Happy Floral Design Day: February 28th (pictured: Bromeliad, Orchid)

As if we needed an excuse to talk about flowers! More than sixty years ago, Carl Rittner founded the Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston, MA.  February 28th is Carl Rittner’s birthday, and is now the designated day we celebrate the art form of flower arranging.

The ancient Egyptians were probably the first to decorate with flowers, as early as 2500 BC, by placing cut flowers in vases.  Formal arrangements were also created for burial processions, and garlands were left in the tombs of loved ones.

The Greeks made laurel wreaths and presented them to the winners of ancient Olympic competitions, and to military commanders after successful victories.  Laurel wreaths were also presented to notable poets of ancient academia (the word “laureate” in “poet laureate” refers to the honor of being acknowledged with a laurel wreath).  The Europeans didn’t begin the techniques of flower arranging until 1000 AD, after emerging from the Dark Ages. 

As the world emerges from a Recession, the importance of flowers is ever more relevant:  they are beautiful, affordable, readily available, and make meaningful gifts for dozens of special occasions - not to mention for our own personal pleasure.  And it seems it has always been this way.

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers." - Claude Monet