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Sunday, September 3, 2006

Say It With Flowers...




Flowers-both cultivated and those with a native nature-have become associated with sentiments, often with the purpose of conveying amorous thoughts.


In the 1600s in Constantinople (what is now Istanbul), flowers gained meanings which enabled lovers to convey messages to each other without having to write or talk.


This language of flowers was introduced to Europe by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, a celebrated letter-writer and society poet who, in 1716, accompanied her husband to the Turkish Court in Istanbul. During her stay, she sent a Turkish love letter to England which interpreted the meanings of some plants, flowers, and spices.


The wonder of flowers, she proposed, was that words and messages of love - even altercations - could be passed in a refined and subtle manner without 'inking the fingers'.


The passing of messages via the floral code was then taken up by the French, only to return to England during the reign of Queen Victoria.


More than 800 flowers have special meanings associated with them. There are over 30 for roses alone.


The way in which the flowers were worn and presented had a meaning in addition to the sentiments attached to individual flowers. A flower bent towards the right would signify "I", while one extending to the left would signify "You".


Therefore a red rosebud leaning to the left would say: "You are pure and lovely".