Have you ever wondered why we paint eggs at Easter, or why there are bunny rabbits, chicks and flowers everywhere? Easter as we all know, is a Christian holiday, however many of the traditions and festivities predate Christianity, and were central to the Eostre Festival (an ancient Spring festival).
The story goes that Pope Gregory sent a 40 strong team of monks from Rome to England with the mission to covert the pagans to Christianity. It was quite the colossal task given that the pagans held their rituals and celebrations so close, that Augustine, the mission leader was advised to allow the pagans to continue their with their rituals, and instead to teach them the Christian philosophy and to somehow intregrate Christian ceremonies. Many of the pagan customs that had been associated with the celebration of spring were eventually absorbed within Christianity, and accepted as symbols of the resurrection of Jesus.
We know that Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection occurs around the time of Jewish Passover, which coincides with the Northern Hemisphere’s springtime. Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox, where the hours of the day begin increasing. The equinox is viewed as a time of fertility and new life. This is why fresh cut flowers are still a popular gift to take to people over the Easter period. In fact many of the symbols we see in today’s Easter celebration are steeped in the traditions of the Easter/ Eostre festival; rabbits for example are a symbol of fertility and new life, which also coincided with the North’s spring.
There are many fresh cut flowers that make wonderful gifts, however if you are looking for something traditional or symbolic you cannot look past the humble “Easter Daisy”. Easter daisies are a perennial Aster. While there are many varieties of daisies, the Easter Daisy is dainty and pretty, and surprisingly as a plant it is incredibly hardy so makes a fantastic choice for the garden. Generally they flower for 3-4 months and look their best, as their name suggests, around Easter.
As a cut flower they last only around 5 -7 days, but what I find is often people cut the stems down to size to match their vase, but overlook stripping off the excess foliage and debris which will fall beneath the water line. This will DRAMATICALLY effect your flowers vase -life. Look for a bunch that has about half the blooms open, with nice green foliage. Cut the stems to the required length for your vase, and ensure you remove any foliage/flowers which will sit below the water line.
In the Northern Hemisphere, what we Aussies know as November lilies or Christmas lilies are referred to as Easter lilies. For that reason many Europeans will look for the white trumpet shaped lilies for a traditional Easter gift.
Don’t want to give cut flowers? A house plant is always a great gift idea. Phaeleonopsis orchids are a stunning flowering plant which will give you months of pleasure. They do require some level of care and can be a touch fussy, particularly when they are too wet or too dry. The Spathiphyllum, or peace lily is an elegant house plant that is also incredibly forgiving for those who are not blessed with a green thumb. If you forget to water the lily plant, it will appear wilted and look miserable, but if you give it a soak overnight, they generally perk right up again.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our lovely loyal customers for making it such a great start to the new year. If you are celebrating this weekend we wish you a very Happy Easter.