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Thursday, December 24, 2015


Once upon a time, long, long ago, I acquired a small volume called The Language of Flowers by Kate Greenaway. The drawings are exquisite. I became interested in this aspect of Victorian culture after reading a book (probably a Gothic mystery) where the heroine attended a ball and noticed the flower arrangements told a story of betrayal and revenge.

Who knew. Victorians were so creative in subtly revealing their true thoughts in a non-verbal way. Only someone versed in the meaning behind plants and flowers  would know the truth. Queen Victoria's world was viewed as obeying society rules, even when they didn't make sense. Clever lovers still managed to communicate their feelings without saying a word.

Today, we all associate certain flowers with feelings. A red rose for love or a pink one for a young woman. I went through the little book and discovered a red tulip is actually a declaration of love and a white rose for a young girl.

Orange blossoms are associated with a wedding bouquet. The message in those flowers was "your purity equals your loveliness."  Hmm, well, it's a good thought, but I doubt the youth of the 1800's were much different than today's.

Sometimes, we get it wrong. In Texas, we love our yellow rose
.According to the book, it is associated with jealously.Oh dear. Our yellow rose is based on a young woman who acted as a spy and seduced a Mexican general during the war for independence from Mexico.

So, next time you plan a bouquet or order flowers, be careful what you say. Here are a few to avoid.

Yellow lily - falsehood

Full blown rose placed over two buds means secrecy

Tall sunflower - haughtiness

In closing, I wish you a happy Christmas and prosperity, joy and good health for 2016.


  1. Interesting post, Brenda! Have a Merry Christmas and blessed New Year!

  2. How lovely and fascinating. Plus! I have the same small volume. :)


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