Flowers in everyday life
In modern times, people have sought ways to cultivate, buy, wear, or just be around flowers and blooming plants, partly because of their agreeable smell. Around the world, florists sell flowers for a wide range of events and functions that, cumulatively, encompass one's lifetime
Flowers speak to us when we know how to listen to them. It is a subtle and fragrant language. The carrying of flowers by the bride goes back to ancient times when it was believed that strong smelling herbs and spices would ward off and drive away evil spirits, bad luck and ill health. During Roman times the bride and groom wore floral garlands signifying new life and hope for fertility.
During Victorian times, flowers took on an additional significance as lovers would send messages to each other using different flowers, each with its own symbolic meaning. These associations were soon adopted for the bridal bouquet and are still used today by many brides.
The Language of Flowers
Flowers may be combined and arranged so as to express even the nicest shades of sentiment. If a flower is offered "reversed", its direct signification is likewise reversed, so that the flower now means the opposite. A rosebud divested of its thorns, but retaining its leaves, conveys the sentiment, "I fear no longer; I hope." Stripped of leaves and thorns, it signifies, "There is nothing to hope or fear." A full-blown rose places over two buds, signifies "Secrecy." "Yes", is implied by touching the flower given to the lips; "No," by pinching off a petal and casting it away. "I am", is expressed by a laurel leaf twined around the bouquet; "I have", "by an ivy leaf folded together; "I offer you".
Carnations Color Messages
For the most part, carnations express love, fascination, and distinction. Light red carnations represent admiration, while dark red denote deep love and affection. White carnations indicate pure love and good luck; striped symbolize a regret that a love cannot be shared. Purple carnations indicate capriciousness.
Pink carnations have the most symbolic and historical significance. According to Christian legend, carnations first appeared on Earth as Jesus carried the Cross. The Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus' plight, and carnations sprang up from where her tears fell. Thus the pink carnation became the symbol of a mother's undying love, and in 1907 was chosen by Ann Jarvis as the emblem of Mother's Day, now observed in the United States and Canada on the second Sunday in May.