The Simple Sunflower…Solidarity in a Stem
For many of us, we think of the sunflower as a symbol of sunshine, summer and happiness. To the people of Ukraine, however, it is so much more. The world has been turned upside down as the events of a seemingly unjustified war pushes people from their homes, destroying cities, ripping families apart with no end in sight. It’s incomprehensible. The people of Ukraine are a united nation, which has shone through in their attempts to keep Russian powers at bay, but the consequence of their unity is dire. Lives are being lost, families find themselves fleeing their homeland and living the life of a refugee with an uncertain future.
As the world watched on, many of us found ourselves feeling helpless, powerless, and dependent on our government aids to respond to Ukraine’s calls for help. But it didn’t take long for communities to rally together. As often is the case, we are stronger together; as a country we have hoisted up our socks to take action. Online forums created a lifeline for those in need, with organisations making unified efforts to source and deliver essential supplies of food, hygiene and clothing. Volunteers have stepped up to the challenge of making the long journey across Europe to deliver goods to the most vulnerable, schools and businesses held fundraisers, and generous donations have flooded in.
BloomLocal has been deeply devastated by the events unfolding in Ukraine and are doing their bit to help. Their florists have curated a sunflower and iris bouquet in support and solidarity with those affected by the current crisis. The bouquet also includes some Iris as a symbol of hope, the blue and yellow together designed to symbolise the Ukrainian national flag. It’s a truly beautiful tribute. They have chosen to support the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal, with 100% of profit from this bouquet being passed on to their mission.
Why sunflowers? Carefully chosen, sunflowers are Ukraine’s life blood and national flower. Between Ukraine and Russia, they produce over 70% of the worlds sunflower oil. The plains of Eurasia are the perfect spot for these flowers to grow, and the local farmers know this all too well. As a result, Sunflower oil is one of the Ukraine’s major exports.
Aside from its powerful symbolism, it’s a powerful plant too. To date the tallest measurement recorded is 9 metres high, that’s longer than a London bus! Their seeds are high in demand for their nutritional value, but it’s rare that such sought after produce, comes from such beauty. The seed alignment contains aspects of the golden ratio, Fermat’s spiral and the Fibonacci sequence – it is quite spectacular.
Since the invasion, the sunflower has popped up consistently as a sign of unification, acting as a yellow flag of support for the people of Ukraine. Splashes of yellow stems can be found outside embassies, woven into wire at checkpoints, and across homes around the world. Ukrainians are said to be scattering sunflower seeds throughout battlefields, as a mark of respect for those gone, but not forgotten.
BloomLocal have chosen the British Red Cross as their chosen charity. The Red Cross teams in Ukraine have helped more than 750,000 people by distributing food, blankets, hygiene parcels, and warm clothes. In addition, Red Cross teams in bordering countries offer medical care and provide food, aid, and shelter to people from Ukraine. Their efforts are growing, and in demand. Florists can help the Red Cross to continue their vital work through customers purchasing the Sunny Bloomers bouquet and know that your sale at BloomLocal is aiding a worthy cause.