Well, if you’re a member of my mailing list, you’ll know I designated this week ‘Spring flowers’ week. (So, to celebrate, I’ve published two new floral patterns on the website). Then, I began thinking about an ‘angle’ for this blog post. I thought I should continue with my little mission to enlighten you all on things associated with Spring. So, time to look at the most popular Spring flowers.
Can you guess which they might be…?
A little aside to help you…
Before I give you the answer, let me take a moment to help you…
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What are the most popular Spring flowers?
Well, do you know, there’s no consensus on that answer. I’ve been googling it and reading a lot of articles. So, I can give you a list of options. I can also tell you why there is no consensus. But I can’t give you a definitive answer to my question.
So, before I elaborate, let me invite you to start thinking about this. What are YOUR most popular Spring flowers?
The one flower that keeps on appearing
Let me start by telling you why I couldn’t find any consensus. You see, it depends on what you want your Spring flowers for.
If you’re thinking about a Spring wedding and trying to decide on flowers for your bouquet, then things like daffodils, lily and hyacinth appear on the list.
On the other hand, according to ‘House Beautiful‘, if you want Spring flowers in your home, then the four most popular choices are daffodils, poppies, lilies, ranunculus and sweet pea (in March).
Maybe you’re thinking about what to plant in your garden? Well, daffodils, crocus, iris, snowdrops all come high on the list for this time of year.
Then, if you move into later Spring, the lists change again…
So, have you spotted the one flower that keeps on appearing? Yes, it seems like the daffodil is actually the single bloom that works for every niche.
When Spring flowers become a reason for celebration
Back in 2002, before I became ill, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to Japan. I had an amazing two-and-a-half-week holiday there into which I packed so much sight-seeing. I was also fortunate to stay for part of the time with my Japanese friend and her family.
Now, I don’t speak any Japanese (well, I did gain a handful of words by the end of the trip!). And my friend’s parents didn’t speak any English. So, it was lucky my friend was there to interpret! In spite of that, we managed very well with sign language, smiles and a shared interest in ballet. I will never forget the kindness and generosity I was shown and it was an amazing chance to not just visit a country, but actually experience some of the real everyday culture.
I could write many, many blog posts on the things I saw and did in Japan, but I’ll save them for another time. Today is all about Spring. And I was lucky to be visiting in March. Now, in Japan, March means cherry blossom season.
We get cherry trees all around the world and they all produce beautiful blossoms. But not quite like the cherry blossom in Japan! The trees seem to be everywhere, en masse. So, your eyes are just struck by this cloud of delicate pinks and whites. These clouds of flowers contrast so well with the dark angular branches on which they are suspended. True beauty.
No wonder the Japanese celebrate their cherry blossom in art. And no wonder the West has become fascinated…
Did you know you can eat cherry blossom?
Yes, you did read that right. One of the unusual discoveries I made was that cherry blossom tastes really nice! I’m not quite so sold on the cherry leaves…
Let me explain… So, cherry blossom sweets (for want of a better word) are a real delicacy in Japan. I didn’t notice much evidence of sugary sweet food over there (certainly nothing like we have in the West). So, dessert didn’t seem to be a standard element of a traditional Japanese meal.
However, when they do go sweet, they go REALLY sweet! I don’t want to be giving you all inaccurate information here, so don’t quote me on this… But I think the cherry blossom petals are crushed and mixed into a paste with something very sweet. They’re then rolled into a ball, so this delicacy looks a little like a ball of rolled icing. Finally, wrap this in a cherry leaf… and pop it in your mouth!
Now, the cherry leaf is really, really bitter… you probably wouldn’t want to eat it on its own. But mixed with the cherry blossom, which is SO sweet, the two make the perfect foil to create a yummy sweet treat (and you all know how I like my sweet treats!)
So, as the saying goes, please don’t try this at home. I don’t have the recipe and I’m not sure whether all cherry blossom and cherry leaves are edible. So, don’t make me the cause of any upset stomachs – or poisonings! But if you do ever go to Japan, make sure you try the real thing while you’re there.
The cherry blossom forecast
The second thing I loved about the way in which Japan celebrates cherry blossom season, was the daily forecast.
Now, here in the UK, we may (or may not – depending on your train operator) be used to seeing a whiteboard at a railway station. This would typically contain an update on the train service, with line closures etc.
In Japan, entering the train station, I would be greeted by a whiteboard with a list of city names. Beside each would be a little symbol to indicate how far out the cherry blossom was. So, if you happened to be seeking a chance to view the cherry blossom blooms at their peak, you would know immediately where to go. Then, just hop on the bullet train and enjoy…
Now, I think that’s a much nicer way to start your morning commute than with a dreary list of bad news about cancelled trains!
Which are the most popular Spring flowers to bead?
Well, that’s enough reminiscing from me for now!
Have you been thinking about that question I set you at the start? Which are YOUR most popular Spring flowers?
Because, I don’t know which are the most popular Spring flowers for beading. That’s up to you to decide…
So, this past week, I’ve added to my collection. I included a cherry blossom pattern for pens. (Hence the reminiscences!)
I finally wrote up my French beaded crocus pattern too. So, I invite you to take a look and choose your favourite beaded flower pattern. If I see any trends emerging, I’ll let you know!
And, if you have a favourite Spring flower, or a great story about Spring, share it in the comments below.