I was totally smitten with the idea that flowers hold meaning and can send a message when I started reading The Language of Flowers. It harkens back to Victorian times when lovers sent messages with their choice of flowers.
Wouldn’t it be fun to check out the meaning of a few of my favorite flowers? Be careful what you wish for.
I love, love, love my meadow of foxgloves. They were such a wonderful surprise that first spring we were here.
A field of gorgeous flowers must mean something wonderful.
OK, so I’m surrounded by lies, beautiful lies.
Oh well, we have lots of candytuft lining the driveway. It’s sweet, and white, and pretty.
People are lying and no one cares?
It’s bound to get better. What about the pink and red carnations and the lobelia?
Carnation, pink–I will never forget you
Carnation, red–My heart breaks
We planted the pots at the front door with begonias, impatients, and trailing malevolence–I guess.
The basil plant by the kitchen sink means hate. I’m not crazy about doing dishes, but this is all getting to be a little much.
That’s when I decided, I’m not Victorian, so I can make up my own stories about flowers.
At our last house, I planted some crocosmia corms. The flowers were vibrant red and wonderful. The MR divided the flowers and transplanted clumps all along the back fence. Of course we had to have some here.
We moved into our first home as newlyweds. The lady before us was an amazing gardener. I remember driving up to the open house and telling the MR that we couldn’t afford this place the yard was too pretty. One of the highlights was a giant hydrangea bush.
We had friends come for dinner in the wintertime. She couldn’t understand why the MR didn’t yank out that bundle of sticks by the road. The bush more than made up for it in the summer when it was covered in a profusion of blue blossoms. I was happy to see two hydrangeas here when we moved in.
Those silly Victorians say they mean dispassion, but for me they’re memories of those early days with just me and the MR and the place we eventually brought our babies home to.
Zinnias mean I mourn your absence, but they will always remind me of Baby Girl. I had bought seeds for my vegetable garden and a few packs of flowers for the girls. While I was busy planning, I told the girls they could plant their seeds with me. When I went outside to show them the areas I’d carefully set aside just for them, it was too late. BG had randomly planted zinnias throughout the whole garden. All summer I enjoyed giant flowers interspersed with the lettuce and peas.
So when I saw them at the high school plant sale, I had to pick up a few. I was picturing giant zinnias, just like in that colorful garden.
I guess zinnias come in all colors and sizes. These blooms are about as tall as the lobelia and didn’t really belong in the back of the flowerbed.
I can still see them peaking their bright orange heads through here and there. I guess in a few years when Baby Girl heads off too school, I will be missing her. Maybe they’re half right.
Sunflowers make me smile and think of Sweet Miss and the giant ones she planted so long ago. She sat on the MR’s shoulders amongst the leaves. They were the perfect prop for her Pocahontas birthday treasure hunt.
So that first summer here, we grew giant, glorious sunflowers. And no one said anything about false riches.
Last but not least, Sweet Miss’ fellow gave her a dozen yellow roses for their 18-month anniversary last summer. This was not a sign of his infidelity; he loves her and yellow is her favorite color. And yes, by the by, they are still together.
Sometimes a flower is just a flower. Enjoy the beauty, and treasure the people you’re with.
Do certain flowers hold special memories for you?