What’s a Corsage?

For as far back as we can remember for occasions such as milestones birthdays, graduations, proms,   weddings and even baby showers there have been flowers involved. From table decorations to personal arrangements pinned to a shirt, or tied around a wrist to fresh flowers placed in an up-do or a flower crown on your head. But where did this floral tradition start? Why were people pinning fresh flowers to their clothing?

The word “corsage” is French and originally referred to the bodice portion of a formal dress. Women used to pin flowers to the bodices of their formal wear which was known as “bouquet de corsage”, quickly shortened to what we use today.

In ancient times, flowers were worn to special events in order to ward of any evil. Hence why weddings and special occasions became the main flower wearing events! Some even wore flowers to simply keep themselves safe. It is said that boutonnieres provide the same for men by warding off evil and preventing disease. Back in the 16th and 17th centuries many people would wear corsages and boutonnieres every day to stay healthy, but as time went on they became more common just for special events.

As more time went on, the placement of corsages changed from the bodice to a strap on a dress near the shoulder. The meaning of corsages also change and was less focused on warding off evil or preventing illnesses and became more of a luxury. When courting a lady, a gentlemen would give his date a corsage as a gift for attending an event or dance with him. This is more like what we know corsages to be for today.

The gentleman would show respect to his date’s parents by presenting a bouquet of flowers and usually would pin a flower from the bouquet to his date’s dress. This was meant to represent attachment to another person. Corsages were also given on holidays, and even birthdays to show love and appreciation.

More presently, corsages are still worn for many special occasions. However, fashions and styles continue to change and more ladies will wear a wrist corsage, flower crown, flower ring, or carry a bouquet instead of pinning anything to their beautiful (and expensive) dresses.

A cordage is meant to make someone stand out from others and signify that she is celebrating something very special. Some will even press and frame their corsages to hold on to special memories.

Corsages by Leigh Florist

Alstromeria

Alstromeria is one of nature’s most exotic looking flowers, also known as Peruvian Lilies. It comes in a variety of shades and colors, making them a perfect choice for any occasion. The Peruvian lily represents friendship and devotion and come in a variety of colors making them an ideal match for any birthday, graduation, or a “just because” arrangement. A few of the most popular colors include shades of yellow, pink, orange, and white.  The Peruvian lily is a very long lasting flower that has multiple blooms on a single stem, making these a popular choice for designers to place in vases or bouquets.

Alstromeria is native to South America, but now grow all over the world.  It was brought to Europe in the 1800’s, by a Swedish Botanist.  Not long after his discovery of the Peruvian Lily, did the flower gain popularity among flower enthusiasts.  With their meaning of devotion and friendship people quickly started giving them as gifts to friends and family.

Tulip Garden arrangement by Leigh Florist featuring Peruvian lilies (Alstromeria). 

 

Wedding Roses

May of 2017 at the Abbie Holmes Estate in Cape May Court House, NJ.

Photos By: Jessica Cooper Photography

The Abbie Holmes Estate is the perfect setting for weddings with its beautifully manicured gardens and natural surroundings it is sure to make your wedding memorable.

The bride’s bouquet consisted of a gorgeous combination of peach and lavender roses in a small cascade shape. Her bridesmaids carried a small bouquet of similar colors consisting of white hydrangea, peach roses and small purplish blue accents. Having more white in the bridesmaids bouquets allowed the flowers to really pop against their dresses and the opposite effect for the bride in her stunning white gown.

Jessica Cooper Photography

Erin & Kevin

Erin and Kevin said their I Do’s on a beautiful day in Philadelphia, PA. Erin’s crystal beaded gown sparkled in the sunlight and was complimented by her bouquet of soft pink and white blooms. Kevin wore a white bloom with greens to match his bride. The reception took place at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia where the tables were decorated in  soft neutral colors with pinks and greens to accent. Floating candles and tealights were added for a romantic candle lit atmosphere.

Photos by: Juliana Laury Photography
Venue: The Crystal Tea Room – Philadelphia, PA

Bells of Ireland

Molucella laevis, more commonly known as Bells of Ireland, are viewed as a symbol of luck.  Their dramatic profiles make them one of the most recognizable flowers.  Bells of Ireland usually grow up to 2ft tall or higher.  It’s blooms, known as bells or calyx, are a beautiful shade of lime green.  They grow up the length of the stem, and help conceal its defense mechanism, of little white spikes, that can be sharp. So, handle with care! It is open to debate whether or not Bells of Ireland are a flower, or foliage. Contrary to belief, Bells of Ireland are native to the Mediterranean coast lines. They are a part of the mint family. These gorgeous blooms help give a modern flair to any arrangement.  They would be perfect in an arrangement to anyone who just bought a new house, or started a new job to wish them good luck!

The Anemone

The Anemone is a beautiful classic flower that has many uses from bridal bouquets to everyday centerpieces. The genus Anemone consists of 120 species of perennial flowering plants, which grow from tubers. Anemones grow wild in many European countries, North America, and Japan. The name Anemone is of Greek descent and roughly means wind flower because it’s the wind that opens them up. They were also once used for medical purposes as well. They have been known to help treat cramps and emotional distress.

