MEANINGS & USES _ The exact origin of the name Aster is debated. Some say the name for these beautiful flowers is direct from Greek mythology: Asters were said to have grown from the tears of the Goddess Asterea. Others say they were named for their abundant growing patterns (like the night sky) and their star_like shape. Asters have long been given to symbolize love, daintiness and afterthought. Gentlemen and ladies in the past used to present them to people they hoped to draw affection from. Placed on the graves of French soldiers, Asters were used as a symbol of a better life to come. They can also be used to symbolize a 20th Wedding Anniversary and are a wonderful gift in a bouquet for any occasion. The petals of the Aster used to be smoked to ward off evil serpents, but could also be used to help with headaches, colds, back pain and muscle spasms.
Traditional red will dominate the Christmas season again this year, but watch for a greater variety of fresh evergreens, berries, roes and accents. Other popular color schemes include darker reds and crimson shades, as well as non_traditional palettes such as purple and turquoise. Textures will continue to play an important role, with flower arrangements featuring everything from pinecones and cedar to intricate handmade ornaments. Expect to see more glass bowls, cubes and vases of every size, especially in colors. With an emphasis on home and hearth, decorator cachepots and family heirloom containers will also play a part.