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Do you know your flowers and their meanings?

Posted on by Hayley Peters

Flowers are beautiful tokens of nature which have carried symbolic meanings throughout both history and literature. They act as a bond between humans and the natural world and a flower's scent has the magical ability to evoke emotions deep within us and help us to revisit our fondest memories. If we were to imagine a world without flowers, it would be a very colourless place, without fragrant scents and the deep humming of plump bumblebees busily pollenating.

Found in the hedgerows and along our garden paths, in forests and sprouting up from the cracks in pavements and out of walls; flowers are an important feature of not just our British landscape, but our consciousness too. In an age where technology is more prevalent than ever, why is it that we still enjoy giving and receiving flowers? Take for example Valentine's day- the day of love and passion which is commonly signified by a bunch of ruby red roses, tied perfectly together in a stream of silk ribbon. For years flowers have been cautiously offered with open hands at the door steps of homes as a peace offering after an argument and hand delivered or posted through letterboxes for special birthdays or as fragrant thank you gifts. Bunches of delicate blooms are sent out to hospital beds and adorn wedding venues and churches all over Britain.

Flowers have indeed shaped our etiquette and behaviour when it comes to revealing our emotions on joyous occasions and during the sad times in our lives- the offering of a beautiful flower can speak a thousand words when words are hard to find. Flowers have the power to make us feel that much brighter and bring a smile to our face when it is needed the most. However, to really stop and smell the roses it's important to take the time to observe the finer details of a flower: the intricate shape of each petal, the tiny seeds in the centre and appreciate the complexity at which it claims it's nutrients and energy through the process of photosynthesis. 

Different types of flowers are thought to be synonymous with different emotions and connotations. The BB team take the opportunity to reveal their favourite flowers and what they mean to them, whilst I uncover the flower's traditional connotations. 

Megan- Brand Marketing Manager 

What is your favourite flower?

I love Daisies because they remind me of spending my school summer holidays sitting in a local field enjoying picnics and making impressively long daisy chains!

Does this flower symbolise anything specific for you?

Innocence and happiness. 

Traditional meaning: Daisies symbolise purity, innocence and new beginnings and are often given to women who are expecting as a congratulations gift.

Anna- Customer Service Administrator  

What is your favourite flower?

One of my favourites is the sweet pea. Wonderful colours and scent, easy to grow, but you can't buy them in the shops very easily which I think makes them a bit special. 

Does this flower remind you of anything specific? 

I can remember them from my childhood in my grandmother's garden where we spent our holidays. Now my siblings and I all grow them in her memory. 

Traditional meaning: Associated with departure- saying goodbye and saying thank you.  

Lizzie - Sub Editor

What is your favourite flower?

My favourite flower is lavender, I've always planted it at my garden gate for good luck. Despite its French origins, it’s become a typical English Country Garden plant; it’s hugely versatile and I have made soap and lavender bags and have dried it in great big bunches above the Aga.

Does this flower remind you of anything specific? 

It reminds me of lazy summer days at my great aunt’s in Cornwall. Typically, it symbolises relaxation – it’s heady fragrance is well known for aiding sleep, and it’s magic when it comes to healing burns.

Traditional connotations: Purity, serenity, grace, calmness, devotion, silence and caution. 

Abbie - Editorial Assistant 

What is your favourite flower?

My favourite flower is the pink perpetue' climber rose. 

Does this flower remind you of anything specific? 

My great-great grandfather had a pink perpetue' climber rose in his garden and my great-grandfather took a cutting of it, as did my grandfather (it now grows in his!) My mum has also recently taken a cutting of it, and it now blooms in hers. When I am fortunate enough to have my own garden, I am certain that I will be taking a cutting of it! Not only does the flower have its association with my great-great grandfather, but also the idea of re-growth. I love the idea that if this tradition is upheld, the flower will hold with it much significance in my family for generations to come. 

Traditional connotations: Pink roses are known to be associated with grace, happiness, appreciation, joy and sweetness. 

Abbie- Digital Design & Marketing Assistant 

What is your favourite flower?

It has to be the Passiflora (passion flower) it's so beautifully unique and eye-catching with it's intricate details and bold colours. 

Does this flower remind you of anything specific? 

I feel a sense of nostalgia towards this flower because it used to grow along my grand parents house and as a child I used to climb all over it.

Traditional symbolism: Each part of the flower holds a specific meaning in relation to the crucifixion of Jesus- (the passion of the Christ). The flower's tendrils represent the whips, three stigma represent three nails that pierced Jesus to the cross, five anthers represent the five wounds he endured. The filaments convey the crown of thorns while the five sepals and five petals refer to the ten faithful apostles. This flower typically adorns churches representing the Christian faith. 

Flowers have their own language and carry unique meanings for every individual, they can remind us of our childhoods, a special person or an remarkable occasion. Throughout the centuries flowers have symbolised different emotions and connotations. More importantly, a flower should speak to the individual through its scent and extraordinary beauty and stay in their memories forever. 

By Hayley Peters