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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Making Holiday Clove Oranges

Copyright © 2009-2012

To make a clove orange decoration you'll need:

  • an orange
  • thin coloured ribbon (enough to wrap around your orange twice and a bit more)
  • cloves

Clove Orange Instructions

Step 1.
Wrap the ribbon around the orange, twisting at the base, to divide the orange into quarters.

Step 2.
Feed the ends under the piece of ribbon at the top of the orange.

Step 3.
Tie a simple overhand knot to secure the ribbon in place.

Step 4, 5 & 6.
Now start pressing cloves into your orange. I like to outline the ribbon with cloves first, and then fill in the gaps.

You can also make pretty patterns on your orange with cloves. Try making stars, hearts and more!
Once you are finished, hang the clove orange on your tree by tying it on with the extra ribbon, and enjoy the spicy Christmas aroma!

Alternatively, decorate several oranges (or clementines, mandarins, etc) with cloves and display them in bowls around the house. This will add a beautiful aroma to your rooms at Christmas time, and looks great too!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Decorating The Perfect Christmas Tree

When Christmas comes around, we all look to get the largest and fullest tree to decorate. However, the decorations are ultimately what makes a Christmas tree look fantastic. Here's how to decorate it in a way that looks elegant and professional.

  1. Pick your tree. Some people prefer the look and smell of a real tree, while others like the reliability of a fake one. Other traditional alternatives to "real" options are feather trees and tinsel trees. They can have a lot of old-fashioned charm, but may not work with all decor.
  2. Look at the shape of your tree. When buying a real tree, make sure you see the tree out of its netting. Look for a full tree with evenly spaced branches and a symmetric, tapered shape. Get a tree that still has the tips of its branches intact. A sheared tree is cheaper, but it looks less natural and will have more loose needles, which may cause a mess.
  3. Get a Christmas tree stand. You want to select one with the deepest water reservoir you can find. Make sure the tree is securely wedged into position and only add water after the tree is in place.
  4. Decide on a color scheme. Common color schemes for Christmas include all green, red and gold or red and silver. The color scheme you choose should also complement the color scheme in the room that your tree will be in, such as your front room or living room. You can also consider using non-traditional ornament colors to give your tree an updated look.
  5. Decide on a theme for your tree. This could include something such as angels, nutcrackers or snowflakes. However, this part is of course optional.
  6. Shop for decorations. This includes ornaments, garland, ribbons and beads. You can also purchase different styles of multi-pack ornaments which are the most useful.
  7. Buy coordinating lights. Make sure that do not play music or flash.
    • Either incandescent or LED lights are fine, but get small ones since their purpose should be to accent the ornaments, not be ornaments themselves.
    • Hang the lights from top to bottom, pushing them partway into the branches to hide the cord.
    • Use them sparingly and space them evenly.
  8. Utilize ornaments. Remember that they should enhance and not dominate the tree.
    • If you use tinsel, use sparingly and add each strand separately, making sure each hangs straight down. You could also try metal or glass icicles instead of tinsel.
    • Plain spheres are another traditional, elegant ornament shape.
    • For a truly minimalist look, use only white or silver ornaments. Otherwise, use a simple color scheme or use colors that work well together. 
    • If you use ornaments other than glass balls, find a theme such as birds, antique toys, boating, etc.
    • Ornaments can make a tree individual and personal. A collection might take a few years to acquire, but you can use your imagination.
    • You can even use things that aren’t strictly for the tree. Candy and other treats are a traditional addition and popular with kids. Also try natural objects like pine cones and fruit.
  9. Wrap ribbon around your tree. Mesh ribbon usually works best for this. Make sure to scrunch the ribbon and wrap a branch around that part. Start at the top and work your way down. Make a poof of about 12 to 16 inches and scrunch again, wrapping a branch around it. Go all around the tree.
  10. Finish off your tree with a bow or topper. Make a bow using three different ribbons. When you have made as many loops as you want, tie it off with a chenille stem or a piece of wire. Fluff out your bow by adding streamers to it and tie your bow on to the tree using the chenile stem.
  11. Make the most of your best pieces. To really make a statement about your Christmas tree, start with the most important ornaments by hanging the largest ones first, spacing them evenly apart. You will then want to fill in the spaces with any medium and small sizes to balance the overall look of the tree.
  12. Don’t forget to decorate the bottom of your tree. You can add more depth by hanging ornaments closer to the trunk. Use an interesting variety since there are so many fabulous ornaments for sale now. Be sure to get include ornaments such as icicles, teardrops, squares, triangles. A little variety can really separate your tree from the rest.
    • Place ornaments and other decorations 'inside' your tree as well as on the tips of branches to add depth and fullness.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Making a candy cane Christmas wreath

These Christmas wreaths look good enough to eat! Fortunately, there are more than enough sweets to go around during the holidays.

