Through the ages, people have given flowers symbolic
meanings. From these meanings, a language of flowers has evolved.
Ancient Greeks dedicated flowers to the gods and crowned people of notoriety
with wreaths of blossoms and leaves. The French and English who had been
travelling to Turkey in the mid eighteenth century, brought to their homelands
the concept of a language of flowers.
Flowers have survived centuries of trends to remain one of the most
A gift of flowers has the ability to lift the spirits, excite the heart
and add romance to our lives. They have been used throughout the centuries
to honour special events both on the personal level as well as for formal
ceremonies and religious rites. Our art and literature has also used flowers
in symbolic ways and many have become closely associated with particular
During the 1800's, there were books and dictionaries on florigraphy -
the science of sweet things. These books were compiled of drawings of
flowers and their meanings.
The arrangements and compositions of flowers and herbs were as significant
as the meanings. For example, a marigold alone meant grief; however, if
it were brought together with a rose, it expressed the bittersweets or
pleasant pains of love.
There were, too, basic grammar rules of florigraphy as explained in a
book that was written in the 1800's called The Language of Flowers. One
such rule stated "The expression of every flower may thus be varied by
varying its state or position...." In other words, depending on how the
flower was drawn it could have several different meanings.
From all of the books that were written, the only thing that seemed to
be consistant was the fact that they did not always agree on meanings
or rules which in turn only added to the romance of flowers. In Colonial
times, nosegays or tussie mussies as they were called, were given as gifts.
Here too, the different herbs and flowers symbolized different things.
Imagine receiving a small bouquet of violets and knowing that the person
giving them to you was pledging their loyalty without uttering a word.
It was common practise at the beginning of a courtship in the Victorian
era for suitors to give their intended a tussie mussie. The types of flowers
often changed as the relationship grew allowing the gentleman to say volumes
without speaking a word! Today's society is no different than those of
a few hundred years ago. Flowers still hold significant a meaning!
Flowers create a special language of their own. The meaning of flowers,
herbs and leaves has been written about for centuries. Each book written
may proclaim a different meaning, but the meaning of flowers are, after
all, whatever you want them to be. The bloom of a dandelion given by a
small child holds as much love as a rose given by a admirer. Various flowers
can create interesting conversation