Episode #307- Flowers for Celebrating Life

Episode #307- Flowers for Celebrating Life

On this episode of Life In Bloom we’re Celebrating Life with Flowers. I’ll show you many, wonderful  ways to remember special people we’ve known with love and joy. Including a visit with a flower artist sculptor – and sharing some personal memories.

“In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends.”― Okakura Kakuzo

Flowers are an ideal way to Celebrate the Life of our Special Friends or Family!

Flowers are an ideal way to Celebrate the Life of our Special Friends or Family!

Flowers can provide many things… Happy Memories, Creative Inspiration – even enhanced communication. One my Dad’s favorite sayings- he would share with me- when I was arranging flowers in our flower shop- was this “As Florists- we help turn people’s feeling into flowers…”

This was helpful – and so true… People use flowers to say things they find difficult to express – flowers have the power to help us convey our feelings. We can speak volumes with flowers- congratulations, Happy Birthday, Congratulations, I Love you- or I’m sorry!

I introduce you to my Dad- and we create flowers side by side for a Veteran's Day Celebration in Fremont Nebraska!

I introduce you to my Dad- and we create flowers side by side for a Veteran’s Day Celebration in Fremont Nebraska!

Today on Life in Bloom- we’re celebrating – Life and Love with Flowers. I like the idea of “Celebrating Life” rather than mourning a loss… it’s a way for us share memories, experiences, feeling and love…  let me share some of my favorite flower-filled ways to express our emotions -and turn our feelings into flowers!” 

“Let’s start with a little bit of flower history”

I talk about the history of Decoration Day- now called Memorial Day- and how we helped our customers celebrate the lives of their loved ones!

I talk about the history of Decoration Day- now called Memorial Day- and how we helped our customers celebrate the lives of their loved ones!

Decoration Day History        

We’re all familiar with one of the biggest flower holidays in May – Mother’s Day. But did you know there was once a holiday that was even more popular for flowers and flowering plants?

Established three years after the Civil War in 1868, Memorial Day was once known as Decoration Day, a time to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers with flowers. (Eventually the holiday was expanded to honor all Americans who died while in the military service). The day fell on May 30th every year until 1971, when Congress declared Memorial Day (the new official name) a national holiday and modified the date to the last Monday of May.

We had a Peony Farm in Kansas to ensure we would always have Peonies for Memorial Day Decorations!

We had a Peony Farm in Kansas to ensure we would always have Peonies for Memorial Day Decorations!

I relate the stories of my family business, the history, experiences and memories- that were created in my 4th Generation Family business- watch the show to hear about making Thousands of Bouquets for our customers- and delivering in the cemetery- the Pancake breakfast- and my dad- Mel’s little black book-(a different kind of black book).  I also share my stories of learning the cemetery locations- lost graves- and running a small family  business , but we still managed to do it… even our bookkeeper of 67 years: Annie would join me to make bouquets!

Watch the show- to hear these stories- and other interesting things about Memorial Day at our family flower shop!

I took the crew to my Home Town- and the Flower Shop- my Parents still owned- Greens Greenhouses- so Dad and I could arrange together again!

I took the crew to my Home Town- and the Flower Shop- my Parents still owned- Greens Greenhouses- so Dad and I could arrange together again!

Making Veteran’s Day Flowers with my Dad- Mel Schwanke!

For over a decade- my Dad and I stood next to one another- everyday- creating flowers in our Family Flower Shop-
After I ventured out on my own- I often thought about those memories- and I always wanted to bring the Crew- to my hometown- Fremont, Nebraska- so we could film – my Dad and I designing next to one another- one more time…

Fortunately – we were able to do just that- a few years before he passed. It happened- to coincide with a Veterans Day Celebration- so my Dad and I created our own versions- of Red White and Blue arrangements made with all American Grown Flowers- that we donated to this Hometown Celebration…

I’m fortunate- because I have this Magical Memory- and I can watch it – whenever I like- and I can share my Dad- with you today…

Want to learn more about my Dad and Mom? Here’s a Blog about the Famous Matching couple!

Follow this link- to see the complete interview we did with my Dad!

Theming your Flower Arrangement to a favorite Hobby- is a great way to celebrate the life of a loved one!

Theming your Flower Arrangement to a favorite Hobby- is a great way to celebrate the life of a loved one!

Personalization in Flower Arranging – Fishing Motif Arrangement    

Use your imagination to create a personalized tribute that includes an interest or hobby – or translate this idea as a theme for personal flowers for a birthday party. Today, I’ll include these realistic looking fish with beautiful flowers for someone who was or is an avid angler…

My Friend Frankie Shelton- AAF, AIFD, PFCI- taught me how to create the Memory Garden- another fun flower craft - for celebrating the Life of a Family Member or Friend!

