Plants

A Victorian Flower Dictionary: The Language of Flowers by Mandy Kirkby

By Mandy Kirkby

“A flower isn't really a flower on my own 1000 strategies make investments it.” Daffodils sign new beginnings, daisies innocence. Lilacs suggest the 1st feelings of affection, periwinkles delicate recollection. Early Victorians used vegetation so as to show their feelings—love or grief, jealousy or devotion. Now, modern day romantics are having fun with a resurgence of this bygone customized, and this e-book will proportion the ancient, literary, and cultural value of plants with an entire new new release. With lavish illustrations, a twin dictionary of vegetation and meanings, and recommendations for growing expressive preparations, this souvenir is definitely the right compendium for everybody who has ever given or bought a bouquet.

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Extra info for A Victorian Flower Dictionary: The Language of Flowers Companion

Sample text

Oh! could our darkened minds discern, In thy sweet form this lesson plain, Could we it practically learn, Herb Robert would not bloom in vain. ANON. HAZEL Reconciliation Slender and resourceful, this ancient tree has served man since earliest times. It is fresh and green in the spring, its catkins a source of delight, then handsome in its autumn leaf, abundant with sweet hazelnuts. The emblem of the hazel is ‘reconciliation’, a meaning that has its origins in the story of Apollo and Mercury, who first brought peace and harmony to the world.

The origin of the western language of flowers, an intricate system of floral symbolism in which each flower is assigned a specific meaning, is thought to have been inspired by the Turkish custom of sélam – a method of communicating through flowers and other objects. In the Turkish tradition, the objects did not carry a symbolic meaning; rather, the recipient would decode the message based on guessing words that rhymed with the object. The idea of the sélam was popularized in Europe by the Turkish Embassy Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, which were published after her death in 1763.

A flower of singular beauty, the camellia speaks of love, strong and all-embracing, of destinies inextricably linked. The flower is named after a Jesuit missionary and botanist called Georg Kamel who brought the camellia to Europe from east Asia in the early eighteenth century. It was grown in the hothouse and became an exotic luxury, and by the mid-nineteenth century it was one of the most sought-after flowers. The Victorians were especially captivated by the white camellia, luscious and dramatic against beautiful shiny green leaves.

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