Candy-Coated Christmas Wreath

You will have visions of sugarplums dancing in your head when you make this sparkling holiday wreath. Assorted miniature fruit, berries, and mint candy canes glisten with a "candy coating" of diamond dust. This evergreen wreath will bring out the child in all of us. 

Here's what you'll need:
  • Small artist's paintbrush
  • 54 pieces artificial fruit on wire picks
  • White craft glue
  • Diamond dust or opalescent glitter
  • 2 stems red berries
  • 2 dozen plastic candy canes
  • Artificial pine wreath, 14 inches
  • Hot glue gun, glue sticks
To construct a Candy-Coated Christmas wreath:

  • Using small artist's paintbrush, coat each piece of fruit with glue. Sprinkle diamond dust over fruit pieces. Repeat process on berries and candy canes. Let dry overnight.

  • Shape evergreen wreath by pulling out and fluffing branches.

  • Twist 3 pieces of different fruit together into a cluster. Place fruit clusters into wreath. Twist stems of fruit into branches. Continue around wreath until it is full.

  • Cut each berry stem into 5 or so pieces; each piece should have about 5 berries. Glue berry stems into wreath. Spread berries throughout wreath.

  • Glue candy canes into wreath at an angle so that they stick out from fruits and berries.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to Make a Duck Tape® Rose

How-To Provided by Duck® Brand 

What's more beautiful than a rose? A rose made of Duck Tape. There's no dirt and no thorns to deal with. Plus, you don't ever have to water it.

Give a hand-made Duck Tape rose to someone special and he or she will be stuck to you like...let's just say it'll be appreciated.

Supplies and Tools
•Duck® brand Duct Tape

Optional Supplies and Tools:
Skill Level
Approximate Crafting Time
20 minutes

Step 1
Take your straw and cover it in tape (lengthwise works the best). This step is completed best if you roll the straw across the tape, sticky-side up.
Step 2
Cut several strips of duct tape - about 2 inches each.
Step 3
Sticky side up, fold one edge over itself, leaving some stickiness on the side and bottom.
Step 4
Take the parallel edge and fold it over, leaving only stickiness on the bottom of the strip.
Step 5
Roll this across tightly; this is your center.
Step 6
Insert the center piece from Step 5 into the top of your straw.
Step 7
Repeating Steps 2-4 with strips of duct tape, loosely bind the strips around the center (these are your petals). Make sure to adhere the petals to the both straw and the center piece from Step 4. Continue until you've reached the desired size.
Step 8
For the leaves under the rose, repeat Steps 2 - 4 with the same color that you used for the stem. Wrap these pieces around the stem at the base of the flower to cover up the tape edge.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Grower Direct Winnipeg

Our flower shop is Winnipeg's finest.  Here Grower Direct we make it our daily mission to make sure that your flower designs are made with care and delivered promptly. Order your flowers online for same day flower delivery anywhere in Winnipeg Manitoba. We specialize in all kinds of floral occasions:
Birthday flowers, Anniversary flowers, Get well flowers, Christmas flowers, Valentines day flowers, Mothers day flowers,Sympathy flowers and Funeral flowers. 

Our shop is dedicated to making your flower shopping experience the best one it could possibly be.  Send flowers with confidence and know that we will do everything possible to ensure that your flowers are fresh, designed beautifully and delivered in a timely manner.   We have been Winnipeg's favorite flower shop for years and look forward to being your florist of choice.  With 15 years of exceptional service and complete customer satisfaction we are the flower shop for you.  We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all our flowers and services. 

In Addition to being Winnipeg's favorite florist for over 15 years we also offer delivery to any place in Canada or the United States with our same day flower delivery guarantee.  We are proud members of FTD and as such are connected by a network or florists all around the world.  We know who all the best florists are around Canada, we deal with them all the time and have forged relationships with only trusted florists.  Calling a florist in a city you are not familiar with can be disappointing as you never know if they are good at what they do.  Here at Grower Direct we only send your flower designs to the most trusted shops we know. 

