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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Buying Funeral Flowers

Elaborate flower bouquets are the traditional funeral gift.  They fill the funeral parlor with beautiful blooms but the gift is short lived.  More often than not, when the funeral is over the flowers are donated to local hospitals or nursing homes.  While this is an honorable ending for the flowers it doesn't offer much to the bereaved family.
 
An alternate choice is to give the gift of flowers that will live on, carrying the memory of the deceased for years to come.  Perennial flower baskets that can later be planted provide blooms for the funeral and they can be planted as a memorial garden afterwards, either at the cemetery or at the homes of the family members. 
 
Ideally there should be enough perennial flowers for each family member to take one home.  You might coordinate your efforts with others to ensure that every family member gets a memory flower.  It may take a little extra effort to choose the right flowers but providing the family with memory flowers will help soften the loss.  Memory flowers are a gift that will forever honor their loved one.
 
You can choose from a number of perennials that are commonly used in funeral arrangements.  Hydrangeas are always a popular choice with their showy flowers of pink, blue or white.  Go with a traditional variety or look for an unusual variant such as the Oakleaf Hydrangea or the Variegated Hydrangea. 
 
Roses offer another possibility.  You can never go wrong with a gift of roses.  You might buy three different colors, setting all three pots inside of a big basket and covering them with a decorative moss to hide the pots.  Tie a big ribbon on the handle, add a card and you're good to go.
 
Both roses and hydrangeas offer colors that can be combined for military veterans.  Three plants using any combination of roses and hydrangeas for a red, white and blue flower arrangement would make an ideal funeral gift.
 
Chrysanthemums in the fall offer a mound of vivid colors in choices of yellow, orange, red, purple, magenta and white flowers.  If you know the favorite color of the deceased you might try matching it with the blooms.  You can also choose colors that are favored by the family members.
 
Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) are another hardy perennial with big yellow flowers and a raised brown center.  In full bloom they offer a splash of sunshine to brighten anyone's day.
 
Canna lilies or any showy variety of lily would be suitable for a funeral gift basket.  Astilbes can be used as a colorful, feathery backdrop of red, pink, lavender or white and ferns in a pot can be added to simulate ferns in a cut flower bouquet.  The possibilities are endless as any hardy perennial with big, bright flowers can be offered as a funeral gift. 
 
Another benefit is that perennial flowers will be appreciated by family members who don't live near the cemetery and cannot regularly visit the gravesite.  The flowers can be taken home and planted as a memorial of honor in their own backyard.  Give the gift of a perennial flower basket that will forever carry the memories with a garden of blooms.

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