The Language Of Flowers
For thousands of years flowers have been depicted in art, pictures of them embroidered into the clothes we wear, parts of plants including the flower heads and seeds have been used for food and medicinal purposes. They adorn our homes and can say a thousand words.
William Shakespeare certainly used their language, there are many, many references to flowers within his plays; one of the most famous being from Romeo And Juliet ~
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Romeo and Juliet (2.2.45-7)
Floriography or the language of flowers relates to the arrangement of flowers and the creation of a coded message. Historically this was happening way before the Victorians popularised it, there is evidence that floriography was used in In Ancient Europe, Africa and Asia. However it was during the Victorian era that flowers and plants given as gifts were used to speak in a way that stuffy Victorian society would not allow. It is this that interests me the most.
In 1819 Charlotte de Latour wrote the book Les Lanuage Des Fleurs and so began a Victorian love affair with using flowers to convey very particular messages. In her book Charlotte collected many examples of flower symbolism through poetry, medicinal usage and mythology.
The posies that the Victorians sent each other mainly spoke of friendship and romance, in each arrangement each flower had a specific meaning and even the arrangement of flowers itself spoke a thousand words.
The natural form of crystals and the way a simple flower can say so much is a match made in heaven, and it is on this page that you will find a list of flower buds that I use in my crystal grids and the meaning behind them.
Babys Breath is a delicate plant that produces an array of little individual flowers on long stems. It is also known by the name Gypsophila and in the 1900's was very commonly found in bouquets of flowers. In recent years its popularity went into decline - it was just a bit too old fashioned but as with most things in the fashion world we often get a revival and Babys Breath is certainly on its way up again!
In the Victorian Era this little flower was synonymous with everlasting, unconditional love and would have been commonly used in wedding bouquets and corsages. Like the name suggests though it also has a connection to babies, a few sprigs were traditionally given to new mums upon the arrival of their baby as a symbol of this deep long lasting love bond between mother and child.
The humble daisy, it's name comes from 'days eye'which relates to how the flower opens during the day and closes tight shut at night. We're all familliar with the simple beauty of the daisy, children often make daisy chains to wear a round their necks during the summer months, many a person in love have picked the daisy's petal one by one announcing "he loves me, he loves me not".
For the purpose of the crystal grid art they symbolise purity, simplicity, patience and a loyal love - it is for this reason you will find them in my Love Grid.
The carnation is the flower of the Gods, it's Latin name Dianthus by definition means dios or divine and anthos or flower, thus resulting in divine flower!
They are one of the oldest cultivated flowers with a huge amount of mythological history. But for the purpose of my art, carnations are representative of love, affection and gratitude.
These beautiful sacred flowers can be found woven into my Love Grids.
The humble chrysanth, the well known and sometimes not so well loved addition to many a modern day bouquet. The use of chrysanthemums, also affectionately known as “Mum’s” can be traced back to the sixth century (CE) China where they were considered to be a sacred flower.
During the Victorian era the meaning of chrysanths depended completely on the colour of the flower. Red meaning " I love you" and white symbolising loyalty and genuine honest love.
Forget Me Not
Forget Me Not’s have such a beautiful romantic air about them and I think that if you also love them then you are indeed a romantic at heart! The humble Forget Me Not is derived (Myosotis) from the Greek meaning mouse ear, which actually refers to the shape of the leaves. The Forget Me Not has long been considered as a bit of a weed and true, they do grow like wild fire but in
the 1850's bunches were sold in Parisian market places and quickly became known as the gift of friendship.
The dried Forget Me Not that I use in my artwork is entwined in the abundance grids bcause the other meaning behind the flower is hope!
The larkspur is also be known as the delphinium having recently been re-classified.
The larkspur can be found in Greek mythology but I love that according to Native American Indian legends the larkspur flower grows upon our earth because an angel sent down a spike made from pieces of the sky so he could climb down to earth, the rays from the sun dried the spike and the wind scattered the pieces over the earth and where ever they landed larkspur flowers appeared.
Larkspurs are a symbol of love, affection, bringing laughter into our lives and a pure heart. I like to use them in my co-creation grids.
The beautiful rose, a wonderful example of sacred geometry, written about in poetry for centuries, used in perfumes as the middle note (or heart note as it is also known - a fragrance for the heart - I love that!) given by lovers to their beloved - a flower that speaks a thousand words and is the one flower that truly represents love.
In ancient Rome the rose symbolised a secret, Romans would hang roses above their meeting tables - this acted as a symbol that all business discussed was to be kept secret by those attending. The rose is also used heavily in Christianity and the red rose in particular is often associated with the blood of Christ - the thorns of the rose symbolising Christ's sacrifice and suffering. Roses are also used to symbolise Mother Mary and have a deep connection with purity, it is said that the white rose reflects her joys, red her suffering and yellow her glory.
For the Victorians not only was the colour an important message conveyor but also the number of roses given in a bouquet. For example combining red and yellow roses together send a message of celebration and happiness, a single red rose bub is a symbol of purity and loveliness.
The rose is the England's national flower and loved by so many, for that reason they feature heavily in my grids, they for me, are the epitome of love, friendship, courage, passion and beauty.
The beautiful little flower of the verbena plant differs from the other flowers that I have listed above, in that I have been unable to find any direct reference to the Victorians. However, what I did manage to dig up a wonderful connection to Ancient Egypt, specifically Godess Isis, the godess of fertility. It is believed that the flowers were known as 'tears of Isis' and refers to the flowers growing from tears that she shed.
The flowers also historically have been used for prayer and for well-wishing. Medicinally they are a marvel, the use of them have been attributed to helping all different types of health problems. Symbolic of their grace I use them to enhance creativity and happiness. They can be found in both my abundance and health grids.
Beautiful sweet little violets also known as viola are one of the most popular flowers in the world and is just one of over 500 species of Violaceae.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans used them in funeral arrangements – the Romans even used them to make wine! The Persians used the flower petals to treat headaches and prevent angry outbursts, even today there is evidence that we can use them in the treatment of headaches! In Christianity the delicate flower is said to be a symbol of Mother Mary’s humility.
The petals can also be used for culinary purposes – they are edible and can be used to adorn our salads and you can make wild violet crystallised sweeties using the flower head too! They are rich in antioxidants and in vitamin C! **Please note; you really MUST know your flower before eating it!**
For the purpose of our crystal grids the flowers are used to symbolise innocence, modesty, true and everlasting love, faith and spirituality.