I just finished and amazing book called, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and was nearly moved to tears.
The novel is about a young girl in foster care who learned to use the Victorian language of flowers to communicate her deepest feelings. Once she was 18 and had left the foster home she continued this practice to change the lives of those around her.
The novel encouraged me to do some reading about flowers and language and I must say it energized me to send my mum and my daughter’s bouquets to “tell” them how I truly feel about their presence in my life.
I suppose I could have just bought the flowers and delivered them by hand, especially with my daughters living in the same home, but I feel there is something romantic about receiving flowers through a third party. If you haven't already read the novel or heard about the Victorian Era and it's language of flowers it’s a good read.
Today's England feels so different than the one I grew up in, traditions are falling away, so I think we ought to grab on to a few of the better ones while we can and hold onto them for our children’s' sake. The act of giving an appropriate flower is a good place to start.
Flowers and their Meanings
You'll recall the Daily Mail describing Kate Middleton's bouquet:
“She has chosen euphorbias, symbolising persistence. She has also included lilac to indicate first love, Solomon’s seal for confirmation of love, blossoms for spiritual beauty and beech for prosperity.”
Kate and the Royal Wedding Planners were very careful about both the flowers used to decorate the church and those in her royal bouquet. Using flowers to convey meanings is both a link to the past and a way to generate a little more fun and mystery in life. Today go out and hand pick a bouquet for someone or send them an arrangement designed just for them. This list is going to be limited but ought to get your started in the right direction:
Many florists in Rochdale already have lists and can help you figure out which message you want to send to someone. It really is a lovely way to both hold onto tradition and to create new ones. And if that's not enough to motivate you, the fact that everyone loves flowers ought to do it. When my daughters saw the flowers in the delivery man's hand and realized it was for them, they squealed in delight. My oldest says that she's going to press the flowers in a book.
That's a great tradition for her to start.