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Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party’

Easter celebrates new beginnings & resurrection as the weather becomes warmer and shakes off its winter coat, arriving with new buds, delicate blossom and an unrivalled trumpeting of greenery.

 

Easter is full of many customs commandeered from Christianity and the ancient world. Its religious origin finds representation in Christian imagery, while most of us are familiar with eggs ( a sign of rebirth) and bunnies (a sign of fertility) that come to us from the spring festivals of antiquity. Nonetheless, a universal thread connects these symbols – they all represent new life. With their luminous, fragile petals and young buds, it’s no surprise Easter flowers are seen as fitting emblems for this time of year.

 

The most traditional floral symbol of Easter is the white lily, an ancient embodiment of the Resurrection and today evoking images of purity, hope and new life

Bright bushels of tulips symbolize friendship, trust and joy, whilst daisies bring meanings of innocence and joy.

And on everyone’s list of Spring flowers are daffodils (daffadowndilly, narcissus, and jonquil), the glory of springtime.

 

These flowers deck churches, homes and tables across the country during the celebration

 

Here at Flowers from Holland we’ve DCUK ducks, Easter gifts and decoration, teddy bears, Easter trees and of course all your favourite spring flowers

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We’re busy preparing for the holiday since we closed our books on Mother’s Day: The shop is now teeming with tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, azaleas and of course Easter Lilies, Longiflorums – available in store in traditional white with a fabulous pink trumpet. We’ve also Easter bouquets in a choice of colours and deliveries available on Saturday before Easter Sunday.

 

So here’s a reminder of some of our traditions at Easter – past and present

  • Easter was once a traditional day for getting married, that may be why people often dress up for Easter. Women would make and wear special Easter bonnets – decorated with flowers and ribbons. Even today there are special Easter Parade, especially in schools, where hand-made bonnets are shown off.
  • Hot Cross Buns:  An old rhyme was often sung by children awaiting their sugary treat: “Hot cross buns, hot cross buns, one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns. If you do not like them, give them to your sons, one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.”
  • Simnel cake – decorated with eleven almond paste balls for the disciples – the one missing is for Judas who is not commemorated

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  • The German tradition of decorating trees and bushes with Easter eggs is known as the Ostereierbaum, or Easter egg tree. The traditional “trees” were branches in a vase hung with brightly colored eggs. Today many homes hang the painted or dyed Easter eggs and other decorations on real trees in their front yards to add a colorful touch and a festive spirit to the whole neighborhood. We’ve some of our own in the shop – large and small displays.

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  • On Easter Sunday it WAS (thankfully this has died out) a common custom, for a number of boys to assemble in the afternoon, and as soon as the clock struck four, hit the streets in parties, and accost every female they happened to meet, with “pay for your shoes if you please,” at the same time, stopping to take them off; which, if they did, and did not immediately get a penny or twopence, they actually carried them off. Often the boys collected, at least, a dozen odd shoes; but generally, something was given, which in the evening they either spent in public houses!

As we said at the beginning – Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party’  

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My Sweet Valentine

Valentine’s Day, or as it is more formally known, Saint Valentine’s Day, is celebrated on 14th February each year.

A man named Valentinus was martyred on February 14 late in the third century A.D. This much we know. But when it comes to details about the life of St. Valentine, legend often supersedes fact. The Valentines that are commemorated are actually two Italian saints, Valentin or Valentnus, who share the saint’s day of 14th February. There’s nothing especially romantic about the lives of the two original Valentines, they were both martyred for their faith, in Ad 197 and AD 269 respectively. The first reference in print to Valentine’s Day is found in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The parlement of foules [The Parliament of Fowls], circa 1381; indeed Chaucer may have invented Valentine’s Day!

 

 

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February  14

 

So, on this day in history…

1929 Sir Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin after leaving a plate of staphylococcus bacteria uncovered

1984 Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won the Olympic ice skating championship with the free dance performance of Ravel’s Bolero.

2006  MPs (Members of Parliament) voted to ban smoking from all pubs and private member’s clubs in England.

2013 Oscar Pistorius, who had recently competed in both the Olympics and Paralympics as a runner, was arrested over shooting and killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

In ancient Rome, 13, 14 and 15 February were celebrated as Lupercalia, a pagan fertility festival. This seems to be the basis for a celebration of love on this date. It was marked in a subtly different way in those days, however. According to a classics professor at the University of Colorado, young men would strip naked and use goat- or dog-skin whips to spank the backsides of young women in order to improve their fertility; an early IVF, if you will!

And if you were lucky enough to be born on February 14th, your personality is defined by charm, romanticism and impulsiveness. Throughout your life, you’ll have noticed that people cannot help but gravitate to your personality. While you are always social, you are also a natural romantic and your astrological stature continues to have impact when we look at:

Planetary Influence

More so than any of the other Aquarius Decans, you have an emotional and sensitive nature. This quality allows you to love wholeheartedly and with passion. In love, your passion may be short-lived however, as you quickly fall in and out of love. In all aspects of your life, restlessness will be an issue, but luckily your warm personality will take you far.

Career

Your sensitivity may do well in humanitarian careers, such as teaching, counseling or advising. On the other hand, your compassion and determination would be a great fit for politics, which was the case for Michael Bloomberg, who was also born on February 14th. If the world of entertainment is alluring, your charm and warmth may be a great fit for media or film, much like Meg Tilly, another of your celebrity birthday twins.

Sabian Symbol

The Sabian Symbol for your birthday is a garage man testing a car’s battery with a hydrometer! This symbol relates to the power of your mental efficiency. You have the skills and knowledge to apply to all aspects of your life. When you embrace these gifts, there are many things that you can accomplish.

