With Tuesday being St Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share a little bit about the Language of Flowers, or floriography, a means of communication that became popular during the Victorian time. Various flowers and floral arrangements were used to send coded messages which allowed individuals to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken. These messages would often be created by several types of blooms in a posy or Tussie Mussie to convey the communication correctly.
Unfortunately the Language of Flowers has been surpassed by emails, Facebook, texts and Twitter but the meanings are still recognised. Obviously red roses are well known to indicate ‘I Love You’ but did you know that pink roses imply a lesser affection, coral or amber roses suggest desire and yellow roses indicate jealousy and infidelity. And the negative yellow theme continues into carnations, with yellow carnations meaning ‘you have disappointed me’, pink implies ‘you are always on my mind’ and like the red roses, red carnations indicate passion and deep love, meaning ‘my heart aches for you’.
Daffodils, being yellow, carry the dubious message of uncertainty although they can also apparently signify respect. Iris is an indication of good news, Lily of the Valley demonstrates trust and happiness and the snowdrop speaks of hope.
And if you have short arms and deep pockets, wildflowers are also willing messengers. Daisies signify true love, white clover means ‘I promise’ and celandines promise joys to come. Giving grass is seen as a sign of submission and although my little piglets are always pleased to see my mum arrive with a bag of (hand-picked) grass for them, I don’t know that such it would be so much appreciated by a partner; you may well end up submitting.
Don’t forget that shrubs and plants will last longer than cut flowers (though be warned, maybe only a gardener thinks that way). Primroses mean eternal love, lavender promises devotion and Campanula and Canterbury Bells both indicate gratitude. Rosemary means remembrance and thyme signifies thrift, so in these times of financial adversity they may be good given together to remind your loved one to be thrifty. Add Campanula and you have “I’d be grateful if you could remember to be thrifty!”
Vegetables and crops also have something to say. Receiving a cabbage (or wheat) suggests a profit or riches whilst a lettuce indicates a cold heart and a gift of straw (back to my pigs) suggests unity.
If you receive any of the following, it may be time to review you relationship. Mint means suspicion, birds foot trefoil stands for revenge and marigolds imply pain and grief, which is of course what you risk if you get the Valentine’s gift wrong.
A visit to the florists will never be the same but whatever bloomin’ choice you make, have fun making it and have a Happy Valentine’s Day.