Good morning from a grey and wet spring morning here in Hastings.
This week I have found this photo of the delicate forget-me-nots. They are such a delicate flower and the blue colour is so pretty.
One of my favourite programmes is the Antique Roadshow. In particular jewelry (there are some really lucky people out there). In particular I love hearing about how the Victorians would use flowers to convey meanings. I have read a lot of books written in the late 1800’s, towards the end of this era and flowers play a large part in them – whether it be to collect flowers, or to receive bouquets, heavy with meaning. So I did a bit of research this morning and found this website:
For centuries, flowers, herbs and various plants have given much pleasure to people of all the nations, because their beauty has the unique ability to bring cheer when someone is ill or downhearted, their fragrances can be used to make lovely perfumes, delicate foliage can be used for certain medicines and foods, and pungent smells can bestir mood.
In fact, they have been so outstanding in this regard, that there is no wonder that mankind has attached significant meanings to them… actually going as far as to formulate a language all their own called “floriography.” This “language” was particularly utilized during the Victorian era; however, flowers well into past generations have had religious and symbolic meanings, and still do today.
For example, there were references given to flowers, herbs and plants in Biblical times, and during the Middle Ages, herbs were even believed by some to have magical powers. Therefore, they were given a place of honor in the royal floral gardens. The use of these floral “gardens” existed well into theVictorian era, and helped to create the elaborate list of meanings to describe these beloved flowers.
History relates that during the reign of Queen Victoria, in England, which lasted from 1837 to 1901, (known as the Victorian era) the language of flowers was as important to people as being “well dressed.” For example, the recognizable scent of a particular flower, plant or perhaps a scented handkerchief sent its own unique message.
Flowers adorned almost everything… hair, clothing, jewelry, gowns, men’s lapels, home décor and china, and stationery, to name a few. A young man could either please or displease a lady…by his gift of flowers. Flowers would convey messages of love or dislike depending upon which ones were given, their sizes how they were held, or also grouped together. They had a silent meaning of their very own, and could “say” what was not dared to be spoken. Even the manner in which flowers were sent had a special meaning. A flower presented in an upright position represented a “positive thought; whereas one presented in the opposite direction had a negative meaning. Too, a person could say “yes” by offering a flower with the right hand – the left hand “no.”
Dictionaries were written to explain this language to all, and were especially used by “lovers.” One could learn that “ROSES” symbolized love, in general, but each variety and color had each, his own meaning. The “LILY,” generally symbolized beauty, but it also has many varieties, thus many diversified meanings. Consider the quandary that could have developed if lover’s used two “different” dictionaries— with each possibly having its own connotation. There could, potentially, be some real misunderstandings! So, we see the importance of acquiring accurate information in this regard.
Those of the Victorian era liked to make up bouquets. Tussie-Mussies were generally very well liked gifts. These were small bouquets of flowers wrapped in a lace doily and tied with satin. The intrigue of secret messages sent this way, became a popular pastime.
It all seems to complicated to me – I couldn’t imagine young men today spending time on working out the best bouquet to send – unless they send a photo of a flower to their girlfriends on their cell phones. As for wearing flowers on our clothes and hair – where would we attach them?
Thanks for visiting.