Flowers help us in myriad ways. They house the reproductive parts that allow plants to reproduce and add beauty to the landscape. Nature’s beautiful bounty provides pleasure and solace to scores of people, cheering up the sick and brightening up the mood at a funeral. Flowers are used by lovers to express their affection and by children to thank mothers for their years of attention.
Honeybees collect the nectar of flowers, which they then refine to produce honey. Honeybees survive year-round on the honey they produce and store in their hives. People enjoy the fruits of their labor, too, as they harvest the honey from the hives, package it, and use it for cooking and naturally sweetening their food and beverages.
Many flowers can be eaten and have provided flavor and nourishment to generations. Flowers are used to make tea, wine, jams and jellies. They serve as integral parts of many dishes from soups to salads. While some flowers are poisonous to humans, others can punch up a recipe. Flowers safe for eating include mustard, clary sage, safflower, cattails, water hyacinth, water lilies and marjoram. The North Carolina State University Extension Center warns that you should only eat flowers you’ve grown yourself or that have been grown specifically for food use; never eat flowers that come from a florist, nursery or garden center.
Flowers are commonly used as gifts. During Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, sales of flowers explode. Flowers are so popular in the United States as gifts that they must be imported from overseas to meet the demand. Cut and potted flowers share the stage in many homes during holidays and special events. A bouquet of flowers is appropriate for a special loved one or as a gift to a little known acquaintance. Flowers are ubiquitous and available everywhere, from online florists like ProFlowers to the local market.
Flowers are nature’s artwork. When in full bloom, flowering bushes add intrigue and interest to a commercial or residential landscape. Indoors, flowers help serve as natural decorations for a centerpiece or to add cheerful ambiance to sick room. The beauty of flowers takes the edge off sorrowful occasions such as funerals and make special occasions like birthdays and promotions extraordinary. Flowers make an emotional impact on us and provide comfort and consideration.