We hope you choose Grower Direct Winnipeg for all your flower delivery needs as well will do our best to ensure that you are happy with what your flowers said for you when received.  Give us a try and you will not be disappointed. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sympathy Flowers – In the Garden of Peace

Published In The Edmonton Sun - May 2011

Flowers have long been a tradition of symbolism and sympathy at funerals. For centuries, individuals have used flowers to express kindness and compassion to the family of the deceased. However, it was not until the release of the popular hymn, “In the Garden,” composed by C. Austin Miles in 1914, that the idea of the dearly departed coming to rest in a beautiful garden of flowers began to develop. Many funeral homes adopted the concept of an indoor garden as a backdrop for the memorial service and funeral proceedings.

The warmth and spiritual symbolism provided by lovely and fragrant flowers help family and friends to grieve in comfort. Flowers add a delicate sense of beauty and refinement to the service and provide the bereaved with a sense of everlasting rest and beauty. When you send funeral flowers, you are not only expressing your love and support to the family, you are conveying your respect and admiration for the deceased as well. Funeral bouquets and arrangements can symbolize a variety of meanings and expressions, depending upon the types and colors of blooms used.

Colors of Funeral Flowers

The color of flowers you choose for a funeral flower arrangement can be just as important as the type of flowers incorporated into the bouquet. From the deepest red of a fragrant rose to the sunny yellow of a daffodil, each color offers a traditional story of symbolism to convey your respect, love, and admiration to the family, as well as to the departed.

  • Red—Courage, beauty, and admiration are all sentiments that seem to be conveyed with red flowers. This deep and passionate color has long stood as a symbol of highly regarded love and respect.

  • Blue—Blue is most often associated with peacefulness and calm serenity. Funeral flower arrangements containing blue flowers symbolize openness and freedom from anxiety or worry.

  • Pink—Typically associated with women, pink flowers can also serve as a token of respect in funeral bouquets for men. Pink symbolizes gentility, happiness, and grace. It is also a color often associated with youthful joy and innocence.

  • White—White flowers offer feelings of simple beauty, peace, and reverence. Floral arrangements containing white flowers can convey modesty, elegance, and grace.

  • Yellow—Bright and beautiful yellow flowers often express a feeling of joy and friendship. Yellow flowers in a funeral bouquet can convey a message of new beginnings and joyful rest.

  • Orange—Orange flowers stand out to express warmth and compassion. This color is also a symbol of confidence and satisfaction. In funeral flower arrangements, orange flowers might be used to represent a life that was well-lived.

  • Green—Funeral flower arrangements often use greenery to convey a sense of closeness with nature. Foliage or green flowers represent renewal, optimism, and tranquility.

  • Purple—Purple flowers express pride, dignity, and respect. Purple has long been the color associated with royalty, conveying a feeling of admiration and nobility.

Types of Funeral Flowers

From deep red roses to delightfully beautiful irises and lilies, the types of flowers incorporated into funeral flower arrangements can be used to express certain sentiments or messages of hope, love and support. When you find it hard to express your feelings in words, a funeral arrangement filled with an assortment of beautiful blooms can help communicate your thoughts. While a large variety of flowers can be beautifully incorporated into a funeral bouquet, some of the more traditional funeral flowers include lilies, roses, carnations, gladiolus, and iris.

  • Lilies—The lily is perhaps one of the most commonly used flower in funeral arrangements and bouquets. It is often seen as a symbol of restoration of the soul and quiet rest. White lilies are often used to express sympathy and convey a feeling of peace.
  • Roses—Roses are most often used in floral sprays and arrangements provided by the family to rest near the casket. Roses represent admiration, great love, grace, and respect.

  • Carnations—Carnations are also a very popular choice for funeral flower arrangements, as they convey a variety of meanings. A white carnation typically expresses remembrance, while red carnations evoke admiration and respect.

  • Gladiolus—While perhaps not quite as popular as some other types of blooms, gladiolus can be a beautiful addition to a funeral bouquet. Gladiolus represent elegance, strength of character, integrity, and sincerity.

  • Iris—The iris conveys feelings of faith, wisdom, and fearless beauty. In Greek mythology, the goddess of the rainbow was named Iris. She was thought to be responsible for taking the souls of women across the rainbow to the Elysian Fields in death. The iris is often seen as a symbol of deep respect and admiration.

