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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Say It With Flowers

 Art Explosion by Nova

When I was growing up in England, my grandmother always had bouquets of flowers or potted plants in her house, and she often gave them as gifts to friends.  She always talked about the meaning of the flowers -- forget-me-nots for remembrance, as she gave them to someone who had lost a loved one, for example, or a small pot of pansies for fond memories.


The custom became popular in Victorian times, when they gave small bouquets as gifts with special meaning for the recipient.


This list comes from The Language of Flowers, published by Nelson & Sons, Edinburgh, 1872.


Azalea ..................................................... Temperance
Basil ........................................................ Love/hatred
Camelia ................................................... Excellence
Carnation ................................................. Fascination
Chrysanthemum....................................... Longevity
Clematis .................................................. Mental Beauty
Dahlia ...................................................... Instability
Daisy ....................................................... Innocence
Dill .......................................................... Irresistability
Forget-me-not ......................................... Remembrance
Gardenia .................................................. Ecstasy
Geranium ................................................ Melancholy
Gladiolus ................................................. Geranium
Iris ........................................................... Good News
Hydrangea ............................................... Boastfulness
Lavender ................................................. Distrust
Lily .......................................................... Majesty
Marigold .................................................. Grief
Narcissus ................................................. Egotism
Pansy ....................................................... Fond Memories
Parsley ..................................................... Festivity
Red Rose .................................................. Love, beauty
Rosemary ................................................. Remembrance
Sweet William ......................................... Gallantry
Thyme ..................................................... Courage
White Rose .............................................. Silence


Some of the meaning have changed and some meanings differ from region to region.


Here are some more online resources, if you'd like to browse:

The Language of Flowers - Flower meanings, flower sentiments


For Peace of Mind - Flowers, Learn Their Secret Language


The Language of Flowers - Texas A&M PlantAnswers

6 comments:

JWLW said...

HI Jayne: Just stopped by to say hello and check out your blog. Nice job well done.

Enjoy your Evening,
john

Kathleen Scott said...

One of the things I loved about living in England was the cottage garden tradition and the way blooms spilled over into homes. Lovely reminder of the best in life.

Lancashire rose said...

I hope you enjoyed the garden tour. Very few azaleas grow here in Austin. The conditions are just about impossible for growth, except in pots. I didn't know that flowers had meaning, all except that is rosemary for remembrance. We always had flowers in our house to but they are so much cheaper to buy over there. I love the European way of selling flowers on the street corners rather than at the supermarket or florist. Makes it really easy for husbands to pick up a bouquet of flowers on his way home from work.

Rosie said...

Thanks for coming over to my blog to introduce yourself Jayne. You have a lovely website aswell as this blog. Interesting about the meanings of plants - and where they originate from.

Amy Brecount White said...

Hey, Jayne. Love your post! You might want to check out my debut novel, FORGET-HER-NOTS, which just came out last week from Greenwillow/HarperCollins. It brings the language of flowers magically to life. You can check out more at www.amybrecountwhite.com.

Happy reading and gardening!

-Amy

Jayne said...

Wow Amy, that sounds great - I'll be sure and check it out.