When a flower-worthy occasion arises, it's usually equally as important as it is last minute.
You want to send a thoughtful bunch, but choosing the perfect fleurs for the occasion can be tricky, especially if your knowledge of flowers isn't great, or the person you're sending them to doesn't have a favourite bouquet.
To make the process more meaningful and less stressful, we asked Cheralyn Darcey, the author of Flowerpaedia, a new A-Z reference guide of flowers and their meanings, to give us the lowdown on which flowers are fitting for every circumstance.
When your friend just landed her dream job
"Amaryllis are wonderful flowers to give your best friend when she lands her dream job," says Darcey. "Their open trumpet-shaped petals, facing all directions help spread the good news. They mean long-held dreams and goals achieved, and indicate recognition which will show your pride in your friend’s success."
When you want to thank someone for a job well done
"Select Bluebells," says Darcey. "They will ring-out your happiness and pleasure with what the person has done, with their little bell shaped flowers. Traditionally they mean appreciation and gratitude, so will ensure the person knows they are valued."
When it's Mother's Day
"Chrysanthemums in all their hues will convey your love, appreciation and happy wishes for your Mum, they even call out to her in their name," Darcey points out. "It is no surprise that they are so popular for Mother’s Day and really are a great choice. White Chrysanthemums, in particular, will say that you will keep your promises made to Mum and that you think she is sweet."
When a friend is grieving
"A small bunch or a single plant of Daffodil will say that you are hoping for them," explains Darcey. "These little bright yellow flower heads clearly say 'hope' and 'renewal' and although it may be difficult right now, that sun will shine once more. Importantly, Daffodil also mean respect which is something those going through grief need to feel."
When it's Valentine's Day and you want to cheer up a recently-single friend
"If you have a friend you want to cheer up after becoming recently single, give her a bunch of Dahlias," says Darcey. "They say 'you can do this' and offer dignity and a boost in confidence. These gorgeous flowers show your encouragement of your friend if they feel challenged at this time and also offer some inner strength."
When you just want to brighten someone's day
"Who cannot be charmed and delighted with a bunch of Daisies? If you want to brighten someone’s day then select these fun and happy flowers. They mean playfulness and also protection which could be important if someone is feeling a little challenged or gloomy. Daisy will also say 'I support you' and offer calmness."
When you want to impress the in-laws for the first time
"Ginger Lilies offer warm feelings and tension relief while saying that others are loved. All ginger related flowers also indicate courage and determination; qualities you may feel need a little bit of additional support during this perhaps challenging time."
When you just want to brighten up the house
"Heliconia will brighten your house with just their bright coloured and exotic nature, but they also mean sunshine and adoration and can infuse your home with a really uplifting feeling," says Darcey. "Interestingly, Heliconia indicate the realisation of ideas, so if you are looking to revamp your living space in any way, these flowers could help inspire you."
When your friend has a baby
"Lilies are perfect for your bestie when she has a baby, with their welcoming spring perfume indicating new beginnings. They actually do mean motherhood and long-lasting relationships and unions, things I’m sure you would like to wish upon the new family. Lily also say 'I’m proud of you', something all new Mums need to hear."
When a loved one is going through a hard time
"Nasturtiums say that you believe that they can succeed and also offer the opportunity of down-time should they wish it with you, as they also mean ‘let’s have some fun’. Nasturtiums are very hardy and versatile flowers (they even make a great salad addition) and so pass on these attributes to the receiver."
When you're invited to dinner but don't want to bring a bottle of wine
"Orchids in all their forms mean individuality and uniqueness, and are an excellent choice when invited to dinner and you don’t want to bring a bottle of wine. They also speak of self-assurance so can help with any hesitancy, you may have as well. People are generally fond of orchids as they mean ‘rare beauty’ and ‘enchantment’, things which draw them in."
When you want to apologise
"Saying sorry is best done with Pink Roses," says Darcey. "These gentle and delicate blossoms say clearly and genuinely 'I am sorry' and they also indicate grace which is very helpful in approaching someone you have wronged. Pink Roses also say friendship, and this will help in the restoration of any trusts broken in a relationship."
When a friend or relative is sick
"Sunflowers are one of the best flowers to give friends or relatives who are sick because along with the rest of their meanings, those warm, sunny faces will bring happiness and positivity," says Darcey. "They say ‘get well’ and also wish confidence and strength upon those who receive them so can really help with healing."
When you just want to do something nice for yourself
"Sweet Peas are a beautiful way to do something nice for yourself as they not only mean ‘you are beautiful’ they will fill your surrounds with a divine and pampering inducing perfume. Sweet Peas invoke harmony, comfort and can even inspire good luck to fall upon you. A great pick-me-up flower which offer all things good and protecting."
Originally published on Harpers Bazaar Online by Meg Bellemore, April 2017.
Meg Bellemore – 26 April, 2017