If you discovered one of your favorite plants was associated with a negative emotion, would you avoid planting it or presenting it in a bouquet to a friend? If you knew that certain flowers convey particular meanings, would this make a difference in the flowers you use in floral arrangements?
Whether you answered “yes” or “no” to these questions, you’ll probably enjoy the book “The Language of Flowers,” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, published by Random House. I’m linking this book review to Holley’s garden book review meme at Roses and Other Gardening Joys.
My book club read this book, and we all enjoyed it, which doesn’t happen very often. The main character,
, has a lot of personal and emotional problems, but she’s a talented floral designer. She becomes a successful businesswoman by creating floral arrangements using the language of flowers to meet clients’ unique needs. Victoria
During Victorian times, the language of flowers was a critical tool in determining the appropriate plants and blooms to use when displaying and presenting floral arrangements. For example, Amaranth signified immortality; Witch Hazel, a spell; and Magnolia, dignity. The character
consults with brides, lovelorn individuals, and other clients to provide the perfect blooms to convey specific meanings. Victoria
While I enjoyed the fictional story in the book, I decided the language of flowers will not rule my selection of plants for my garden or my floral arrangements. For example, Mock Orange, which means “counterfeit” is a lovely trailing bough, perfect for the edges of a graceful bouquet.
Hydrangea means “dispassion,” yet it’s a lovely, lush bloom whether displayed fresh or dried.
And Redbud means “betrayal,” yet it’s one of the most glorious native blooming trees in my garden.
While it’s fun to know the Victorian meanings of flowers, I will still include Sunflowers (“false riches”) in late summer and autumn arrangements.
Read “The Language of Flowers” for the good story and great descriptions of plants and floral arrangements. It even includes a dictionary of flower meanings. But the premise of choosing or rejecting plants based on their meanings…well, there are just too many favorite plants with “negative” meanings for me to reject them based on Victorian definitions.
With that said, I’ve always favored Victorian-style décor, especially in the powder room—where I tend to decorate with flowers in vases, pretty soaps, and ribbon trim. With this post, I’m debuting a new “page” on PlantPostings which will be all about products I recommend. Some might be sponsored, some will not. All will have some connection to plants or gardening.
The first entry is a non-sponsored review of some exceptionally designed, high-quality towels. Read more…