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Send Tulips to Bitcoin-Crazed Friends Before the Bubble Bursts

February 1, 2018
Send Tulips to Bitcoin-Crazed Friends Before the Bubble Bursts | A Better Florist

Don’t let your friends get caught up in the Bitcoin bubble. They’ll lose big when it bursts.

What does a flower and a coin have in common? At one point in history, their prices have both artificially skyrocketed due to frenzied trading, with many people buying into ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes.

The Bitcoin bubble may not have burst yet, but many of these get-rich-quick seem suspect for good reason. Unlike an investment in a company, where a valuation is at least in part based on current or potential future earnings, the price of these crypto currencies is determined by speculation, and market forces that most crypto-investors don’t understand! Many financial experts are drawing comparisons between this current cryptocurrency craze and the Dutch Tulip Bubble, and warning of a similarly dramatic crash.

1630’s Dutch Tulip Mania is the first documented speculative bubble in history. The exponential rise of prices and the hype surrounding the commodity culminated in a catastrophic collapse. So, the next time your crypto-crazed friends try to rope you into investing on Bitcoin, send a bouquet of tulips their way to pre-emptively burst their bubble before they end up losing big.

The Bitcoin Bonanza

Bitcoin Bonanza | A Better FloristThe soaring price of Bitcoin has been the subject of much interest and speculation in the past few years. While a lot of people have been quick to invest and join the bandwagon, the meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s value along with its volatility has warned investors of the Bitcoin bubble—drawing parallels with the current sharp up and down movements of the asset to the Tulipmania bubble of the 1630s.

As of January 26, 2018, Bitcoin is worth $11,451. At its peak, its value surged at nearly $20,000 last year from $2 in 2011.  Its meteoric rise in 2017 took the financial world by storm, with various analysts and financial institutions closely documenting developments in the market. However, financial gurus Warren Buffett and Joseph Stiglitz believe this is just another bubble waiting to pop.

Goldman Sachs was quick to warn investors about the Bitcoin bubble which their analysts say is likely bigger than the dot-com boom and the Dutch Tulipmania. In both instances, the surrounding buzz and wave of enthusiasm caused a boom in valuation followed by a crash when the bubble eventually burst. Due to its volatility, Bert Ely, principal of consulting firm Ely & Company Inc., compared the Bitcoin craze to gambling. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has also issued two warnings about investing in cryptocurrencies because susceptible investors could suffer significant losses from these highly speculative instruments.

Cryptocurreny, Bitcoin, and Blockchain

Cryptocurrencies have no physical form and are not regulated by any government or institution unlike the usual coins or paper money. These digital currencies can be used to pay for goods and services for certain merchants willing to accept this mode of payment. There are currently thousands of cryptocurrencies worldwide, including Bitcoin, Ripple and Ether.

Bitcoin was first introduced in the market back in 2009 as an open-source technology developed by a mysterious and still anonymous individual who goes by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto invented a decentralised system of creating cryptocurrencies and keeping financial records using a shared financial infrastructure called the blockchain which is maintained by a network of computers (nodes).

The risk and unpredictability of Bitcoin is not only down to the fluctuating prices. It has been associated with unlawful activities since the lack of regulation makes identity easier to conceal. Bitcoin’s security has also been called to question as incidents of Bitcoin phishing and hacks become ever more widespread as cryptocurrency’s popularity starts reaching fever pitch.

Winners and Losers

Early adopters managed to rack in a lot of profit from taking a risk early on. Rapper 50 Cent gained an estimated $8 million after accepting Bitcoin for his album “Animal Ambition” back in 2014. Back then, a Bitcoin was valued at $662. However, the trading frenzy over Bitcoin has also resulted in major losses for people who joined the fray late in the game.

To put Bitcoin’s volatility in perspective, entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, otherwise known as the Winklevoss twins who famously sued Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing their idea for Facebook, have lost nearly $1 billion from the Bitcoin crash. Granted, they still remain Bitcoin billionaires on paper, it does make Bitcoin a highly risky investment for the average investor.

