In Victorian times, each flower communicated some sort of sentiment much like they do today. Sending someone a floral bouquet with the hope that they love it and want to display it in their home or workplace is the intention of most givers. Sending something fresh and colorful to a loved one or friend on a birthday, anniversary or holiday is a customary practice in many parts of the world particularly the United States.
Flowers have been the focus of celebrations around the world for centuries. Known for their beauty and healing properties, they’ve been used to flavor foods, enhance perfumes and cosmetics, adorn hair, and decorate homes and gardens. Whenever someone wants to send well wishes, they select a floral arrangement and card to send to a family member, friend, neighbor or co-worker.
If you love the look of fresh flowers and want to enjoy them longer, you’re in luck. The following ‘hacks’ make it easy to keep your arrangement looking its best for as long as possible. Follow the tips listed here for better bouquet management.
Here are five flower hacks you’ll be excited to try out for yourself:
- Make your own plant food using common household ingredients. Grab the lemon, sugar, and bleach to mix together and add it to a vase filled with warm water. It’s a quick way to keep your flower arrangement looking as good as the day you received it.
- Take the last remaining buds and place them in a decorative tea cup. Don’t forget to place the saucer underneath it. Make colors tie together by selecting a cup in a similar color scheme as your arrangement.
- Misting your flowers keeps them looking fabulous longer. Flowers draw their water a few different ways. It’s not only through the stems. A light mist now and then keeps flowers fresh longer.
- Fruit and flowers don’t mix. Keep the two apart. Fruit emits a gas called ethylene which causes flowers to wilt quickly. If you don’t want that to happen, keep your bouquet far away from the fruit bowl.
- Keep flowers away from appliances and other sources of heat. The bouquet dehydrates quickly which causes the flowers to wilt quickly. Although direct sunlight seems best, it’s not. As with artificial heat sources, natural heat dries out petals fast.
Now that you know how to protect your bouquet from wilting, you’ll enjoy the floral arrangement even more going forward. Place your gift in a visible location in your home or office away from high traffic areas where it might get knocked over. Also, keep it away from a sunny window and fruit as the objective is to keep your flowers looking great as long as possible.
Flowers are the theme of many festivals around the nation. If you’re looking for something to do while you travel, you may want to look into traveling to one of the destinations on the list. A flower festival offers a fun and fragrant experience for people of all ages.
Portland Rose Festival
It may rain a lot in Portland but it helps roses blossom and grow into the beautiful flowers that they are. The Portland Rose Festival saw over 2 million attendees in over a hundred years and highlights the heritage of the Pacific Northwest. One of the most popular attractions at the event is the Grand Floral Parade. An IFEA World Festival & Event City, the Oregon city received recognition for making a difference as a community by serving its people well.
Cherry Blossom Festival
The nation’s capital serves as the backdrop for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Taking place in spring, the two-week event celebrates spring and commemorates Tokyo Mayor Yuko Ozaki’s gift of 3,000 cherry trees in 1912. People from all over the world travel to Washington, D.C. to take part in the celebration which offers Japanese performances, food, arts, and crafts.
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
Taking place in mid-March through mid-May at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, this festival is perfect for adults and children. From themed displays, interactive play areas for children, and the well-loved Flower Power Concert series, guests are thoroughly entertained by all things flower and garden-related.
A Sampling of What’s Offered
The three festivals listed above serve as a sampling of what to expect from flower and garden events nationwide. Each offers its visitors the chance to get to see, smell, and experience beautiful flowers in a new and exciting way.
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, and lasts for eight days. We at The Flower Factory wish all who celebrate each miraculous moment of this festive and meaningful holiday, a Chag Sameach (Happy Holiday).
In Israel during the 2nd century BCE, at the time of the Second Holy Temple, the Syrian-Greek regime outlawed Jewish observance (circumcision, Torah study, etc.). Many Jews – called Hellenists – encouraged this approach.
Having been Led by Matisyahu, and later his son Judah the Maccabee, a small band of pious Jews in the Judean hills led guerrilla warfare against the Syrian-Greek army.
The brave Maccabees recaptured the Holy Temple from the Greeks and re-dedicated it on the 25th of Kislev. The Hebrew word Hanukkah means ‘dedication’.
The first thing the Maccabees did was light the golden menorah. They found only one jar of oil, but it burned miraculously for eight days.
Today we light a menorah for eight days to publicize this miracle and to be inspired by its message.
The menorah can be any size, and made of any material. All eight candles (except the Shamash) should be at the same height, and preferably in a straight line.
How many Candles?
One candle is added each of the eight nights – plus the extra helper candle called the “Shamash”.
Hanukkah is celebrated 8 days even through the miracle of the oil was really only 7 (the first day’s light shouldn’t count – it’s natural) to teach us that everything in the ‘natural’ world is really a miracle. Nothing happens without God willing it.
Where to light?
To publicize the miracle, many light the menorah outside their front doorway. Otherwise, the menorah should be lit in a window facing the street.
What to light?