Other Funeral Flowers

While certain colors and types of flowers can be used to express your sentiments and feelings, it is not necessary to use only specific kinds of flowers in funeral bouquets and arrangements. If you happen to know the favorite flower or color of the departed, a floral arrangement using those flowers can convey a beautiful sentiment of remembrance and respect. When words just simply don’t seem to be enough, a beautiful flower arrangement can help you express a sentiment of love.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Flowers of The Month

The Edmonton Sun - June, 2011

Many individuals are aware of their birth stone. However, each month also has at least one flower that has a specific meaning for individuals born during that month.

The carnation is one of January's flowers. The color of the carnation is said to determine the meaning of the individual flower. White carnations are associated with purity, love, and luck. Pink carnations are a symbol of femininity and motherly love. Striped or purple carnations are rarely associated with the birth flowers because purple is linked to impulsive behavior and striped carnations are linked to regret.

The snowdrop is the less common alternate January birth flower. Interestingly, a substance in the snowdrop is used in Alzheimer's treatments.

Enduring faith and wisdom are represented by the iris for those born in February. Irises also come in a variety of colors, but less emphasis is placed on individual meaning for each color.

Violets are popular flowers, partly due to the heart-shaped petals. These plants have many uses, including use as decorations and as food additives.

The primrose, another February flower, grows expansively across open ground and blooms earlier than many of the spring blooming plants.

Daffodils are an ideal birth flower due to their association with beginnings. In some cultures, the additional meaning of rebirth also adds to the daffodil's symbolism.

The alternate birth flower for March, the jonquil, is a variation of the daffodil that has been cultivated to have certain visual differences.

The daisy, more than many other flowers, is associated with childhood and innocence. The different colors represent various meanings, such as playfulness and cheer.

The sweet pea, April’s alternate birth flower, is a resilient climbing plant that begins to bloom during the month of April.

Lilies are associated with many of the aspects of a newborn child, including virtue and sweetness. The white Madonna lily has been associated with the story of the Virgin Mary.

The meaning of the hawthorn, another May birth flower, is attributed to the flower's natural uses. Animals and insects feed on various parts of the flower, which reflects sustenance. Substances derived from the plant have been used to treat illnesses related to the heart, reflecting good health and endurance.

The ever popular rose is one of the June birth flowers. The different colors all possess different meaning, including red for love and white for purity.

Another June flower, honeysuckle, is also associated with love.

Larkspur lacks the seriousness of many birth symbols. It is associated with lightness and playfulness.

The water lily, another July flower, possesses a seed that can remain viable for up to 2,000 years.

The beautiful gladiola symbolizes infatuation. The additional meanings of strength and integrity are also associated with this bold flower, which derives its name from the Latin word for "sword."

The poppy, a resilient flower that is also an August birth flower, stands for fertility, eternal life, and lasting beauty. These flowers are a favorite for everyday occurrences and memorials.

Strength of body, mind, and spirit are linked to the aster. Some cultures have also used the aster to recognize a fallen soldier's bravery.

The morning glory, which blooms in the morning and dies before the next day begins, symbolizes affection.

Like morning glories, marigolds also symbolize affection. Due to the flower’s association with the Virgin Mary, grace and elegance are also portrayed by the morning glory.

Cosmos is a flower linked to harmony, possibly due to the ease of growing the plant and integrating the flower into a garden.

November only has one flower. The flower for November is the chrysanthemum. The flower has been connected to the sun and happiness. Upon blooming, the petals unfold in an orderly fashion, leading some cultures to associate the flower with perfection.

A plant associated with December, as well as with winter in general, is the poinsettia. The poinsettia symbolizes cheer and joy.

Narcissus, another December birth flower, is associated with sweetness and self-esteem.

Holly, a holiday and winter flower, symbolizes happiness in the home and protection from evil spirits.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Flowers And Seniors Study

Published in the Edmonton Sun - April 2011

Sending flowers to cheer someone up when they are depressed, ill or lonely has long been a traditional form of expressing care and concern. Senior citizens perhaps fall into the category of depressed individuals more than any other group of people. Elderly individuals often develop a form of depression connected with memory loss, lack of socialization, illness and other common factors of growing older. Friends and family members of senior citizens often will send flowers to their loved one in an effort to ease their anxiety and unhappiness. Or sometimes just to brighten their day. It wasn’t until recently that researchers at Rutgers University discovered exactly how much of an effect sending flowers can actually have on senior citizens.
The Research
Approximately 100 seniors were selected to participate in the flower study. In an effort to eliminate inadequate results, the participants were not told of the initial reason for the research. The seniors selected for the study were only informed that a research experiment was being conducted for which they had been selected to participate.  The recipients of the flowers were simply told that the bouquets served as a thank you for participating in the study. A series of interviews were conducted throughout the study in order to evaluate the overall health, mood and satisfaction level of the participants.

