"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change.” Buddha
Flowers and plants are proven to increase levels of positive energy; adding flowers to your environment can reduce stress levels and make you feel more relaxed and happy. For centuries their restorative properties have been used to treat ailments associated with physical and mental health; from colds to flu, infections to stress and anxiety.
Folk culture and tradition link certain symbols to flowers; remembrance, faithfulness, and sincerity all are represented by the gladiolus. The daffodil flower is known for its symbolism of new beginnings. Peony have long been known for their healing powers. A pink carnation means affection, while a red carnation means ‘I love you.’
During the Victorian era flowers were assigned their own language, “Floriography” - where specific meanings were given to each flower. Floral arrangements were used to send a coded message to the recipient, allowing the sender to express feelings which could not be spoken aloud in prim and proper Victorian society.
Violets suggest faithfulness, daffodils symbolise domestic happiness. Pink roses imply a lesser affection, white roses suggest virtue and chastity, and yellow roses stand for friendship or devotion. So esteemed were Bulgarian roses that rose oil from Kazanlak was specified in prescriptions at the Imperial Palace in Constantinople. While the Ottoman Empire has fallen the Valley of Roses still blooms and yields its fragrant rose crop.
Artists have always looked to interpret nature and indeed flowers in their work. Monet’s Impressionist waterlilies, William Morris’ Arts & Crafts designs; Georgia O’Keeffe’s symbolic flowers associated with femininity and softness, love and sexuality, while Robert Mapplethorpe imbued the pure white Lilly with shocking eroticism.
However underpinning all of this is the fragrance and beauty of each and every flower and plant. Whether you use them as a gift to your loved one, decorate your home with them, adorn a celebration, or offer them in prayer for a departed soul; they offer the most wonderful expression of our emotions.
They mesmerise the senses with their colour and fragrance; delicate and soft to the touch, the incarnation of beauty, they offer remedy when infused in tea, nourishment when eaten in salads, their scent purifies the air.
From a young age we make daisy chains and blow dandelion clocks, and as we grow certain life events are linked to associated flowers; traditions that are passed down from generation to generation. The joy that flowers bring is personal, emotional and memorable. They offer so much, and with approximately 240,000 varieties to chose from there is bound to be a special one for each of us!
Published: May 2021