F is for Floriography
Floriography is the art of communicating through flowers. Although originating much earlier, this language of flowers became popular during the Victorian era when forthright communication, particularly around feelings became taboo. Flowers became a way to send messages.
Taking my time walking the path with Fool, I can’t help but notice the flowers.
Even though its early Spring and where I live and only the hardiest early flowers are awakening and beginning to poke their shoots through the thawing soil, it IS April and the flower commonly assigned to this month is Sweet Pea.
Here’s a vintage cigarette card depicting beautiful sweetly scented Sweet Pea. (Image courtesy of the New York Public Library).
It’s erroneous to believe that in the floriography practiced in the Victorian era there was one universally assigned meaning to each flower, which everyone used and understood. But dictionaries abounded and there were certainly overlaps.
Sweet Pea was often defined as meaning “delicate pleasures” and “departure.”
Another way to look at and appreciate flowers is through their vibrational qualities, which is what the practice of working with flower essences is all about. According to Isha Lerner, sweet pea flower essence is “excellent for the Earth dweller who does not feel completely at home on Earth. It helps one harmonize with a broader spectrum of society so that they may find the unique gifts they have to share with the world. This flower remedy is perfect for those individuals who have tender souls, creative gifts, and sweet characteristics, but find it difficult to feel accepted by others. Sweet Pea helps us all to find the beauty of our own special talents and services.”
I’m pretty sure Fool doesn’t care about floriography – there’s no being bothered by other’s definitions. But Fool is perfectly capable of coming up with her own language, assigning meanings as delights her in the moment. And I think Fool would also understand the language of flowers in another way as well. Listening carefully to how flowers talk to each other and perhaps even joining in the conversation.
So what do you think? Love flowers or feel rather indifferent? Have a favorite? Use flower essences? What languages do you speak? Do tell – you know I love to hear.
I love flowers! All of them. On the north I was surrounded by wild roses and fireweed. My favorites are pansies and nasturtium and lilies and irises and many, many more.
I’m with you Evalina – all flowers are wonderful!
Thanks Deborah, I love flowers. I’m not good on their names. I know there’re many kinds of orchids but I don’t know one from the other though all the varieties are just beautiful. I have a few pots on my patio house housing orchids and they are JUST beginning to shoot. I was so excited when I saw this the other day. They make such a display.
Oh how fabulous Susan. I use orchid flower essences extensively, but haven’t tried to grow any orchids themselves. Some day. I have to admit to really loving the kind that look like fairy shoes – they make me laugh every time.
I live in Japan, and my favorite flower is ‘ume’ (Japanese apricot). Ume blossoms are lovely and fragrant. I think its flower language is ‘integrity’ and ‘patience.’
Oh how beautiful Romi. And thank you so much for stopping by – I appreciate it.
I love Bach Flower Remedies and use several of them but I haven’t tried any others yet. Roses, orchids and irises are my favourite flowers – there’s none I don’t like really.
Really interesting series Deborah.
There are so many flowers to love and beauty to appreciate – what a fabulous task, no?