The Meaning of Flowers

Flowers have always held a certain mystique. Whether painted on a wall in an Egyptian tomb or etched onto a Grecian urn, they hold a place of honor and meaning.

Meanings can change by time and place, use and color. For instance, a red rose is the universal symbol of love, right? But did you know that at different times in history a red rose has also stood for victory and even martyrdom?

In the Victorian Era, there was a fine art called The Language of Flowers. Ladies of society would devote as much time to learning this as they would to learning music, painting and sewing. A bouquet, called a tussie-mussie, could occupy young maidens for hours trying to decipher the meaning behind the gift.

The Language of Flowers is rooted in both Eastern and Western traditions. It combines the western traditions of floral symbolism that came down through centuries of mythology, religion, medicine and heraldry with the Turkish Selam - the language of objects - which was the idea of sending encoded messages via symbolic objects such as jewels, silver pieces, coal. First brought to England by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu who wrote to her husband, “There is no color, no flower, no weed, no fruit, herb, pebble, or feather that has not a verse belonging to it; and you may quarrel, reproach, or send letters of passion, friendship, or even news, without ever inking your fingers.”

Click here as a guide to begin your journey to flowers and their meanings.

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