Friday, February 02, 2007

Flowers in everyday life

In modern times, people have sought ways to cultivate, buy, wear, or just be around flowers and blooming plants, partly because of their agreeable smell. Around the world, florists sell flowers for a wide range of events and functions that, cumulatively, encompass one's lifetime:

For new births or Christenings

As a corsage or boutonniere to be worn at social functions or for holidays
For wedding flowers for the bridal party, and decorations for the hall
As brightening decorations within the home
As a gift of remembrance for bon voyage parties, welcome home parties, and "thinking of you" gifts

For funeral flowers and flowers for the grieving

Florists depend on an entire network of commercial growers and shippers to support this trade. To get flowers that are out of season in their country, florists contact wholesalers who have direct connections with growers in other countries to provide those flowers.

Flowers as symbols

Many flowers have important symbolic meanings in Western culture. The practice of assigning meanings to flowers is known as floriography. Some of the more common examples include:

Red roses are given as a symbol of love, beauty, and passion.
Poppies are a symbol of consolation in time of death. In the UK, Australia and Canada, red poppies are worn to commemorate soldiers who have died in times of war.
Irises/Lily are used in burials as a symbol referring to "resurrection/life". It is also assosiated with stars (sun) and its petals blooming/shining.
Daisies are a symbol of innocence.

Flowers within art are also representative of the female genitalia, as seen in the works of artists such as Georgia O'Keefe, Imogene Cunningham, and Judy Chicago.