Valentine’s Day is the traditional day for expressing feelings of love to a spouse or lover; and, today many people use the day to express their love and devotion to anyone who is special. Roses are the supreme being in the flower world, used to express love, with red roses being the penultimate for passionate love. White roses represent eternal love, pink roses speak to perfect happiness and roses without thorns stand for love at first sight.
The Victorians used flowers to send encoded messages to the objects of their affections. Because it was taboo to openly express one’s feelings during the Victorian era, lovers spoke to one another through the “Language of the Flowers”. Flowers expressed hidden meanings, and lovers used them as symbols. Those symbols were derived from mythology, historical events, religion and folklore and called floriography.
Secret messages were transmitted through the use of different flowers, not only by way of fresh bouquets, but incorporated into jewelry in an engraving or given as poetry, with each bubbling with it’s own hidden epithet.
Love can be expressed in as many ways as there are flowers growing in fields, valleys and by the side of an arbor. Even though red roses are the first choice of many for expressing their passion, consider including other flowers in a Valentine’s bouquet this year. Primrose and buttercups speak of the innocence of a first love. Honeysuckle represents the binding embrace of your lover’s arms. Give forget-me-knots to show your love and remembrance if you’re a soldier going off to war. Hyacinths express the depths of sincerity and constancy in love. Include moss in a flower gift to represent a mother’s love and tenderness or your love for your mother.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
Ironically, the language of the flowers was started in England in the late 1800s by Queen Victoria and her beloved Prince Albert and has come full circle to Princess Kate and Prince William, the heirs to the throne of England. Kate chose special flowers for her bridal bouquet to speak of her love for her new husband. Check the references below for lists of flower meanings and choose to give special flowers to your loved ones this Valentine’s Day.
Wikipedia: Language of the Flowers
Language of the Flowers: Flower Meanings to Express True Love
Literary Liaisons: The Language of the Flowers
Wikipedia: Queen Victoria
(Photo Credit: Bahman Farzad)
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