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Mother's across the country will be showered with luxurious bouquets, deservingly honoured on one of the most special days of the year, Mothering Sunday. Picking out the perfect bunch can instantly show your love and appreciation, but have you ever thought about the deeper meanings behind the colours we choose?
Floriography is a cryptological communication through the arrangement of flowers which dates back to the Victorian era and was used to share secret messages with friends and loved ones. Whether consciously or subconsciously, do we pick colours which link back to how we feel about a person and how we are feeling at the time? Are our own personalities shared through our colour choice or does our location and gender determine what we pick?
We recently analysed the most popular flower colour choices for Mother's Day across the UK, mathematically drawing out the most dominant colour choices within each bouquet, with each ring representing one order. The sum total of all rings gives a quick overview of the most popular colours for Mother's Day which revealed some surprising results...
In the UK, both women and men opt for a yellow dominated bouquet which instantly communicates joy, happiness and friendship. Could the most dominant colour be a literal representation of how we are feeling as a nation? According to ONS, the number of people reporting 'very high' levels of life satisfaction increased by 4% from 2012 to 2017, that's over 2 million more adults saying they're happier now compared to five years ago.
The tonal makeup of the bouquet changes between men and women as we look at the rest of the bouquet. In bouquets sent by women, the second most prominent colour is white, known to represent purity and innocence, whilst men choose fiery orange and red tones which signify enthusiasm, respect and admiration. Pink features in both bouquets, depicting love, happiness and gentleness, along with smaller amounts of reds and purples.
Men tend to select bolder colour choices when showing their mother how they feel, whilst women tend to be more subtle with their choices being naturally attracted to a colour which conveys innocence. Overall, the UK tend to be a positive bunch opting for colours which represent feelings of happiness and joy, whilst injecting a fairly equal variation of colour types. So what happens when we take a deeper look into the largest areas of the UK?
We anaylised five of the top counties across the UK and both London and Kent made the boldest colour choices when choosing the best bouquet for mum. Incredibly diverse, our flower fingerprints feature a vibrant mix of yellows and oranges which are bold and full of life, along with pinks and reds symbolizing love, happiness and vibrancy. Could this be a direct reflection of the location, the more cosmopolitan the area, the more diverse the colour choices become?
In Essex, flower buyers tend to opt for a bouquet which represents joy, with yellow being the most dominant colour followed by graceful pink. Brown also features sharing warmth and representing stability, whilst purple is known to be symbolic of admiration, dignity and success. The colour choices within these bouquets tend to be an even spread with the exception of yellow.
Out of all of the top five counties and the only northern county, Yorkshire opt for darker coloured bouquets featuring the most purple and lavender flowers.The most royalist of colours, purple represents tradition, adoration and success whilst lavender embodies refinement and old-fashioned energy. Strikingly the black ring, which is actually a very dark shade of violet / indigo, show that nearly half of the colours chosen for the mother's day bouquet are of a traditional pallette. Over 70s makeup 18% of the population of Yorkshire (in 2017) and may be one of the factors as to why in Yorkshire, a more traditional bouquet is chosen on Mother's Day.
In Hampshire, one of the most affluent counties in the UK and the birthplace of some of the most famous writers including Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, it seems a simpler, less complex colour choice is prefered. A bouquet made up of almost equal pink, white and yellow, which represent delicacy, happiness and purity along with a large amount of foliage is the go to when showing mother you care.
In Devon, senders tend to pick bouquets with tones similar to their most famous culinary delight, cream tea. The most dominant colour within the bunch is white which symbolizes purity and innocence and counterbalanced with equal amounts of yellows and creams, representing both happiness and joy. Although the most prominent colours tend to be neutrals, south west England opt to add in a splash of energetic orange, full of enthusiasm, excitement and exuberance.
From our findings we can see there are definite differences per county, but is this the case when we look at the amount spent on a Mother's Day bouquet?
Our analysis revealed that those that spend over £50 tend to opt for both a classic and understated colour palette, choosing softer tones. White is the most dominant colour, followed by equal amounts of creams and pinks, emitting grace and gentleness. In contrast, colour does all the talking for those who spend £20 or less where a brighter arrangement is chosen with a mixture of flower colour types.
As a nation of flower givers, it seems that we choose flowers which represent more than the occasion of which we are buying for and this study has shown us that many factors can attribute to our colour choices. What colour bouquet will you pick this mother's day?
If you want to find out more about how the flower fingerprint graphics were created click here.