Seasonal floral information and opinion
Pink flowers for a girl and Blue flowers for a boy is the old way of thinking. These days green flowers, orange flowers, yellow, blue and even black flowers seek our attention. From the most exclusive florist to the smallest window box , a beautiful riot of colour and heavenly scented perfumes surround us. Roses, begonias, tulips, lilies and a million varieties of fresh flowers are everywhere. It is easy to ignore flowers, but when we stop for a moment and look, smell and enjoy we are rewarded.
The funny thing is that they are not even intended for us. Flowers are a plants way of getting insects to pollenate them. The colours and smells are there to attract the bees and butterflies and help ensure the plants survival. We are the lucky onlookers who get to see nature working in her most beautiful way.
The meanings of Flowers
Over a very long period of time, a complex code of meaning was established using flowers as a vocabulary. Until quite recently there were specific meanings associated with the giving of different flower varieties. Some meanings, such as red roses being a declaration of love survive to this day, but others have been forgotten.
- Begonia a warning to the recipient
- Camellias conveyed excellence
- Carnations were given to show the giver's heart had been broken
- Pink carnations had the additional meaning of "I'll never forget you" and were oftern given to soldiers heading off to war.
- Crocuses were a symbol of youth and happiness, given to younger children.
- Daffodils were a sign of formal regard but not intimacy and therefore it was approriate to give daffodils to someone of higher status than onself.
- Daisy were a declaration of innocence
- Forget-me-not's meaning survives in the name of the flower itself.
- Hyacinths were apparently considered a good way of appreciating someone's sporting prowess, but the root of this is unclear.
- Hydrangeas conveyed thankfulness for continued friendship
- A purple Lilac represented first love
- Giving Mistletoe became a request for a kiss... and of course this still survives as a part of the yuletide celebrations.
- Nasturtiums could be given to show loyalty and in medieval times it would be quite correct for a man to give such a gift to another man.
- Peony's held the message 'appologies for my shyness'
- Rhodadendrons were another symbol of danger
- Red Roses as we know mean love
- Snapdragons convey acknowledged presumption
- Sweet William was given to commend someone's bravery
- Yellow Tulips were given as a token of unrequited love
The Royal Horticultural Society is a great website about all things related to flowers.