Flowers are an incredibly common gift to give. They are on the same level as a box of chocolates or a giant sift teddy bear, especially on Valentine’s Day. Mothers Day is just round the corner and flowers will again be a big deal. Thousands of pounds will be spent on hundreds of thousands of different flowers. For the majority of people, flowers are beautiful things with gorgeous smells and brilliant range of colours. A vast array of reds, blues, greens, yellows and so many more colours all mixed together in buckets and vases.
However, for me, they represent something very different. The only place flowers are acceptable are at funerals. Not birthdays, not Christmas (who gives them at Christmas anyway), not Valentines Day and I could keep going with this. And definitely not in hospitals. Gifted flowers represent one thing to me… Death.
I walked into my kitchen one day and I was hit by a strong scent of the flowers my brother had given my Mum for her birthday. The smell permeated the entire room and I physically recoiled from it. I flinched when I actually saw the flowers is the glass vase. Flower in this situation represent the decaying of time that leads to death and I hate it.
Plants and potted flowers are the exact opposite. They are the most beautiful things in the world. They represent everything that is good in nature, grow from their seeds, take nourishment from the earth and they grow. Eventually they become sights to behold, making our gardens and parks look spectacular. They make the forests and countryside all that more colourful. They represent the simplicity of life.
Gifted flowers are flowers we have chosen to kill. They are there, living in nature and giving back to nature in their own ecosystem and we come and cut them out of the ground. We put them in water to ensure they survive just long enough to give them as gifts to our love ones.
From that moment we watch them decay and die slowly. Eventually after maybe a week or two, we throw their dead carcases away and say what wonderful flowers they were. Do you know what would have been more beautiful?
A plant or flower that carries on living. My auntie had her birthday recently and she received no flowers to put in a vase. She did however get potted flowers and plants. That ensures that she can keep them alive and enjoy their beauty and their scent. A friend of mine adores plants. I mean literally, he has plenty. Probably too many, but still. He cares for them as if they are his children. He keeps them alive.
I say this to you. If you do wish to buy someone flowers for their birthday or some other event, then buy them a potted one. Buy them one that they can keep alive, rather than simply throw out at the end of the week after they have watched them die.
Although disclaimer: Don’t buy me a plant because they will die all the same. I can barely function in the real world so giving me a plant to look after is a terrible idea. When my parents go away on holiday, I struggle to remember to water their plants, so the idea of me owning a plant is just terrifying.