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Latter-day lovers still say it with flowers

Latter-day lovers still say it with flowers

For centuries, flowers, herbs and various plants have given much pleasure to people of all the nations, because their beauty has the unique ability to bring cheer when someone is ill or downhearted, their fragrances can be used to make lovely perfumes, delicate foliage can be used for certain medicines and foods, and pungent smells can bestir mood.

p-11-flowersThe Victorians gave them a language all their own called ‘floriography’ but long prior to that, many flowers and plants generations had traditional religious and symbolic meanings, and still do today.

For example, there were references given to flowers, herbs and plants in Biblical times, and during the Middle Ages herbs were believed by some to have magical powers and given a place of honor in the royal floral gardens.

History relates that during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837 – 1901), the language of flowers was as important to people as being ‘well dressed.’ For example, the recognizable scent of a particular flower, plant or perhaps a scented handkerchief sent its own unique message. Flowers would convey messages of love or dislike depending upon which ones were given, their sizes, how they were held, or also grouped together. They had a silent meaning of their very own, and could ‘say’ what was not dared to be spoken. Even the manner in which flowers were sent had a special meaning. A flower presented in an upright position represented a positive thought whereas one presented in the opposite direction had a negative meaning. A person could say ‘yes’ by offering a flower with the right hand – the left hand ‘no.’

Dictionaries were written to explain this language to all, and were especially used by lovers. Roses symbolized love, in general, but each variety and color had its own meaning. Lilies generally symbolized beauty, but it also has many varieties, thus many diversified meanings. Consider the quandary that could have developed if lovers used two different dictionaries with each possibly having its own connotation. There could, potentially, be some real misunderstandings!

Today, one may find it difficult to express their true feelings. One may wonder, ‘How do I say I love you?’ or ‘I want to be your friend’ or ‘You are special.’ Rather than writing a poem or song, a gift of flowers, with an accompanying card that explains their meaning, sends a clear and caring message.


Flowers can speak a language of their own

Make up a bouquet of sentiment with flowers that carry a special message. Over the years, certain plants and blooms have come to be associated with certain sentiments or qualities.

Arbutus: Thee only do I love

Baby’s Breath: Pure of heart

Begonia: Beware, a fanciful nature

Bells of Ireland: Good luck

Calla Lily: Magnificent beauty

Carnation (general): Fascination, devoted love

Carnation (deep red): Alas! For my poor heart

Carnation (solid colour): Yes

Carnation (striped): No

Carnation (yellow): Rejection

Daffodil: The sun shines when I’m with you

Dahlia: Forever thine

Daisy: Loyal love, I’ll never tell

Forsythia: Anticipation

Freesia: Innocence

Gardenia: You’re lovely

Gloxinia: Love at first sight

Iris: Passion

Lavender: Love, devotion

Lily (general): Purity of heart

Lily (Calla): Beauty

Lily (orange): Hatred, dislike

Lily (tiger): Wealth, pride

Narcissus: Stay as sweet as you are

Orchid (Cattleya): Mature charms

Rose (Coral): Desire

Rose (Dark Crimson): Mourning

Rose (Pink): Grace and sweetness, indecision

Rose (Dark Pink): Thankfulness

Rose (Pale Pink): Joy

Rose (Red): I love you

Rose (Deep Red): Bashful, shame

Rose (White): I am worthy of you, secrecy

Rose (Yellow): Jealousy, friendship

One yellow rose with 11 red ones means love and passion; a bouquet of roses in full bloom means gratitude, while a single rose in full bloom means I truly love you.

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