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Language of Flowers

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The Language of Flowers

Flowers of the Month

"Some flowers spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet - tongued, " I am beautiful, January: Carnation
February: Violet
March: Daffodil
April: Daisy
May: Lily-of-the-Valley
June: Rose
July: Larkspur
August: Gladiolus
September: Aster
October: Calendula
November: Chrysanthemum
December: Holly or Poinsettia
      Joy and jealousy, desire and dejection, solitude and sadness, loyalty and love, flowers echo each voice of the human heart.

     While the symbolic and legendary meanings of flowers were known to many during Elizabethan times, it was the Victorians who assigned simple messages to individual flowers. Introduced to the Swedish court in 1714 by Charles II, the Victorian mode of flower language soon spread throughout Europe.

     During this time of strict protocol and conformity, men and women used the beauty and color of flowers to express emotions, wishes and thoughts they dared not speak, and every corsage, bouquet, and garland represented a carefully chosen sentiment. Presentation was also important; for example, a bouquet with a ribbon tied to the left told about the giver, while a ribbon tied to the right signified the receiver. Upside-down bouquets portrayed the exact opposite of the flowers' common meanings: to receive an inverted rose was the ultimate form of rejection.

      Flower Language became so important that durch die Blume sprechen (speaking through flowers) became a Western proverb, which meant any flowery or poetic expression hiding a secret message of love.


Today's flowers of the months are rooted in ancient Chinese and Japanese flower calendars. Throughout the 14th and 15th centuries, calendars in Europe featured farming activities that took place during a particular month. Later, during the more expressive and artistic 19th century, Europeans adopted the ancient Oriental tradition of honoring each month with its own seasonal flower.

Like birthstones, monthly flowers have come signify the month in which a person was born. And while monthly flowers may differ slightly from region to region, each still represents the "birth" of a new month and new possibilities. Some say a bouquet of birth month flowers will bring the receiver a year of good luck!

Bouquets that feature monthly blooms bring special meaning to celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries. New parents will delight in a bouquet that features baby's birth month flower; couples will cherish bouquets that symbolize the month in which their wedding ceremony took place. Tell someone, "You're one of a kind" on his or her birthday with a bouquet that includes his or her monthly flower.


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