Flowers have a language of their own. The Victorians made an art of it. Youve probably heard about Victorian women carrying small bouquets, called tussie-mussies, with messages encoded in the language of the flowers. Strands of ivy signified fidelity and friendship, gardenias conveyed a secret love, forsythia... anticipation. Shakespeare used them to enhance the story, as in Hamlet, when poor Ophelia laments There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember: and there is pansies, that's for thoughts. Even Leopold, in the movie Kate and Leopold, knew better than to send a woman orange lilies.
Trying to plan a garden based on the meaning of flowers might not be as wise as designing around growing requirements or color, but it can be a lot of fun when creating a floral display or a bouquet of flowers to give as a gift.
Lets say you want to send a thank you gift. You could include iris, which tips off that the bouquet is a message, white bellflowers (Campanula carpatica) for gratitude, amaranth for affection and maybe some spearmint for warm feelings. Hows that for conveying meaning through the language of flowers?
Declaring your love through flowers has been made simple enough. Its no coincidence that babys breath and ferns are included with your roses. While the roses say love, the babys breath means everlasting love and the ferns add sincerity. But you can always make your floral love note a bit more personal. Red tulips are an outright delectation of love. If you want to be more subtle, small sunflowers signal adoration, jonquils show desire and violets let the receiver know they occupy your thoughts.
The language of flowers isnt limited to the showy blossoms either. Tuck some basil in for Best Wishes. A four leaf clover, if you can find one, is a much better way to say Be Mine than a hard candy heart.
Keep in mind that its not just which flowers and plants you include, but also the way they are displayed. Flowers that incline to the left represent you, whereas right leaners are messages about the receiver. Even where you hold your flowers sends a message. Too complicated? Theres always rosemary for remembrance.
Not the flower giving type? How about surprising your date with a pineapple for perfection. Or sending a bag of hazelnuts in hope of a reconciliation. OK, maybe youd be better off with a nice dinner for that. But dont give up so easily. Start with some popular garden and bouquet flowers and their meanings.