Giving flowers has been part of human culture for centuries. The act of giving flowers has been used to express a wide range of emotions, from love and appreciation to condolences and sympathy. We take a brief look at the history of giving flowers.
Since ancient times
The history of giving flowers around the world is a long and varied one. In ancient times, flowers were often given as gifts to the gods and goddesses. They were also used as offerings in religious ceremonies. It is thought the ancient Egyptians believed flowers represented the hope and joy of the afterlife, while ancient Greeks associated different flowers with different emotions. For example, the rose was associated with love, while the iris was associated with wisdom.
England’s Victorian Era also demonstrated a specific language of flowers. Floriography, or the language of flowers, was developed as a form of communication at a time when it was not polite, appropriate or proper etiquette for someone to fully express their emotions with another. This especially applied to the feelings of love, remorse, sympathy, and gratitude, or any emotion that was considered uncomfortable to express openly. In a sense, flowers were a way of sending secret messages. As the list of flowers and their meanings grew, floriography dictionaries were published, containing the various meanings of plants and flowers.
Different countries, different meanings
Each country has its own traditions with flower-giving. For example, in Japan, it is popular to give flowers when someone is in hospital, but potted plants are considered offensive, as it could mean the illness will get worse by ‘taking root’. And in Russia, flowers are strongly associated with love. But make sure the number you give is odd, as even-numbered bouquets are meant solely for funerals.
Luckily in New Zealand, we are used to giving flowers no matter what the occasion – birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, funerals, or simply self-love! So why not give us a ring today and order your spring flowers to brighten someone’s day!