The candles must be big enough to burn at least 30 minutes. Many use olive oil, to recall the original miracle in the Temple.
How to light?
- Light the Shamash
- Recite the blessings
- Use the Shamash to light the Hanukkah candles.
When to light?
The first opportunity to light is at nightfall. Many wait until later, when all the members of the household are present.
In Ashkenazi tradition, each person lights his own menorah. Sefardi tradition is one menorah per family.
Two blessings are said with the Shamash already lit, but immediately prior to lighting the Hanukkah candles.
- Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe. Who sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah light.
- Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe. Who made miracles for our forefathers, in those days at this season.
A third blessing is said on the first night only:
- Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the universe. Who kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.
After lighting, families enjoy sitting in the menorah’s glow while singing Maoz Tzur (“Rock of Ages”).
The word Hanukkah means dedication. That’s what it takes to launch a war against a superpower, and light a single flask of oil that can’t possibly last enough time. With enough dedication and commitment, God creates miracles.
To Praise and Give Thanks: On Hanukkah we add “Al Ha’nisim” – a paragraph giving thanks for the Hanukkah miracle – to the Amidah prayer and to Grace After Meals. Hallel is also said during morning services.
Hanukkah is a time to appreciate all we have to be thankful for. By publicizing the Hanukkah miracle, we express our “thanks-giving” to God for protecting us and providing for our needs.
Dreidel: A favorite Hanukkah game is spinning the dreidel, a four-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side: nun, gimmel, hey, shin – “A Great Miracle Happened There.”
Donuts: To commemorate the miracle of the oil, there is a custom to eat “oily” foods like potato latkes and sufganiyot (donuts). Around 17.5 million donuts are eaten in Israel during Hanukkah.
There is no significance to giving gifts during the holiday. But there is a tradition to give gelt (money) to give kids an incentive to learn Torah (Hanukkah, also comes from the Hebrew word “hinuch” education).
Why not- as guests leave, have a vase of loose flowers by the door and invite them to take one home as a gift. Remember, you should choose flowers that will last 8 days at a minimum without wilting. An even better idea is to send a different bouquet or gift each day of Hanukkah with our truly original arrangements and gift items for the Festival of Lights.
We at The Flower Factory, would love to custom design for you, a festive arrangement featuring flowers in the traditional Hanukkah blue and white – perfect for a centerpiece or to greet guests on a table in the foyer. We recommend our Miracle’s Light™ Hanukkah Bouquet or the Joyful Inspirations™ Bouquet by Vera Wang, two of the beautiful creations we can make for you today.
Veterans Day honors ALL American Veterans, for their loyal service to their country. We at The Flower Factory would like to show our true appreciation to our American Soldiers with a detailed timeline of the events of The Great War from 1914-1919.
July 23 – Austria-Hungary makes demands on Serbia for retribution. Serbia does not meet demands.
July 28 – Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. Russia begins mobilizing its troops.
September 5 to 12 – The advancing German army is stopped before Paris by the British and French at the First Battle of the Marne. The Germans dig in and four years of trench warfare begins.
October 19 to November 22 – The Allies defeat the Germans at the First Battle of Ypres.
December 24 – An unofficial truce is declared between the two sides at Christmas.
February 4 – The Germans begin to use submarines against Allied merchant ships around the island of Britain.
April 22 – Poison gas first used by Germans in attack on Canadians at Ypres, Belgium. April 25 – The Allies attack the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Gallipoli. This campaign will last over eight months and will end as a victory for the Ottomans and the retreat of the Allies. May 7 – The Lusitania, a luxury British passenger ship, is sunk by a German submarine. 1,195 civilians were killed. This act sparks international outrage and contributes to the United States joining the war against Germany.
February 21 – The Battle of Verdun begins between France and Germany. This battle will last until December of 1916 and will finally result in a French victory. February 25 – Fort Douaumont falls to Germans in Verdun battle.
July 1 – The Battle of the Somme begins. Over 1 million soldiers will be wounded or killed.
January 19 – The British intercept the Zimmerman Telegram in which Germany tries to convince Mexico to join the war. This will result in the United States declaring war on Germany. March 8 – The Russian Revolution begins. Tsar Nicholas II is removed from power on March 15.
April 6 – The United States enters the war, declaring war on Germany.
January 8 – President Woodrow Wilson issues his “Fourteen Points” for peace and an end to the war. March 21 – Germany launches the Spring Offensive hoping to defeat the Allies before reinforcements from the United States can be deployed.
July 15 – The Second Battle of the Marne begins. This battle will end on August 6 as a decisive victory for the Allies. November 1 – Americans breakthrough German Defenses at Meuse. November 11 – Germany agrees to an armistice and the fighting comes to an end at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month.
June 28 – The Treaty of Versailles is signed by Germany and World War I comes to an end.
The Flower Factory wants to thank all of our servicemen who have served, or are currently serving honorably. We encourage all of our friends to take some time this November 11, to say ‘thank you’ to a soldier or veteran you may know or one that you might see. A simple ‘thank you for your service’ are actually five words they truly appreciate hearing.