The initial interview was used to gather baseline information about each individual. Subsequent interviews measured the changes in mood and behavior of the seniors. Once the series of interviews was completed, the participants were asked questions regarding their memory of the flowers they received, their daily social lives and current events. The participants of the study were divided into 4 groups:

1)      The Early Group – This group received flowers after an initial baseline interview. This bouquet was the only one the participants of the group received during the duration of the study.
2)      The Late Group – The participants in this group only received a bouquet of flowers before the last interview.
3)      The All Flowers Group – The seniors in this group received a bouquet of flowers twice during the study.
4)      The No Flowers Group- This group only received flowers after the completion of the study. No flowers were received during the course of the interviews.

The Results
Researchers carefully evaluated the changes in behavior and mood of the participants in conjunction with how often and at what point the participants received flowers during the course of the study. The results concluded that receiving flowers no only decreases depression in seniors, but also has the ability to improve the memory and encourage social interaction!

Seniors who participated in the study showed a marked display of increased satisfaction and happiness when flowers were received. In addition, a substantial percentage of participants exhibited a significant improvement in personal memory and social interaction after they receive flowers. Many of them began to include a larger number of social contacts in their daily lives and demonstrated an overall satisfaction and happiness.

This research conducted by Rutgers University indicates that flowers may play a more significant role in the life of seniors than was first suspected. People who are happier tend to live longer and healthier lives.  I can personally attest to this as I would always bring my Grandma and Grandpa flowers on my weekly visit! I still remember the smile it brought and it is one of my fondest memories! Try it! You won’t regret it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

8 Tried & Tested Ways To Make Flowers Last Longer

It’s a tried-and-true way to keep roses and other cut flowers fresh longer: Put a crushed aspirin in the water before adding your flowers. Other household items that you can put in the water to extend the life of your flower arrangements include: a multivitamin, a teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of salt and baking soda, and even a copper penny. Also, don’t forget to change the vase water every few days.

Freshly cut flowers will stay fresh longer if you add 1/4 teaspoon bleach per quart (1 liter) of vase water. Another popular recipe calls for 3 drops bleach and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 quart (1 liter) water. This will also keep the water from getting cloudy and inhibit the growth of bacteria.

Your posies and other cut flowers will stay fresh longer if you add a copper penny and a cube of sugar to the vase water.

Hair Spray
Just as it preserves your hairstyle, a spritz of hair spray can preserve your cut flowers. Stand a foot away from the bouquet and give them a quick spray, just on the undersides of the leaves and petals.

Don’t throw away those last drops of soda. Pour about 1/4 cup into the water in a vase full of cut flowers. The sugar in the soda will make the blossoms last longer. Note: If you have a clear vase and want the water to remain clear, use a clear soda, like Sprite or 7-Up.

Make your own preservative to keep cut flowers fresh longer. Dissolve 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons white vinegar per quart (liter) of warm water. When you fill the vase, make sure the cut stems are covered by 3-4 inches (7-10 centimeters) of the prepared water. The sugar nourishes the plants, while the vinegar inhibits bacterial growth. You’ll be surprised how long the arrangement stays fresh!

Everyone likes to keep cut flowers around as long as possible, and there are several good methods. One way is to mix 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons sugar with the vase water before adding the flowers. Be sure to change the water (with more vinegar and sugar, of course) every few days to enhance your flowers’ longevity.

