The Language of Flowers
I stepped out into my garden this morning, to be greeted by an abundance of flowers! The Love-in-a-Mist has delightfully self-seeded itself throughout the garden. It is popular for country style bridal bouquets.
This led me to find out more about the Language of Flowers. The history of flower symbolism, meanings and ‘sentiments’ reaches back into early Chinese Dynasties. Selam, the oriental Language of Flowers, was introduced into Europe by Charles II, King of Sweden after five years of exile in Turkey, living at the Ottoman Court and returning to Sweden in 1714, from where his courtiers began sharing and promoting the Flower Language around the Western World.
In 1718, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, wife of the Ambassador to the Port of Constantinople, became fascinated with the coded messages used by Turkish harems and introduced the symbolic language to the UK. However, it was not until 1809 that the first published use of the phrase ‘Language of Flowers’ came into being. Queen Victoria became so enamoured by the Language of Flowers that she spread the tradition throughout the British Empire!
The Language of Flowers has seen a revival in recent years with more and more brides choosing particular flowers because of their meaning for their bridal bouquets. A famous one was the Duchess of Cambridge’s bouquet which had Lily of the Valley – return of happiness, Sweet William – gallantry, Hyacinth – constancy of love and Myrtle – emblem of marriage and love.
Here at the Goddess Temple we have chosen Ivy and red and white Roses for the flower circle. Ivy represents fidelity, wedded love and friendship and the Roses, unity and love. I like to use Rosemary and Lavender during the water blessing as together they represent devotion, good luck, undying love and fidelity.
There are many websites with the definitions, meanings and symbolism of the Language of Flowers. I have listed one below for your interest. Enjoy! I am off to sit amongst the flowers now!