The same kind of excitement happened in The Netherlands back in the 1630s. However, according to Elliott Prechter of The Elliott Wave Theorist, this Bitcoin craze will likely surpass the Dutch Tulipmania which is considered the first recorded speculative bubble in history.

Tulipmania: A Lesson in History

Tulipmania - A Lesson in History | A Better FloristA bubble occurs when the price of a commodity rises dramatically, far beyond its intrinsic value, and then suddenly collapses. During the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, rich merchants and traders in The Netherlands flaunted their wealth by surrounding their mansions with tulips—considered to be exotic blooms in Europe at the time. By the 1630s, tulip bulbs have become so popular that the price of a single bulb became outrageously expensive due to the extraordinary demand. At its peak, a single bulb of a rare breed of tulip managed to sell for over ten times the annual income of a skilled craftsman.

Many people participated in the nationwide craze, even trading or selling off possessions to get in on the action. The mania finally ended when people suddenly realised they were paying obscene amounts for a bulb that was not that valuable. The demand dropped dramatically causing the bubble to collapse in 1637. Bulbs were sold off or traded for a fraction of what they initially paid which left a lot of people in financial ruin.

The Parallels Between the Bitcoin Boom and Tulipmania

Many scholars and analysts have drawn parallels between the Dutch Tulipmania and today’s Bitcoin boom. Technology actually facilitated the spread of crypto-craze and the rapid acceleration of value from just last year alone. For this reason, the Bitcoin bubble has surpassed Tulipmania in size and scale which means the risk of an even bigger bust is imminent—the biggest in recent history.

Below is a comparison of the prices for both tulips and bitcoins which shows a clear similarity in trajectory, with Bitcoin poised for a major bust following its current meteoric rise which has already exceeded Tulipmania.

Tulipmania and Bitcoin Bubble Comparison Chart

Source

While the Bitcoin boom could end in a bust, there is significant interest in the blockchain technology behind it. This open-source ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies effectively eliminates middlemen and makes transactions nearly impossible to forge, hence various financial institutions envision the blockchain to be one of the biggest trends of the future.

“We think the concept of a digital currency that leverages the blockchain technology is viable given the benefits it could provide: ease of execution globally, lower transaction costs, reduction of correction since all transactions could be traced, safety of ownership, and so on,” Goldman wrote. “But Bitcoin does not provide any of these qualities.”

In this Bitcoin bubble that we’re living in, tulips not only symbolise elegance and romance, they can also serve as a valuable lesson in history and a reminder about the perils of getting caught up in the hype. In times of uncertainty, it pays to look back in the past for some wisdom and guidance.

The risks certainly outweigh the benefits when it comes to the Bitcoin boom. So before you think about taking out a loan or dipping on your funds to get yourself in the game, better think again. At least where the Tulipmania is concerned, buyers were left with the tulip bulbs from whence beautiful flowers can bloom.

A Better Florist

Valentine’s Day Flower and Gift Guide

January 25, 2018
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In less than a month, our streets are going to be filled with fresh bouquets, chocolate hampers and smiling faces. The faces in the city will be hidden behind gorgeous flowers, kisses from their loved ones and the smell of fresh roses will spread through the air like magic. That’s right – it’s Valentine’s Day. All the true love birds are already brainstorming Valentine’s Day flowers and gifts, and we wanted to jump on the bandwagon and give our two cents.

 

Stay tuned for our Valentine’s Day gift and flower suggestions for 2018.

 

99 Roses

A rose is only a rose, until you give it away… Stick with the classics. If you want to gift something that is tried and true to the person who fills up the space between your fingers perfectly, an elegant and rich 99 rose bouquet is the best choice.

Heart Wreath

Why not go for something completely unique and ask your favourite florist to create  a heart flower wreath made of her favourite flowers? Bouquets are beautiful, but if you’re looking to make a lasting impression with something yet unseen, a flower wreath in the shape of a heart is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind statement that can’t be forgotten.

Tulips

For the less typical Valentines’ Day flower arrangement go for tulips. A vibrant mixture of colourful tulips is going to brighten up your Valentine’s Day, yet still send the right message – the message of love.

