Flowers & History!
Ever notice how flowers can be found at every type of event in every part of the world? Funerals, births, birthdays and weddings alike all use natural flowers as a way to comfort, spread cheer, and celebrate!
It is believed that the Ancient Egyptians were the first civilization to use flower arrangements in ritual. According to Wikipedia, "floral design" dates back to 2500 BCE , the Egyptians were the first to actually place cut flowers in vases. Two favorites among the Ancient Egyptians were narcissus and the lotus lower often found in burial tombs. They also used hyacinth, delphinium and aemones as a way to honor the dead and bring comfort to mourners.
In Ancient Greek Culture, flowers were often used in more ceremonial ways. The Ancient Greeks often used wreaths and garlands more so than vase arrangements. They used floral wreaths to adorn soldiers and award athletes in the Olympic games. Popular flowers among the Ancient Greeks included marigolds, honeysuckle, tulips, hyacinth and larkspur. They also used parsley, oakleaves and laurel in many of their wreaths and garlands, just as we do today.
The most honored flower in Ancient China was the Peony flower. It was thought to be "The king of flowers"... and it "symbolized wealth, good fortune and high status." Also popular in Ancient China were daisies, carnations, cypress, and orchids. It is said the the cone shape design- still used today in many flower shops - can be traced back to the Byzantine Empire. Which quite literally makes the cone shaped shaped design Ancient!
The idea of floral arranging didn't reach Europe until around 1000 CE, although flowers and foliage were used mainly in the decoration of foods and in churches, flowers and plants began to grow in popularity after the crusaders returned from the Middle East. No culture seemed to embrace flowers and floral arrangements as much as the European Culture. Many beautiful forms of design came out of the Middle Ages. Among my personal favorites are the Nosegay and Tussie Mussie handhelds from the Gregorian period (AD 1714 to AD 1760). These soft fragrant bouquets were often used to mask the foul odors of a society that avoided bathing. Nosegays & Tussie Mussies are still used today in wedding ceremony.
I find it fascinating how flowers in all their natural beauty are still adorning and comforting our world, they bring joy to the sick, comfort and congratulate. Flowers add beauty, style, and charm to any environment, with their vibrant colors and soft scents, flowers are still used for nearly every occasion.
Just for fun,have a look at this flower chart and the meanings. You might be surprised. Enjoy.