Filling your home with living flowers is one of the quickest ways to bring nature inside for Earth Day, making your space feel graceful and thriving. We can trace our admiration for flora all the way back to the Paleolithic Period, when Neanderthals apparently buried their dead with flowers containing therapeutic properties — a discovery which changed the way we think about Neanderthals today. We use them to express ourselves, to enhance our homes, within our art and tapestries, and to showcase our societal status, to name just a few. So, instead of grabbing just any bouquet of colors that strikes your fancy at the grocery store, you should take into consideration the rich history and uses many flower types have to this day and talk to a local florist about the perfect arrangement.
The symbolism of baby's breath is related to purity of heart and innocence. Though they're often used as a filler flower in bouquets, we think this delicate flora is deserving of its very own arrangement. Plus, they dry really well, so you can have them for as long as you want. If you're a pet owner, you may want to steer clear of Baby's Breath. While they aren't life-threatening, they could make life a little difficult for your pet (and yourself), because they sometimes lead to vomiting.
Poppies signify beauty, pleasure, repose, success, and fantastic extravagance. Egyptians used this flower in their burial rituals, oftentimes enclosing them within tombs.
People associate a happy marriage with peonies, which is why they're often included in bridal bouquets. They symbolize bashfulness, compassion, and are used as an aphrodisiac — which is no surprise considering how amazing they smell.
These bright flowers are associated with sunshine, chivalry, and unrequited love (which is why Morrissey would often perform with daffodils sticking out of his back pocket). They can also mean vanity, normality, and self-esteem. The name of this flower is taken from Narcissus of Greek mythology. In the story, the vain young Narcissus leaned over a pool of water to gaze at his reflection, only to fall in and drown. The very first narcissus bud apparently grew from the spot where he died.
Though pretty, these one are definitely toxic for cats and dogs — especially the bulbs.
The meanings of tulips change depending on what color you're using. Red tulips signify a declaration of love (way more unique than red roses, we think), yellow implies a sunny smile, cream means undying love, and multi-colored ones apparently speak to one's eyes.
Native to Asia, the ranunculus flower implies dazzling charm.
Sometimes symbolizing ultimate perfection, estranged love, and forgetfulness of the past, Chinese medicine uses every part of the lotus flower, from the root to the petal. As the national flower of India, the lotus is known as the sacred water-lily of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Freshness, education, new beginnings, innocence, and feminine beauty. In Japan, the cherry blossom comes to signify life's briefness, because they have a very short bloom period. The falling cherry blossom also symbolizes fallen samurai warriors.
Symbolizing fertility, love, and beauty, the orchid has become one of the most popular type of flora to grow, with some spending top dollar on rare hybrids.
The chrysanthemum is surrounded by stories, most of which give it attributes of joy, perfection, and optimism. Chrysanthemums are the official flower of Chicago, November's birth flower, and the 13th wedding anniversary flower — Japan even celebrates them every year at the Festival of Happiness. If you put a single petal in the bottom of your wine glass, the Japanese believe it will bring a long and healthy life. However, this is another flower you should watch out for if you have dogs and cats at home, since ingesting them can cause a lot of discomfort for your pet. In extreme cases, if the flower is eaten in excess, depression and loss of coordination could develop.
Symbolizing graciousness and strength, the snapdragon can apparently make you seem fascinating to others if you hide the buds on your person — which is probably why it can also mean deception.