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Did you know that each of us has a birth flower – a particular bloom associated with the month of our birth in the same way as each month has its own birth stone?

When recent research at The Real Flower Company revealed that bouquets created to celebrate a birthday are our most popular buy, we began to wonder how we could personalise our arrangements to make sure our birthday flowers and bouquets not only contain the best seasonal blooms available on that day but have a special significance in connecting with their recipients’ date of birth. We asked our talented multi-award-winning florist Jay Archer for her ideas – and she came up with the concept of creating a new bouquet for each month that would take its inspiration from that month’s designated flower.
The flower of the month for May is Lily of the Valley – slender green stems with highly scented clusters of bell-shaped white flowers that signify humility, purity and the return of happiness. Intrigued, we caught up with Jay to find out how Lily of the Valley inspired her latest creation.

What does Lily of the Valley signify to you?

"For me, Lily of the Valley is the epitome of spring. It’s so delicate, so small and unassuming, yet its scent is just mind-blowing. I love how the flowers are hidden among the leaves… like a fairy flower, you have to really take a moment and look for it!"

[caption id="attachment_1057" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Lily Of The Vally in Vase Trio Lily Of The Valley in Vase Trio[/caption]

How did Lily of the Valley inspire this design?

Unfortunately Lily of the Valley stems are very short, so we couldn’t actually use it in our bouquet. But instead we drew on it for inspiration, keeping to a palette of white and green and using English flowers that you might find in your garden right now – Solomon’s Seal, which has similar clusters of bell-shaped white flowers, as well as Jacob’s Ladder, sweet peas, hesperis, tulips and pale green stems of euphorbia. Then we added silver and green foliage and fragrant herbs – hazel, senecio, rosemary and sage. As well as evoking the scent and beauty of Lily of the Valley, I wanted the bouquet to reflect this month’s birthstone, which is emerald.


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"]may birthday bouquet Our May Birthday Bouquet[/caption]

What are your own favourite stems in this bouquet?

It’s all pretty fit, isn’t it – let’s be honest! The thing that’s special about The Real Flower Company is that we have our own amazing English product freshly grown on our own sustainable flower farms and my number one objective is to use as much of it as possible all the time. So I’ve been working hard on what I call ‘Project Seasonal’ – designing bouquets that really take advantage of what we are growing here and now. Sweet peas will always be hands-down my own favourite flower, but the delicate hespesris – sweet rocket – and the hazel stems are also heavenly.

Can you describe the scent of May’s bouquet?

Fresh, green, sweet, heady – the epitome of Lily of the Valley and of sweet peas too. It’s also the scent of the English spring – full, deep and utterly delightful.

Do we have any May birthdays in the team?

Yes! Amanda’s birthday is 30 May. She hasn’t actually seen the bouquet yet but I know she’ll like it – she loves white and green, which are the colours she’s chosen for her wedding in November.

The star signs for a May birthday are either Taurus (reliable, patient and practical) or Gemini (easygoing, sociable and adaptable). How do these fit with May's bouquet?

Amanda is definitely a typical Gemini – versatile, chatty, impulsive and energetic – and this bouquet chimes with her taste and personality. Certainly it feels very easy and relaxed – it would look lovely in one of our vases from LSA International in an entrance hall or on a bar counter for a dinner party. On the other hand, Lily of the Valley itself seems to me to be a bit of a Taurus as it has that reticence, with its flowers nestled among its leaves, as well as being a reliable indicator of spring, whatever the English weather.

Why do flowers make such a great birthday gift?

We are all connected to Mother Nature and so anything that draws us back to the earth is incredibly appealing. And nowadays we are all so busy with life that anything that makes us stop to take a moment to appreciate the natural world can really lift our spirits. I love that flowers don’t last – they are around for just a few fleeting days, which makes them even more enchanting and means you really have to stop and appreciate them while you can. Plus they are constantly surprising – no two are the same.

How do you hope people will feel when they receive this bouquet as a gift?

Delighted! Amazed by the scent, shape and textures. The bouquet has a lot of movement and I think its colour palette means it will work for both men and women. With its strong scent and visual appeal, it will brighten the home wherever it is placed. I defy anyone not to love it!

And finally, can you give us a hint about what to expect for June’s birthday bouquet?

June will be just amazing. It’s rose month!

You can find our May Birthday Bouquet here or browse our other birthday bouquets and arrangements here. We also have a wonderful array of options for birthday gifts.

We offer next day delivery Tuesday to Saturday for orders placed before 4pm.