 

Our bundles are one of Valentine’s Day best sellers, because they’re the ideal combo of flowers and cute little tokens of appreciation. It’s perfect for that occasion when you don’t want to overdo it. Maybe you’re just starting off with your relationship, and you don’t want to come off to strong. Our ‘The Pamper Her Bundle’ as well as ‘The Wonderland Bundle‘ are going to set the right tone for Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate Hamper

If that special person in your life has a sweet tooth, a gorgeous chocolate hamper is going to sweep them off their feet! Customise your hamper with decadent chocolates that will melt in the mouth of that person that melts your heart! Don’t forget to add her/his favourites into the mix! Who can say no to chocolate?

Fruit Baskets

This might be the most common holiday gift, but a fruit basket can be a sweet surprise for your loved one, especially if they’re into a healthy lifestyle and love fruits. Customise your fruit basket and add her/his favourite fruit, to add that personal touch every Valentine’s Day gift needs. Add flowers into the mix and you’ll have the complete package that’s thoughtful and beautiful.

 

A Better Florist

A Better Florist Flower Arrangement Workshop

July 10, 2017

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Do you love picking up flowers but don’t know how to make them shine? Our floral experts are here to teach you all they know about preparing the freshest blooms and making them the centerpiece of any space. Join us for a celebrated flower arrangement workshop!

How, where, and when can I attend a workshop?

Tickets are available on a first come first serve basis. To make sure that everyone has the chance to learn as much as they can, we limit the tickets sold so book early! We are regularly adding new venues and dates for 2017, so keep checking back to see new workshops!

July

July 15th (2:00pm – 4:00pm) – A Better Florist HQ

July 19th (3:00pm – 4:30pm) – D’Zerts Cafe – Complimentary drink and dessert!

July 22nd (11:00am – 6:00pm) – Shopee Studios (3 sessions)

July 29th (2:00pm – 4:00pm) – A Better Florist HQ

August

August 5th (2:00pm – 4:00pm) – A Better Florist HQ

August 8th (3:00pm – 4:30pm) – Trehaus

August 12th (2:00pm – 4:00pm) – A Better Florist HQ

September 2nd (2:00pm – 4:00pm) – A Better Florist HQ

September 9th (2:00pm – 4:00pm) – A Better Florist HQ

September 16th (2:00pm – 4:00pm) – A Better Florist HQ

Just click the workshop event that works for you, purchase your ticket and we will see you there! You will get to take your beautiful bouquet home at the end, so don’t miss out!

So, what is A Better Florist?

A Better Florist believes that sending and receiving flowers should be easy, affordable and beautiful. Forget those last minute dashes to the flower store or disappointing delivery services. Here at the Best Florist, we offer express flower delivery, even in the same day. There is a story behind every bouquet we send out, whether it’s for a birthday, an anniversary, a wedding or even just something for yourself.

Every reason is the perfect reason to send out flowers.

Flower Wrapping

What can you expect at these workshops?

We are hosting exclusive workshops all across Singapore, to teach you how to arrange your own beautiful bouquet.

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Our talented florists will teach you how to arrange the perfect bouquet, preparation techniques, and some tips on keeping flowers fresh for longer.

Any questions? Contact us at kate@abetterflorist.com or give us a call at +65 8742 4030.

Looking forward to seeing you at one of our workshops!

A Better Florist Guest Posts

5 Flower Teas That Are Beneficial to You During Your Period

July 6, 2017
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Tea always sounds more decadent when you know that it’s from or mixed with a flower; but did you know that flower teas do more than just look fancy?

If you’re like most girls, you’ve probably had a menstrual cramp at least once in your life. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of 5 types of flower teas that are beneficial to you during your period. (Be it for your cramps or for your PMS)

Tips:

  • If you can get the dried flowers instead of the tea bag versions of the flower teas, even better!
  • Add in some honey/lemon juice/cinnamon/ginger to taste to give your tea an extra boost.

 

     1. Chamomile Tea

Studies have shown that Chamomile Tea contains compounds that can actually help to relieve menstrual cramps and bloating. This is because the tea can help to increase glycine in your body, which is a chemical that relieves muscle spasms and acts as a nerve relaxant to help your body relax.

Chamomile tea can also help to regulate irregular periods by stimulating blood flow in the pelvic and uterus.

