How to Express Yourself Using the Language of Flowers

Whether it's for a wedding, a date, a heartfelt message to a sick friend, or any other reason, knowing how to express yourself in the language of flowers can be a perfect way to let another person or group of people know your secret thoughts.


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    Decide what the occasion is. It is fine to express yourself through flowers for most events in life, from birth to death and in between, as long as you don't err and accidentally send the wrong message. While not every person knows the language of flowers, there will usually be someone around to "translate" for them, so don't worry, the message will usually get to them, and if not, it's always the thought that counts!
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    Find a good florist who can help you locate the flowers you want. One major consideration to bear in mind is the season; even if you really, really want to say something in flowers, if it isn't the right season for those flowers you could end up expressing yourself in a very expensive way, with air-freighted blooms from abroad. To avoid this difficulty, have some back-up meanings in case your flowers aren't in season or aren't available.
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    Know what the flowers mean. This list will help you work out which flowers mean what:
    • Apple blossom – perfection
    • Arum lily – ardour
    • Azalea – true to the end
    • Bluebell – ever-lasting love
    • Camellia – perfect loveliness
    • Carnation (red) – admiration, fascination
    • Carnation (white) – sweet and lovely
    • Chrysanthemum – truth
    • Daffodil – joy, regard
    • Daisy – innocence, sharing
    • Flowering almond – hope
    • Forget-me-not – true love, speaks for itself
    • Freesia – sweetness
    • Gardenia – purity and joy
    • Gerbera – cheerfulness
    • Heather (white) – luck
    • Heliotrope – devotion
    • Honeysuckle – bonds of love, generosity
    • Iris – hope and wisdom, flame
    • Ivy (foliage) – fidelity
    • Japonica – loveliness
    • Jasmine – sensuality
    • Lemon blossom – fidelity in love
    • Lilac – youthful innocence
    • Lily – majesty, purity
    • Lily of the valley – happiness, return of happiness
    • Mimosa – sensitivity
    • Myrtle – love
    • Orange blossom – purity
    • Orchid – beauty
    • Peach blossom – captive
    • Rose (pink) – happiness, grace (pale pink)
    • Rose (red) – I love you, passion
    • Rose (white) – purity, love and beauty
    • Rosemary – remembrance
    • Snowdrop – hope
    • Stephanotis – marital happiness, exotic travel
    • Sunflower – adoration
    • Sweet pea – lasting pleasure
    • Tulip (red) – love
    • Tulip (yellow) – sunshine of my life
    • Veronica – fidelity
    • Violet – faithfulness, fidelity
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    Once you've chosen the message you want to send by matching the flowers in the above list to your message, shop for the flowers. Prepare a bouquet or some other arrangement as relevant. If it's for a wedding, then the bridal bouquet is usually the best place to start with a special message.
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    Consider attaching a note. If it's a gift or a message of particular import (such as cheering someone up in hospital), a handwritten note to express your wishes is also a good idea, as it's likely your recipient will be happiest to read your message and have it backed up by the flowers.

Things You'll Need

  • Flowers

Sources and Citations

  • Carole Hamilton, Wedding Style, p. 99 (2009), ISBN 978-1-84597-762-7
  •, Wedding Planner: How to plan the wedding you want, p. 107, (2002), ISBN 1-84091-225-1 – research source

Article Info

Categories: Dress Flowers and Accessories | Flower Arranging and Floral Art