Savvy womens Magazine


Flowers As A Metaphor For Life

The special language and meaning of flowers


My dear old Mom won't let anybody buy her flowers.  She says she can't stand to watch them die. 

Which is probably a bit like saying she wouldn't own a puppy because she doesn't want to see it grow old, or read a book because she can't stand that it will end, or better yet, eat a chocolate because then it would all be gone and all she'd have left to remind her of the wonderful experience is the foil wrapper.

Whether you believe in the divine creator or the Big Bang theory, there's something to be said for whoever (or whatever!) created flowers.

I ask you. . . who is not awed by the beauty of a spring rose, fresh with dew, or the fresh appeal of a yellow buttercup, or the fiesta of colors in a bunch of gerberas (beautiful flowers, awful name!)

We've come to associate the germination and birth of a flower with life itself.  We talk about children "blossoming", the "rosy red glow" of a pregnant woman or "happy as a rose bud in June".  At the end of its brief but impressive life, a flower will return to the ground from whence it came, in much the same way as we humans do.  Well, most of us.

And flowers have a special language all their own.  Of course, the big one is roses, the traditional symbol of love.  But don't be fooled into thinking a bouquet of flowers from your loved one is a sign of his undying affection. 

According to the Victorians, who first assigned a special language to flowers, giving Candytuft means indifference, and Cyclamen represents goodbye, while the poor old orange Lily means dislike and dissatisfaction.

Pity the poor fellow who presents a  prettily wrapped bouquet of flowers to his lady-love.  The flowery language of love he's trying to send may need translation!

- OM