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The Meanings of Flowers: A Personal Touch

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Many varies websites and encyclopaedias will fall over themselves to tell you the ‘correct’ and ‘proper’ meanings for all the different types and species of flower.  Some of these are contradictory and some are in total agreement so if you want to go with the official meanings of flowers then stick to one source and knock yourself out.  However, the alternative is to create your own meanings.  

This is not just a cop out for finding and sticking to the actual meanings but rather it means that the bunch or bouquet you choose to give can tell a story which is both personal and thoughtful and holds certain relevance for the recipient of these flowers.  It is not essential that every single flower in the bouquet means something; in fact the whole bouquet could just be flowers on a theme – co-ordinating under a single banner.  For this, you could provide a bouquet of flowers in autumnal colours for an

October birthday present for example.

On the other hand, having a meaning for all the flowers in your bouquet means an almost unprecedented level of thought has gone into this bunch and that level of commitment to a gift is sure to have its rewards.  A couple of things to consider in this are;

Colour: Mother Nature and some fairly impressive man made enhancements have given us flowers in every colour under the sun and they can be made to thrive, at least for a short while, in any domestic condition.  Therefore, there is no limit to the flower colours that you can have in your bouquet.  Consider the personal details of the person who will be receiving the flowers.  What is their favourite colour for example? Then think about the occasion, red for valentines flowers is more clichéd than is worth describing but at least it shows an awareness of the day.  Thinking about the occasion in just a little more detail though will reap more rewards.  For example, if the flowers are for an anniversary, think about a colour that stood out from the original day which the anniversary is celebrating.  The colour scheme of a restaurant or the dress your lady wore perhaps?

Type: Again, there are some obvious choices and some slightly less obvious choices here.  Roses say love is probably the most obvious example of flowers meaning something but actually, this is a cliché that has been inverted by the media to the extent where I think if I received red roses in the post I would think I was being targeted by a vampire.  It might be nice to instead think about what different types of flower mean to you and the ultimate recipient of the flowers.  For example, sunflowers typically say sunny and positive things but they also have an innocence associated with them.  They are flowers of childhood, we probably all remember competitively growing them for a school project, so for this reason they gain added significance when given as ‘congratulations on the new arrival’ flowers.  Also, think about or subtly ask what your recipient’s favourite flowers are.  Lilies are typically associated with funerals but if they are the favourite flowers of your fiancée there is no reason why they can’t be the focus of the wedding bouquets.

Flowers can tell stories and hold meanings.  A little thought into what these might be and your kind gesture becomes a beautiful message.

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