Josefien Goethals: Stimulate your senses and imagination
An ode to the lily
The properties of lilies excite our senses and imagination
I combine both in this blog and in the designs I created in my ode to this elusive flower.
Lilies have many properties that make them special. These are the properties that excite our senses, but also the more intangible properties that lie in their symbolism. I combine both in this blog and in the designs I made with lilies in three colors from Bredefleur. I leave the rest to your imagination. Lilies are such diverse flowers to use in designs. They smell wonderful or not (yes, there are fragrance-free ones too). They have an incredible length to work with. And their powerful color palette gives many possibilities.
The closed flower bud is mysterious and you can feel the excitement as the flower opens. The stamens and the beautiful lines and dots appear, as does the transition of colors in the flower. The flowers become a beautiful focal flower in a bouquet, they grab the credits of the whole arrangement and they have every right to do so. They seduce you with their fragrance, allure and attitude.
With the lily, you can go either way. You have plenty of choice in color, shape and size. You can find the flower in serene white, quiet pink and striking red, yellow, purple and orange. It is also available with stripes or polka dots. The flowers can be from 7 to 25 inches in diameter. By the way, double lilies like the Lily Double Diamond have no stamens.
The symbolism of lilies
If one flower has meaning, it is the lily. The lily is literally full of symbolism; it represents sweetness, purity, love, fertility, femininity, unity and impermanence, all in one flower. Of all these symbolic meanings, four stand out. Which ones are they? You can read about them below.
It is mainly the shape, the variety of colors and the sweet fragrance that make the lily the symbol of femininity. This meaning goes far back, to ancient Egypt. Greek and Roman brides, for example, were often given a crown of lilies in the hope of a pure and fruitful life.
Expressing feelings in the rigid Victorian era? That was really "not done. But how were people supposed to tell each other what they were feeling? A secret language turned out to be the solution. By giving each flower a particular meaning, the language of flowers was born: Floriography. At that time, the Romans used the lily as stuffing in pillows and blankets because of its nice smell. Thus, lilies became the fragrance diffusers of love. When a lady received this sweet-smelling flower, she knew for sure, "This is my beloved.
It probably hasn't escaped your notice: white lilies are often used at weddings. The reason? White lilies, especially in Christianity, symbolize virginity and purity. Therefore, the white lily is nicknamed "The Madonna Lily. And note that the lily is also often seen as a religious symbol in conjunction with the Virgin Mary.
"The properties of lilies excite our senses and imagination. I combine both in this blog and in the designs I have created in my ode to this elusive flower."
Lilies have a wow factor
Not only when we are happy and joyful, flowers are a wonderful way to express emotions. Even in loss and mourning, flowers help to say something without words. Lilies are often used at funerals; the serene, pure look of the flower suits the occasion well.
Lilies have a wow factor
If there is one versatile flower, it is the lily. However you choose to use the flower, it always provides the wow factor.
They create a beautiful atmosphere. Lilies are flowers with large calyxes in all sorts of colors, color combinations and sizes. Some are wonderfully fragrant, while others show off beautiful pollen on their stamens. There are also beauties that are fragrance-free and pollen-free, and did you know there are even double-flowered lilies? What they all have in common is that they immediately shine where they are allowed to shine.
They are modest. Although lilies have a big wow effect, the meaning of this flower is just the opposite. The lily symbolizes innocence, in the sense of being unaware. How modest is that? A true natural beauty that unknowingly draws all the attention to itself. To be enjoyed!
Caring for your lilies
If you bought lilies, then of course you want to enjoy them as long as possible. Remove the leaves that would otherwise be submerged. Cut the stems with a sharp knife as diagonally as possible. Immediately put the lilies in a clean vase with lukewarm water and cut flower food. And change the water so it stays fresh and clear.
So all your senses can enjoy these beautiful flowers. And leave the rest to your imagination....
Josefien Goethals is founder at MiFleur, creative director & designer at Guerill.