Flowering plants have existed for many millions of years, and they have captured the human imagination for their beauty and potential for symbolism. Many nations, cultures, and kingdoms around the world have used flowers as official symbols, from chrysanthemum thrones to the Red Rose and White Rose feud of late Medieval England (also known as the War of the Roses). But flowers are more than royal symbols; they are beloved for their beauty and fragrance, and in both times past and today, they make for excellent gifts and decorations alike. Floral arrangements are common for particular events such as weddings, where they add cheer, and funerals, where they are tributes to the deceased and may soften the somber tone of a funeral or wake. What is more, floral arrangements are easy to come by, since florists can be found all across the United States. Florists big and small may have pre-made, expertly designed floral arrangements on hand for customers, and they can make floral deliveries by truck for any event. What is there to know about floral arrangements today?
The Size of the Flower Industry
Flowers are not edible like many useful plants are, but they are excellent for decoration and personal gifts, as mentioned above, leading to a robust florist industry today. Estimates say that the overall floral industry in the United States brings in $7 billion in revenue each year, and this industry grew 0.6% from 2009 to 2014, as a recent example. This industry employs just over 90,000 Americans, and they may be working for any of the 36,600 floral businesses across the nation today. In fact, in 17th century Holland, tulip bulbs were in fact more popular and expensive than gold for a time, given both the beauty and short lifetime of those flowers.
Many studies show what sort of events call for floral arrangement or flower bouquets, and many Americans have responded to surveys about flowers. Nearly everyone, 99% of Americans, say that a person who gives flowers as a gift is thoughtful, and 86% of women say that getting flowers as gifts makes them feel special. Women in particular like getting flowers as gifts, and 92% of them report that they can remember the last time they received some as a gift. Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day are two flower-heavy holidays, and $1.9 billion worth of flowers are bought across the United States on Mother’s Day. Meanwhile, many flowers are also bought for Valentine’s Day, and not just red roses, the standard symbol of romantic love. During this holiday, 73% of flowers are purchased by men getting them for their girlfriends or wives, and in fact 14% of women will buy flower arrangements and send those floral arrangements to themselves.
Some other occasions call for flowers, too. When a person moves into a new house, especially women or a man-woman couple, a floral arrangement may be given as a house-warming gift, easily placed in a vase or jar to put on display in that new residence. A college graduate, in particular young women, may get flowers as a gift to commemorate that achievement. Finally, flowers may make an appearance at a high school senior prom, where boutonnieres may be found.
Flowers as Decoration
It is clear that flowers are excellent gifts as bouquets or in vases, but they can also be used on a large scale. A wedding is a fine place for flowers, and a florist may be contacted to supply a great deal of flowers for the reception and ceremony alike. For example, all the tables at the reception meal (lunch or dinner) may have decorations ranging from the linens to a vase of jar of flowers. The types of flowers used, and their colors, may be based on the wedding’s overall color schematic or theme, which is typically at the bride and groom’s discretion.
Flowers are also used at funerals. Often, bouquets are laid at tombstones or on caskets as a tribute to the deceased, whether recently deceased or during a visit years later. During the wake, flowers may be arranged to soften the somber tone of the event and cheer up the attendees. Here too, a local florist may be contacted to deliver all the flowers ahead of time.