The Language of Flowers
an Excerpt

Flowers. They engage all of our senses. They are candy for the eyes, perfume for our sense of smell, a soft caress for our skin as we brush against their petals. They can make our mouths water literally as many of them are edible. And, if we listen closely, we can hear them speaking the language of flowers.

Deep Roots

From Time immemorial, lovers have employed the symbolism inherent in flowers to express the feelings of their hearts. The Turks organized that symbolism into a formalized language by the 1600's.

Then, in the early 18th century, Lady Mary Wortley Montague, wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople, imported that romantic "secret language of flowers" to Europe. It caught on like wildfire and spread rampantly. The first dictionary of flowers, Le Language des Fleurs, was printed in Paris in 1818.

From the Heart

Remember when you were little, picking a bunch of wild flowers and holding them out, clutched in your little hand, for a loved one? Remember the feeling you had that you were really communicating something to the person you were holding them out to? The flowers you walk down the aisle with on your wedding day can be just as expressive of the feelings in your heart. White roses, stephanotis, baby's breath and violets are perennial favorites with brides. But do they have a special meaning for you?

Spell It Out

Instead of the same old tired bunch of flowers that everyone uses in their bouquets, try "hand picking" the flowers for your bouquet while keeping the sentiments you would like to express in mind. "Spell out" your joys, hopes and expectations eloquently and uniquely with flowers chosen for their specific meaning...

Bottle the Memory

Once you've "hand picked" your flowers so that they succinctly say exactly what you want, why not use this very personal selection of flowers to create a signature scent? Go to one of the shops that specialize in custom mixing scents. Have them mix a perfume for you featuring the flowers from your bridal bouquet. Call it "Wedding Day." Save it for special occasions (like your wedding anniversary) or use it whenever the mood strikes you.

A Rose by Any Other Name

A rose is a rose is a rose, right? Well, actually that depends. A flower can have meanings depending upon its size and color. The Damask rose connotes freshness, the Provence rose says "My heart is in flames" and the Dog rose speaks of "pleasure and pain."

Fortunately for us, the language of flowers is not a lost language but one that we can speak fluently and from the heart. Parlez vous Fleurs?


Authors Note: This 1500 word article includes a sidebar of meanings conveyed by flowers, a sidebar of flowers for each month and a sidebar of official flowers for countries around the world
a global flower list.

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