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Learn the Language of Flowers Featuring ITSBYU & East Olivia

May 7, 2019

As Mother's Day is right around the corner, we notice markets, cafes, and homes are fully-blossomed with flowers to make every type of mom smile. Whether it's filled with vibrant colors of summer or deep hues of winter, we love a fresh bouquet to brighten our day. To learn the language of flowers, we tapped our friends ITSBYU, a fun flower arranging kit service that fosters the DIY master within us, and East Olivia a floral maven who’s taken weddings, parties and other special events to the next level. Here’s what they had to say about decoding the art of flower arranging.

flower bouquet

Can you give us a crash course on the language of flowers?

East Olivia: Technically the language of flowers is defined as Floriography and is a means of cryptological communication through the use or arrangement of flowers. For me personally, the way the language of flowers manifests in my work, is for me to really look at floral ingredients and choose something that specifically embodies the personality of the person or brand that I’m shopping or creating for.

Are there meanings to certain colors?

ITSBYU: Red is the traditional color of love and passion. It also signifies courage, strength, and power. Red inspires desire and increased appetites.

Orange is the color of encouragement. It conveys happiness and joy, and a release of inhibitions. It inspires people into action and a positive outlook on life.

Yellow is the color of optimism. It suggests youth, energy, success, and confidence. Yellow is said to stimulate the left side of the brain, and help with decision making.

Pink is the color of sensitivity. It is associated with love, tranquility and femininity. Pink flowers are perfect for mom because pink can be tender and nurturing while conveying a sense of safety and a bit of vulnerability.

Green is the color of growth and health. It's an expression of renewal and life and has a strong association as a refreshing and peaceful color. It evokes feeling of abundance and plenty, and a feeling of rest and security.

Violet is the color of spirituality. It's a color that inspires reflection and self-awareness. It is known as the color of introverts -- sensitive, compassionate, intuitive souls. Violet is also traditionally known as encompassing quality, luxury, and royalty.

Black is the color of mystery. (And, yes, there are flowers that are almost black! See the rare black calla lilies.) Black is formal and sophisticated, sexy and secretive. It signifies power and control.

different colored flowers

Are there certain flowers you suggest for different occasions?

ITSBYU: Traditionally, there are certain flowers that were used for certain occasions, but it seems that we've really moved past this and that our customers are requesting flowers that they just like and are in-season.

For the bride, bouquets with roses, lilies, peonies and other fragrant white blooms are always popular, while bridesmaids carry complimentary bouquets based on the wedding color scheme.

"Get Well" bouquets should be made of bright blooms -- yellow sunflowers, bursting blue delphinium, green mums, orange daisies, and bright-colored roses. Flowers have been proven to help people get better more quickly, so never forget the flowers!

Valentines has traditionally been the red rose, but we're seeing younger generations attracted to wildflowers, the enticing rainbow of ranunculus, and even the eye-popping petals of gerbera daisies.

For dinner parties, we are really crushing on fresh California greens, including different mixes of eucalyptus varietals paired with bright yellow and orange pincushion protea. Of course, a king protea on its own or a couple of queen proteas in a vase makes a lovely, unique statement.

What are some suggested arrangements for Mother’s Day?

East Olivia: For a sophisticated mom who reads Martha Stewart I would do peonies any color, Mother's Day is the perfect time of year as well because they are in season, the most available, beautiful and affordable. For a millennial mom who would be open to something much less traditional I would do a pompous grass bouquet.

ITSBYU: We recommend something fun that you can put together with mom! Our Fresh Garden subscription is always bursting with huge rosy blooms and our special florist training vase makes it easy for anyone to arrange with no prior experience. Many of our subscribers order this kit as an activity to do with their daughters!

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Any tips for arranging flowers? How to determine whether to use a tall or short vase?

East Olivia: First and foremost, cleanliness and being sanitary is everything. Start with a very clean vase using proper flower food and cut the flowers with a sharp clean pair of floral shears for arranging. Insert chicken wire into the vase to help give your arrangement structure. When you’re new and just arranging at home, a tall cylinder vase is a simpler way to arrange since a lower vessel requires a lot more mechanics that require more experience in an education and designing florals.

ITSBYU: The length of your stems depends on the type of vase you’ll be using, so plan ahead. As a general rule, stems should be 1.5 to 2.5 times the height of your vase.

Can you give us some tips for keeping flowers fresh?

East Olivia: Keep the water clean, change the water once a day and pull out any stems as they begin to die.

What are the worst offenders when it comes to pollen?

East Olivia:The worst pollen offenders include chamomile, chrysanthemums, daisies, goldenrod and sunflowers.


flowers with laundress product

When flower arranging gets messy, remove pollen stains with our expert how-to guide here.

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