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What Are Some Uses of Flowers?

Updated on March 11, 2012
Flower garden of the Chateau de Bouges
Flower garden of the Chateau de Bouges | Source

Think of setting your eyes upon something natural, delicate, vibrantly colored or soft-toned in appearance -- some sweet-smelling and others slightly pungent -- and a flower comes to mind. One cannot help to forget everything else when looking at a flower, just for a moment. This is why flowers graciously perform with accentuating flair in any outdoor or indoor setting. So what are some ways flowers are used? Some may be obvious and others may take you by surprise.

In the Landscape

Spreads of green lawns set the stage as neutral backdrops to natural, outdoor settings. But green upon more green added from the shrubbery and trees easily becomes slightly uninteresting and even drab. The addition of flowers, here and there, introduces burst of color, whether soft and subtle or bold and bright. Plant them in the soil or in decorative, outdoor pots. In a line across the front of a row of bushes, in a bed standing on its own, as a focal point garden in the middle of the lawn, or as rings around the base of the ornamental trees -- these are some of the ways flowers are used in the landscape.

Insect Repellent in the Garden

As beautiful and as fragrant as flowers are, some attract insects and others repel them. It is a gardener's favorite to plant marigolds around and throughout a vegetable garden. Lavender, sage, fleabane, geraniums, and hibiscus are some flowers that keep flies, moths, mosquitos and other insects away.

Floral Arrangements - Fresh and Dried

Bring the outdoor, natural beauty of flowers inside with floral arrangements around the house. With the wide array of flower colors, it is easy to assemble arrangements that coordinate with the color scheme of any room. And it is very pleasant to see flowers around the house -- they lighten the soul and seem to make the air smell a little sweeter.

Since many flowers, such as roses, benefit from regular pruning, cutting flowers from the garden gives the house a constant supply of floral decorations, while providing the flower plants with their necessary, regular prunings. So grow your own flowers. Enhance your landscape, patio or windowsill with floral color, and then prune the ones that require pruning by cutting flowers for your home decor.

In Potpourri

Fragrant, cut flowers soon meet their demise, becoming dried, brittle flower remains. The flower's dried petals, leaves and stalks gain a new purpose when used as fragrant potpourri. Make sachets for closets and drawers, fill bowls with the homemade potpourri and sit them in the living room and bathroom. The flowers will give off a subtle fragrance into the room, even during the seasons when flowers do not bloom.

Abutilon pictum (flower lei). Location: Maui, Foodland Pukalani
Abutilon pictum (flower lei). Location: Maui, Foodland Pukalani | Source

As Jewelry

The Famous Lei. Around the world, from Hawaii, to Mexico, to the Philippines and Australia, flowers are worn as symbols of beauty and cultural expressions. Necklaces, hair ornaments and corsages are some ways people use flowers as jewelry. Flowers also inspire jewelry designs in gold, silver, brass, copper, and with precious stones.

Salad with candied walnuts, persimmon slice, cheese, dried cranberries and pansies.
Salad with candied walnuts, persimmon slice, cheese, dried cranberries and pansies. | Source

On a Salad, As a Spice, As a Garnish

Some flowers are edible -- ready to eat on a salad, as part of a dessert and as a garnish to an elegant, flavorful dish. Some flowers impart a sweet, flower taste to the food, while others are slightly pungent, offering more of an herbal infusion. Clover, coriander, chyrsanthemum, chives, day lily, gardenia, fennel, jasmine, lavender, marigold, pansy and okra are some edible flowers that add delightful color and flavor to foods.

Drinking Flower Tea

Fresh and dried flowers with medicinal and aromatic properties make soothing teas to enjoy in the morning, in the afternoon or in the evening. Chamomile, lavender, sage, fennel, dandelion, hibiscus, sorrel and rose are some favorite flower teas.

In Art - Pressed Flowers

As a way to preserve floral beauty, flowers are pressed flat and dried. A flower press uses two boards to sandwich the flower and bolts to tighten the boards together. The most important thing to do when pressing your flowers is to arrange and position them in the best way. It helps to imagine the finished pressed flowers when playing with their positioning. It takes about a week or so to completely press and dry out the flowers.

Use pressed flowers as accents for stationery, wall art, jewelry and sun catchers, or make an educational collection of pressed flowers with each flower's botanical information.

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    • Naima Manal profile imageAUTHOR

      Naima Manal 

      6 years ago from NY

      Thank you, Bedbugabscond. That's a very good idea -- I have the same exact scenario with the tree stump. Accenting it with a pot will certainly give it a country-style flair. I would recommend black-eyed Susan, daisies or echinaceas, etc., since these perennials are pretty hardy and will not suffer from a missed day or two of watering. Thanks a lot!

    • Bedbugabscond profile image

      Melody Trent 

      6 years ago from United States

      You seem very knowledgeable on this topic. We had to chop a tree in the front yard down. It was dying and there was worry it might land on the house, car or a person. We do not have time to pull the stump. So I was thinking about getting a big pot to set on the stump, or maybe a barrel on its side, and then we could plant some flowers in the pot/barrel. What do you think? Any ideas on what flowers to use?

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