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Flower Guide

The Best Flower Arrangements to Gift This Christmas

November 25, 2017
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With the festive season on our doorstep, you’re going to need a lot of flowers for all the dinners, parties, and events that you have to attend. A birthday here and there, and you’ll be desperate for new, fresh ideas and beautiful flowers that are going to help you celebrate this season properly. A Better Florist has a few suggestions for you, on how to bring the spirit of Christmas into your flowers, and stand out no matter where you go, with flowers who’ll tell the story of Christmas.

  1. Gentle Yet Festive

Try something other than poinsettias this season, and bring Christmas spirit into the room with a bouquet of gentle white dahlias, spray roses, black sabiosas and lush greenery, and you’ll hit the jackpot. You’re going to have a beautiful, festive bouquet on you, but at the same time, it won’t be traditional and boring.

2. Roses and Pine cones

If you still want to go with the classic rose bouquet, try asking your florist to mix things up. Go for roses that have a deep, wine red colour, and add a few pine cones into the bouquet, in order to validate that it is the season to be jolly. It’s beautiful, romantic, powerful yet has a little bit of traditional between the beautiful petals, that are going to draw attention right to your bouquet.

3. Winter Wonderland

Want to go for something different from the traditional red and green? Go for white elegance, and a lush bouquet of white tulips, spray roses and ranunculus. It’s a beautiful table centrepiece, but also a sophisticated flower arrangement to gift to your family.

4. White Statement

Love poinsettias and want them in your arrangement? There’s no reason to avoid them, just because you can see a red poinsettia bouquet on every corner. Try switching it up with a combination of white roses and white poinsettias. This bouquet will definitely make a powerful impression on anyone you gift it to.

5. Luxurious Combo

Want to combine the most beautiful blooms into one fantastic and festive arrangement? Ask your florist to combine ranunculus, roses and hanging amaranthus, and you’ll have in your hands the most powerful statement of all times.

 

Christmas flowers are all about keeping the tradition, cherishing it through statement Christmas flowers, but putting an authentic spin on traditional flower bouquets.

Flower Guide

Colours of the rainbow: what does the colour of your bouquet say about you?

September 7, 2017

Shakespeare’s Juliet, the queen of romance, famously said that “a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet”. It might well smell sweet, but will it mean the same thing?

For centuries, roses have been understood to be the most enduring symbol of love. But roses also speak of friendship, of forgiveness, of sympathy and of gratitude. The colour of roses in a bouquet can change its entire meaning.

Our comprehensive guide on the colour of roses and their meaning will help you in selecting the right roses for your bouquet to ensure the perfect gift, every time.

 

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So stop leaving your bouquet to chance. Find the right rose colour for your next gift and find a new and meaningful way to tell someone how you really feel.

Flower Guide

How many roses should you give? Here’s how you can decode what they mean!

September 7, 2017

Nothing speaks the language of love quite like roses.

We can all agree that a gift of roses is the perfect way to say “I love you,” “thank you”, or perhaps even just “I’m thinking of you”.

But did you know there’s much more to giving or receiving roses than that? Depending on the number of roses that you send, your gift can mean different things. Whether it’s a single rose to proclaim your love or a perfect dozen to say be mine, sending the correct number of roses will help you express your feelings and might just turn your relationship around.

Our helpful infographic will help you decode the messages of love hidden in your bouquet.

 

meaning of number of flowers

 

So next time you want to let that special someone know how you feel, you may not need words – find the bouquet with the right number of roses, and let it speak for you!

 

Flower Guide

The Complete History of Birthdays

August 7, 2017

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No birthday is complete without something sweet, some candles and a precious wish. However surely the practice of lighting a cake on fire, or better yet stuffing ourselves with cake had to start somewhere…

 

Celebrating can be a bittersweet occasion. For some it can be a joyful event to celebrate the gift of life. For others, it can be an unwelcome reminder of becoming a year older. Either way, each birthday hopefully finds you wiser with the occasion made sweeter by a tasty birthday cake and a magical wish for the year.

