Throughout history, flowers have been used by cultures all over the world as decorative additions to the garden. We also know some flowers have therapeutic properties, can be edible, and provide soothing or enjoyable scents. Arrangements are common at weddings, funerals, other social gatherings, and are sent as get-well wishes. And of course, flowers have long been a popular choice among suitors vying for a special lady’s attention.

But did you know individual flowers are considered to symbolize particular emotions or themes? This sentiment exploded in popularity during the Victorian era, at which time open, blunt expression of thoughts and feelings was considered crude. At that time, simply handing someone a flower with the right hand signaled “yes” to a question, whereas using the left hand to deliver the flower also delivered a “no”.

Giving flowers wasn’t always a compliment, either! A pomegranate flower insinuated conceit, and the flower of aloe plants signaled bitterness. A lady who received an apple blossom from a gentleman, indicating his preference for her, might decline his attention by returning a yellow carnation to signal her disdain. Ouch!

Certain flowers are thought to symbolize certain things, so it is often wise to perform a bit of research before sending flowers to a particularly discriminating (or knowledgeable) recipient. For example, gardenias represent a secret love, whereas lavender signals distrust. You might use myrtle at a wedding, as it promises love and luck within a marriage. On the other hand, rhododendron might make an odd choice for the event, since it symbolizes danger.

And of course, we know that the colors of flowers, and roses in particular, have long been associated with certain themes. For example,

● Yellow roses are thought to symbolize friendship (although some interpretations include jealousy or infidelity)
● White roses symbolize purity, innocence, or a fresh start
● Pink roses signal grace or happiness
● Lavender roses signal love at first sight
● Orange roses symbolize enthusiasm, energy, and desire
● Coral roses convey sympathy
● Deep, crimson roses signal mourning
● And of course, we all know that bright red roses stand for passionate love

Some people find the secret language of flowers to be mere entertainment and prefer to choose them based on appearance instead. But if deeper meanings matter to you, you might enjoy including certain flowers in your garden. Call us to discuss your ideas, and we can help you design a landscape that symbolizes good luck, prosperity, joy, or other positive emotions.