As a third-generation floral designer, I often find myself reminiscing about my grandmother's times when the lily, in all its glory, was unfortunately labeled as a 'cemetery flower'. This association cast a somewhat somber shadow over this majestic bloom, making it 'unsuitable' for gifting purposes, at least for a period. More often than not, its stunning beauty was only truly appreciated in the creation of memorial arrangements, particularly here in Germany.
However, as is often the case, time brought about a change. The lily has experienced a renaissance, rejuvenated and revived, basking in a newfound appreciation. Many have fallen in love with its intoxicating fragrance, its presence is undeniably grand and powerful, and its association with nature is innate.
And rightly so. The diverse array of lily varieties has enhanced our craft in a way that is nothing short of spectacular. Some of them exude a natural, pared-down appeal in their growth and bloom shape. In contrast, others are flamboyantly double-flowered, almost baroque in their aesthetic. With or without their characteristic scent, they are simply marvelous.
Lily Lasting Love
Design #1 - Late Summer Table Decoration
The first that came to mind was a late summer table décor, reminiscent of southern regions where life is savored, and as much time as possible is spent outdoors. Think of celebrating with friends, cooking together, gathering in a warm, convivial atmosphere, and then adding a touch of grandeur to the courtyard with these magnificent lilies. Voila! Alongside grasses, fennel, allium, and wild carrots (Daucus Carota), I tried to simply let the lily shine, providing a grand spectacle visible from afar!
The Sublime Lily
The lily, once relegated to a somber role, has now claimed its rightful place among the most sublime flowers. From a standalone statement piece to a harmonious addition to a mixed bouquet, it exudes an undeniable charm that is captivating. The lily is a celebration of nature's grandeur, a powerful symbol of life's exquisite beauty, and a testament to the evolving preferences and tastes of flower enthusiasts.
Embrace the lily in all its glory, for it's a flower that is second to none in terms of sheer magnificence. Whether it's a touch of elegance to your home, adorning your shop or office, or gracing a party, the lily stands tall, proud, and majestic. So, the next time you come across this beautiful flower, remember to admire it not just for its aesthetic appeal, but also for its remarkable journey from being a 'cemetery flower' to being recognized as one of the sublime flowers par excellence.
Looking beyond the aesthetics and symbolism, it's fascinating to see how the lily has undergone a transformation over the years. What was once seen as an unsuitable gift has now become a desirable flower in every context. This incredible transition reflects the beauty of time and its ability to alter our perspectives, transforming what was once overlooked into something undeniably desirable.
Design #2 - Minimalist Garden Party
For my second arrangement, I envisioned a more minimalistic design, aiming to bring out the purity of the bloom while still maintaining the "garden party" vibe. It was intended for urban apartments with a terrace or balcony. I wanted to create the sensation of "flickering flames" with the allium at the center, a nod to warm summer nights spent under the stars. I also wanted to incorporate the lily buds that only bloom later, to create a lovely "bowl" shape. These "bowls" have become quite trendy among the younger crowd - it can set the stage for a "round evening". This chic and stylish table décor is sure to impress – enjoy your meal!
Beauty & Versatility
I'm a strong advocate for the lily, not just for its striking beauty but also for its versatility. It’s a flower that lends itself well to a variety of arrangements, be it simple or extravagant, traditional or modern. Its bold presence has the ability to uplift any floral ensemble, capturing attention with its allure and grandeur.
When I designed the two arrangements with the Lasting Love lily, my main intention was to pay homage to the lily's inherent beauty. I wanted to highlight its opulence without overshadowing the other elements. It was crucial to me that the lily remained the star of the show, regardless of the setting or company it kept.
The first design, inspired by the late summer outdoor celebrations in southern regions, is intended to showcase the lily's ability to mingle and complement other natural elements. This is the beauty of the lily, its ability to bring nature's charm to your doorstep, creating an inviting and warm ambiance.
The second design was more understated, a nod to the minimalist trend prevalent among urban dwellers. It celebrated the lily in its most pure and raw form, stripped of all the pomp and show. With the allium at the center symbolizing 'flickering flames', and the soon-to-bloom lily buds shaped into a 'bowl', the arrangement captured a snapshot of the lily's lifecycle - a promise of a spectacular bloom to come.
What I Love About Working With Lilies
What I love about working with lilies is the sheer joy and challenge they bring to the design process. They force you to think outside the box, to envision arrangements that reflect their personality – grand, bold, and enigmatic. And when you do that, you end up with creations that are not only beautiful but also brimming with character.
As floral designers, we are in the privileged position to re-introduce flowers like the lily to a new generation, to give them the chance to appreciate their enchanting beauty and the versatility they bring to floral design. This journey, in essence, showcases the ability of flowers to break barriers and misconceptions, to adapt and stay relevant amidst changing trends and preferences.
So the next time you find yourself in the presence of a lily, take a moment to appreciate its journey, its transformation from being labeled as a 'cemetery flower' to now standing tall as one of the most sublime flowers. And who knows, you might just find yourself captivated by its charm, just as I did many years ago. After all, the lily isn't just another flower. It's a testament to the transformative power of time and a celebration of nature's infinite beauty.