You may be familiar with the popular meanings of a few flowers already. Roses have a strong association with love, daisies with happiness, lilies connect with peace and sunflowers have reputation for strength but all flowers have meanings. Using them in your floral gifts, displays will share these sentiments and feelings in a subtle and delightful way.
Flower meanings come from what is known as the ‘Language of Flowers’ and this collection of meanings and the way they have been gathered goes back centuries. Cultures throughout history and time have observed the way plants, particularly their flowers, look, feel, taste, grow and are of use and have associated meanings based on these attributes.
These meanings have been used to help identify flowers, to pass down important knowledge about plants through generations and also as a coded language in societies where communication, especially of a more romantic or sentimental nature, needed to be guarded.
People of the Victorian period made the Language of Flowers extremely popular were it was used not only for messages between friends, lovers and even foe, but in their jewellery, furnishings, artworks, textiles and naturally gardens and floral displays. Not many people of the time would dream of organising a dinner centrepiece without careful consideration to the meanings of each blossom.
Today, our return to a deeper understanding of nature is bringing the Language of Flowers alive once more. Flower meanings and their applications are becoming popular as we seek to appreciate, to protect and live in harmony with our botanical friends.
You can choose the perfect flowers for occasions in your life and bring in the harmony of nature by thinking about what it is you would like to say, express and share with your family and friends. Look at the personality of those involved in your celebration and match flower meanings to them or perhaps choose flowers which express your hopes for those present.
Here are are some occasions and suggested flowers you could select which will match what you wish to express.
First Date – Yellow roses mean new friendships, relationships and beginnings and can express a desire to be open to a next date if all goes well.
New Baby – Peonies share wishes of good luck, future prosperity and health as well as help spread the happy news of a birth.
Anniversary – Forget-me-nots are a wonderful flower for any anniversary as they indicate a promise to remember another always and that you are thinking of special memories between you. They also mean true love.
New Job – Delphinium mean new opportunities, possibilities and even leadership, so these are very good to use as gifts or decoration when seeking a new job as well as celebrating landing one.
Hospital Visit – Sunflowers are wonderful flowers for those who are unwell or facing health challenges. They mean strength, happiness, confidence and generally ‘get well soon’.
Birthday – Gerbera daises are the perfect birthday flower. They mean happiness, celebration, appreciation and wishes for a happy life.
House Warming – Cornflowers are wonderful to add to an occasion celebrating a new home because they speak of protection, new home blessings and new friendships.
Funeral – These are very personal occasions but should you wish to give flowers which offer support then Heartsease are a compassionate way to say that you are thinking of those affected and that you are there for them.
Wedding – If you would like to give flowers to someone to celebrate news of a wedding then you might consider a flowering cactus! They mean love which will always endure.
Cheralyn Darcey is the author of Flowerpaedia, 1,000 flowers and their meanings (Rockpool Publishing $24.99) available at book stores and online at rockpoolpublishing.com.au