What do your Valentine's Day flowers really mean? - | WBTV Charlotte

What do your Valentine's Day flowers really mean?

© iStockphoto.com / Denise Torres © iStockphoto.com / Denise Torres

By Michelle Ullman

Think of Valentine's Day, and most likely hearts, roses and chocolate come to mind. Red roses are the classic Valentine's flower, and are always an appropriate, safe choice.

But if you are looking for something a little bit different this year, think outside the tried-and-true. Valentine's Day flowers don't have to be red, and they don't have to be roses to express love and devotion. Look to the past, and show your sweetheart how you feel with a bouquet of flowers chosen for their traditional meaning.

Language of Flowers

The Victorian era isn't usually associated with romance or outward demonstrations of passion. Well-bred people were expected to keep their emotions under control. Perhaps because of that inhibition, the Victorians developed an entire "language of flowers", with various types of blooms having specific meanings and symbolism, and where the color of a flower, the presentation, even which hand held the bouquet, expressed the emotions of the giver.

Victorians went so far as to print dictionaries of flower meanings, called floriography. Their favorite way to present coded sentiments of affection was in the form of a tussie-mussie, or small bouquet.

Some of the most common meanings of popular flowers:

Red roses: love, passion
Pink roses: friendship
White roses: I am worthy of you
Yellow roses: forgive and forget
Peach roses: Let's get together
Red carnations: Admiration
White carnations: Innocence
Daffodil: Unrequited love
Daisies: Innocence, Loyalty
Gladiolus: I am sincere
Iris: Faith, Wisdom
Orchids: Magnificence
Snapdragons: Deception
Sunflowers: Devotion
Tulips: Love

Arrangements Including Roses

Roses are the queens of the flower world, with their stunning combination of beauty and fragrance. Create a gorgeous floral arrangement to grace your Valentine's Day table, present to a loved one as a gift, or simply make yourself happy, by combining beautiful roses with other flowers.

Classic Lines

You can't go wrong with a simple, elegant crystal vase. Add extra flair by using marbles to create a layer of color at the bottom of the glass. Then fill the vase to overflowing with a combination of:

Red and pink roses say love and friendship
Pink Gerbera daisies for innocence
White lilies mean first love
Pink alstroemeria symbolizes friendship and devotion
Finish off the display with a satin pink ribbon tied around the vase.

Romantic Arrangement

Use a pink ceramic vase for a soft, romantic look. A rounded vase will work well, but trim flowers so they are well balanced with the vase's height. Fill with a display of:

Bright pink roses for friendship
Pink carnations show remembrance
Pink asters mean daintiness
Fern fronds for accent, and to symbolize sincerity

Country Days

A wicker container gives a country feel to a lovely arrangement. If necessary, use a foam floral holder or floral frog to position the flowers, and cut the stems to keep the flowers balanced with the height of the wicker container. Create your floral display with:

Red roses say love
Pink carnations mean remembrance
White daisies symbolize innocence
Ivy for greenery accents, and as a symbol of fidelity

Mixed Bouquets

While roses are traditional Valentine's flowers, you may prefer other varieties of blooms, be looking to save money, or just want to go with something different. Your imagination is the only limit for beautiful mixed floral arrangements that don't include roses.

Shabby Chic Arrangement

Perfect for your cottage or shabby chic themed home, this arrangement starts with a charming, distressed metal pitcher. Flower choices include:

Pink and white hydrangea for understanding
Pink ranunculus to say "I am dazzled by your charms"
Pink tulips indicate love
Purple heather for admiration and beauty
Ivy to show fidelity

Modern Love

Create a simple, stunning arrangement with a sleek, black glass vase.

Fill with tulips in a range of colors, which symbolize love.

Cottage Flowers

The English cottage look is cheerful, casual and not worried about perfection. Create it with a small basket loaded with flowers, giving the impression you just picked them in a sunny meadow. Floral foam at the bottom of the basket will hold your flowers in place.

White daisies for innocence
Sweet peas meaning blissful pleasure
Pink and purple stock symbolizing affection
Iris to show valued friendship

Asian Influence

Simple elegance will be yours with this arrangement, presented in a wooden holder. Look for a wooden bowl or vase that has smooth, unadorned lines. Start the display with bamboo stems for a serene backdrop to the flowers.

Yellow orchids mean delicate beauty
Red gladiolus to show strength of character

Valentine's Day is about love and romance. Nothing says love like flowers, but you don't have to limit yourself to a plain bouquet of red roses. Take a cue from Victorian days, and select flowers that express your feelings without your needing to say a word. Whatever style suits you best, you can design a beautiful floral arrangement that speaks of love in your language.


This article was originally posted on IdealHomeGarden.com

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