The Language of Flowers

It's never a bad idea to bring someone a bouquet of buds.  Gents, your ladies will adore you if you take the time to grab some fresh cuts for the dining room table.  Ladies, flowers are the perfect present for any hostess or for any person with whom you may not be well acquainted enough to bring a personal gift.  Flowers are perfect for your new boyfriend's mother, for instance, when bringing a present might be a touch presumptuous, or call too much attention to its cost.  In fact, flowers in general are considered an 'attention' rather than a gift, for which gratitude, but not a thank you note, is required.

The language of flowers developed in the eastern traditions of ancient Egypt and Greece.  History has it that Lady Mary Wortley Montague first shared the tradition with Western Europe.  She said, "there is no color, no flower, no weed, no fruit, herb, pebble or feather, that has not a verse belonging to it."   Dictionaries of flower meanings truly do exist.  Here are a few to consider as you're picking out your Valentine's Day bouquets!  Will you confess your secret love?  Gift a cure for heartache?  Just don't send along any basil.  It means hatred!

Yellow Acacia..........Secret love
Flowering Almond..Hope
Amaryllis.................Pride, splendid beauty 
Cabbage..................Profit
White Camelia.......Perfected loveliness
Cranberry...............Cure for heartache
Daffodil..................Regard
Daisy......................Innocense
Dahlia.....................Instability
Damask Rose..........Brilliant complexion
Fern........................Fascination, magic, sincerity
Forget-me-not........True love
French Marigold.....Jealousy
Heliotrope...............Devotion (Fun fact: Heliotrope is my grandmother Harriet's nickname, given to her by my grandfather.)
Hibiscus..................Delicate beauty
Holly.......................Foresight
Honeysuckle...........Generous and devoted affection
Hyacinth.................Sport, game, play
Ivy..........................Friendship, fidelity, marriage
Lavender.................Distrust
Lemon Blossoms....Fidelity in love
Purple Lilac............First emotions of love (this season's color at #NYFW!)
White Lilies.............Purity, sweetness
Mint.......................Virtue
Moss......................Maternal love
Oak Leaves............Bravery
Olive......................Peace
Peach.....................Unequaled qualities and charms
Peppermint............Warmth of friendship
Petunia...................Soothing presence
Pink carnation........Woman's love
Quince...................Temptation
Ranunculus............Wild with charms (one of my favorites!)
Burgundy Rose.......Unconscious beauty
Carolina Rose.........Dangerous love
Deep Red Rose........Bashful
Thornless Rose.......Attachment
White Rose..............Worthiness
Yellow Rose.............Jealousy
White & Red Roses..Unity
Red Rosebuds.........Pure & lovely
White Rosebuds......Girlhood
Rosemary................Remembrance
Sunflower................Adoration
Sweet William..........Gallantry
Red Tulip.................Declaration of love
Yellow Tulip.............Hopeless love
Blue violet................Faithfulness
Water Lily................Purity of heart

Photos courtesy of Emily Thompson Flowers; if you haven't ordered your Valentine's Day arrangement yet, call ETF at (347) 529-5145.