Flowery Friday: Valentine’s Day edition.

I quite often set up theme days in the Alberta Gardening Facebook group I administer (especially during the winter, when we’re all suffering from cabin fever!). This morning, for some Valentine’s Day fun, I requested that everyone list their favourite red, pink, and white garden flowers/veggies/fruit.  I thought I’d do it here, too, and compare answers.  So far, they’ve posted amazing photos of petunias, daylilies, tomatoes, onions, raspberries, roses, poppies, tigridia, dahlias, peonies, and painted daisies…and they’re still at it.

I’ll start us off.  Next to sweet peas, roses are my very favourite flower, and I’m especially fond of the hardy roses that withstand our crazy cold climate and look pretty marvelous doing it.  The Explorer series is one example…and you have to admit these rich red double flowers of the beautiful shrub rose ‘Champlain’ are quite stunning.  (If you’re ever in the small town of Pincher Creek, in southern Alberta, you’ll see this rose featured in the Lebel Mansion rose garden, maintained by the Oldman River Rose Society).

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What are your favourite red, pink, and white garden flowers (or vegetables or fruit)? Please feel free to link up to photos on your blog, Instagram, whatever – show us the plants that you love!  ♥

Do you speak flower?

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(Photo credit:  R. Normandeau)

It’s Valentine’s Day, and that may mean you’re either giving or receiving flowers…and I’m sure more than a few marriage proposals and weddings are happening around the world today as well. What do the flowers in all those beautiful bouquets signify?

The Language of Flowers (floriography) is a folklore tradition that became popular during the Victorian era.  As part of the ritual of courtship, flowers were used by lovers to bear messages, reveal secrets, or to express emotion and depth of feeling. Matching the appropriate flower to the desired sentiment was critical – a mistake could be disastrous for a budding relationship! (Check out the “ones to avoid” here – just scroll down to the bottom of the list).  Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that none of the many floriography “dictionaries” were truly inclusive, so it was easy to find several different meanings for any one flower.  Superstition and lack of universality aside, many couples and their florists still consider the Language of Flowers when choosing flowers for weddings, anniversaries, and other romantic occasions.

My bridal bouquet was a combination of dark red roses, English ivy, and white gypsophilia. I admit I wasn’t following the Language of Flowers when I decided on red roses – they’re a personal favourite, and they fit with our wedding’s colour scheme. But…if you take a look at this compilation of flowers and their meanings, you’ll see that I made a great choice! 🙂

What is your Valentine’s Day bouquet saying to you – or to your loved one? If you’re married (and had flowers at your wedding), what did you select for your bouquets and floral decorations? Were you thinking about the Language of Flowers when you chose your blooms?

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