Men and women of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guards, National Guards and Reserves serve our country every day; on the third Saturday in May, we have our chance to honor them. While these folks in uniform don’t expect to be thanked for their commitment to country in times of peace and times of war, flowers are a great way to let them know that you appreciate their dedication to the cause of peace, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Here are three great plants to help you salute the service men and women in your life.
Cultivated for thousands of years, the carnation is rich in symbolism and conveys the message of devotion. While not as well loved as the rose or lily, carnations are strong, sturdy and can handle just about anything, much like our military. With tall stems and large blooms that look great as a boutonniere or in a vase, these flowers are available year round and come in a variety of colors. Try mixing red and white ones with blue delphinium or Siberian iris for a star-spangled look that’s both patriotic and eye-catching. Pair white ones with red roses and a blue ribbon for a ceremonial display or for a table top arrangement to help support our troops.
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According to the language of flowers, this lovely cut flower in the lily family is symbolic of loyalty. With straight stems that look like they’ve been called to attention and large, clustered flowers that come in a variety of colors, it doesn’t take many to fill a vase and brighten a room. The leaves are delicate and slightly curled, while each stem might hold 4 to 5 individual blooms. The lily-like flowers are often stripped and last for weeks in fresh water. Let your loved one know you are semper fi with alstroemeria.
By far the most popular cut flower in America, the rose is symbolic of a wide variety of messages and meanings but is most often associated with love in the language of flowers. Love of country, of freedom and of each other can be expressed with these impressive blooms that will let your officer and gentleman know how much you appreciate their dedication and service. Try pairing a red one with white carnations and blue daisies for a look that says, “America, heck yeah!”