“The Earth Smiles In Flowers” – Anonymous
Flowers are the earth’s expression of delight, and nowhere is this delight expressed better, a rich blossom of flowers than in the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Flowers have long been an important part of the island life and play a major role in celebrations and reverie. Trinidad and Tobago offer the perfect mix of temperate, tropical climate, rainfall and humidity for a bountiful floral harvest. On the other hand the island’s rich and diverse culture, ethnicity and festivals offer the perfect environment for floral gifts and expressions. In this guide, we take a closer look at flower gifting in Trinidad and Tobago so that you always get your floral bouquet just right.
- The Chacon or the Wild Poinsettia is the national flower of Trinidad and Tobago.
- The Chacon was named after the last Spanish Governor of the islands, Don Jose Maria Chacon.
- So profound is the meaning of the Chacon to the people of the islands that the color of the national flag is modeled after the color of the flower.
Popular Flowers In Trinidad And Their Meaning
- Roses, especially Red ones are the king of flowers and stand for love, passion and romantic expressions.
- Carnations are revered as flowers of love, especially a woman’s love.
- Daisies are flowers of innocence and friendship.
- Lilies are thought to signify magnificence and beauty.
- Tulips signify imagination, perfection, and perfection.
- Orchids, especially in purple, are said to be symbols of passion and desire.
- Alstroemeria symbolize friendship and devotion.
- Irises are flowers of gratitude and humility.
Popular Flower Gifting Days In Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) are often called the Gateway to the Caribbean. The local populace is a wonderfully eclectic mix of Creole, European, Asian and Indian races. The culture, language, and festivals, therefore, are varied, rich and a melange of East and West. We have all seen images of the wild Calypso Carnival, the reverie of Christmas and the lazy summer days on the beaches of the island. Since celebration is literally second nature to the people of the islands, it is little wonder that flowers play such an important role in their lives. In this part of the guide, we will take a closer look at the various festivals, and the flowers that are appropriate for gifting on these occasions.
February 14th, the day the world stops spinning around its own axis and starts swooning on love. Celebrated the world over as Valentine’s Day, this day holds special significance to the island nation as well. Preparations start well in advance as couples scurry about trying to find each other the perfect gift. And can perfection be expressed any better than with flowers? To really sweep your lover off their feet, think of Red Roses, combine these with Alstroemeria, Lilies, Tulips, Carnations and Blue Irises. A spectacular way to announce your affections to your sweetheart is a bespoke bouquet of Roses, Orchids, Lilies, and Tulips. Nothing says love like Chocolate, and as an accompaniment to your floral offering, the food of the Gods, says you truly care.
- Order your bouquet/floral arrangement way in advance to avoid the surge in prices around Valentine’s Day. Remember, the demand for Roses and other flowers surges at this time and many places, actually run out of stock, so plan accordingly.
- Team your floral offering with a plush toy and chocolates or a chocolate cake to make it even more irresistible.
In T&T, women have always played a diverse role in every sphere of life. From the kitchen to the marketplace and from the school to the workplace, the contributions of outstanding women have changed the landscape of island life. So when it is a question of recognizing the contributions of the women of the islands, International Women’s Day, (March 8th) is celebrated with great fervor. Want to say a huge ‘THANK YOU’ to your mum, sister, wife, female friend, co-worker, or boss? Say it with flowers. Think of Roses in Red, White, and Pink for the special lady in your life. White Lilies and Tulips for mum and sis. For the women in your workplace, a lovely assortment of Carnations, Blue Irises, and Carnations are apt.
- Roses are normally associated with passionate, romantic love and are best offered to spouses or girlfriends. Avoid a Rose laden bouquet in the office as it may be construed as a violation of workplace etiquette.
- It would be a great idea to send a handwritten note with your floral arrangement to provide a bespoke, emotional and thoughtful touch.
Easter is traditionally celebrated in the spring (March/April) as the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus. This follows a period of abstinence called Lent and is one of the most cherished festivals in Trinidad and Tobago. Coinciding with a time that nature is in full bloom, flowers, therefore, play a huge role in gifting at Easter. Looking for that perfect Easter arrangement? Well, Red, Pink and White Roses, White Lilies, Alstroemeria, Carnations, Blue Irises, Tulips, and Orchids are all wonderful flowers to go with. Easter is a celebration of joy and a sweet treat like Chocolates, A Fruit Cake or Chocolate Cake are also welcome additions to your floral tributes.