Tip: It is more efficient in reducing premenstrual pains if you start drinking the Chamomile tea a couple of days before your period comes!

2. Hibiscus Tea (Roselle Tea)

The health benefits of hibiscus tea are endless. From relieving high blood pressure and cholesterol, to building up the immune system, and even aiding in digestion, it’s no wonder that this tea makes it to our list.

Hibiscus tea, also known as Roselle Tea, can help relieve menstrual cramps as well as helping to restore balance as well. This could help with your mood swings, depression, and even overeating habits during that time of the month.

 

       3. Carnation Tea

Carnation tea is definitely another go-to tea for stress relief.

In Europe, folk medicine relied on carnation tea or infusions of carnation in their medicine to help relieve nervousness and even nausea from sea-sickness! In China, carnation tea was used to help the body and spirit relax, and restore energy into the body.

Furthermore, because carnations have anti-inflammatory properties (such as reducing swelling), they have long been used to reduce muscle tension in uterine tissues; reducing the discomfort of menstrual cramps. 

       4. Rose Tea

Rose tea has traditionally been taken around the world to alleviate menstrual cramps.

A study done in Taiwan among 130 teenage girls across 6 months concluded that rose tea resulted in lesser menstrual pain, and reduced their PMS symptoms.

Rose is also found in a lot of skincare products, and has good reason to be. Rose can help to maintain your skin’s healthy appearance, along with treating acne due to its inflammatory and antibacterial properties – perfect for those of us who break out during that time of the month!

     5. Black Cohosh Tea (Baneberry Tea)

This last one sounds a bit strange, but is more powerful than you think.

Black cohosh, also known baneberry, is known for its ability to provide relief for menstrual cramps, excessive bleeding, menstrual migraines, mood swings, ovarian pain, and even hot menopausal flashes!

However, the herb makes quite a powerful tea, so always keep your consumption to the recommended amounts. Too much of it can cause migraines and headaches instead of relieving them, and even nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

Now that you know of 5 types of tea that are beneficial to you during your period, grab your favourite mug, pour in that tea, and get ready to conquer the world!

 

This article piece is written by a writer from Pslove.co.

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The pslove company is a company healthcare start-up born and bred in Singapore, who works towards producing natural heat therapy patch to help women with their everyday aches and pains. Their products include Menstruheat (for menstrual cramp relief), BackHeat (for back pain relief), and NeckHeat (for neck/shoulder pain relief). Whether it is through their products, services, or blog, they have only one goal in mind – That ladies should be able to manage their cycle well and be ready to deal with their period at all times! 

 

A Better Florist Guest Posts

5 Tips for a Perfect Wedding on a Budget

May 1, 2017

 

So you’ve decided  to say “I do” – Congrats! For all the lovers out there that cupid has matched, planning for the wedding is one of the biggest, and probably the most awaited event in their lives. It is also one of the biggest expenses in one’s lifetime. Well, that is no surprise, simply because we all want the best for that moment.

Starting from the wedding gown (or gowns!), the tuxedo, reception, photography, videography, flowers and more, to that very location where the most anticipated ceremony of your life will be held – the expenses can get overwhelming.

But wait... does your bank accounts really have to suffer just to come up with that classy and enchanting wedding you are dreaming for? Or could you find ways to help you save and yet end up with the best wedding ever?

Check out Cardable’s 5 tips for you to achieve that perfect wedding on a small, manageable budget!

  • 1) ‘Dealing’ With Your Guests

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Let’s talk about about how you should deal with your guest-related tasks, and how we can actually make a deal with them to save you up for that perfect wedding.

First up… who to invite? Well, except this is the most awaited event of your life, a wedding ceremony is a sacred symbolism of you two coming together as one. And who do you want to witness it? Keep in mind that every single guest adds up to your expenses – so, keeping it only those special people on your list will not only make it intimate but helps with your budget.

Try an elimination method in creating your guest list. That might feel a little ruthless, but no – you are not obligated to spare a space for everyone you know. Think about it this way, you’re just reserving every single seat for the most special loved ones in your life! Keeping your guest list manageable will also give you the time and capability as a host to spend some moments with each guest on the special day.

