Art of Floristry – Going Back To Our Roots – Part 4
Have an anniversary coming up? Give them flowers! Have you read the previous article in this series on the timeline of floral arranging?
Don’t have a gift for your friend’s birthday? Get a bouquet of their favorite flowers!
Want to cheer up your loved one but don’t know how? Flowers will do the trick!
Giving flowers as a gift has been consistent through different times and cultures. But when exactly did it start?
In this article, we talk about the history of the tradition of flower giving. We’ll see how it evolved through history and spread around the world.
Finally, we discover why this tradition was so important in the Victorian Era. We find out how almost everyone knew exactly the meanings and messages flowers held.
For a crash course on the language of flowers, check out our next article!
Interested in a formal course? Want to get certified as an expert on all things floral? We encourage you to look into organizations that offer programs in floristry, such as:
- American Institute of Floral Designers (www.aifd.org).
- Society of American Florists (www.safnow.org).
- American Floral Endowment (www.endowment.org).
Flowers and Gift-Giving Traditions
The origins of gifting flowers go back to the time of Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans.
These three societies often used flowers in religious practices. They based their personal use of flowers on their myths.
The Greeks used them as props for theater. They also made them into decor for ceremonies. Later on, they exchanged flowers to show affection towards one another.
Later in the Middle Ages, people from Turkey created the first list of meanings for flowers. This spread throughout the world. Other cultures adapted this to their customs.
Today, researchers have done studies on floristry. They included the tradition of giving flowers.
One study connected people’s gift-giving to their relationship skills. Results showed that people who gave flowers as gifts kept good, healthy relationships.
This is because they expressed love and joy through flowers!
The Victorian Era and Flowers
People from the Victorian Era are often known for being at the height of fanciness.
But did you know they used flowers to express deep, unspoken feelings towards each other?
Back then, people were getting more into gardening and flower care. They sought to grow healthy, vibrant flowers. They also cultivated new flower varieties.
The flowers, in turn, served as a form of communication. It relayed messages between lovers, friends, relatives, and even acquaintances.
Flowers expressed sentiments ranging from “I love you”, to “I treasure you, my friend”, to “I’m sorry”. They played a vital role in how Victorian-era citizens made their feelings known.
See, Victorian people thought that saying how you feel was tacky. So they used the list of flower meanings back in the Middle Ages. Then, they applied these into how they interacted with each other.
This even extended to romances! Courting was usually done through exchanges of flowers.
Some groups even came up with alternate meanings to flowers. They did this to communicate in secret, hidden from prying eyes.
Not long after, most people knew what every flower and floral arrangement meant. They could hold an entire conversation without saying a word.
The practice of flower giving became very popular. Soon enough, people began using bouquets to send certain messages to people. Even the way that the person presented the floral gift was part of their message.
This tradition carried on through history! Of course, it held less drama over time.
From: Swallows Nest Farm