My husband is a romantic in every sense of the term, often bringing me bouquets of flowers or container orchids for no reason and for every reason…just because.
With the birth of each of my children, I could plan on a bouquet of two dozen roses intermingled with lilies delivered to my recovering room. When they arrived, I knew without doubt the expression of his love, unwritten, which the flowers sang to me.
Nothing brings joy into a home, into a heart, and into hope like fresh flowers.
Yes, to the skeptics, perhaps they are expensive, perhaps they will wilt and perish within a few days. However, every child has found the simple flower from dandelion to rose while they walk the gardens and fields of life, grabbing it with the purest intent to give it to those who are most cherished in their lives. My answer is that fresh-cut in a vase or potted with a bow, single stem or a floribunda bouquet, flowers must be given from the soul with the purpose of adorning a relationship with admiration and feeling. In that moment when the recipient embraces the gift, there are no words to describe the interaction with joy in this unique expression of friendship and true love.
It is a language that only flowers can speak and hearts can understand.
The Victorians embraced the meaning of flowers in a way similar to the Classic Greek mythology and Renaissance symbolism of their time periods. For the Victorian man or woman under the restrictions of social propriety, flowers became a means of expressing the emotions and words that could not be shared aloud. Since a single red rose might state the message of love from the giver, the receiver would know the message and accept the sentiment of the rose with the right hand or reject the message by taking the rose with the left. Furthermore, if a courier delivered flowers that expressed a sentiment, then the receiver would respond in kind and deliver flowers that best answered the request.
In fact, Victorian floriography, or the language of flowers, blossomed during the 19th century throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States of America. Many of the grand gardens and conservatories we cherish today commenced due to this passion toward exotic, rare, and flourishing flora and fauna. Women wore flowers on their dresses, in their hats, and carried about tussie-mussie bouquets as part of their fashion “statement.” From this secret conversation movement, many books emerged. One illustrated by Kate Greenway in 1884 is still printed to date.
Although the modern world has forsaken the fastidiousness of Victorian tradition, the concept of giving flowers to express one’s admiration, gratitude, and passion continues. Furthermore, as Valentine’s Day arrives, one might consider three of the most universal flowers which symbolize love in its various phases:
Listen to the Flowers
Seek the flowers of your soul.
Walk the paths of a garden, enter a floral shop, or find a flower peddler on the street.
Discover which flowers call to your senses.
Buy the flowers, pick the flowers, breathe in the flowers…
I encourage you to cultivate the language of flowers into your life, another aspect of creating a beautiful life.
Robyn J. Mock