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You are about to send flowers … but what are you saying?
Offering a Valentine’s Day message in flowers? Linda Stewart, the Life Sciences and Special Collections Librarian at Cornell University’s Mann Library says: “A rose is a rose is a rose, but in the language of flowers it is also a nuanced message of love. And so is a red tulip, a rhododendron blossom and a blooming ranunculus.
The language of flowers, the popular art of communicating sentiments through carefully chosen arrangements of flowers and herbs, saw its glory days in Victorian era Europe and North America – though the language has even deeper roots in the 17th century Ottoman court of Constantinople, where the tulips native to the Turkish countryside created possibilities for gorgeous bouquets filled with both color and secret meaning.
How might you correctly declare your unequivocal love in a bouquet of color? Express a seal of friendship? Ask for a dance? Or maybe even give silent voice to some painful disappointment?
As Valentine’s Day marches on, there may be no better time to explore some of the poetic power of floral vocabulary in the ways of romance.”