The number of guests could also determine your expenses on the reception or banquet location, from catering to seating arrangements, even right to the invitations so do take your time to be sure of your guest list.

Next, how do we make a deal with these special guests? Instead of expecting for a wedding gift, why not rather ask some of them to contribute their talents and their time to help you deal with the different events and concerns for your wedding?

Your guests, especially if they’re actually a close friend, or maybe a relative – would absolutely be grateful to have a considerable involvement with your special day. All you need to do is to simply ask. Whether for the photography, as a wedding planner or even the pianist, someone will always be happy to help you out. Well, what’s greater gift compared to that? Plus, they’ll appreciate the honor – undoubtedly.

  • 2)  Dressing Your Wedding Entourage

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Saving on the outfits of your wedding entourage does not have to hurt the eye. Simply check out ready-made dresses, instead of custom-made ones. All you need is to decide on the colour theme or a certain style and you’re all set to go to look for the right store selling the sizes. With the number of chic and trendy online fashion and blogshops, you can afford to pick and choose the one that suits your style and theme.

Another option is to have your bridesmaids’ dress come from their own closet – just be sure they’ve got just the same shades of color or aligned with your wedding theme. On tuxedos or shirts for the groomsmen, wearing their own ones or simply renting are great options to skip the expenses.

Alternatively, you can consider buying matching accessories instead of having everyone wearing the same outfits. A chunky bracelet or a nice pair of heels for the bridesmaids could do the trick, while matching bow ties or hats for the groomsmen could be it.

Before you make any purchases, be sure to browse for something you really like and check out the available promotions that are available with your credit cards.

The golden rule: Be absolutely certain that everything is matchy-matchy and consistent with your colour scheme and theme, then everything’s all good to go.

  • 3) Go for Your Kind of Reception

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Considering your own, or a relative’s home for the location of the ceremony could be meaningful and a good alternative for an expensive building or function hall for your reception.

You might also consider having the ceremony outdoors for a scenic and unforgettable backdrop for your vows. Just remember, everything is uncertain especially the weather. Prepare for a backup plan, being soaked to the bones while saying your promises are quite interesting – but not your guests might not be impressed!

If you opt for a wedding banquet at restaurants or hotel, be sure to check out if there are any special offers available with certain credit cards. Be sure to also negotiate with the banquet manager for bonus items, like invitation cards or wedding favors and you can also opt to exchange certain items from the standard packages that you might not need.

  • 4) On The Dishes and Toast: Cater to Save

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Food costs can be significantly decreased if you’ll manage to get help with the food catering or even the wedding cake from your family and friends who are great cooks or bakers!

But if that’s not a skill on both sides, consider looking for catering services of which are family-owned. They usually charge fewer fees for their service, yet with the same good quality of the famous caterers.

While for the toasting part, instead of having an open bar for the alcohol, a tip is to keep it simple with just wine and/or beer. Sometimes, even fruit punch or soft drinks are good enough. There are a lot of options for controlling this cost, as there are different ways in which you can play with this one. Having the liquors supplied by you is far frugal than compromising with the cost of those from the venue but keep in mind if there are any corkage charges.

Although keeping everything in line with a small budget is the goal, do not forget that it is better to have enough drinks during the reception, rather than stressing yourself  for an urgent case of running out on supplies.

  • 5) Honeymoon: Go for Memorable, Skip the Fancy

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Keeping your honeymoon simple is not really a way of frugality, rather a decision based on convenience. After the tiring and frantic days of preparations leading up tilll your wedding day – perhaps a memorable location nearby would be better than a 18-hour flight somewhere.

What’s important is for both of you to be able to totally relax and have great moments together, wherever you may choose to be.

At the end of the day, remember that the wedding is just one day and the most important thing is that you are married to each other. Wedding budgets, whether how thrifty or how lavish, isn’t and will never be of more importance than the heart of two lovers willing to pave for perfection and the mind that searches for possible ways to do so. Don’t let finances be your reality’s limit!

This article piece is written by a writer from Cardable.
Cardable is a platform that brings together the best in credit card loyalty promotions for the Asian consumer. Check out www.getcardable.com for daily deals that you can get with your credit cards!

