What could this bouquet mean?
The language of flowers, sometimes called floriography, was a Victorian-era means of communication in which various flowers and floral arrangements were used to send coded messages, allowing individuals to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken. This language was most commonly communicated through Tussie-Mussies, an art which has a following today. “Tussie-mussie” is a quaint, endearing term from the early 1400s for small, round bouquets of herbs and flowers with symbolic meanings (Wikipedia).
Apparently Kate Middleton chose her wedding flowers based on their symbolic meanings.
I’m currently reading a lovely novel called The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, set in present-day San Francisco, where the main characters do communicate through floriography (and photography is also one of the elements).
Poppy: Oblivion ~ Red Poppy: Consolation ~ White Poppy: Sleep
Sunflower: pure and lofty thoughts
Pink Rose: friendship, grace ~ White Rose: I am worthy of you
Red Rose: true love
Who would think that delicious Basil represents hatred?
Gerbera Daisy: innocence and cheerfulness
Marigold: despair and grief
Stargazer Lily: youthfulness and beauty
I can’t remember what this flower is. Do you know? One of the problems with flower meanings (and the characters in the novel encounter this, too) is that there are many language of flowers dictionaries and the meanings are not always the same. Or the meanings can be entirely different depending on the color or subspecies. I’ve been looking online and the sources are endless and often contradictory. It’s a complicated and potentially dangerous art form.
If you’re going to communicate through flowers, you have to be cautious, I guess. Or just make sure they’re really pretty.
And, if you read and like The Language of Flowers, try this one, too: Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire by Margot Berwin; it relies on plant properties, too, and is very lush and fanciful.