My Friend Frankie Shelton- AAF, AIFD, PFCI- taught me how to create the Memory Garden- another fun flower craft – for celebrating the Life of a Family Member or Friend!

Creating a Memory Garden with a Photo Craft

I first saw this arrangement made by my dear friend,  mentor, and public speaking expert, Frankie Shelton, and it remains a favorite of mine to this day. It’s called a memory garden and I have a crafty addition to it that makes it even more personal…

J creates arrangement in flower foam open heart shape. Red Carnations complete with a picture of his dad- Mel in a Frame-  I use “J’s Bouquet- “Sunset Drive” in Heart- with Orange and Red Carnations- to create a 3 dimensional heart! Perfect for any type of celebration!

I created this Heart Shaped Wreath- to celebrate the Life of Ralph Swanson- my other 'dad'- that taught me how to tie my shoes!

I created this Heart Shaped Wreath- to celebrate the Life of Ralph Swanson- my other ‘dad’- that taught me how to tie my shoes!

Heart Shaped Wreath Tribute to my Friend Ralph Swanson 

Turning peoples feelings into flowers- is what florists do- and I am very accustomed to this process- so today I create a special tribute for my friend (and “other dad”) Ralph Swanson- that focuses on my story- about how Ralph taught me to tie my shoes when I was a little boy!

Flower Filled Ice is a fun way to dress up a simple punch recipe- for a Celebration!

Flower Filled Ice is a fun way to dress up a simple punch recipe- for a Celebration!

Recipe in Bloom- Punch with Flower Filled Ice        
Here’s a fun way to dress up any punch is with flower-filled ice … today we’ll accent this punch and the punch bowl with Flowers around and inside the punch bowl!

Check out the recipe for this Punch Bowl Ice Decoration at this LINK

Here’s a Recipe for an EASY To make Punch- that looks great with the Flower Filled Ice – It’s the one that I used in this episode of

Life in Bloom Punch Recipe:
Combine equal parts of Prosecco and Fresh Pineapple Juice
Add Fresh Squeezed Lemon or Local Honey to adjust the flavor- I used both- it’s amazing how both flavors combine so well!
And if you want to make your punch-  non-alcoholic- use Sparking apple juice or Sparkling Water (Flavored or Otherwise)

Here’s a couple other links- for fund Flower Filled Ice Forms! Enjoy!

http://www.becauseofmadalene.com/2012/02/floral-ice-ring.html 
http://www.tea-party-circle.com/ice-ring.html
*https://www.bhg.com/recipes/drinks/fruit/punch/how-to-make-an-ice-ring/

Featured Flower is the Bearded Iris- also known as FLAGS- because of the shape and form of the flowers!

Featured Flower is the Bearded Iris- also known as FLAGS- because of the shape and form of the flowers!

Feature Flower: Bearded Iris         

  • – Bearded Iris are so-named because of a patch of soft bristles on the lower petals of the flowers.
  • – Bearded Iris are also known as Flags or Grandma’s Flags

My Grandma Schwanke- would always refer to Iris as Flags- and this sometimes caused some confusion for my little brain- she wanted me to pick some Bearded Iris and place on Grandpa Schwanke’s grave-

I have several colors of Bearded Iris in the Garden- and I love including them in my arrangements!

I have several colors of Bearded Iris in the Garden- and I love including them in my arrangements!

  • – Bearded iris come in an incredible variety of colors and patterns and are known for their long bloom time.
  • – Every color—except fire-engine red—can be found in bearded iris
  • – Bearded Iris are available as a cut flower, but can also be grown in your garden
  • – The plants need well-drained soil and at least six hours of sunlight per day.
  • – Do not mulch Bearded Iris plants. Mulching retains moisture, and too much moisture will cause the rhizomes (fleshy root-like structures at the base) to rot.
  • - The name of iris comes from the Greek word which means rainbow, possibly due to the wide variety of iris flower colors.
  • - The flower shares its name (Iris) with the ancient Greek goddess of the rainbow, a beautiful young maiden with the wings, who is the messenger of the. The Rainbow is a link between heaven and earth, which she uses to travel back and forth.
  • -One of the meanings of the iris flower is hope and good news.

https://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/perennials/how-to-grow-maintain-and-divide-bearded-iris/
https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/199/
https://flower-meanings.com/iris-flower-meaning/

Sweet William is another classic and traditional flower for Memorial Day...

Sweet William is another classic and traditional flower for Memorial Day…

I hope you’ll think of including flowers in your life as a way to create memorable experiences, and as a happy reminder of those who are no longer with us – and the joy, beauty, and good times they shared in our lives. For Life In Bloom, I’m J Schwanke.