Chinese firmly believe that without flowers, there would be no formation of any fruits (有花才有果）. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to have flowers and floral decorations during Chinese New Year. Cashing-in on this belief, nurseries & florists in town stock up plenty of auspicious plants & flowers for the CNY decorations. Usually their prices are inflated during this festive period. So, why not we put on our creative cap and start decorating the plants in our own garden with ideas captured from the florists or nurseries?
As red and gold are traditional symbols of luck and prosperity, they are generously used in the decoration. Hanging red ribbons on plants or even tying a piece of red clothe into a butterfly knot around the pot can easily turn it into an attractive piece of art. Throw in some gold ingots, coins & glitters to add the touch of good fortune! Let these photos jolt your creativity juice into action!
Combine colourful pots of flowers with foliage to line up your driveway. Here the florist lined up a combination of lime plant, small pots of chrysanthemum, mother-in-law tongue & cane plant (not sure if I get the name right). Use a pot as a stand if you need to add height to your plant. Then use smaller pots of flowers to surround the supporting pot.
Beautiful big clusters of hydrangeas in pink and green for sales. This will certainly brighten up any home & catch the attention of your guests. So, if you have a pot of blooming hydrangeas growing in the garden, place it at the front entrance of your house. Be proud that the blooms are results of your hardwork in the garden. Share your love of gardening with guests.
I have seen this ornamental plant appearing at florists every year. Can anyone tell me what is its name? Get some of these bright orange and yellow fruits, tie some ribbons on the branches, voila, you will be looking at a very fascinating piece of decor.
Furnish your bonsai plant with hanging miniature lanterns & maroon coloured beads (probably from your X'mas tree decor) in order to add a festive feel to it.
It is also a traditional Chinese belief that blooming plants symbolize rebirth and new growth. Flowers are believed to be symbolic of wealth and high position in one's career. Lucky is the home with a plant that blooms on New Year's Day, for that foretells a year of prosperity. That is why Pussy Willow is a favourite. Its fluffy white blossoms that resemble silk will bloom, and they soon give forth to young shoots the colour of green jade. We, Chinese, enjoys such sign of growth that represents the coming of prosperity.
Miniature Pussy Willows plants are also available in Malaysia now. This can be bent and decorated with artificial cherry blossoms, ribbons & gold coin ornaments. Voila! Another creative idea instead of the usual tall pussy willows sitting in a pot of water. These Miniature Pussy Willows only cost RM10 per pot from Petaling Street. Adding the artificial cherry blossoms & gold coins may just require an additional RM10. At a total cost of RM20, it is so much more affordable than getting the plants in the photos below from the florist. Apart from saving, you get to put on your thinking cap and let your creativity flow! *wink*wink*
Lucky bamboo is shaped into a pineapple is another prized plant for CNY. Why in the shape of pineapple, you may ask? Pineapple in the Chinese Hokkien dialects (used by those who hailed from Fujian, China) is called 'ong lai' and that sounds like 'fortune comes' in the same dialect. Thus pineapple symbolizes arrival of good fortune. That's why pineapple lanterns or the fruit itself are offered at the prayer altar. You may even see some pineapple lanterns being hung at the porch of houses during CNY. In the photo below, the clever use of ribbons and Chinese knots add to the beauty of this plant.
During Christmas, we have Pine Tree decorated with ornaments & lights. How about having a Cherry Blossom Tree during Chinese New Year. This is what I found decorating the foyer of Plaza Mont Kiara's office block. Adding lights make this pot of artificial flowers brighten up in the evening. What a welcoming sight!
Create an Oriental touch by adding caligraphy of auspicious words, such as Prosperity （福）, Joy（春） or Luck （吉） on flower or plant pots. You can buy stickers with these caligraphy from shops that sell buttons & ribbons. Or simply cut them out from any angpow packets.
If you have a deep pocket, bright colour blooms like these real orchids or artificial orchids & peonies will certainly add charms to your home.
Plants & flowers are the emblems of reawakening of nature, they are also intimately connected with superstition and with the wish for happiness during the ensuing year. I would like to end this posting by wishing everyone a new year full of passion, liveliness and prosperity! Happy Year of the Tiger!