For customised wedding bouquets to complement the wedding of your dreams, please contact us at kate@abetterflorist.com or drop us a call at +65 31631525.

A Better Florist Flower Guide

A Guide to Healing Flowers

April 12, 2017
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Flowers are more than just pretty to look at, they can also be used for their healing properties. Flashback to the olden times before modern medicine was born, fresh blooms were actually used for medicinal purposes. In fact, Ancient Egyptians believed that the essence of flowers were given magical healing powers by the deities and that their wonderful scent was bestowed by the gods to let mortals become “more perfect” by smelling it. Let’s take a look at some of the best healing flowers Mother Nature has to offer.

 

Lovely Lavender

 

English Lavender is the specific type of lavender that has been most used for medicinal purposes over the years. Its essential oil is perfect for aromatherapy. When inhaled, it promotes relaxation and induces sleep. Not only is it great for calming your nerves, it’s also great for calming your skin. With anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects, it’s the perfect remedy for all your pimple pals!

 

Yarr-OW!

 

Supposedly used during the Trojan Wars, yarrow (Achillea millefolium) was used as an “herbal band-aid”. Its feather-like leaves and dense cluster of flowers help stop bleeding, inflammation and help to relieve pain. Also, yarrow promotes sweating which in turn helps in lowering fevers when drunk as tea. It’s also used in herbal formulas to help lower blood pressure.

 

Rose to the Rescue

 

Roses can be found in many bouquets, such as A Better Florist’s The Julianne, but did you know that it can also be used for healing purposes? It contains a good dose of Vitamin C, which is perfect as an important antioxidant to help overall health and fight serious conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Rose petals are also great for increasing blood circulation and battling depression, anxiety and viruses.

 

If you want to learn more about flowers (not so much their healing properties), join us for a Flower Jamming Session! Every Saturday afternoon, our office is open to those who would like to learn more about flowers and become a Floral Artist by creating your very own bouquet. Click here to find out more.

A Better Florist Flower Guide

The Designer’s Guide to Blooming Your Café

March 29, 2017
Blooming Your Cafe | A Better Florist

How many times have you visited a café this week? At least once a day, maybe? After all, cafés have become essential locations for on-the-go professionals. A good coffee shop is a workplace, a meeting place, an escape from the daily grind and a quick stop for a pick-me-up. This is why, apart from quality coffee, the vibe of the place is an important concern. Café owners make sure their shops are classy without being intimidating. Lush and cosy settings can draw people in, which is why entrepreneurs incorporate fresh cut flowers into their décor for a touch of style.

Flower Power

Flowers are pretty, but also functional. Aesthetically, they add a splash of color to an otherwise drab space. In terms of ambience, flowers add warmth and create a cosy atmosphere. They bring life and brightness to a space. In fact, a study on the home ecology of flowers found several emotional benefits to having flowers in your environment. They provide an energy boost, chase the blues away and make people more compassionate.

Now you know why certain coffee shops make you feel extra perky and energised after your coffee run. As it turns out, it’s not just the caffeine.

Choosing Flowers for Your Café

The conditions of a place can contribute to the lifespan of cut flowers, such as the temperature, humidity and amount of sunlight. Upscale and restaurant-type cafés can benefit from romantic and aromatic flowers like roses, carnations, dahlias and lilies. These (usually) indoor establishments are much kinder to more delicate varieties of flowers due to the temperature and humidity. Just like us, flowers love air-conditioning too.

For outdoor and open space cafés, go for the hardy variety of blossoms. The heat and humidity in outdoor settings can make flowers wilt faster. Long-lasting flowers include zinnias, carnations and orchids. Wildflowers in mason jars also fit the casual and laid-back ambience of hip shops and industrial-type concept cafés.

Flowers can be an afterthought for most café owners, but details are very important. A cosy vibe and “Instagrammable” space can make your place a hit with social media-savvy customers and yes, I’m talking about those people who take photos of their food. Pretty blooms can instantly score you a free promotion.

