THE MEANING OF COLOUR
The symbolism of flower colours is steeped in tradition
Joy and jealousy, desire and dejection, solitude and sadness, loyalty and love — flowers echo each voice of the human heart.
While the symbolic and legendary meanings of flowers were known to many during Elizabethan times, it was the Victorians who assigned simple messages to individual flowers. Introduced to the Swedish court in 1714 by Charles II, the Victorian mode of flower language soon spread throughout Europe.
During this time of strict protocol and conformity, men and women used the beauty and color of flowers to express emotions, wishes and thoughts they dared not speak, and every corsage, bouquet, and garland represented a carefully chosen sentiment. Presentation was also important; for example, a bouquet with a ribbon tied to the left told about the giver, while a ribbon tied to the right signified the receiver. Upside-down bouquets portrayed the exact opposite of the flowers’ common meanings: to receive an inverted rose was the ultimate form of rejection.
Flower Language became so important that durch die Blume sprechen (speaking through flowers) became a Western proverb, which meant any flowery or poetic expression hiding a secret message of love.
In fact, every flower colour from a deep red rose to a bright yellow daffodil offers a rich and meaningful story dating back thousands of years. The flower colours you choose for a bouquet can be as important as the types of flowers used in an arrangement.
There’s an indisputable energy to the color red – an energy that has the power to transform an otherwise unassuming flower into the essence of desire, strength, and passionate love. With beauty, courage and heat as its symbolism, it’s no surprise that a bouquet filled with rich, red blooms knows no restraint.
Often associated with innocence, humility, and reverence, white flowers evoke simple beauty. Whether they take their shape as the luxurious, silk petals of fragrant gardenias, the small, white bells of a lily of the valley, or the quiet drama of a dozen white roses, fresh floral arrangement dominated by white blossoms conveys modesty and elegance.
There’s a good reason why it can feel all but impossible to refrain from smiling when you spot a bouquet of bright daffodils or a pot filled with sun-drenched chrysanthemums–the color yellow evokes feelings of joy and lightheartedness. Also a symbol of friendship, a bouquet bursting with yellow blooms sends a message of new beginnings and happiness.
There’s nothing bashful about the colour orange–its message is clear and blatantly proud. Symbolizing energy, enthusiasm, and warmth, an arrangement of blooms in this vibrant color conveys confidence, satisfaction and a passion for life.
Synonymous with nature–and the perfect complement to any other bloom–the colour green represents health, resilience, good fortune and youth. Whether used to throw together a diverse mixture of shapes and hues or as a restful tone-on-tone bouquet, green flowers send a message of optimism and renewal.
While purple is the colour of royalty, and pink the colour of youth, lavender is femininity all grown up. Representing refinement, grace, and elegance, lavender holds an almost sacred place in nature—with violet flowers often considered the most delicate and precious. An arrangement filled with these genteel blossoms send a message of feminine beauty.
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