Folklore in My Garden: The Language of Flowers

Besides chocolates, the iconic Valentine’s Day gift is flowers. Roses have been a modern tradition, but what could be more romantic than composing a bouquet that describes, in “secret”  language, how you truly feel about your Valentine. Here is a list of common flowers and fillers and their historic meanings.

Angelica – Inspiration

Bachelor’s Button – Single blessedness (?)

Basil – Best wishes, love

Bay – Glory

Brown eyed Susan – Justice

Carnation – Alas for my poor heart

Chamomile – Patience

Chives – Usefulness

Clover – Think of me

Fennel – Flattery

Fern – Sincerity

Geranium – True friendship

Goldenrod – Encouragement

Heliotrope – Eternal love

Holly – Hope

Honeysuckle – Bonds of love

Ivy – Friendship, continuity

Lady’s Mantle –  Comforting

Lavender – Devotion

Lemon Balm – Sympathy   

Mint – Eternal refreshment

Nasturtium – Patriotism

Pansy – Thinking of you

Parsley –  Festivity

Poppy – Consolation

Rose – Love

Rosemary – Remembrance

Rue – Grace, Clear vision

Sage – Immortality

Salvia (blue) – Thinking of you

Salvia (red) –  Forever mine

Sweet pea – Pleasure

Sweet woodruff – Humility

Tansy – Hostility

Tarragon – Lasting interest

Thyme – Courage, strength

Valerian – Readiness

Violet – Loyalty, devotion

Zinnia – Thoughts of absent friends


One thought on “Folklore in My Garden: The Language of Flowers

  1. Your list reminded me of a song album called “Flowers in Song.” It includes jazz standards with “flowers” in the title or in the songs. A friend, who is a stage director, uses the hidden language of flowers in designing her sets and in what people carry and wear. Thanks for the reference!

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