C is for Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums. The hardy, long lasting flowers favoured by nans, garage forecourts and funeral florists the world over. In recent years chrysanthemums have gained a bad reputation, with customers frequently requesting bouquets with ‘no chrysanths, and no carnations’, however as a huge chrysanthemum apologist, and a firm believer that every flower has its place, I have been on a crusade to change opinions about the humble blooms.
Chrysanthemums were first cultivated from wild blossoms in China as early as the 15th century and the flower is known as one of the Four Gentleman in Chinese culture, reflecting its symbolic importance in artwork. In Japan the flower symbolises the Emperor’s family, and in the Victorian tradition of floriography was used to express friendship, and concern for another’s need for rest (something almost everyone can identify with in the modern world). To this day, a bunch of yellow or cream blooms is sure to bring a smile to anyone in need of cheering up.
The flower itself is grown as a spray, with multiple heads per stem and in a huge variety of colours and styles, and as a bloom, with one large head per stem. Typical vase life can be upwards of two weeks, a factor which has contributed to its considerable use in low cost, mass produced bouquets.
As a result of attending one of the many flower shows we exhibit at as a company we were introduced to the National Chrysanthemum Society, and invited to attend their annual show. The variety of blooms on display at this event was simply breathtaking, and opened up our eyes as florists to the potential uses of the flower in our own design work. Through this visit we were able to secure British grown chrysanthemums from a multi RHS Chelsea Gold Medal grower, who grows his award winning blooms very close to one of our shops. We are delighted to be able to use such high quality, British grown flowers in our bouquets, nationwide flower boxes and exhibition work, and even featured them in our RHS Chelsea stand design.
On our Instagram page there is a highlight dedicated to chrysanthemums, and below are the blooms we are currently able to stock and sell. We often sell three blooms in a simple wrap, tied with some stems of eucalyptus for a striking, long lasting and excellent value arrangement for the home and have found a huge increase in their popularity in recent months, thanks in no small part to the hard work of our British grower and florists.