- Choose tropical flowers for your Easter floral arrangement as these are in season and keep their freshness, shape and smell longer.
A mother is one of those figures that is universally loved and cherished. This is very much the case in T&T and the role of a mother in the life of a child, as that of a mentor, nurturer and guide are celebrated with great devotion on the islands. Want to show your ol’ mom some love on Mother’s Day? Well, look no further than flowers. Say “thank you for all you’ve done for me”, with a thoughtful selection of Red, Yellow, White and Pink Roses. Want to take it up a notch, well look at Orchids, Alstroemeria, White Lilies, Lilies, Carnations, Blue Irises and Tulips as the perfect accompaniment to Roses, or as a bespoke floral arrangement, in various combination.
- Honor the first and most important woman in your life with a gift that’s as unique as her. Team your floral arrangement with a perfume, book, pearls, or simply an assortment of Chocolates and watch her overcome with emotion.
A father is the one that gives children life lessons, survival skills and the quiet, unconditional support they require to reach their goal/calling in life. Trinidadians celebrate Father’s Day, in the third week of June, with great reverence and island fervor. Flowers, obviously play a huge part in this celebration. The flowers that we’d suggest you go with? Quite simply, say it with Roses. In white, pink, yellow or red, these will bring a smile on grizzly dad’s face. Want a break with tradition, look for an arrangement with Alstroemeria, White Lilies, Orchids, Blue Irises or Tulips. A touching card or letter written to express just what your father means to you is also a wonderful touch.
- A nice set of men’s grooming products, a silk tie, custom stationery, or a high-end fountain pen set, or perfume all make wonderful gifts for dear old dad. Combine these with a floral arrangement to watch him beam with pride.
Hands down the biggest holiday on the islands is the Christian festival of Christmas. Celebrated on the 25th of December, Christmas sees families, friends, relatives and well-wishers coming together to celebrate the day with music, food and revelry. Flowers play a dual role in the celebrations, as both items of decor and gifting. Looking for that perfect Christmas floral arrangement? You can’t go wrong with an assortment of White, Red and Pink Roses. Other important flowers for the occasion are Alstroemeria, White Lilies, Orchids (in different hues), Blue Irises, Carnations and seasonal blossoms.
- Add a chocolate hamper and plan your purchase in advance so you get the choicest flowers for the feast.
How To Get Flowers Right For Different Occasions
Thus far we have given you a fair understanding of the kind of flowers that are acceptable gifts for communal celebrations in T&T. But other occasions, ones marking personal milestones, births, marriages, and deaths are also a part and parcel of island life. Now flowers also play a huge role in these as well. Choosing the right flowers for different occasions can be the difference between making a lovely thoughtful statement and utter and abject embarrassment. There’s no need to pull out your hair in frustration, however, as in this section, we give you the lowdown on just that.
Birthdays in T&T are celebrated with what can simply be described as island flair. Friends and family really go out of their way to make the day all about the person celebrating the occasion. Want to make a thoughtful statement of warm friendship, love, and regard? Here’s what you’ll need to remember.
The flowers to go with: Depending on your relationship with the person celebrating the birthday, you can plan your floral tribute. Say it with Red Roses (a whole dozen) to your significant other. Parents and siblings mandate Yellow and White Roses. For close friends and relatives, think of an assortment of Lilies, Blue Irises, Alstroemeria, Gerberas, Tulips, and Carnations.
Combinations: Gifts can sometimes be a tricky affair, look at what the recipient is truly passionate about before making your purchase and you couldn’t possibly go wrong. Wine, Chocolates, Plush Toys, and/or a Book make wonderful gifts too.
Birthday Greetings: Your birthday greeting card is the one thing that can make or break the gift. Stay miles away from the staid old ‘Happy Birthday’ card, and personalize yours with a heartfelt sentiment like: “Your birthday comes but once a year, but the seed of your friendship/love, blossoms in my heart every day. I wish you all the love, luck and blessings, today and every day. Many Happy Returns of the Day.”
- A hand-tied floral arrangement is an artisanal take on the traditional bouquet.
- Always research the meaning of various flowers before including them in your arrangement, so as to avoid misunderstandings or embarrassment.
