The Language of Flowers
According to the Society of American Florists, an estimated 196 million roses were produced for the 2015 Valentine’s Day holiday. With over 75% of these being red, it is obvious that most everyone knows that red roses signify romance and love.
However, roses are not the only flowers that have a meaning associated with them. Many common flowers found in your backyard also have a few things to say!
Floriography, the language of flowers, became widely popular during the Victorian Era. Victorian society took deep pleasure in the ability to send messages in a secretive and fanciful way. Nosegays, or talking bouquets, were used to communicate feelings that were not deemed acceptable by society to express. Books were published so that people would know the definitions of the different flowers. Unfortunately, not all books published the same meanings to each flower, which was sure to have caused some confusion. Imagine a bouquet of adoration was interpreted instead as a bouquet of rejection! Luckily, now there is a general agreement of meaning on the common flowers.
It is said that ‘flowers are the language of love’, and there are numerous flowers that do mean just that. If you want to show someone your everlasting love, but want something different than just a bouquet, give him or her a red rose bush to last for years to come. To remember a loved one, plant Dianthus ‘Scent First Coral Reef’ in your yard. A hardy form of the floral carnation, the pink blooms signify that you will never forget that person.
Want to give a declaration of love but you are afraid that it won’t be forever? Plant sunflowers or white argyranthemums, an annual variety of white daisies, for a statement that will only last until fall. Once fall comes and you find you are still smitten, red mums also symbolize love. Just don’t give a yellow mum for that would mean that you are feeling slighted!
Many other flowers convey messages of friendship and welcome. Planting petunias around your back patio will let your guests know that they are gladly received and that their presence comforts you. As an offer of hospitality, place an anthurium in bright indoor window. These tropical beauties have thick, heart shapped flowers that will let all guests who enter know that they are welcome in your house.
Thank a good friend for the support and encouragement by planting for them a pink rose or a perennial Geranium ‘Rozanne’. Both of these express appreciation and true friendship. Does your yard sometimes become a sea of yellow because of so many dandelions? Be happy! It might be silly, but dandelions are actually said to represent faithfulness and happiness.
Are you looking to sell your house this spring? Encourage potential buyers to feel excitement when they see your home by landscaping with delphinium and larkspur. These flowers are said to represent happiness and levity. However, if you have snapdragons or orange lilies in your yard you might want to remove them. Snapdragons and lilies are said to represent deception and hatred, not the best message to portray to buyers!
Other flowers have more specialized meanings. Aloe and basil are said to bring healing, protection and good wishes. Either would make a wonderful addition to any get-well basket. Celebrate the birth of your child by planting a lilac, which symbolizes a celebration of youth and innocence. Not only will this delightful smelling shrub flower for years to come, it will also be a reminder to you of this precious time once your child has grown.
Looking for a little extra protection in these uncertain times? Heather and dill are good options to plant around the perimeter of your house as they are said to offer protection and ward off evil. Thyme might be of use as well for it is said to boost courage and strength.
These are just a small few of the many different flowers, plants and shrubs that have special meanings and representations. If you are looking to portray something specific in your yard, do the research and figure out just what it is that you are saying with your plant choices. You wouldn’t want to send the wrong message!