Floriology: The Language of Flowers
Sentimental gifts and handwritten letters….romance and deeper meaning is not dead. Recently, I came across a concept I had almost forgotten about.
Floriology is a concept that has been around forever, and this season, I am bringing it to the spotlight. I am forever a fan of the romantic, creative and old school traditions. May we never let them die!
Floriology is a term describing the language of flowers. Throughout history, different cultures have used flowers as subtle symbols in art and even used them to convey secret messages. Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Europeans, and many more all have developed their own language of flowers.
Flowers have always been used to express sentiments, but it wasn’t until romantic Victorian Europe that a set of rules was created for how flowers could be used as communication.
The Victorian era used floral as a way to show off wealth and status through extravagant bouquets. Arrangements were crafted using flowers from the garden, with the general expression of a bouquet being one that celebrated the opulence of an abundance of fresh flowers.
Throughout history, small bouquets called nosegays had been worn as accessories for their fragrant notes. As the language of flowers continued to embed into everyday life during the time of Queen Victoria, these little bouquets became a means of self expression through symbolism.
Floral arrangements: Agos Muni
These “talking bouquets” (also known as tussie mussies or posi) became particularly popular in response to the strict etiquette and ever-growing social rules of this era. They were a way to cryptically communicate emotions and messages that could not otherwise be shown or expressed – most often in the context of courtship and romance.
The rules became even more complex:
- If flowers were handed to someone upside down, the typical meaning of the flowers should be interpreted in the opposite way.
- If flowers were handed to someone using the right hand, they were answering “yes” to a question. Being given with the left hand was a “no.”
The symbolism from this time continues to influence floral design and designers today. As varied as flowers are in both scent and color, it’s no wonder that each has their own meaning.
What’s your message? Send flowers and let it be known!
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