The Most Important Flowers A Southern Girl Will Ever Receive
From our homecoming mums to our wedding bouquets, some floral memories last forever.
There’s just something about a floral delivery—right, ladies? We appreciate any gift from the ones we love—especially the one we love. But flowers deliver a skipped heartbeat that you just don’t get from anything else—even when they aren’t romantic in nature.
Flowers From Mama and Daddy
Not long after I finally fulfilled a lifelong professional dream, I got a call from the front desk at the office. They said I had a delivery. No, what I had was an exuberant floral expression of pride from my parents, a bouquet so huge I could barely lift it. I’d guess it cost them a car payment, and it was absolutely gorgeous. I kept it on my desk for two weeks, plucking out the wilted blooms each day and leaving the fresh ones until, at last, I was down to one lone blossom, which I tended in a bud vase until it, too, got the droops.
“Just Because” Flowers
What Southern girl doesn't love flowers for no particular reason at all? I still get excited every time I come home from work to find a bundle of fresh flowers from my husband, just because he saw them at the grocery store and thought I might like them. (He got major bonus points when he chose some beautiful white roses that smelled like fine perfume.)
First Love Flowers
When we reached out to our Facebook Brain Trust, several readers cited not a bouquet or a corsage, but a single flower as the one that held a special place in their hearts: that first red rose from a dinner date or an admirer; a single camellia blossom, its stem wrapped in damp paper towels and tin foil to keep it fresh until presented; a handpicked magnolia or gardenia blossom. And, of course, there will always be a special spot in our hearts for the high school dates who bought us beautiful corsages for the Big Dance.
Mother’s Day Corsages
Some of us recall the old Southern Mother's Day tradition of wearing a corsage to honor our mothers (as well as giving her one). Mama's still with us? You wear pink or red. Mama's crossed over? You wear a white flower (an orchid's a good choice). When I was a child, my mother and grandmothers wore Mother’s Day corsages from the florist, while mine was homemade—a red or pink rose from Mama’s garden. That’s one tradition I wish we would bring back.
Our little church used to pin a corsage on the oldest mother present (a mighty close competition between my grandmother and Mrs. Johnnie “Mama” Bird—those two ladies diplomatically took turns being the oldest). And there was a corsage presented to “Mother with the most children present.” Poor Mama. I’m an only child. She never stood a chance.
Flowers You Dried And Saved
Milestone flowers are especially precious: the little wrist corsage from your first father-daughter dance; maybe flowers from a cotillion or two; the ginormous homecoming mum with streams of ribbon in your school colors; prom corsages; a dream bridal bouquet; Valentine’s and anniversary flowers; the roses he sent you when your kids were born; your mother-of-the-bride/groom corsage.
Flowers You Planted
As much as we love those special deliveries, Southern girls can be just as sentimental about the flowers we've planted—especially with our mothers and grandmothers. Maybe it was your first hydrangea or azalea bush. Or a climbing rose. Or daffodils, as this Alabama reader shared: “I remember going with Mother to a pasture—it must have been an old home place—and digging up bulbs, which we planted in our yards. And there was a long row of daffodils on the edge of my grandmother’s yard—the turning point for every game that we played as children. Daffodils, for me, are gifts from God that always bring happy memories.”
WATCH: Easy Wow With Buffy Hargett—Easy Summer Bouquet
Y'all, we wish everybody got to work with Buffy. When we need creative ideas, we just walk past her office, and they jump right out at us.