Symbolism in the Garden: The Meaning of Flowers

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Aster FlowerA single red rose universally signals love. Other than that most of us do not understand the lost art of floral symbolism. According to the website VictorianBazaar.com the language of flowers is called "floriography”, which saw it’s heyday in the Victorian Era. During the reign of England’s Queen Victoria, not only did the flowers themselves have meanings but also the way in which they were arranged or handed to the recipient.

Throughout history flowers and plants have been used to invoke a sense of romance or intrigue. There are numerous references to specific plants in both ancient and modern literature from around the world. Secret messages created with flower arrangements have been used in playful ways (to reveal an admirer or secret love use Gardenia or Mimosa) or in heartbreaking ways (Mock Orange speaks of deceit while an Orange Lily symbolizes hate). The symbolism can be romantic or friendly. If you want to say thank you a nice bouquet of dark pink roses is a good choice. Color can have meaning as well. A red rose is love as we all know while a peach colored rose symbolizes the closing of a deal.

Sending a floral message can be as simple as one small bloom or as extravagant as a whole garden. In the English Garden Mystery series ROSEMARY AND THYME, the episode named THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS revolves around the restoration of a waterfall that was planted with a botanical message which helps the main characters solve a murder. Meaning in the garden is also very common for religious gardens in cloisters and at memorial gardens. The Christmas Rose is related to the infant Jesus while the Lily Flower symbolizes the Trinity. “Mary Gardens” are rich with meaning and flowers.

Using flowers and plants to send messages is not as common these days, but it with a little effort it can be a fun and playful way to flirt with the one you love:

Spider Flower

- Aster Flower: dainty, love

- Baby’s Breath: happiness

- Daisy: loyal love

- Hibiscus: delicate beauty

- Calla Lily: majestic beauty

- Primrose: young love

- Coral Rose: desire

- Rosemary: fidelity

- Tulip: symbol for perfect lover

- Spider flower: elope with me

Or send an affectionate or thankful message to a friend or family member:

Red Zinnias

- Zinnia: thinking of an absent friend

- Sweet Basil: good luck

- Pale Rose: friendship

- Red and Yellow Rose: congratulations

- White Jasmine: cheerfulness

- Gladiolus: strength of character

- Dahlia: good taste

 

These have been gleaned from the following two lists:

http://www.iflorist.com/en/gifts/meaning/

http://www.victorianbazaar.com/meanings.html

 

 


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