Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Pain of Loss Is To Be Embraced

Hi there, it’s Ken Bolt from Brant Florist and everyone has reason to grieve at one time or another. It’s part of life. Usually it’s a loved one; perhaps a father, mother, child, pet, friend, or sibling. Other times it’s a trusted colleague, a beloved leader, or a celebrity you’ve found connection with. Grief is a powerful emotion that is as human as love, hate, fear, and any other. We all experience it.

As a florist, arrangements for those who are grieving someone’s death are often the most touching, personal, and powerful flower arrangements that we make. Of all the occasions we create flower arrangements for, grief is the one we are most likely to impact the most.

Weeping Lilies Arrangement

Weeping Lilies Arrangement

I once had a widow appear in my shop just days after her husband’s funeral, for which we’d done the arrangements. She’d come in to settle the bill and spoke to me a sentence that I will never forget. “When I saw the flowers around Howard, I knew that they contained his spirit and that through their beauty, he was watching and grieving his loss as we were grieving ours.”

Once in a while, even though you do not know the person for whom you’re working and skillfully arranging flowers, you will be the instrument that touches them in a way that changes hearts forever. It’s a responsibility, even a burden, but it’s one of the most rewarding things we can do. Everyone touches others in a special way.

Until next time,

Ken Bolt
http://BrantFlorist.com

+1-877-545-5535 (Toll-free voice in the U.S. and Canada)
+1-905-639-7001 (Outside the U.S. and Canada)

The Serviceman and the Gerbera

Hi there, it’s Ken Bolt from Brant Florist and years ago, in the 1980s, I was manning the counter at the shop and going about the daily business of things. The door opened and a distraught-looking young man, no more than twenty or thereabouts, came rushing in. He wore the uniform of the Navy and appeared to have only recently come ashore, still carrying his sea bag. His uniform was disheveled and his cap was askew, probably from carrying the heavy-looking bag through the streets, and he was breathing somewhat heavily. He’d obviously been running.

I asked how I could help him and he blurted a disconnected story about a girl, his three month absence from her, rumours of her finding another, and something about a dirty rat. He wanted flowers that would solve his love issues, obviously, and assumed I’d have a magic arrangement potion to cure everything as soon as it was presented.

I chuckled. It didn’t seem like so long ago that I’d been the desperate young man hoping to woo the best girl despite my obvious inadequacies and her being so far out of my league. I told the young man to set down his bag and have a chair so we could talk. “The best flowers are those that not only delight through their look, but appeal because they came from the heart,” I intoned. Most florists have something similar that they say to calm the desperate and get them to take a breather before deciding on an arrangement.

The ensuing conversation taught me a lot about not only this young man, whom I’d never met before, but also the power of the flower arrangement. The story was simple and not exactly original: he’d left on only marginal terms with the girl, after a slight spat, and been gone for about three months. In the mean time, he’d written several letters with no response. Once he put ashore, he heard an immediate rumour that she was seeing another guy. Now he was here with me hoping I could fix it for him.

He told me about his favourite girl, what she was like, how he saw her, and all the dreamy things young people say about one another when love has taken its hold. As we talked, I arranged some gerbera in a simple, straight-forward arrangement that had nothing splashy about it and bespoke pure simplicity of emotion. I presented it to him and he noticed it for the first time.

Fiesta Gerbera

Fiesta Gerbera

“No roses?” he asked, dubiously.

“No. Roses are too much for this. You need more subtlety. Gerbera are the way to go.”

He accepted my advice and left with the flowers. The next day, the same young man, this time in street attire, and a beautiful girl with a lovely smile walked into the shop. It turns out, the girl he had been after was indeed seeing another, but her twin sister, upon answering the door and being mistaken for the other, had accepted the flowers and then things had sort of, well, done what they do between young folks. A few years later, I heard about their wedding and knew that things had worked out in that way they always seem to do.

Until next time,

Ken Bolt

http://BrantFlorist.com

+1-877-545-5535 (Toll-free voice in the U.S. and Canada)
+1-905-639-7001 (Outside the U.S. and Canada)

Red Roses – Deep Meaning, Ancient Roots

Hi there, it’s Ken Bolt from Brant Florist it’s almost universally understood that red roses mean love and romance. They are the traditional Valentine’s Day gift between lovers and will pack every florists shop from February 1 until after the holiday.

The meanings and symbolism behind red roses, however, are deep-rooted and ancient. For centuries of human history, the red petals of the rose have sparked relationships and spoken passion and desire.

Red itself is a profound colour of emotion. In the West, it is a colour that signifies both danger and love – two things that aren’t always separate. Both the Greeks and the Romans gave special significance to the red rose particularly, tying it in with their goddesses of love. During banquets commemorating goddesses like Aphrodite and Venus, red roses would festoon the temples and the petals of flowers would cover the floors. Rose petals would also be put into the drinks and were thought to be aphrodisiacs for the occasion of lovers.

During Roman times, it became common for peasants to raise roses to give as tribute to their rulers, especially the emperor. Later, roses were often used to pay debts to sovereigns due to their association with wealth and power. The common hobby garden of roses didn’t leave the rich’s purview until the 19th century.

Rose petals

Rose petals

The tradition of giving flowers as gifts between friends and lovers, however, didn’t really come about until the Middle Ages, when lovers began to give them as tokens of affection. A Swedish King popularized the idea of sending flowers when he used them to send messages in the 1700s, copying from the Persian use of flowers as messenger’s tools to keep the enemy from understanding the true message. For the Swede, obviously, the reasons were less tactical.

Today, the mixture of the Swedish tradition, the Roman and Greek meanings, and the modern proclivity for things of beauty have all come together. The ultimate expression of these is through the gift of red roses for Valentine’s Day (or any other day) to tell a lover your feelings towards them.

In fact, roses have gone beyond this with colours tilting the rainbow and signifying all types of meaning to those who send and receive them. There are over 100 species of rose and the name itself comes from the Latin ‘rosa.’

Whatever your occasion or whatever the reason, giving a single or a full bouquet of roses is the best way to signify meaning and devotion to your chosen one.

Until next time,

Ken Bolt
BrantFlorist.com