 

In Asia, traditional food served during birthdays varies. In China, birthday pastry called shòu bāo (壽包, simp. 寿包) or shòu táo bāo (壽桃包, simp. 寿桃包) is a bun made of wheat flour served individually instead of one big cake. Koreans serve seaweed soup, while Southeast Asians traditionally serve Birthday noodles to represent long life. But overall, the birthday cake still holds its position of power.

 

Birthday cake trends keep getting wilder and wilder- from Unicorn cakes to naked cakes- but their origin remains fairly simplistic. So before you gobble up another cake, let’s trace the origin of this worldwide practice of commemorating your birthday by blowing out candles on a birthday cake.

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While there is currently no clear evidence pointing to the origin of birthday celebrations, rabbi and scholar Benjamin Edidin Scolnic points out in his book that the earliest known mention of a birthday in history is in Genesis 40:20 when Joseph, the interpreter of dreams, came upon a pharaoh who threw a feast for his birthday. Other scholars doubted whether the celebration mentioned is the same as the current incarnation of birthdays, although Dr. James Hoffmeier explained that it could be a reference to the pharaoh’s coronation instead of his actual birthday. According to him, Egyptians believed that pharaohs became gods when they are crowned, thus their coronation marks their “birth” as a god.

 

Celebration and Cultic Birthday Cakes in Roman Culture

The birthday cake, meanwhile, may have originated in ancient Rome. Dr. Sarah Bond points out that the Romans liked celebrating dies natalis or birth day not just for people, but temples and cities as well. Though the practice of celebrating people’s birthdays were often ritualistic and cultic in nature where religion and celebration intersect as attendees clad in white robes would sacrifice a spiritual deity for the protection of the new born, burn incense—and eat ritual cakes, of course.

 

Birthday Candles: Origin and Symbolism

Incense transitioned to candles when Greeks celebrated birthdays. Author Linda Rannells Lewis attribute the placing of candles on cakes to the ancient Greeks. Lewis wrote that every lunar month, the Greeks would offer moon-shaped honey cakes with lit candles to Artemis, moon goddess of the hunt.

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Much like the symbolic significance of burning incense, the smoke created from blowing out candles likely stems from the fact that Egyptians believed that the smoke from incense creates a means of communicating your intentions to the heavens. Similarly, blowing out your birthday candles send your wishes to the ears of the higher powers where they may come into fruition.

 

The more familiar use of candles with cakes, now observed during birthday celebrations, can be traced back to 18th century Germany’s Kinderfest tradition which roughly translates to children’s party. In 1799, writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe supposedly noted that during the birthday celebration a giant cake topped with lit candles, equivalent to the age of the celebrant, would be brought to the dining table. Other Germans would use only one candle placed on the centre of the cake meant to ward off evil spirits. In this instance, the candle is marked 1 to 12 and would be burned down to the child’s corresponding age.

 

Victorians then borrowed this idea of birthday cakes and candles from the Germans in the 1800s, with a few lavish improvements naturally. The wealthy and extravagant Victorians began serving two-layer cakes arrived when the freestanding cook stove was invented in the 1840s.

 

Finally, the current incarnation of blowing out candles on birthdays likewise appears in Great Britain’s 1883 issue of The Folk-lore Journal which documented various superstitions of the Swiss gathered by researchers in 1881. Same as the Germans, their birthday cake come with lit candles, one for each year of the celebrant’s life. The celebrant would then “solemnly blow out the candles one after another.”

 

So the next time you blow the candles on yet another delicious birthday cake, you’ll know how this ubiquitous ritual started and the underlying meanings behind it.

 

Feeling old yet?

Flower Guide

Why On-Demand Delivery Is Changing Flower Delivery One Bouquet at a Time

July 27, 2017

Why On-Demand Delivery Is Changing Flower Delivery One Bouquet at a Time
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It’s a known fact that on-demand delivery for a large variety of products and services is becoming more and more popular — and flower delivery is one area where this business model has considerably changed and improved over time. CarPal sheds light on what the-demand delivery sector means for the flower industry and what it has to offer when coupled with tech.

 

If we look at the traditional floral industry model, we’ll quickly realize the process involves so many steps from farmers growing the flowers to sending the flowers to distributors, who sell them to wholesalers, who then finally sell them to florists.

