Ever wondered why a red rose symbolizes love, but a white lily symbolizes innocence? Who decided which flower meant what for a specific life event?

Well, curiosity got the better of us and we decided to do some research and find out why we “say it with flowers”, and who better to share it with than you, a lover of beautiful, fresh cut flowers.

Flower symbolism has been a huge part of cultures around the world for centuries. We tend to immediately think of giving flowers as a gift for most major life events, including special holidays, the birth of a child, marriage, illness and yes, even death.

Language of flowers

It was during the Victorian era, where every flower began to symbolize something. It is said that because of the strict protocol of that era, feelings and thoughts were not openly expressed between men and women, leading to an elaborate “flower language” or “floriography” being developed.

Accurate symbolism of individual flowers was so revered and eventually so complex that handbooks were written to aid in the understanding of the symbolic meaning of flowers, as giving either a single flower or a bouquet gave a clear message to the recipient. Some women may have been lucky enough to receive a flower scented handkerchief in place of actual flowers, the specific flower scent being of most importance.

The information compiled by Kate Greenaway in her book, Language of Flowers, Kate Greenaway (1884), is still widely used today. This beautifully illustrated book is essentially a Victorian flower dictionary. A reproduction can be purchased on Book depository here.

Now, in modern times, flowers are still being used to convey our feelings and as florists, we enjoy providing information on the language of flowers, whether it’s to help you find the right combination of flowers to say “I’m sorry”, “Congratulations”, or simply, “I love you”.

So, what would you like to say to your special someone today with flowers?

Remember, whether it’s a single rose or large bouquet of peonies, share your kindness, your love, your thoughts and your feelings today, and elevate the art of giving.



Thanks to my beautiful daughter for writing this blog for me…:)





6 replies on “Say it with flowers

  1. Excellent Post, Thank You! I managed a major flower and gift store back in Detroit many moons ago and I read up and had to know the meanings behind flowers and their colors so I already knew some of this but I still loved the article. Thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to meet someone with a parallel understanding of it all…..”flower and gift store” I have since sold it but miss the flower aspect. Thanks for reading and liking my posts. Appreciated 😊


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