Ruth WalkerComment

The Language of Flowers -Taking Me Back to an Elegant Era

Ruth WalkerComment
The Language of Flowers -Taking Me Back to an Elegant Era

If you are enchanted by May baskets and tradition, then I think you’ll love this book. After reading it you can build your own bouquets containing messages that only you - or maybe you and your recipient - understand. Ah, if I had only had this to reference when I was a starry-eyed teen!

To learn more about this charming reference, read on. If you want to buy it then you can click the Buy on Amazon button below the photo of the book’s cover.

I first read about the Language of Flowers in an Agatha Christie novel - probably one featuring Miss Marple. I was charmed by the idea but it wasn’t until years later that I stumbled on a book that talked about the concept. Intrigued I quickly purchased.

When I started reading it I realized how many references there were to flowers in our daily lives dating back to Roman times (think laurel leaf wreaths) and in Shakespeare who references pansies for thoughts in Hamlet. But what intrigued me was the idea of using flowers to express a message.

It’s not a great surprise that Victorians loved to communicate with flowers. In an era when even mentioning a leg was considered scandalous (limb was acceptable, leg was not), using flowers was a way lovers could correspond clandestinely. Also, it paved the way for those who might be tongue tied to say with flowers what they found hard to say in person.

Flowers have played a romantic role for young women for years, which probably starts with young girls plucking apart a daisy to the chant of “he loves me, he loves me not”.

While the book’s introductory information about flowers and their role in romance, their relationship to gods, witches and fairies, the weather lore attached to plants, their role in folk medicine and more is fascinating, what I love best about this book are the panels that illustrate each flower that has meaning affiliated with it. Not all the descriptions of a flower’s meaning are accompanied by an illustration but those that do are especially charming.

Now that we are ending the season when chivalry blooms throughout our gardens and fields (daffodils) and consolation (the snowdrop) has retreated back to the soil we are seeing violets, the symbol of faithfulness and modesty. What may lay ahead?

In case you’re wondering, the photo of lupines (above) signifies voraciousness.

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