Books in Bloom

There is no doubt that one of the most popular flowers to send to your significant other on Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or really any day, is the rose. But why? Who decided that a rose would epitomize true love? Where did this symbolic language come from?

This aptly named “Language of Flowers” represents a form of cryptic communication with flowers that flourished throughout the Victorian era. During a time when publicizing one’s emotions was considered unthinkable or even offensive, flowers were used to express love, fidelity and even a marriage promise.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh explores this expressive language in her novel “The Language of Flowers”. By interweaving this timeworn traditional of floral dialogue with the story of Victoria Jones’ plight through foster care, Diffenbaugh creates a story of a young woman trying to overcome her troubled past by using her gift of flowers to help others as well as herself.

With models like Queen Victoria and the Duchess of Cambridge, we have been able to see how flower bouquets represent the romance and beauty of a tradition of floral language. So speak of luck with belles of Ireland, represent courage with protea and of course, that infamous rose with speak of an undying love.