Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Royal Wedding and the Language of Flowers

Shall we continue our nice conversation about the Royal Wedding? Grab a cup of tea, and a scone if you are lucky, and join me!

We last discussed the types of flowers as well as the phenomenal cost of lily of the valley, but we have yet to chat about the Language of Flowers.

Kate Middleton, oh what is her title now, Princess? Any how, when she was planning her wedding, and therefor still plain Kate, decided to choose flowers that had special meanings in the Language of Flowers -

  • Lily-of-the-valley - Return of happiness
  • Sweet William - Gallantry
  • Hyacinth - Constancy of love
  • Ivy - Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection
  • Myrtle - The emblem of marriage; love

So what is this Language of Flowers you may ask? Well it's a perfectly delightful way folk of the Victorian era conveyed their sentiments, Victorians being highly sentimental and all. They would compose messages in little nosegays of flowers - everything from ardor to disdain.

They knew how to let the flowers do the talking!

You can certainly get yourself one of the many versions of the Language of Flowers. I have one with illustrations by Kate Greenaway.

Here's the dilemma though - while the idea of a flower language is charming, it is Victorian, and doesn't reflect the modern world, neither in sentiment nor types of flowers. So many of the blooms in the book are either super seasonal or just not available unless you're going to raid some hundred year old greenhouse. And what if you want pin cushion protea in your bouquet? You certainly aren't going to find them in a Victorian book, now, are you?

So what's a sentimental fool to do? I have a couple suggestions for your wedding bouquet!

1. Scour flower books for plants/ flowers that also refer to your sweetie's name - think stephanotis for Stephen, saintpaulia (african violets) for Paul, michaelmas daisies (asters) for Michael. I think it's perfectly acceptable to go botanical here or yes, even British.

2. Spell our your beloved's name with your bouquet - P is for poppy, A for asters, U for umbrella fern, L for lisianthus, all equals Paul. :-)

It's not about following a book or a trend or a princess, it's about making a very special day even more personal and intimate.

No one need know how sentimental you are - it's just between you, your beloved, and your florist!


Nicole said...

"only her florist knows for sure"

Sprout said...

Oh, the things your florist knows!


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