The secret to keeping cut flowers looking good as long as possible is to minimize the growth of bacteria in the water and to provide nourishment to replace what the flower would have gotten had it not been cut. Add a few drops of vodka (or any clear spirit) to the vase water for antibacterial action along with 1 teaspoon sugar. Change the water every other day, refreshing the vodka and sugar each time.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Significance Of Easter Lilies And Other Blooms

Published In The Edmonton Sun April 17,2011

Early springtime sunshine often brings with it the glorious fragrance and beauty of nature blossoming upon the world. For centuries, we have associated certain types of flowers with specific meanings and values. We often use flowers as a way to express a particular sentiment of emotion. Easter Lilies and other spring flowers carry with them a significant meaning. Most often, the meaning associated with each flower is embedded in the history, legends, and characteristic qualities of the particular bloom.
Easter Lily

The magnificent white lily known as the Easter Lily has long stood as a symbol of purity, hope, innocence and peace. Also called the Bermuda lily, the Trumpet lily, and Jacob’s Tears, the Easter lily is a biblical flower commonly associated with the resurrection of Christ.

In Christian tradition, the Easter lily signifies rebirth and a new beginning. It is said that beautiful white lilies sprang up in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus wept in the last hours before he was betrayed by Judas. Another legend claims that the white lilies grew from the repentant tears shed by Eve upon her departure from Paradise.
The lily is mentioned frequently throughout the bible and serves today as a beautiful reminder of the significance of the Easter season. Easter lilies grace homes and churches each spring as a symbol of purity, joy, hope and life.
The Crocus

This isn’t found as a cut flower typically, but I had to mention it as it such a magnificent symbol of spring in Edmonton. Often the first flower to appear each spring, written documentation of the crocus dates back as far as 1500 years before Christ. Highly valued in ancient times for its medicinal and herbal properties, the crocus was widely used in a number of ancient festivals and celebrations as a symbol of love and youthful joy.

Legends circling this early spring flower include that of a young and noble shepherd boy named Crocus who fell deeply in love with a sprightly nymph by the name of Smilax. According to this legend, the Gods were so deeply touched by Crocus’ love that they granted him immortal life in the form of a flower.
Another legend tells of the Roman Physician, Valentinus, who was jailed and sentenced to death for practicing Christianity. The blind daughter of the jailer was a patient of the physician. Just before being executed on February 14, 250AD, Valentinus handed the girl a note. Knowing of the healing properties of the flower, Valentinus wrapped a bright yellow Crocus in the message. When the girl opened the note, her sight was restored and she red the words, “From your Valentine”

The daffodil is also commonly referred to as the narcissus. It serves as the symbolic flower for the American Cancer Society, representing hope, bravery and new beginnings. As one of the early flowers of spring, the daffodil beautifully withstands the strong winds and storms of the season. Its sturdy and strong stem holds up through the harsh winds of spring, supporting the bright and vibrant petals of the flower.

According to ancient legend, the daffodil, or narcissus, also can serve as a symbol of unrequited love, vanity and egotism. Greek Mythology tells of a love-stricken wood nymph named Echo who fell hopelessly in love with a young man by the name of Narcissus. The young man was so self-consumed with his own beauty and vanity that he carelessly tossed aside Echo’s attentions. The Gods were angered by Narcissus’ actions and placed a curse upon him causing the young man to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. As he stayed beside his reflection, yearning for his unrequited love, he slowly was turned into a beautiful flower, destined to stare at his reflection forever.

Tulips are seen as a symbol of perfect love, imagination, and wistfulness. Various colors of tulips often carry various meanings. Red tulips are often seen as representing perfect and irresistible love. Yellow tulips signify hopeless love, white tulips symbolize forgiveness, and purple tulips denote royalty and nobility.

Turkish legend tells of a young prince by the name of Farhad who fell desperately in love with the beautiful maiden, Shirin. When Farhad received word that Shirin had been killed, he was so overcome with grief that he rode his horse over the edge of a cliff. Legend claims that a red tulip grew from each droplet of blood.

The tulip is also the flower of the 11
th wedding anniversary. The velvety dark center of the flower is said to symbolize the heart of a passionate lover. In addition to its many other meanings, the tulip also represents grace and elegance.

The beautiful and elegant iris serves as a symbol of wisdom, faith, and valor. It is said that the flower received its name from the Greek goddess of the rainbow. Iris relayed messages from the eye of Heaven to the earth. She also carried the duty of leading the souls of women to the Elysian Fields when they died. Men often planted a single iris on the graves of their beloved as a symbol of their respect. 

The iris is also often used by French and English royalty as a symbol of God’s blessing upon the throne. Legend claims that an angel awarded Clovis, king of the Franks, with a golden iris upon his conversion to Christianity. The flower became a symbol of purity, light, and perfection.