If you are anything like me, as soon as the clock strikes April, I begin thinking about the poem, “April showers bring May flowers!” While we do not get much rain Arizona during the spring, the cooler temperatures sure have been nice. In the store, we are busy getting ready to stock all the lovely spring flowers that start blooming in April and May.
One of the hallmarks of spring flowers is the daffodil. Daffodils come in a variety of colors besides their famous yellow petals. They also come in white, cream, peach and even pink. Daffodils can be traced back to the early 17th century in the U.K. However, it was not until the later 19th century when they began being farmed for the cut flower industry. Initially, flower girls sold the wild blooms on the side of the road, until a potato farmer came along and realized he could farm them much like his potatoes. That is when he began growing and selling them in bulk using the weekly freighter to send the blooms from Penzance to London on a weekly basis. We are certainly grateful for this farmer as we will enjoy the daffodil season in the next couple of weeks!
I have a lot of favorite flowers, but one of my top three is definitely the tulip! Tulips come in a wide variety of colors and types. The parrot tulip is a great variety that we carry in the store. The parrot tulip has petals that resemble feathers and come in beautiful bold colors. While tulips are often associated with Holland, they actually originated in China! They were introduced into Western society in the 16th century and even led to the first recorded economic bubble burst with a little known event, called “tulip mania.” Tulips became such a hot commodity that their price rose to over ten times the annual salary of an average artist around 1637! They were so sought after that farmers had their planted bulbs stolen right out of their farms. What a wild history our sweet tulips have! Did you also know that tulips continue to grow while they are in water? I have customers come in often with their vase of tulips that have slumped over asking me for help. The stems of the tulips continue to grow in water and often cause them to slink over the vase. All they need is a stem cut and they are back in business!
I’ll admit, there is nothing more beautiful that a big, beautiful peony in full bloom. Peonies are requested nearly everyday (even during the cold winter!) in our store. If peonies were a floral currency, they would be the rare coin that you find in your great grandmother’s coin purse. They only bloom from April to June and the full blooms have an even shorter season for the cut flower industry. The peony dates back to 1000BC in China and did not make its’ way out west until the late 1700’s. During that time, the peony was used primarily for medicine, helping to treat headaches and asthma. To this day, lightly sweetened peony petals are served as a dessert in China. Peonies come in nearly every color, except for blue. Watching the peony fully bloom in the spring and open from a tight ball into a fluffy, colorful flower is truly a gift!
It is evident I could talk about flowers for days and days! I love spring and the flowers they bring with them. Not only do we make beautiful bouquets with the fresh cut blooms, but we also get to learn more about the different varieties and how they are cultivated. There is nothing more cheerful that have a simple vase of fresh cut blooms in your home to wash away the April showers.
Stop in to build your own bouquet of spring flowers soon!