Love and Flowers, The Miracle of

As a flower shop owner, you have a unique opportunity to be a part of people’s most emotionally significant life experiences. We give flowers to celebrate the birth of a child, to grieve the loss of a parent, and to commemorate many important events in between. There is nothing quite like the experience of receiving a bouquet of bright, colorful flowers chosen with love. And no other gift compares when it comes to expressing such a wide range of human emotions.

But have you ever stopped to consider the practice of giving flowers as a gift? How did the tradition start? What is behind its incredible staying power? What is it about flowers that draws us in so deeply? What is it that melts our hearts?

Figure out the answers to these questions and your customers will see you as a trusted advisor and expert in the industry. Here’s a brief crash-course:

History of flower gifting

For thousands of years, people have been giving flowers as a gift. Archaeologists and historians have found evidence of flowers being incorporated into social customs dating back to ancient China, Greece, Rome, and Egypt. In these civilizations, it was customary to offer flowers to deities during religious ceremonies and to crown people of notoriety with wreaths of blossoms or greenery.

During the 19th century, a perfect storm of factors led to a mini-Renaissance in the art of giving flowers: the court at Constantinople in Ottoman Turkey, apparently had an obsession with tulips; there was an increasing interest in botany throughout Europe; and discussing one’s feelings was considered impolite. Especially in Victorian England, all of this resulted in the popularization of giving gifts of blooms, plants, and specific floral arrangements as a means of subtly communicating one’s feelings toward others. Victorians often exchanged small “talking bouquets,” called nosegays or tussie-mussies, which could be worn or carried as a fashion accessory. The tradition of giving flowers arrived in the United States through European travelers around the same time.

The language of love and flowers (Floriography)

Since flowers were used during the Victorian Era as a primary means of communicating emotions, Victorians came up with many elaborate rules about flower etiquette and cataloged the rules in floral dictionaries. For example, while giving red roses then, as now, was considered a symbol of love, giving red roses upside down, symbolized anger.

Floriography, or the language of flowers, was quite the craze throughout Europe and in the US during the late 1800’s. But the language of flowers is still alive and well today.

In the Dutch flower market in particular, there are many varieties, which are understood to have specific meanings:

  • Tulips: The simple grace of these classic Dutch flowers, has come to represent perfect, enduring love between partners or family members, as well as, undying passionate love (whether the passion is spurned or returned). Different colors of tulips also have different meanings; for example, purple tulips are often associated with royalty and prosperity.
  • Freesia: Freesias are known for their delicate and dainty blooms. They symbolize innocence, thoughtfulness, trust, friendship, and sweetness.
  • Calla Lily: Not technically part of the lily family, these can be given either as cut flowers for bouquets or as living potted plants. Callas symbolize magnificent and overwhelming beauty, in classic Victorian floriography. They are also often associated with overcoming challenges, since the cut flowers can start regrowing in a vase and survive frosts.

Although we are now freer than ever before in human history to express our feelings toward others, it is still a lot of fun to learn about the different meanings attached to different varieties of flowers. And taking the symbolism into consideration when choosing which types of flowers to give takes an already thoughtful gift to the next level.

FMI Farms is here to help you learn to speak the language of flowers. All of the above varieties of Dutch flowers can be ordered online through the Webshop at FMI Farms. Our helpful flower wholesale experts can help you choose the wholesale flowers that work best for your customer base.

Marketing Tips

flowers and love, flower shop

As a busy florist, it might not be immediately obvious how reading up on the history of flower giving and learning the meanings of different varieties will make flowers fly off your shelves. But it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t just sell flowers. You sell the experience of giving the perfect gift. In this context, any information you can provide your customers will only enhance their experience.

So how can you apply this advice to your business without spending a ton of time and money on marketing?

Here are a few easy tips that even busy florists can try:

  1. Start a blog discussing the history of giving flowers as gifts.
  2. Send flowers to a blogger with a blurb about your shop’s history attached.
  3. Run a contest or promotion related to the language of flowers via email or on Facebook.
  4. Design, print, and display cards explaining what different flower varieties symbolize.
  5. Partner with a local hair salon or tuxedo shop to do a promotion (e.g., give away a free flower with a card explaining its meaning).

There are other ways to incorporate love and flowers:

  • Write a poem about flowers and love
  • Fill out meaningful card messages when sending flowers
  • Find the perfect romance flower

Combining these marketing tips with a wholesale flower stock that is exactly where it needs to be, will get you the positive selling results you are looking for. Using the latest in science and technology, FMI guarantees your shelves are stocked with all varieties of high-quality wholesale flowers. Our online flower shop puts the power of ordering at your fingertips 24/7. Try it today or contact us and our customer service team will be happy to help you set-up your account and locate a flower shop near you!

With FMI Farms, you deliver way more than love and flowers. You deliver joy, sympathy, a healing touch.

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