Lengthening the Life of Cut Flowers

Sadly, if you’ve ever received a bouquet of flowers, you know just how quickly those blooms can wilt away. To see how long your roses will last, India Sturgis tested roses from various florists and found that at most you have about a week of perk and perfume from your blooms.

To help extend their life, here are a few standard tips to lengthening the life of cut flowers:

  1. Remove any dirt or rotting leaves from the stems of the flowers to avoid any bacterial growth.
  2. Place the flowers in a clean container filled with distilled water. Remember to replace the water daily.
  3. Make sure the leaves don’t touch the water in the vessel because this would promote rotting.

Usually, florists include packets of preservatives or flower food which you can mix into the water to keep your flowers hydrated and prevent the growth of bacteria. Make sure that you check the instructions on the packet for the ideal amount of water you’d need. With a plant food solution, rather than replacing the water daily, you can opt to change it when the water gets cloudy.

Alternatively, you can always DIY your very own preservative solution. Some common household items you can use as flower preservatives are soda, hair spray, apple cider vinegar, aspirin, bleach, copper coins, sugar and vodka. So maybe save that last shot of vodka for your flowers rather than your liver.

If you follow care instructions carefully, some flowers could last as long as two weeks. Still, cafés need to replenish flowers every week or so for optimum freshness. Fortunately, you can now easily sign up for a floral subscription with your online florist. This way you actually get curated and in season flowers for the freshest possible quality of blooms, fuss free! At A Better Florist, you can get your flowers whenever, wherever and however you like them. For more details, reach out to kate@abetterflorist.com.

A Better Florist Flower Guide

All About Peonies

March 23, 2017
All-About-Peonies

Meaning

Peonies are commonly known to mean romance, a happy marriage, good fortune, riches, compassion, honor and prosperity. That’s a lot of meanings to tie down to one flower, but it’s pretty understandable once we get down to its history and mythology.

The peony is the state flower of Indiana, the traditional floral symbol of China and the 12th wedding anniversary flower.

In China, peonies are highly valued and often referred to as the “king of the flowers”. Up until 1929, they were the national flower prior to being replaced by the plum tree. Peonies were once implanted at the Imperial Palace, during the Sui and Tang dynasties. Due to this, they are known to symbolise honor, wealth and nobility.

Also, did you know that Chinese name for “most beautiful” actually translates into Peony?

 

History & Mythology

It is said that the peony was named after Paeon, a physician to the Greek gods. He was the student of the god of medicine, Aesculapius, who became jealous of his talents and tried to kill him. To save Paeon, Pluto (the god of the Underworld) transformed him into a peony, a flower that people would admire and praise. In another version of events, he was “saved” from mortal death by being turned into the flower we now know as the peony.

In ancient and medieval times, peonies were used for medicinal purposes. Their seeds and roots were believed to have been the cure for over 20 diseases including snake bites and epilepsy. Back in the day, in England, young children used to wear necklaces made out of peony roots to help with teething pains and prevent seizures.

Want to find out more about flowers and maybe even learn how to arrange them into beautiful bouquets? Check out our flower workshops! Email kate@abetterflorist.com for more details.

A Better Florist

World Down Syndrome Day 2017: Celebrating the Unsung Heroes

March 14, 2017
The Chan family after their weekly Aikido class at the Down Syndrome Association of Singapore

In collaboration with Down Syndrome Association (Singapore), A Better Florist gets up close and personal with the Chan Family to find out more about how they love, care and struggle with caring for family members with Down syndrome.

The Chan family after their weekly Aikido class at the Down Syndrome Association of Singapore

The Chan family after their weekly Aikido class at the Down Syndrome Association of Singapore

The Chan family walked through the door sporting full Aikido gear, filling the room with laughter, chatter and a familial warmth. Meeting the Chan Family was truly a warm surprise.

Mr. Patrick Chan introduced us to his lovely family of 6. There was his wife, Lily, eldest son, Shamus, second son, Sean who was born with Down syndrome, followed by Jonah and lastly, his youngest, Enoch who also has Down syndrome.

Caring for not only one, but two family members with Down syndrome is definitely a challenge but through our conversation with the Chan Family, we could immediately tell that this is a family where ‘family comes first’.

