Saturday, 6 February 2010

The Language of Flowers

Here are the spoils of today's thrifting mission. I went to a couple of jumble sales and charity shops and this is what I came away with. It's strange how I seem to end up with matching items. The flower on the hat is the same purple shade as the floral pattern on the Laura Ashley dress. The dress is actually a child's age 12, but quite big and it fits the mannequin fine. I think I might cut off the sleeves to modernise it and make it look less like a child's party dress. The Language of flowers book is so sweet. It was published in 1978, written by actress Jean Marsh and features original illustrations by Kate Greenaway. It's quite nice to find out the meaning of the different flowers, plants and trees. It's the kind of thing that many people used to know but no longer do. Hopefully I will make the time to learn some of them. Here are some examples:
Alyssum, Sweet: Worth beyond beauty
Bee Orchis: Industry
Camomile: Energy in Adversity
Daisy: Innocence
Elm: Dignity
Fennel: Worthy of all praise. Strength
Geranium, Lemon: Unexpected meeting
Hazel: Reconciliation
Iris: Message
Jasmine, yellow: Grace and Elegance
Kennedia: Mental Beauty
Larch: Audacity, Boldness
Mugwort: Happiness
Nightshade: Truth
Pennyroyal: Flee away
Quamoclit: Busybody
Rose, Daily: The smile I aspire to
Scarlet Lychnis: Sunbeaming eyes
Thistle, Common: Austerity
Venus' Car: Fly with me
White Poplar: Time
Xeranthemum: Cheerfulness under adversity
Yew: Sorrow
Zinnia: Thoughts of absent friends
I tried to put only the pleasant ones, but there was only yew for y. It's interesting there are flowers with such negative meanings like danger, anger and sadness. I can't imagine why anyone would send flowers to their enemies declaring war or accusing of crimes. Still it'll be nice to know the meaning of any future flowers I may receive. Personally I'm hoping for some Kennedia or maybe some Scarlet Lychnis.


  1. Hey, Rebecca. If you're interested in the language of flowers, you might want to check out my debut YA novel, FORGET-HER-NOTS. It features the language come to life magically. My main character actually uses the Kate Greenaway book!

    You can find out more at And I enjoyed browsing your site. Looks like you're having lots of fun.

    -Amy (Brecount White)

  2. Hi, thanks for reading. The language of flowers in really interesting, nice to know other people think so too! Forget-Her-Nots is a great title.