Flowers in Focus
As flowers are such an important part of any event, we have decided to focus our attention to them on a regular basis. Every month or so, we will introduce a different flower and hope you fall in love with each and every one of them!
Common name: Water Lily
Botanical Name: Water lilies belong to the Nymphaeaceae family, consisting of about 70 species of flowering plants.
Availability: Hardy water lilies can remain in the pond all year. The lily will die off in the winter time and produce new leaves and flowers in the spring. Water Lilies are generally available in Sydney from September through March.
Available Colours: Flowers come in a variety of colours ranging from yellow, pink, red, white, purple, blue and orange. Some hardy water lily flowers change colour shades over the life of the bloom.
Size: Water liliesgreatly vary in size – from miniature flowers with tiny leaves to monster plants that spread over 2.5 square meters! Generally in the markets you’ll find ones that are around 10-15cm wide when open.
Leaves: Varies – smooth or jagged, rounded or pointed.
Fragrance level: There are a number of lilies that are amazingly fragrant, for instance the Nymphaea odorata, the most common white water lily.
Symbolism: Water lilies represent and symbolise different things in various cultures. Their common meaning is chastity and virtue.
Water lilies (known as lotuses) were an important part of ancient Egypt, with many temple columns carrying the lotus motif. They symbolised the separation of deities, death and the afterlife.
Works well with: Water Lilies are so distinctive that they work well with their own kind. It is just so dramatic when you only use them or lotus flowers in an arrangement. However, if they are being used in a table-scape or a small vase then feel free to mix it up. This is probably the safest thing to do for a wedding in case the flowers close up and you aren’t left with any colour. In the milk bottle arrangement above we used only a couple of Water Lilies and mixed them in with Freesias. We purposefully made the arrangement loosely structured as there is a big difference in surface area when the lilies open and close. Water lilies often close at night, particularly on the first day they are cut. Also, don’t freak out if when you cut them a big gush of water comes out of the stem… as you might have guessed this took us a little by surprise! They are such interesting flowers to watch as they open and close and this is what makes them so special! Other flowers in the same season include Chincherinchee, Dahlias, Lotus flowers and pods, Delphiniums, David Austins and Peonies…all of which would look great with water lilies!
Did you know? The Crystal Palace in London was inspired by water lilies and nature’s clever engineering. “Nature had provided the leaf with longitudinal and transverse girders and supportsthat I, borrowing from it, have adapted in this building.” Joseph Paxton.
Demo… Of course Martha Stewart has this one covered! Click here for her video on flower arranging with Water Lilies.
Source: featured image