Huh? What Is That Your Rose Just Said?

3 Feb

 Victorian Language of FlowersMy garden sighs longingly with a heavy yearning that murmurs quietly up stems of faithfulness held straight and true by deep-rooted perseverance, and eases into tightly folded, pent-up buds.  From there it throws itself upon the windy strains of gossip floating amidst ivory magnolias (perseverance), nodding camellia (longing) and fragrant lemons blossoms (fidelity).

No, I have not been reading too many fortune cookies with rolled up paper slips foretelling my future!  I’m learning about Victorian gardens and culture, which was so modest and restrained that emotions were often communicated indirectly through symbolism, such as the  “language of flowers”.  Messages were encoded by choosing certain flowers to compose a bouquet.  Yet strangely, when I apply this language to the flowers in my garden, it tells a fairly accurate tale.  I do having longing, faithfulness and perseverance.  I long to bring several creative visions to fruition, a desire supported by deep roots of perseverance and devotion to my dreams, beliefs, ethics, family and friends.

So it might just be fun to see what the flowers and herbs you’ve chosen for your garden mean!  Are they warning of deceitful danger nearby? Proclaiming an exuberant “welcome“?  A “decoder”  list of their Victorian meanings resides at Wikipedia: Language of Flowers.  At least it could save you from mistakenly sending a bouquet claiming undying love. Conversely, if you do want to send one this Valentine’s day, you’ll know how!

A few examples:

nuts – stupidity (perhaps the origin of the phrase “he/she’s nuts”?)

verbena – pray for me

clematis – ingenuity

marjoram – happiness

bluebell – humility, gratitude

wisteria – welcome

violet – let’s take a chance on happiness

18 Responses to “Huh? What Is That Your Rose Just Said?”

  1. The Sage Butterfly February 11, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    My beloved Jasmin (Siamese cat) died a few years, and she was very gentle, loving, and devoted. I planted lavender (for devotion) over her grave. I like meaning behind plants…adds to their beauty.

    • Lisa February 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

      I am so sorry that you lost your beloved cat. Lavender for love and devotion…

  2. Indie February 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    How fun! I now need to figure out what secret messages my garden is telling about me… 🙂

    • Lisa February 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

      Do share, if you want!

  3. Carolyn February 9, 2012 at 4:40 am #

    Lovely post! I knew that different colored roses held sweet secrets but never imagined other flowers may as well. Love learning new things… thank you!

    • Lisa February 13, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

      Thank you. It was fun to turn the idea around.

  4. Kevin February 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    This was very interesting — I wold like to know more about flowers and their meanings. Thanks for opening the door to learning.

    • Lisa February 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

      Thank you. Hope you have fun with it!

  5. Ginny February 8, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    It’s such fun reading about the meanings of flowers. I did a little research on it a couple of years ago and imagined the bouquets I’d give to loved ones based on the meanings of the flowers.

    • Lisa February 13, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

      It’s too bad the custom has fallen out of use. Just think, even if you received a message that was not what you’d hoped for, you’d still end up with a vase of nice flowers!

  6. Pam's English Garden February 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Dear Lisa, Lovely posting! Not only beauty and scent, but their own special language. P. x

  7. Donna February 6, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    Hi, I hope you don’t mind, but Teleflora has the meaning of flowers on their site and you can find other varieties you have not listed. I find it fascinating and learned a few new meanings here. I never used it to plant in my garden, but it is fun to see through history and culture, what flowers mean. Nice post.

    • Lisa February 7, 2012 at 9:30 am #

      🙂 Nope, don’t mind at all – thank you very much for the info, and for stopping by!

  8. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden February 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    Thank you so much for nominating me for a Versatile Blogger award. I am honoured.

    It seems to me to be a very romantic act to send a lover a secret message with flowers carefully chosen for their symbolic meaning.

    In my garden, I grow such a wide variety of flowers that decoding them might not reveal much about my personality. Maybe if I choose a few favourites though, I’d have very few secrets left…

    • Lisa February 7, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      You are so welcome, it was my pleasure because I love reading your blog! I can appreciate dogs in the garden – I have two that romp regularly in mine.

  9. Gone Tropical February 5, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    Neat idea, I will have to ‘translate’ the flowers in my garden to see what it is telling me (or about me?) 😉

    • Lisa February 7, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      Thank you, I appreciate the visit!

      • Gone Tropical February 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

        I’ll keep visiting, I have your blog on my blogroll so I won’t forget 😀

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