Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Language of Flowers.....

Click the picture to read the words
'There's Rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember: and there is pansies, that's for thoughts.'
(Shakespeare: Hamlet Act 4 Scene 5)

This little arrangement came about purely by accident (honest). I found it too tempting to pass by. A handful of scented flowers and cluster of badges. The badges' messages and observations are blatant whilst the fragrant posy speaks with subtleness and mystery.

We have largely lost the secret code that is the language of flowers. It's quicker to tap out some emoticons than scratch one's head for the hidden meaning in some petrol station forecourt bunch. The carnation or rose in the buttonhole of one's lapel has gone the way of, well, buttonholes in lapels. We might wear a brooch or charity sticker or we may sport one of these little badges which sport messages of their own. When giving flowers it's easiest to grab 'the white ones', 'the Spring bouquet' or pragmatically, the chrysanthemums because they last a long time. The last few vestiges of this floral code linger on; we still present red roses on St Valentine's Day, vaguely remember that lilies represent purity and for a Christmas kiss pucker-up under the Mistletoe. I'm sure I read somewhere the other day that to bring lilacs into the house is to court misfortune. I wonder why.*

The Greeks wore Rosemary on their heads to improve both brain and memory. The Roman crown of Laurel signified nobility. Bouquets and posies carried silent scented messages of love, hate, devotion and distrust. I wonder did you hand your lover a Lupin to indicate your voraciousness? Or thrust a yellow carnation at that wimp to express complete and utter disappointment in their wussiness?

The small arrangement above is somewhat wistful: Rosemary for remembrance, Sage for wisdom and long life, cat mint - warmth of feeling, maybe virtue and Pinks - Pinks for boldness. It took a bit of research to fathom that out. The badges below convey something more subversive even if they are only half-serious. They're more immediate too. And maybe when trying to get your message across it's best to use a language that both parties understand.

*n.b. a quick Google offered this: 'Cut branches of lilac can be brought indoors where their wonderful scent will fill the house, but some people believe that carrying lilac into the house brings misfortune. This somewhat archaic superstition was spread by Victorian gardeners in order to disparage their staff from taking the expensive blossoms. They also realized that cutting this year’s flowers with a long stem also removes the buds that should provide next year’s flowers.'


Mopsa said...

does google know the difference between disparage and discourage? Either way, enlarging your piccy made me chortle. Personally, I prefer flowers left outside in the garden or the hedgebank, and really hate the pong of the lily - completely overpowering and not in a good way. If you must, I'd love a bunch of freesias, irises or anemones. And a pot of herbs is most welcome.

mutterings and meanderings said...

I want your badges!

mountainear said...

Sorry about the 'typo' - it's as I cut and pasted......which doesn't say much for my proof reading does it? Note to self: must try harder.

Wipso said...

I found these on the net and thought I'd share them with you

Types of fowers and their meaning

* Artemesia: True Friendship
* Amaranth: Worth beyond beauty
* Bluebell: Love Everlasting/Delicacy and Humility
* Carnation Pink: Emblem of Mother's Day. Red: Admiration. White: Pure Love.
* Cyclamen: Resignation and Goodbye
* Daffodil: Emblem of Regard
* Daisy: Gentleness and Innocence
* Elderberry Blossom: Humility and Kindness
* Fern Sincerity
* Gillyflower Pink: Bonds of Affection
* Heather Purple: Admiration, Beauty and Solitude
* Ivy: Friendship
* Jasmine Yellow: Timidity and Modesty
* Lavender: Constancy
* Lily White: Majesty and Purity
* Marvel-Of-Peru: Flame of Love
* Orange Blossom "Your Purity Equals your Loveliness"
* Pansy: Thoughtful Recollection
* Rose Red: Love and Desire, White: Charm and Innocence.
* Salvia Blue: "I Think of You"
* Thyme: Courage
* Violet: Modesty and Simplicity
* Wallflower: Friendship and Adversity
* Yarrow: Healing
* Zinnia: Thoughts of Absent Friends

Pondside said...

Lovely blog - I have always loved the language of flowers!