Fun With Flowers

by Terri

Stock photo of a bouquet of flowers in a green glass vase. It has pink roses, baby's breath, ferns, pink & white lilies, purple statice flowers, forget me nots, blue daisies and a purple flower not tagged. Photo via 123rf

Stock photo of a bouquet of flowers in a green glass vase. It has pink roses, baby's breath, ferns, pink & white lilies, purple statice flowers, forget me nots, blue daisies and a purple flower not tagged.
Photo via 123rf

When advertisers exhort us to "say it with flowers," they often don't know how deliberately flowers can talk. While everyone knows that roses mean romance, did you know that daisies mean innocence? Or that larkspur means haughtiness? And that's only according to this flower dictionary.*

When we set out to make our Covertly Hostile series of cards, we took inspiration from the Victorian** custom of using flowers to send messages without words. People used to send each other bouquets that could be anything from a poem to a gorgeous insult. According to our favorite dictionary, the stock bouquet pictured means something along the lines of: "You are my true love because of your innocent, elegant, beauty and loyalty." And that's just what I could figure out from the flowers I actually know. 

The knowledge that flowers can carry intricately coded messages is not longer quite as popular as it used to be. This helps us create our Covertly Hostile cards - the average person doesn't dissect the image of a bouquet of flowers the way the Victorians might have. This means that they usually see "generic pretty thing" and leave it at that, and you can feel free to say exactly what you need to.

 

 

*There have always been multiple flower dictionaries. Flowers could have incredibly regionally specific meanings, that often contradicted meanings from the next county over.

**While the Victorians took the custom to their usual elaborate conclusions, flowers have carried meanings since at least Shakespeare.