Farewell flowers are about a life being remembered in a way that is meaningful to those who are grieving. For me as a florist, flowers provide a sensory language to commemorate your loved one with colour. Every farewell design is unique, just like the person you are saying goodbye to. Each one starts with a conversation. It might go a bit like this:
Granddaughter: My Nannie’s just passed away. I have to get flowers for the funeral and I don’t know where to start.
Florist: I’m sorry to hear that. I can help you with the flowers. Could you tell me a bit about your Nannie?
Granddaughter: She was…one of a kind. I mainly remember one version of her because she was diagnosed with dementia 20 years ago, when I was only little. She was fiercely stubborn, full of love for her family (even when she didn’t know who we were) and always generous with her opinions. She loved red and pink. I can’t believe she’s gone. She was so strong, it felt like she’d be around forever.
Sounds like a nice chat, but what do the flowers look like?
A COLOURFUL COLLECTION OF BRITISH BLOOMS
Her favourite colour palette is painted with deep red alstroemeria, pink rhododendron and tulips and cerise and pale pink stocks. Orange tulips jump out like the opinions that tumbled from her. Her unwavering love is represented by bluebells, the flower of constancy while her strength and stubbornness are translated to bay leaves, which carry the message “I change but in death”.
The flowers are tied with biodegradable jute twine, designed to be untied at the end of the service for the flowers to be shared amongst the family.
Photography by Lucinda C.
Floral definitions taken from 1968’s The Language of Flowers, by Margaret Pickston.