Weddings are occasions of great joy and celebration in T&T. Most weddings are a nuptials/reception affair, and flowers play a huge role in both the decor and gifting at both the venues. It is important therefore to pick the right flowers as this occasion is replete with meaning for the bride and groom.
Choosing congratulatory flowers: Weddings are about love and purity, nothing signify these better than Red Roses (again only appropriate for family or very close friends) and White Lilies. Tulips and Orchids also make beautiful wedding floral gifts.
Combinations: Wedding registries are the way to go. Ask about where the couple has registered and according to your equation with the couple and your budget, pick up an appropriate and desired gift to accompany your floral arrangement.
Wedding Greetings: Keep the card simple, heartfelt and classy. Something to the effect of: “Begin your journey with love and the destination doesn’t matter. We bear witness to your union and hope for the best for you. Congratulations on your big day”.
- Flowers symbolizing love like Roses and Lilies are indispensable to a wedding bouquet.
- S-shaped arrangements or a high vertical arrangement is the way to go.
As with the rest of the world, funerals in T&T are an occasion to offer condolence, support, and empathy to the bereaved family. Flowers are an appropriate way of expressing these exact sentiments and are an important part of the occasion.
Choosing flowers to offer condolence: Lilies and White Roses are considered as appropriate flowers to be offered as wreaths or sprays at funerals.
Condolence Message: A message of compassion and support is best expressed in a simply worded letter/card: “Your loss is great and profound, you have our deepest sympathy. He/she was a pillar of love and support in his/her life, and we extend ours to you, in this your time of grief. Our heartfelt condolences on his/her passing. May God give you the strength to endure and overcome his/her absence”.
- Wreaths and sprays are the preferred styles of the bouquet as they can be placed directly on the coffin or grave.
- While white flowers are the standard at a funeral. A loving tribute to the deceased would definitely be a bouquet or wreath of their favorite flowers.
Which Countries Does Trinidad & Tobago Import Flowers From?
Trinidad and Tobago are one of the most important flower consumers in the world. Thanks in part to the celebratory attitude of the people, and the abundance of both communal and personal/family celebrations. While the island itself is home to several nurseries, horticulture farms and commercial cut flower growers, the demand can often time outstrip supply. To keep up with the burgeoning demand, therefore, T&T must rely on flower imports. Roses, Lilies and other temperate flowers are imported from Latin America and parts of Asia. Flowers like Tulips, Alstroemeria, Irises, and Daisies come in from EU countries such as The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Flowers from Africa and the Indian subcontinent too, are very popular and sought after.
Top Tips To Consider When Buying Flowers For Gifting
Local flowers are best: Local flowers are used to the climate, have a certain significance to the populace and hold their shape and freshness longer.
Researching the meaning of flowers: In one culture the Lily may be considered a mourning flower, whereas, in another, the romantic aspect of the same flower may hold more importance. Depending on the culture, it is important to research the meanings of the flowers before considering gifting them, in order to avoid inadvertent disrespect or embarrassment.
Checking the overall state of the flowers: If and when possible always check the overall state of the flowers before incorporating them into your bouquet. Even the slightest of blemishes can aesthetically damage the appearance of the arrangement. Flowers with blemishes often spoil early and can be perceived as sloppy, or disrespectful.
Check the credentials of the florist/flower delivery service: Every online florist/flower delivery service is generally rated by previous users. Take the time to view the testimonials section, or visit online review sites like Yelp that will feature user reviews. Make an informed decision, in order to get the best possible quality.
How To Care For Flowers Received As Gifts
- Choose a clear vase in order to properly display flowers.
- Add a good amount of water to the vase.
- Cut the stems regularly to keep them fresher, longer.
- Keep flowers in a cool, dry area, away from heat emitting appliances.
- Change the water in the vase daily or whenever possible.
- Follow the care instruction that comes with the bouquet.
- Add a little sugar or lemon juice to the water in the vase, to reduce the acidity of the water and provide the cut flowers with some nutrition.
The warm and friendly vibe, a melting pot of cultures and of course ample reasons to celebrate, make T&T a fun, vibrant and interesting place, Flowers play an absolutely crucial part in these celebrations, which is why knowing how to pick them is so very important. Follow these simple rules and you will never put a foot wrong when it comes to gifting flowers in this slice of an island paradise!