Monday, January 13, 2014

The Language of Flowers

Michael's grandmother says that when she doesn't have knitting in her hands, she doesn't know what to do with herself.

I get this. Especially because she taught me how to knit over Christmas.

But for me, it would be: When I don't have a good book to read that I'm sort of always thinking about and sort of always dying to get home to pick up where I left off, I don't know what to do with myself.

I feel like a ship lost at sea.

Like a flower with no roots.

Like a kite with no wind.

Like a orphan with no parents.

Mmmm that last one may be a touch extreme. But I mean, not really! And it's actually the subject of my new favorite book: an orphan with no parents. (My old favorite book is and forever will be The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.)

My new favorite book is The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Not only did I seriously love the story and the writing (mother/daughter love, loneliness, learning to love, friendship, new births), but I have a new interest: FLOWERS. Did you know that in the Victorian era, flowers had deep and significant meanings hidden in the bouquets that a friend or lover would give? Purple Hyacinth means forgiveness. Tulips mean first declaration of love. Freesia means lasting friendship. Dahlias and Magnolias both mean dignity. Stock means You will always be beautiful to me. Peach blossom means I am your captive (Hey-o!) And my personal favorite: Ranunculus means You are radiant with charms.

Of course, flowers can have negative meanings as well. Peonies mean anger. Sunflowers mean false riches. Aloe means grief. Rhododendron means beware. Tansies mean I declare war against you. (Watch out for those...)

Based on the bouquets shown at the top of this blog, I conveyed the following message at my wedding: Grace (pink rose), innocence (daisy), cheerfulness (Gerber daisy), infidelity (yellow rose), false riches (sunflower), justice (Black-eyed Susans), overcoming depression (hypericum berries... although I had to Google this one), my destiny is in your hands (Camellia), fascination (orange rose), and dispassion (hydrangea).

Oh good grief.

Anyway, thanks to reading The Language of Flowers, when I go to the grocery, I now find myself spending more and more time in the flower section. I then race home to look up the flower in the glossary in the back of the book to see what it means. Who knew this old dog could learn new tricks??

So if you need a good read to get you longing for spring, you won't be disappointed in this book. And if you ever get flowers from me, don't forget to look up the meanings. I could be declaring my love, or I could be declaring war.... you just never know.

1 comment:

  1. There were hydrangeas all over my wedding! What does this mean?!?!