Sunday, February 15, 2009

Speaking The Language of Flowers

Known in Japanese as hanakotoba and in English as floriography, the language of flowers has long been used to convey emotions that people have been hesitant to speak. Though most popular in the Victorian period, the symbolic use of flowers dates back to antiquity. In medieval and Renaissance culture, flowers were often given moral meanings and certain flowers were commonly known to represent specific feelings. Interestingly, many of the same flowers in both hanakotoba and floriagraphy have the same significance.

Here is a partial list of a few common flowers and their meanings in the language of flowers.

daffodil - regard
ivy - fidelity
gerbera daisy - innocence
white rose - chastity
yellow rose - friendship
red rose - romantic love
pansy - thought
acacia - secret love
buttercup - riches
canterbury bells - gratitude
yellow carnation - rejection
nasturtium - patriotism
geranium - gentility
hollyhock - ambition

We love arranging fresh flowers that we've grown in our gardens. But when season or weather does not permit bountiful blooms, we consider working with these as the next best thing:

Pretty assorted flower scraps made in England.

Dainty handmade paper pansies.

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