we do things very organically, always learning as we go, and always want your feedback. We would love it if you would check out our website www.floriographybycera.co.uk and give it a share if you like it, and our flower love.
In time, there will be options of greeting cards, natural products,healing and gift add ons, if you would like anything in the meantime just get in touch. I will also be getting back to blogging. I have a lot to say, and I hope we can find ways of sharing and interacting.
We plan to continue with events for the community, celebrations of nature, workshops, little gatherings, and healing in the future, as we work out what is safe but what is needed for well-being and connection too. We very much intend to bring you all the flower love and energy, in fact more, and at grassroots level where it really matters.
We will put a little selection of our flowers and plants at the lush Fox and West flower power station.
We have been loving being able to bring you even more flower love through the flowers. It has in fact meant deeper connection and more focus on the communication and healing qualities of flowers for us but for you too. It means I am able to create more intensely and passionately which I love, and it means we as a little flower family have the potential to send and give time, support and energy to the people and things we really believe in. I will for example be out and about more, and in and around the community. I plan to invite you to join me on zone A, or at Arnos Vale for social distanced tea drinking from flasks and chats about flowers, life and death and everything in-between. I hope we will be able to bring you things as a community, that we haven’t quite got to or got lost in the running of a ‘shop’, come on guys a ‘shop’ isn’t me…. It doesn’t even fit in my heart like that .
We would like to express our eternal gratitude for all of the support that you have and continue to give Floriography. We have a cheeky additional request of you, if you are a Floriography supporter, love our flowers and believe in what we do, please would you tell other people about us, word of mouth speaks volumes. Share photos and post our website please.
As usual if you have any questions, pm me, phone me, catch me for a chat… please just trust in your hearts that you will see and feel that flower energy and love from us as much, if not more.