The anemone comes several different colors such as red, pink, magenta, purple and blue, but the white anemone has proven most popular.

When it comes to wedding flowers the anemone is mostly used in the bridal bouquet. With its pure white petals and deep black center it creates a classic look on its own. You can also create a more dramatic look depending on what other flowers you pair them with. These flowers are typically available from October to May, only two of the major wedding months. If this is a flower you love and would like to incorporate into your wedding be sure to consider your time frame. Check with your local florist to inquire about their availability, and color options.

The Rose

Roses are the national flower of England, and represented two important families in the 15th century. The Lancasters (red roses) and the Yorks (white roses) competed against each other for rule of England in The War of The Roses.

Williams Shakespeare, one of England’s greatest writers was inspired by the rose. Romeo and Juliet has one of the most well-known quotes on roses, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet is reminding Romeo it doesn’t matter that they come from feuding houses because their love is real.

The Rose is one on the most popular and easily recognized flower out there. Many people see them as a gift of love and affection. Well, they are correct, but did you know that different colors and groupings of roses symbolize different things?

A rose’s symbolism changes based on the color and the number of them given. Below is a list of the most popular colors and what they represent.

  • Red roses symbolize love and romance.
  • Pink roses symbolize gratitude, grace, admiration, and joy.
  • Orange roses symbolize enthusiasm and passion.
  • Yellow roses symbolize friendship.
  • White roses symbolize innocence and purity.

Uptown Roses                     Sweet Love                    Cupid’s Arrow
        By: Leigh Florist

Did you know you can send a more specific message with the number of roses given?

  • One rose symbolizes love at first sight.
  • Two roses symbolize shared and deep love.
  • Three roses says “I love you”.
  • Six roses says “I want to be yours”.
  • Seven roses says “I’m infatuated with you”.
  • Nine roses symbolize eternal love.
  • Ten roses says “You’re perfect”.

Modern Gem by Leigh Florist

 

A Spring Wedding

In April of 2017, they said I do in Haddonfield, NJ. Their family and friends gathered at Haddon Fortnightly to celebrate this wonderful occasion.

The Haddon Fortnightly is a beautiful, traditional space with honey colored hard wood floors, white decorative pillars and simple yet traditional gold chandeliers throughout. It was a beautiful day, which made the photographers job that much easier! Carley K Photography captured the love these two share perfectly and we couldn’t be happier for them.

The Bride’s bouquet was a beautiful organic collection of white blooms, accented with a variety of greens including silver dollar eucalyptus (one of our favorites). The groom wore a simple white tea rose with greenery to match his beautiful bride.

Carley K Photography

Meet Our Favorite Local Farmers

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Muth Farms

                We pride ourselves in buying as locally as we can, and having the freshest flowers possible for our customers.  Muth Farm is located in Williamstown, NJ and owned by two sisters Mary Ellen and Margaret.  They had a passion for flowers since a young age.  Their flowers are carefully tended, and organically grown using sustainable methods, without chemical fertilizers or pesticides.  They love growing rare variety of flowers, along with the classics.  They grow many flowers such as: Lisianthus, Dahlias, Sunflowers, Zinnias, and many more unique wild flowers.  Their love and care for their blooms, show on each and every flower they grow.  They also grow and sell fresh produce, which is available at their farm stand May  to October.

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Formisano Farms

  Most flowers come from all over the world. Israel, Thailand, Holland, and South America to name a few.  But what people don’t know is some are grown here, locally in New Jersey.  We pride ourselves in the fact we buy local when we can, especially from New Jersey farmers.  Formisano Farms is located in Buena, NJ, the heart of Atlantic County.  Farmisano Farms has been in the Farmisano family for four generations, since 1908.  They grow seasonal flowers like dahlias, and sunflowers, as well as unusual pods and foliages  that add that unique touch to our arrangements. They also grow and sell produce as well.  We see this farm staying around for more generations to come. Read more about the benefits of supporting local farms here!

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The History Of Mistletoe

The holidays are upon us! Our trees are trimmed, the stockings are hung, and the smell of cookies and evergreens is all around.  It’s a Christmas party!  People drinking, being merry, and wishing each other a Happy New Year. Then, there alone in corner, a girl stands under the mistletoe waiting to be kissed. What does it mean if she gets a kiss? What does it mean if she doesn’t? How did this tradition begin?

                Mistletoe has been a winter tradition that began in Europe thousands of years ago.  The Norse, Germans, and Greeks viewed mistletoe as a plant that warded off evil spirits. They viewed mistletoe this way, because it defied odds and grows in the winter.  Through myths and legends it became the symbol of love. Men and women would stand under it, waiting to be kissed by their sweetheart.

When mistletoe came to Victorian England, any woman standing under mistletoe could be kissed by any man. If she refused, it was deemed bad luck.  A kiss could mean lasting friendship, deep romance, or even goodwill. If the girl remained “unkissed”, she cannot expect to marry until the following year.

Though these superstitions are long gone, today mistletoe adds a fun festive game to any holiday party.  Don’t forget to add a holiday centerpiece to your party this year!  Spruce up your winter décor with a fresh flower centerpiece from Leigh Florist – order here for local delivery.

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