by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Have you ever wondered what the perfect flowers are to send to someone? Do you wish to share your emotions by communicating with flowers? During the Victorian era, individuals used the language of flowers to express their feelings with flower arrangement messages when they couldn’t be spoken. Today, most people are familiar that red roses symbolize passionate love, yellow roses symbolize friendship, and white roses symbolize virtue. However, ‘love’ is a very general emotion and various flowers pinpoint the emotion to then mean a secret love, everlasting love, heartache, and devoted love.
Victoria Jones uses her flower skills and the language of flowers throughout her life. The one emotion that Victoria struggles with is love. She often feels that she doesn’t deserve love and doesn’t know how to give love. Victoria’s personal troubles begin in childhood when she spent time in the foster care system. She is emancipated from foster care when she turns eighteen and suddenly feels lost. She has nobody and nowhere to go, so Victoria is homeless but that doesn’t stop her love for flowers. Victoria demonstrates her flower arrangement talents and works in a flower shop. Soon individuals ask her advice about the correct flowers to send others. The chapters move from the present to her past in the foster care system. Most of the occurrences are when she’s ten living with her foster mother, Elizabeth. Victoria can’t understand how Elizabeth loves her like a daughter even when she causes trouble. Elizabeth taught Victoria the language of flowers. When Victoria meets someone at the flower market, a painful secret from her past is awakened. She must realize if she believes in second chances and if she has the power to love.
I enjoyed this book and learned the different meanings with flowers. It may make you think before sending certain flowers. The back of the book includes Victoria’s Dictionary of Flowers that she used when making arrangements for the desired message.Vanessa Diffenbaugh used various flower books when flowers had conflicting meanings. I think returning to the Victorian era with flower messages would be refreshing in today’s constant technical communication. Which flowers express your emotions?
Selective Flowers & Meanings: (You’ll find many more flowers and their meanings on the links)Aloe: Grief Almond: Promise Amaryllis: Pride Basil: Hatred Bird of Paradise: Joyfulness, Paradise Baby’s Breath: Innocence, pure of heart Bells of Ireland: Luck Buttercup: Desire Riches Carnation: Red: Deep romantic love Yellow: Rejection White: Pure love, innocence, Pink: A woman’s love, mother’s love, always remember you Stripped: Maybe, indecision Purple: Whimsical, changeable Chrysanthemum: Red: I love Yellow: Sighted love Dahlia: Dignity Daffodil: New birth, beginnings, It is also a symbol of luck & wealth. Edelweiss: Noble courage Forget-me-not: True love, forget me not Ficoides (Ice Plant): Your looks freeze me Hibiscus: Rare beauty, delicate beauty Hydrangea: Heartlessness Iris: Good news, message Lavender: Devotion, distrust Lilac: Purple: First emotions of love White: Purity, Innocence Marigold: Despair, Grief Moss: Maternal Love Orchid: Refined Beauty, Luxury, Fragrance Peony: Shame, Bashful Primrose: Eternal Love Rhododendron: Danger, Beware Rose: Red: True Love White: Innocence, Purity Yellow: Friendship, Jealousy, Infidelity Pink: Happiness, Passion, Desire, Grace Lavender: Love at first sight Thornless: Love at first sight Sunflower: Admiration, Gratitude Sweet Pea: Delicate pleasures Tulip: Declaration of love Water Lily: Purity of heart Weeping Willow: Mourning