The Fairytale Magic of Flowers

Flowers have a unique and heightened ability among plants to enchant their beholder. Some people might even consider this draw to be a kind of magic, and that magic has two sides: the natural wonder and beauty of flowers, as well as the poetic meaning and sensibility, the symbolic power and ability to inspire art, love, serenity, elation.

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The feelings flowers inspire are unique to every person. Though we can enjoy flowers together, in elegant arrangements and flowerpots, vases set out on countertops, or while on a walk or hike in nature with friends or our partner, the experience is ultimately an individual one. Still, we try to describe and convey the intangible, share with others why and how certain blossoms make us feel the way we do; or why this particular flower reminds us of him or her, or makes us more connected to that special someone. And when it comes to the words in poems or stories, professional authors, amateur writers and lovers throughout the ages have always tried to invoke the powerful image and beauty of flowers, to harness some of their magic.

Flowers24Hours also tries to bring some of that flower magic into their London flower shop, whether it is in the flower design, online gift delivery, or some of our flowers as gifts. And as a London florist specializing in flower delivery, we know that people can become quite busy inside a metropolis, distracted, irritated, lose sight of what is important. Often something as simple and thoughtful as a paper-wrapped bouquet or a rose in a box can plant the seed of appreciation, which ultimately blooms into gratitude.

What is the magic of flowers?

Though there are two sides to a flower’s power—the marvelous fact that it is alive, delicate, beautiful; and its poetic import, an ability to touch and inspire—there are, in fact, many forms its magic can take. In other words, a flower has several different kinds of allure. It even depends on who—or what—you are. For bees and butterflies, it is the flower’s sweet nectar, and the bright, vibrant colours and varied shades of its petals which many insects specially sense and recognize as sources of food.

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For human beings, it is less a question of survival than the aesthetic pleasure gained from flowers, and stimulation of a number of senses. Smell is one of the most powerful of the five senses, as the center for smell is located deep inside brain. Memories associated with smell are often strongest. Accordingly, the fragrance of a flower—especially the subtle perfumed scents of wisteria, lilies, sweet peas, gardenias and good old fashion garden roses—has the power to still our busy minds, while at the same time evoking powerful, even visceral, memories.

Our sense of sight allows for the variation in shape, color and hue of a flower, which connotes different moods and deeper meaning. Imagine the white rose (purity), the robust and flushed colour of a rhododrendron (strength), small and delicately shaped lilies (sensitivity), or the even the jagged edge of a nettle’s leaves (defiance). Last but not least, there is touch: the undeniable feel of stem and silken petals, the weight of a lilting flower head, or catching a flower bouquet at a wedding.

Though somewhat less tangible than any of the five senses, there is also the feeling of gratification we get from sending flowers or having flowers delivered for special occasions. The mirror side of the act of sending flowers is the gratitude a friend or loved one feels when they receive them.

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All of literature is steeped in the imagery of flowers. A veritable field of poppies or meadow full of daffodils can be “planted” inside the pages of a book, creating different moods or presenting subtext, underlying messages, within the story. That’s how powerful flowers can be, even just the ideas of them.

But even before the written word, the art of oral storytelling often employed the symbolic meaning and beauty of flowers, entwined with the weight of associated gods and myths and long-standing traditions. This was particularly true—and still is—of fairytales and children’s stories, many of which were subsequently recorded or adapted to the page.

One of the most famous gardens in the history of fairytales is that of the Old Woman in Hans Christen Andersen’s The Snow Queen. It presents, perhaps, an interesting lesson. The flowerbeds are full of blooming roses, boisterous tiger lilies, convolvulus, bright snowdrops, hyacinth and ranunculus. And in this garden, with such fantastic odours and eye-catching blooms, the flowers can actually speak! Though this might seem a little too literal, like many fairytales actually are, the implied meaning is closely linked to the real world we ourselves live in: that the flowers we love, through fragrance and touch and sight, can “speak” or communicate with anyone who takes the time to enjoy them.

The Fairytale Magic of Flowers was last modified: April 11th, 2016 by Todd

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