There is a universal power in flowers and what they communicate.
Flowers can touch us inexplicably and in many ways. Primroses remind me of my mother, the pinky-yellow rose called “Peace” of my grandmother. Red poppies represent our fallen heroes, and so powerful was the display at the Tower of London last year.
Flowers are used at significant events throughout our lives, from birth, marriage to death and every year on Valentine’s Day to communicate feelings. They can say so much without a word being uttered.
February, the midst of winter, is a strange time to give roses to your Valentine, as they do not flower in the UK until the summer. Virginal white snowdrops and the slowly emerging Hellebore are the real gladiators of flower power in our gardens in this chilliest of months. Sadly, Valentine roses equal a huge carbon footprint whether they are hot housed here or flown in from abroad. It would be much better to choose red tulips, which, at least, are virtually in season and are the very declaration of love, according to the language of flowers.
Our love of flowers and what they say is all round us. This year, the fashion houses of Europe from Chanel to our home-grown local hero Boden, have bedecked their catwalks and models in botanic prints this season. Nature and its beauty has always been an inspiration for artists, poets, lovers et al. In fact our love of flowers provides a direct link with nature and their beauty fascinates us.
For thousands of years, we have attributed meaning to flowers and the romantic early Victorians gave a language to flowers. During the 1700s, Londoners particularly used “tussie mussies”, small bouquets of flowers and herbs, to send messages to their friends and loved ones. It was called ‘florigraphy’ and certain plants and herbs stood for various feelings. So roses (no surprises) meant love, lavender devotion, and snowdrop means hope while daisy means innocence.
Using as reference a charming book called “The Language of Flowers” by Mandy Kirby, and thinking of flowers that are available at this time of year, here is a Valentine bouquet with a secret and special message:
Here are some ideas for the romantics out there who want to say it with flowers:
- The Tulip means the declaration of love.
- The Rose is the very symbol of love.
- The Daffodil represents new beginnings.
- Alstromeria – devotion.
- Camelia is my destiny is in your hands.
- Forget–me-not is forget-me-not.
- Lilac is for first emotions of love.
- Pink carnation – I will never forget you.
- Daphne – I would not have you otherwise.
- Oregano – joy.
- Cosmos – joy in love and life.
- Cornus – love undiminished by adversity.
- Pansy – think of me.
- Gypsophila – everlasting love.
- White hyacinth – beauty.
- Fuchsia – humble love.
- Gladioli – you pierce my heart.
- Cyclamen – timid hope.
- Snowdrops – hope.
The darker the colour, the stronger the passion. Another supplier of British gown cut flowers is Common Flowers.