 

While the flower industry has always thrived, there have also been numerous challenges throughout the journey; but in today’s digital era, there is definitely a renewed interest in flowers as online florists have made buying flowers easier and more accessible.

 

Today, the process of ordering flowers is much simpler, allowing you to easily browse online and selecting from a large variety of well-curated blooms.  

 

One avenue that helps to speed up the process is on-demand delivery, which aims to eliminate the long, cumbersome international supply chain that transports fresh blooms to consumers in a cool environment. Instead, on-demand delivery pledges to focus on sourcing fresh flowers that don’t spend weeks in a cold-storage warehouse.

 

Because of the long supply chain process and without a sustainable solution, the consumer will probably get a product with a short shelf life at an inflated price.

 

But what on-demand delivery seeks to do is to considerably cut the farm-to-vase time, so that flowers can last longer in the customer’s home. On top of focusing on ethically-sourced flowers, many online flower delivery businesses even pledge one-hour delivery of fresh bouquets.

 

Leverage flower services with technology

There is a growing recognition that on-demand delivery can be key to operational efficiency, customer satisfaction and cost reduction. And today, modern technologies such as delivery management softwares have opened new doors, driving the traditional flower delivery ecosystem to new heights.

 

Communication is key

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In the flower delivery business, coordination is the fine line between success and failure. This means focusing on visibility and communication between customers, your drivers and third parties that are essential for last-mile delivery.

 

As flowers are time-sensitive, knowing when the product leaves your hands and when it gets in the possession of your customer is a crucial step in the delivery process.

 

What’s beneficial is that with the use of a smart device, both companies and consumers can make use of tools that enable delivery providers to update customers on their order status in real time.

 

For instance, customers can be alerted when their order has been shipped, and the delivery provider can provide information regarding expected delivery date and time and whether a customer signature is required. Also, the customers will also be notified when a package is available for pickup at a pickup location.

 

Keep customers satisfied

With the boom of online shopping, consumers’ expectations have also changed considerably. We want faster and better services, but what makes such service level feasible is ensuring to constantly manage and optimize deliveries on-the-go and automate the processes.

 

Simplify the delivery process

By making on-demand delivery a quintessential part of the business, online flower delivery companies can focus more on the product itself as well as accepting and preparing online orders. This will definitely be a more effective way to operate an online business without the hassle of arranging deliveries.

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Flower Guide

Language of Flowers: What do they mean?

June 2, 2017

Language of flowers: What do these 6 flowers symbolize?

It is believed that the tradition of giving flowers dates back to the prehistoric times. Since then, it has been a powerful means of communicating human emotions. However, commemorating various special occasions with flowers can go further, expressing specific emotions with different kinds of flowers. What meanings do flowers convey? What can you say with a bouquet? Flipit Singapore has prepared an overview of 6 popular flowers and their meanings, most of which are also included in A Better Florist bouquets.

Lily

Lilies have been popular since 16th century BC, especially in the Ancient Greece. They symbolize purity and beauty, but different colours have different meanings. While a white lily is a symbol of virginity and modesty, yellow stands for gaiety and orange for passion. Furthermore, the Calla lily is considered a royal flower and the Easter lily is associated with Virgin Mary.

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Protea

Belonging to the oldest families of flowers, protea is believed to be named after the son of the Greek god Poseidon, Proteus. Protea symbolizes transformation, as well as courage and resourcefulness. It also stands for diversity, as there are more than 1,400 varieties of this flower.

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Rose

One of the most popular flowers worldwide symbolizes love in various forms. Red rose signifies desire, but also admiration, devotion, and respect. White rose is a symbol of innocence and purity, yellow stands for friendship and does not convey romantic emotions. Pink colour of rose shows joy and gratitude of the giver. A mixed rose bouquet can symbolize a variety of emotions, which the recipient has to decipher.

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Sunflower

If you’re thinking of expressing adoration and dedication to someone, present them with sunflowers. Since they are flowers of the sun, they stand for warmth and longevity, too.

These flowers inspired not only Incas in Central and South America, but also painters of the Impressionist period and their beauty is captured in numerous art pieces.

