Sending or bringing someone flowers has ever made the recipient feel special. But for a fastidious gentleman following the rules of polite society and not wanting to excite expectations, what bouquet might he gift a young lady of his new acquaintance? Not everyone knows the language of flowers, but it is usually universally obvious. In this instance, the gentleman would not wish to choose red roses, for they would declare his passionate love to the lady—rarely misconstrued no matter the era.
One might err though adding lilies to the bouquet. The choice of white lilies indicates purity of heart, so if there were a question regarding a lady’s character, this would tell her the sender did not believe the rumors and knew she was innocent of any wrongdoing. A lily of the valley means a return of happiness, while an orange lily communicates hatred. In arranging a bouquet from a hothouse, baby’s breath, marigolds, and foxgloves announce while the love of the sender is everlasting (baby’s breath), he finds the recipient cruel (marigolds) and (one of their) intentions insincere (foxgloves). One excellent option is orchids, for they mean beauty, and whatever the context, one cannot misconstrue the compliment.
Not everyone was rich enough to afford hothouse flowers. The plants found in one’s gardens and local fields could communicate sentiments equally as meaningful. Thyme is a gift that sends courage or strength; a simple fern, an offering of hope; and basil, good wishes.
Perhaps the next time you purchase a bouquet, you might have as much fun deciding which flowers to include for the message they will send! In my upcoming book, Crossing Lengths and Breadths: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary, Georgiana’s hoped-for suitor, Colonel Mortimer, has a history of sending her bouquets to mark special occasions, taking liberty with the use of red and white roses. The cause is just, and I hope you will enjoy that secondary plot within this tale.
Sources for He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me!:
Iannotti, Marie “The Secret Meaning of the Flowers You Give” the spruce, November 11, 2019 https://www.thespruce.com/the-language-of-flowers-watch-what-you-say-1402330
Authors unlisted, “Language of flowers” Wikipedia, last updated December 30, 2022 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_of_flowers
Brewer, Jean “Language Of Flowers & Flower Meaning,” Language Of Flowers https://languageofflowers.com/
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