Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Language of Flowers -- convey a message with your wedding flowers

Did you know that flowers have a language all their own? The symbolism of flowers goes back to the early 19th century when a French author put pen to paper to record the oral tradition of messages given along with the gift of a single flower or bouquet. I've just completed a massive article on this topic for my website -- Mike will have it launched soon -- and here are a few examples so that you can see what I'm talking about:

Rose: Love
Rose (Austrian): Lovely; You are everything that is lovely
Rose (Bridal): Ours will be a happy love
Rose (China): Your beauty is always new
Rose (Lavender): Our love is pure
Rose (Pink): To my friend
Rose (Red): I love you; passionate love
Rose (Red Leaved): Wishes for prosperity
Rose (Red and White): Unity Rosebud (Red): You are young and lovely

What I find most fascinating about the language of flowers is that courtship was such a careful and delicate thing back in the Jane Austen days, that a man who was trying to woo a woman would have to send a secret message through a flower that he left for her or had delivered to her through a friend. And even more fascinating are the number of negative connotations that some of these flowers have! Yellow carnations, for example, mean 'I am disappointed with you.' How'd you like to find that under your window? Ah well, they didn't have IMs or text messaging back then, so they had to argue through the flower garden. ;) I'll let you know when my article is up on my site so that you can check out what your wedding flowers are saying....hopefully you don't have any yellow carnations in there! And forget about the striped carnations, which mean 'I am sorry, I must say no.' Ouch! Those were actually on my wishlist for the wedding -- scratch that!

And speaking of flowers, Joe and I just picked out all the flowers for our front landscaping...a gorgeous array of brights that were on the deer-don't-eat-these list. We saw a pineapple plant, which I knew meant 'hospitality' but have just learned also means 'you are absolutely perfect.' Good to know.