 

The initial shock

Although expert caregivers now, Patrick and Lily never had a personal encounter with someone who had Down syndrome. So it came as a huge shock to them when their second son, Sean, was born with the congenital disorder.

“When we were told [Sean] had Down syndrome, it’s like our whole world collapsed. I was stunned. It was our first encounter with Down syndrome and we didn’t know anything about it, the pediatrician warned us of the worst.” Fortunately, Sean was born as a high functioning child with Down syndrome and only had a speech impairment.

Three years later, Enoch came along and he developed Down syndrome soon after birth. Enoch’s health condition was much more severe and includes a hole in the heart and severe breathing problems, so much so that he had to breathe through a tube for over 10 years of his life.

Due to his breathing problem, Enoch had suffered many close shaves with death, which was a huge pressure on the Chan Family.  Patrick says, “We face a lot of challenges, especially when we travel. For example, we have to make sure we always have an electrical socket for [Enoch’s] breathing emergencies.”

Having a family member with Down syndrome doesn’t only affect parents, Patrick and Lily, Eldest son, Shamus also had to bear huge responsibilities for his younger brothers at the tender age of 6. However, Patrick and Lily are not the only who ones who take care of Sean and Enoch. Their eldest son, Shamus, also shares the responsibility of his younger brothers’ care at the tender age of 6.

Patrick recounts, “Shamus grew up very fast. When he was 6 years old, he had no choice but to handle Jonah who was born premature, with over 20 health conditions at birth, and help with physiotherapy and suctions for Enoch. He had a lot of additional responsibilities.”

Despite these challenges, the Chan family continues to strive to live each day to the absolute fullest, taking their difficulties in stride.

Coping with Aikido

Patrick instructing an Aikido class. Image credits: Aikido Tai Shin Kai

Patrick instructing an Aikido class.
Image credits: Aikido Tai Shin Kai

Interestingly, the Chan family has found a common love – Aikido. This has helped Sean and Enoch develop their motor functions and maintain a healthy weight throughout the years. Patrick has been a martial arts enthusiast since young, and was very active in pursuing it growing up. He influenced his son, Shamus, and together they went on to learn and master Aikido and learn the way of Harmony.

Patrick explains, “Aikido is the art of harmony, it trains you to have restraint and self control and to never give up. It is not about always winning, like other martial art forms.” This focus on harmony and the spirit of never giving up is something that has helped the Chan family cope with the challenges that have come their way.

Recounting the past years of Aikido training as a family, Patrick says “Aikido has really helped my sons, in terms of their motor skills, and reactions. Without Aikido, my sons would not be as fit and alert as they are now”. This is proven true by Sean, who proudly wears his black belt.

Now a full time Aikido instructor at Aikido Tai Shin Kai, Patrick and his son Shamus dedicate their time to spreading the love for the martial art. Additionally, they teach Aikido at the Down Syndrome Association (Singapore) to help other children with the congenital disorder.

A message of Hope

The Chan family sharing their experiences with A Better Florist

The Chan family sharing their experiences with A Better Florist

Caring for children with down syndrome can take a toll on a family, yet Patrick and Lily stay optimistic and choose to see it as a “blessing in disguise”.

“It is a frightening experience when someone tells you your child is down syndrome, but it’s not really that bad. I believe that if you look at it in a positive light, you have the strength that you are not aware that you have. As a parent, you are able to love the child and you’ll learn to love your child, and he or she will bring you a lot of happiness.”

 

They also encourage parents who have children with down syndrome that they are not alone.

“They are fortunate at this time that there’s Down Syndrome Association (Singapore) now. Initially, we felt very alone, as we didn’t know anything about down syndrome, and had to rely a lot on ourself and our family for support. We understand that now when there’s news of a down syndrome being born, someone is sent down to the hospital to help them”

In Patrick’s final words of love to parents and caregivers out there who might be struggling to come to terms with their children having Down syndrome, he emphasizes that you should never give up. He believes that there is unfounded strength within you to raise your child with love and you will undoubtedly find happiness along the way.

“The child will bring you a lot of joy. Don’t be afraid, love them and embrace them.”

 


Written by: Ulric Sng