Gentleman’s guide to buying flowers
Published: Tuesday 30 January 2018
We get a lot of people walking to our flower shop looking for flowers to send for birthdays, funerals, or weddings. We are often amused by men buying anniversary flowers for their wives. Often they just want to pick up something, anything, they don’t care what it is as long as they have something to give. Younger men courting a girl, or wanting to present a bouquet for no reason at all are more romantic and place a little more thought into choosing the right kind of flowers, although, they do not go far beyond choosing between red roses, or pink tulips.
In the Victorian era, flowers had a special meaning as they served as a secret language to communicate between people that may have been prevented from direct contact by social standards. Therefore, a gentleman may have sent a bouquet of white roses to express innocence and secrecy, or sweet peas to signify thankfulness, or goodbye. Variegated tulips stood for beautiful eyes and yellow tulips were meant to send a message that the recipient’s smile was full of sunshine.
Clearly flowers relayed a positive message of interest, affection and love, signifing romance more than anything else and the epitome of this was a red rose. However, even a simple red rose may have conveyed subtle messages too. For example if the rose was a very dark shade it implied shame.
Interestingly, flowers were also used to insult people in the Victorian age. Sending someone hydrangea would normally mean heartlessness or frigidity, while yellow carnation expressed disdain. Moreover, the same flower could have opposite meanings depending on how it was arranged or delivered. Flowers could be used to answer “yes” or “no” questions, too. A “yes” answer came in the form of flowers handed over with the right hand; if the left hand was used, the answer was “no.”
Our modern society has lost the subtle art of communicating our specific emotions with flowers. This may be a good thing after all, since a lot of times in the past, the messages sent were often confused and misinterpreted. There were many flower dictionaries to help people navigate through flower meanings. Unfortunately, sometimes these dictionaries contradicted each other causing unnecessary heartache and disappointment.
One way to avoid that fate is to talk to your local florist and get the best advise on what kind of flowers to sent for the appropriate occasion. Your local florist will guide you in choosing the right flowers as well as a message card and perhaps chocolates, or a bottle of wine to complement a romantic evening.
Floral Expressions is an award winning florist located in Sydney’s Hills District, surrounded by Parramatta, Oatlands, Westmead, Baulkham Hills, Castle Hill, Pennant Hills, Kellyville, Winston Hills, and North Rocks. Our professional florists can design anything you require for your special occasion, from small posy to exquisite bouquet, elegant corporate arrangement, or magnificent wedding flowers. Visit our charming store in Northmead Shopping Centre, or call us on 02 9683 1116, or shop online at www.floralexpressions.com.au