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Why is the shamrock a symbol of St. Patrick’s day?

Do you know why the shamrock is a symbol of St. Patrick’s day? It all began in the 5th century when 16 year old Patrick was kidnapped from his aristocratic home in Britain and enslaved in Ireland as a shepherd. He spent seven years overseas and in solitude, and found refuge in religion, eventually embracing Christianity.

According to legends, Patrick heard a voice in his dream urging him to flee Ireland. He managed to escape on a ship back to his homeland, and was reunited with his family. Patrick studied Christianity for 15 years and became ordained as a priest. Ironically, he returns to Ireland and dedicates his life to converting pagans to the Christian faith. It was not an easy mission, and he was often beaten and harassed by opposers.

Sadly in A.D. 461 on March 17th, the priest passed away. His story lived on in Irish legends and folklore, and centuries later he was named the patron saint of Ireland. On March 17th, 1762, St. Patrick’s day was officially celebrated in commemoration.

So, how does the shamrock relate to the holiday? The three-leaf clover, and not the four leaf clover as the holiday often suggests as lucky, was used to represent the holy trinity: the father, the son & the holy ghost. St. Patrick incorporated Irish customs and rituals to smoothly introduce the Christian ideals to pagans. Three-leaf Clovers are wild and germinate in the spring.

St. Patrick's Day Floral Varieties

St. Patrick’s Day Floral Varieties

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with green flowers! Some varieties to inspire the Celtic spirit are Bells of Ireland, the novelty rose Limbo, green ball dianthus, green ranunculus, kale and succulent plants. You can make a terrarium and recreate the story using figurines like sheep, and celtic crosses to place inside like a scenery. They make cute gift ideas, and a conversation piece at your Irish feast while guests chug a pint of Guinness and eat corned beef and hash!

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Flower Fact Friday: Eucalyptus

In the floral design world, nothing is impossible. The more unusual the elements, the more original the design. Even fruits and vegetables have been incorporated into arrangements, giving it an earthy appeal. Herbs like lavender, sage, foxglove, St. John’s wort (hypericum), and seeded eucalyptus make unique cut flowers.

Eucalyptus is native to Australia and Tasmania and belongs to the myrtle family. The name is derived from the greek word “eucalyptos,” which means well-covered. Australian aborigines used the plant as a remedy for fevers, wounds, coughs, asthma, and joint pain. The fragrant oil contained in the leaves have beneficial properties: antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and expectorant.

An interesting historical event took place in the mid 1800s. In Algiers, France a German botanist named Baron Ferdinand von Miller discovered that eucalyptus could be used as disinfectant in fever districts. The seeds were sent to Algiers and planted in the marshy regions. The plants thrived and converted the area into a dry and healthy environment, and as a result drove away mosquitoes and prevented the malaria disease from spreading fevers.

There are many types of eucalyptus, but the most popular in floral design are seeded eucalyptus, baby blue, and silver dollar. It is mainly used as a filler in arrangements and bouquets. Eucalyptus can also be dried and preserved as potpourri.

Types of Eucalyptus

Types of Eucalyptus (source: http://somethingturquoise.com/2015/06/04/wedding-styling-with-eucalyptus/)

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