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Tulip

When giving a tulip, especially a red one, you are essentially declaring your love. Yellow tulips stand for cheerfulness, purple represent royalty and white symbolize forgiveness. Tulip flowers are also very elegant, so a tulip bouquet also conveys grace.

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Daisy

This small white flower with yellow centre represents innocence and purity. Daisies are also another means of expressing/declaring loyal love and they can symbolize a secret, too. Moreover, it is a symbol of new beginnings, that is why daisies are often a part of bouquets for new mothers. Gerbera daisies, on the other hand, stand for cheerfulness.

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If you want to get an inspiration of what kind of flowers you want to get to your loved ones, check out A Better Florist Instagram!

This article piece is written by a writer from FlipIt.

Flower Guide

5 Flowers to Keep at Home as Natural Pest Control

April 26, 2017
Flowers as Natural Pest Control | A Better Florist

Al fresco breakfasts and dining are especially tempting when the weather’s nice and warm. Unfortunately, the heat and humidity of summer can mean more annoying bugs buzzing around. To keep pesky mosquitoes and other insects at bay, you can turn to these flowering plants as natural solutions. The essential oils from these flowers are natural bug repellents, so you are not only blooming your home, you are also keeping the pest population under control.

Allium

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Plants in the Allium family include garlic, chives, scallions, leeks and shallots. They can grow up to six feet tall with pink, white or purple blooms. They’re regarded as natural insecticides because of their fungicidal, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. They’re best for deterring insects from munching on your vegetable garden. However, alliums can be toxic to cats and dogs, so opt for other bug-repellent flowers if you have furry pals at home.

 

 

ChrysanthemumChrysanthemum | A Better Florist

Pyrethrum is the secret substance that makes chrysanthemums deadly to flying and jumping insects, including nasty cockroaches. It is often used in commercial insecticides and sprays. The flowers are harmless enough, but a word of warning: pyrethrum has been found to contain carcinogenic properties, so practice caution fs you want to reduce chrysanthemums into this lethal form.

Lavender

Lavender | A Better Florist

Lavender is pretty, aromatic and extremely useful. Extracts from this herbal flowering plant is used in linen sprays, body oils, perfumes and aromatherapy products. The calming smell of lavender actually repels insects, including mosquitoes and flies. To keep those bugs away from your breakfast and brunch table, place a bouquet as a centrepiece or keep vases by the doorway and windows to prevent insects from entering your home. You can also extract oils from your lavender to create your very own bug-repellent oil or spray. Check out the instructions here.

 

MarigoldMarigold | A Better Florist

Like lavenders, the scent of marigolds is cloying to insects, effectively repelling unwanted insects from your home. Marigolds love sunlight, so place them in places with plenty of natural light.

 

Petunia

Petunia | A Better Florist

Again, this one’s perfect for gardening maintenance. They’re not only bright and colourful, they’re also easy to grow. More importantly, these sunny blooms repel asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, a range of aphids, tomato worms, among others. For this reason, they’re a perfect all-around natural pest control flower for your home.

 

 

 

There you have it! Five blooms to keep your personal space clean and bug free. Check out A Better Florist’s the Pamper Her bundle to get luxurious blooms bundled with lavender and lemongrass candles—both natural bug repellents that smell just as great as they work.

Flower Guide

How to Make Your Bouquet Last Longer

April 19, 2017
How to Make Your Bouquet Last Longer | A Better Florist

Receiving a bouquet of flowers can make you feel like a million bucks. Those fresh and luxurious blooms can instantly perk you up and bring a smile to your face. So, you place them in a clean vase with fresh water to make them last as long as you can. Still, before you know it, those delicate petals start to dry up and fall off. What are you doing wrong?

First of all, don’t blame yourself. Once flowers are plucked, their life starts winding down. Based on a series of tests, the standard variety roses from florists can last about a week retaining their form. They’re basically on borrowed time and short of freezing them or dipping them in resin, the most you can do is make them last as long as you can.

The good news is, there’s a way for you to keep their presentable state for about two weeks. In addition to replacing the water in the vase daily to avoid bacterial growth, here are some tips and tricks to make your bouquet last longer.

