October flowers – rich in meaning, easy on the planet

Choosing flowers of the season for your special life event is a great way to get the freshest floral display. It also means staying as eco-friendly as you can – no air-miles, less artificial heating and more natural cultivation methods that are kinder to wildlife.

It’s likely to be kinder on your purse as well.

So what does October have to offer?

Dahlias offer some of the most stunning blooms this month and are rich in symbolism; just choose the right colours for what you want to say.

Blue and green dahlias represent a fresh start and life changes – the perfect flower for events that mark a new life together such as a naming ceremony or a wedding celebration. The cool tones go well with silvery grass heads, which also make their appearance now. If you’re welcoming a new child or getting married in October, and don’t want the more traditional fiery autumnal colours, this could be the way to go.

An alternative for a naming ceremony would be white dahlias, which represent purity.

Going with a different colour palette, dahlias are good for a funeral as well if you choose pink or purple. Both mean kindness and grace, a perfect way to remember and honour a gentle soul.

Meanwhile, if you want to send someone a bouquet to express sympathy, choose red dahlias. They convey strength to someone who receives them as a gift so they are a subtle, meaningful way to show that you are there to support them at a difficult time.

Another big, bold flower of the month is chrysanthemum. These blooms are some of the last of the summer, a joyous explosion of colour and life to keep the oncoming winter at bay.

For wedding celebrations, you could choose red ‘mums’ which symbolise love and deep passion or even white ones for their association with loyalty and honesty.

For funerals or memorial services, white chrysanthemums are connected with grief, particularly the grief associated with the loss of someone especially close. Or choose yellow blooms which mean sorrow.

Chrysanthemums come in an enormous range of sizes and shapes so they give you lots of options for matching the scale of your floral displays.

For something really different and seasonal, increasingly, you’ll find florists turning to vegetables and fruits for displays, particularly at this time of year.

Imagine table arrangements of glowing red apples and golden pears – quite literally, good enough to eat. Apples represent different things to different cultures. There’s a reason why children traditionally give an apple to their teacher; in Scandinavia, they are recognition of wisdom and intellect. Using them at a naming ceremony demonstrates good wishes for the child.

In ancient Greek myths, apples represent love, and what life event doesn’t want to recognise the loving feelings of everyone there?

As for the pear, it too is associated with love in ancient Greek myths. In China, it stands for justice and wisdom and, in Japan, pears are considered able to keep evil at bay.

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