St. Valentine has wide-ranging spiritual responsibilities. People call on him to watch over the lives of lovers, of course, but also for interventions regarding beekeeping and epilepsy, as well as the plague, fainting and traveling. As you might expect, he’s also the patron saint of engaged couples and happy marriages. So with that in mind here’s our guide for guys (and gals) when buying Valentine’s Flowers1f910f2910f2b6b8ad7d462e048d1ab4

1/  When choosing, think about

❤️ Colours – you can pick your colour palette from strong hues to dusty pinks

❤️ Design –  you can opt for simplicity, originality or extravagance depending on your loved one’s personality

❤️ Message – try to convey something personal, even if it’s the length of a Twitter message

2/ Use a reputable florist for

❤️ Delivery

❤️ Friendly and helpful customer service

❤️ A wide variety of flower arrangement options

❤️ Skilled Designers

Not all florists are created equally!

We know that flowers are a fantastic way to express what is often difficult to express in words. By sending flowers on Valentine’s Day, with a little extra thought, your love and respect will shine through

“Flowers from Holland – for when flowers matter”

Continue reading My Sweet Valentine

Flowers can help your business grow

Sending clients bouquets to say Happy Christmas or as part of your client servicing policy; remembering birthdays, anniversaries, celebrating births or just saying thank you, creates a positive emotional memory of your brand that can make all the difference.

Arrangements from Flowers from Holland are expertly prepared, hand-tied and presented in a cellophane wrap that encases the cut stems in a gel…ideal for courier service

Feel free to message me here or call Grantham 01476 574006 for our new 24-hour nationwide, bouquet courier service

Sue 🌸

From France with love: Stunningly-beautiful ceramic pieces for your home now at Flowers from Holland, Grantham

We are thrilled to be stocking an exquisite range of Mark Judson’s hand-crafted, high-fired, stoneware bowls, porcelain slabs and elegant, coiled moon vases.

Mark’s work is renowned. In 2005, after teaching art in England for 23 years, he moved to western France. Here, in his light, airy studio, set among rambling old farm buildings in lush countryside, Mark works his magic. Turning clay into dazzling works of art, he specialises in creating individual, confident ceramic pieces, finished with decorative glazes.

In October we were lucky enough to exhibit some of his gorgeous pieces in Grantham, and the unanimous reaction was “wow!”.

Inspired by the ever-changing textures and colours he sees in natural landscapes, Mark uses a variety of techniques including throwing on the wheel, slab and coil. For those of you who have seen the “Pottery Throwdown” he doesn’t cry over his work, but each time the kiln is fired and ready for unloading he trusts that the “kiln gods” have been kind! And it seems they always are.

All of Mark’s high-impact, vibrant pieces are watertight, safe for food use and can be hand washed, making them practical – as well as beautiful – additions to any home. Mark only uses the highly-reputed St Amand en Puysaye clay from Burgundy and the finished body is hard-wearing and heat-proof. Each piece is fired twice, first at 1000C for about 12 hours, then after glazing at 1250C for a similar amount of time to create the best possible finish.

The results are truly amazing. In every piece, you can feel the passion, love and care that has gone into its creation.

Come and see for yourself. Pop in to see us, 12 St Catherines Road in Grantham and fall in love.

How “I can’t” became “I can” (with a little help from my friends)

Throughout the summer of last year, my brother Robert kept asking me become the new owner of the florist on St Catherine’s Road in Grantham. I thought I couldn’t do it. I nearly convinced myself I couldn’t do it. But my husband Andy thought otherwise. We talked it through and, with his support and encouragement, I eventually took a leap of faith. Terrified, yet hugely excited, on October 1, 2015 I opened the doors of Flowers From Holland for the very first time. Although I had always been a keen flower arranger, a florist (I thought) I was not!

We all need sources of inspiration now and then. Mine has come from a poem by Edgar Albert Guest, called “It couldn’t be done”. This poem hangs on my office wall and, whenever I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew ( and there were plenty of those moments, believe me), I would seek encouragement in its words:

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,

     There are thousands to prophesy failure,

There are thousands to point out to you one by one,

     The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,

     Just take off your coat and go to it;

Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing

     That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

So I stopped thinking ‘I can’t’ and started believing ‘I can’’. And you know what? It turned out I could! I took on an existing colleague, Claire, to join me and together we’ve ‘buckled in with a bit of a grin’ and we’ve done it!

We’re now completing our NAFAS (the National Association of Flower Arrangement Society) qualifications, to ensure we always deliver exceptional arrangements, using exceptional flowers.

One year on, every day I’m surrounded by one of my favourite things – flowers.  And I’m pleased to say that the business is going from strength to strength. So thank you Robert, thank you Andy, thank you Edgar and thank you Claire. And most of all, thank you to all our amazing, lovely clients. Your support means the world.

To celebrate our 1st birthday, we’re offering FREE DELIVERY throughout October,

We will of course also be celebrating with cake and on the 21st & 22nd we are exhibiting some gorgeous art by a talented, contemporary artist (my cousin) who taught at The Perse School in Cambridge and now lives in France

The Angel & Royal Wedding Fair is on October 23 in Grantham and we’ll be showcasing a wonderful new range of bouquet presentations.

Looking ahead (well it is only weeks away) Claire and I are looking forward to offering you a range of unique and bespoke Christmas wreaths and arrangements.

Catch up soon 😊

First blog post

Most of life’s dramas are brought to us here at Flowers from Holland. Our arrangements hail babies and baptisms, they ornament brides, congratulate graduates, comfort the sick and honour the dead. It is an emotive business and that’s why I love what I do, so much

With this blog, I want to bring you a few of the stories behind our bespoke, unique floral arrangements and keep you up to date with some of our exciting plans and projects for 2017. There is so much happening in Grantham right now and Flowers from Holland are very excited to be part of it 🌹 🌷 🌼 🌸 💐