The Language of Flowers
I really do love flowers and how important they are at significant life events, such as weddings, funerals and birthdays, but something that is often overlooked in these modern times is what they actually symbolise and how a bouquet can be created with a whole load of meaning.
During the strict Victorian era, feelings and emotions were particularly repressed so a secret language of flowers was created – also known as floriography.
Women would carry a small bunch of flowers, called a nosegay, in front of their noses to block out the horrid smells in the streets. Men would gift their crush with a nosegay which revealed how they really felt about them. For example, red roses would mean ‘love’ or ‘desire’, forget me nots signified ‘faithful love’, and freesias indicated ‘lasting friendship.’
Flowers have had symbolic meanings attributed to them for hundreds of years, but it was only during the Victorian period that floriography really took off. In 1819, Madame Charlotte de la Tour, wrote and published the first dictionary of the flower language, ‘Le Langage des Fleurs’ and the concept spread rapidly with other flower dictionaries following. This did cause some confusion, as there were some different interpretations of flowers so some would end up with both a positive and negative meaning!
The Royal Family still use floriography when it comes to wedding bouquets. Meghan carried a posy filled with lily of the valley (return to happiness), jasmine (love and beauty), sweet peas (blissful pleasure) and myrtle (marriage).
How about asking for flowers with relevant meaning if you are planning your wedding or wanting to send a bouquet to say ‘thank you’? Get in touch if you’d like to find out more.