Flowers Have Multiple Uses
Story Telling Deco Flower Arrangement
Purpose of Flowers
Flowers are nature's design for both beauty and function. Flowers add beauty to gardens, fields, wooded areas, adornment in homes and offices, hair adornments, bouquets, and perfumes for women. Flowers also function in nature as food for insects, animals, and human beings, insect repellents, and medicinal use.
The flowers unlimited purpose is to attract various insects such as bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, and bats. The flowers display their brightly colored petals and their sweet scented nectar to attract these pollinators and they in turn will pollinate other plants.
The insects, as well as the bat, gather pollen on their legs or their body as they feast on the nectar. They then fly to another flower and the gathered pollen is stroked against the stamen (male part of the plant) or the pistil (the female part of the plant) and this pollinating process is a direct and efficient method of fertilizing for the production of viable seeds.
No one is certain as to which came first - the flower or the insect. This is similar to the unanswered question of which came first...the chicken or the egg?
Flower petals may be placed in water which becomes a cologne or perfume. The attractive fragrance or aphrodisiac weaves its spell to attract human beings to each other.
Did you know that the beautiful vanilla orchid is used to make vanilla flavoring?
Women will wear flowers in their hair as a jeweled adornment. But in some cultures where the flower is worn sends a message. It is popular knowledge in Hawaii where the natives practice wearing their flower on the left ear to signal that the woman is married and is not available. When the flower is worn on the right ear it signals the onlooker that she is single and available.
The Hawaiians also adorn their hairstyles with small garlands of flowers. No special meanings for these arrangements. However, the traditional headpiece for the bride is a garland of flowers worn on top of her head in the same manner as a wedding veil.
Travelers to Hawaii will hear the word Aloha and are graced with a garland of flowers around their neck. Both the word and the flower garland signify a welcoming greeting.
Indoor Plants Rid Pollutants
Fresh Cut Flowers Are Nature's Air Freshners
The beauty of fresh cut flowers in the home represents the love of beauty and the warm heart of the owner.
Family members with allergy problems help us to become more aware of ridding irritants and pollutants. These allergy causing culprits are found in carpet, furniture, curtains and drapes, paint, varnishes, cleaning solutions, and much more.
The functional use of fresh cut flowers and indoor ornamental plants is to remove pollutants and act as an air freshener.
Examples of flowers which refresh the air with its scent and remove pollutants include:
Indoor ornamental plants such as English ivy, the asparagus fern, the Purple Heart plant, certain variegated wax plants, and the snake plant also help to rid the home of major household pollutants.
Bathtub Garden Container
Flower Decorating Tips
There are many craft ideas which can be done with both fresh and artificial flowers. You can work with the entire stem and its flower or just the flowers.
It is a personal choice as to whether fresh or artificial flowers will be used. The decision depends on the use,cost, and life of the decorating project.
This list contains ideas which you may wish to try:
- Make a potpourri of flower petals, herbs, spices, and essential oils
- Press and frame dried flowers
- Scented water
- Floral bath
- Lip balm
- Wear flowers in your hair
- Decorate food dishes and drinks with flowers
- Craft with dry flowers
- Bathwater petals
- Wreaths for centerpieces, door hangers
I can remember doing a school project in the elementary grades of putting food coloring or ink into water followed by adding a flower into a vase. This was a science project to teach students how water is absorbed into the flower. The end product of colored flower petals was a visual aid in understanding how water is absorbed through the veins of the stem and into the flower.
Today, colored flowers using this same principle have become very popular in adding an artistic twist to flower arrangements.
These are three popular ideas which can be done in the home:
- Mix water and food coloring drops into water. Add flowers and within 24 hours you will have color-tinted blossoms.
- Mix water and florist flower dye in water. Add flowers and within 5-6 hours the tint will be seen in the blossoms. Twenty-four hours later the colors will be very dense and brilliant.
- Purchase water based flower spray. Spray individual flower blossoms or any part of the flower arrangement as you wish.
Flower Preparation Tip:
- Use fresh white or light colored flowers. Darker colored flowers will prove to be more difficult to colorize.
- Remove leaves and cut stem diagonally under water. This will aid the veins in the stem to absorb water.
- Colored flowers will appear quicker in shorter stems than long stems.
- Two-tone coloring can be accomplished by cutting the stem vertically. Place one stem in one color and the other stem into another color. One half of the flower will be one color and the other half will display the other color.
- Use plastic cups to prepare the different tints and wear gloves.
The florist dye and the florist spray will produce richer colors than food coloring. It is a matter of choice. If you like to experiment try different color combinations.
We eat many edible flowers which we think of as vegetables, but in fact, they are flowers.
Do you eat broccoli, artichokes, cauliflower, or okra? These are flowers and they taste pretty good in many of our favorite recipes.
There are many edible flowers which can be added to our meats, side dishes, salads and desserts. It is a matter of how we are programmed in our eating habits.
Have you considered eating rose petals, lavender petals, or society garlic? Did you cringe at the thought of eating these three flowers, if so there may be others you would consider eating.
I have had rosewater on desert in Mediterranean cooking. I have yet to experience lavender petals, but they are next on my list.
In the state of Georgia, I was introduced to fried okra and a dish made of diced tomatoes and okra.
Strawberries and Their Flowers
Many fruits do not produce until after a blossom has bloomed.
This is a small list of fruits which bear after a flower has bloomed on its stem:
- all citrus fruits
- tomatoes and peppers
The concern for fruit gardeners or commercial growers is that if the flower never appears neither does the fruit.
The number one insect pollinators which are placed in fruit groves are the bee hives. It takes thousands of bees to have a productive fruit grove. The flower entices the bee with its pleasant perfume to pollinate it and the bee is rewarded with its sweet nectar for its nourishment.