Clean your cut flowers properly

Before you place cut flowers in a vase, make sure you follow these steps to maximise their lifespan:

  1. Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle so they can absorb as much water and nutrients as possible. The buds can still open up while marinating on the container’s water.
  2. Remove dirt from the stem and cut off leaves that would touch the water inside the vase. Any leaf or petal that touches the solution could rot and promote bacterial growth.
  3. Make sure you place them away from direct sunlight, too much heat can make cut flowers wilt faster.

Use plant food

If you spot a little packet with your bouquet, this is actually plant food. You can mix the contents with distilled water to keep your cut flowers fresh and perky. It contains sugar and biocide to keep the flowers hydrated while also killing bacteria in the liquid. Once the water gets cloudy, you can replace the solution with a fresh batch.

DIY plant food using soda

In case your bouquet doesn’t come with plant food packets, soda can work just as well. Sprite and 7-Up are particularly popular as flower preservatives among enthusiasts. The sugar and acid content of soda have the same hydrating and antibacterial properties as plant food packets. The ideal ratio is one part Sprite/7-Up to three parts distilled water. You can also add a pinch of bleach to keep the solution clear. Other household items you can use to prevent bacterial growth are apple cider vinegar, aspirin and vodka.

So the next time you receive a bouquet for your birthday or during Valentine’s Day, you know exactly what to do. If you have further questions regarding proper care for flowers, get in touch with A Better Florist or sign up to our Flower Jamming Session! We’re opening our doors every Saturday afternoon for people interested in learning more about flowers and floristry. Click here to find out more.

Flower Guide A Better Florist

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.

Flower Guide

Creating an Indoor Cactus Garden

April 5, 2017
Creating an Indoor Cactus Garden | A Better Florist

Living in a concrete jungle can make you yearn for the lush outdoors. This is why more and more city dwellers are blooming their home by putting aside some space for flowers and plants. Fortunately, the cactus exists for those of us not blessed with a green thumb.

In the plant world, the cactus is your low-maintenance friend. It thrives despite a lack of attention, unlike most flowering plants. They can also withstand a lot of heat, which is great in a city like Singapore where it’s practically summer all year round.

To create your very own cactus garden, here are a few simple steps you can follow.

Materials Needed

  • Cacti and succulents
  • Pots and containers
  • Rubber gloves
  • Garden trowel
  • Soil or cactus mix
  • Sprinkler or mister
  • Stones and ornaments (optional)

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Cactus Garden

Once you’ve gathered your materials, it’s time to get down and dirty. Got your gardening gloves on? Let’s go!

1. Place soil inside the pots of containers.

While glass bowls and ceramic containers can be used for potting cacti, gardening experts recommend terracotta clay pots because they can dry out the soil faster and promote oxygen exchange. (You can even buy cute vertical planters from Etsy if you don’t have a lot of flat space available in your apartment.)

Add a layer of soil about two-thirds of the way inside the pot. Some people like to mix soil with gravel or sand, but normal soil from your backyard is a-okay. Ideally, the soil should be a bit loose to mimic the normal dry environment of cacti. Alternatively, you can buy cactus mix from DIY or home improvement shops.

2. Place the cactus or succulents inside the pots.

Apart from cacti, consider buying a few other varieties of succulents to add different textures to your cactus garden. Some succulents from shops or florists already come potted, so you can keep them in those containers or transfer them to your preferred pot.  

Using your trowel, gently take the cactus out of its container and transfer it to your preferred pot. Be careful not to cut off the roots as that could affect the growth of your cactus. Add enough soil to completely cover the roots. The cactus can still grow, so make sure the pots you choose give them just a little bit of extra room. For bigger planters, you can arrange several succulents in it to maximise the space.

3. Add ornaments and arrange the pots and containers in a pleasing pattern.

If you’re a minimalist, the pots and plants are decorative enough for a garden. But if you want a pop of colour or character, you can add interesting rocks, shells or ornaments to suit your taste.

Final note: Try not to smother your succulents. As mentioned, they don’t need a lot of upkeep, so you can water them every other day—just enough to keep the soil moist.

There you have it! Three easy steps for your very own patch of Zen and green.

If you need any more ideas, check out A Better Florist’s the Hayden for succulents set in a beautiful reclaimed wooden box topped with some pebbles for that extra flair.