The Language of Flowers

When I was young I found a Hallmark card organizer at a yard sale. Inside was a list of some of the more common flowers and their meanings. While I certainly don't only choose flowers for their meaning, I have been fascinated by the Victorian practice of crafting a bouquet to have a specific meaning ever since finding that Hallmark list.

Now you probably know that a red rose is a symbol of love, but did you know that there's an entire language of flowers? I thought I'd share a few blooms that would make more unique choices for Valentine's Day this year.

Tulips. In a shade of red, a tulip symbolizes perfect love, making it a great choice for your love on Valentine's Day. Tulips are also more affordable than red roses, and bring a welcome touch of spring at this time of the year. I've never been much of a rose person, so I'd take tulips any day over roses.

Ranunculus. In any color, ranunculus symbolize captivation, or being 'dazzled'. One of my favorite flowers, ranunculus come in a huge range of colors, usually cost less than $10 per bunch, and are one of the first blooms of the spring so they're usually easy to find around this time.

Yellow roses. Like I said, I've never been much of a rose person, but spray roses, especially once they've opened up, can be really beautiful, and since they have a milder scent than long stemmed or wild roses, they are a good choice for someone who is sensitive to fragrance. A yellow rose, of any variety, symbolizes friendship and joy- a perfect way to show a close friend a little love- after all, Valentine's Day isn't just for couples.

Want to get a little more creative? Try crafting a bouquet to say just what you mean. This arrangement I made would be perfect for revealing to someone that you care about them, since ranunculus say 'you're captivating' and a maiden hair fern expresses secret love.

If you're interested in learning more about what flowers are saying, there are a number of websites with some of the more common flowers listed, like Teleflora's. I also discovered a beautiful book by Mandy Kirby- The Language of Flowers: A Miscellany- a wonderful resource with lovely illustrations on the subject.