How to: Send a More Meaningful Bouquet

A decade ago, I dated someone who worked in a flower shop. If I wanted to give her a bouquet, it had to say something. I learned about the “mysterious language” of flowers as described in Robert Tyas’ 1836 book, “The Sentiment of Flowers.”I’ve lost my crib sheet (and the high-maintenance girlfriend), but I still pick flowers with care.

Arne Klein, a florist at Blooms by Plantscaping in Cleveland, helped us create a beautiful arrangement and message.

He used to do this all the time. “I had this book,” he says. “It was nice. I would tell everyone what the flowers meant. Unfortunately, people would just say, ‘Yeah, that’s nice.’ These days, the fact that someone sends flowers is special enough.”

Pshaw. I always found knowing what a bouquet means scores extra points. This arrangement, dissected with meanings from the book, is a perfect way to tell someone that what you’re feeling is, indeed, young love.

Water Lily: Eloquence
“This flower closes at evening, and reclines on the bosom of the lake from the setting of the sun until the rising of that splendid orb on the succeeding morn. It is supposed that this allegory may be understood as an allusion to the fable of the world rising from the midst of the waters.”

Honeysuckle: Bonds of Love
Not usually found in a bouquet, but that will make it stand out even more. “The honeysuckle sometimes amorously attaches its plant branches to the knotted trunk of an ancient oak.”

Tulip: Declaration of Love
“The petals are compared to fire, and the yellow heart to brimstone; and when presented by an admiring swain to his mistress, it is supposed to declare that such is the effect of the fair one’s beauty, that if he sees her only for a moment, his face will be as fire, and his heart will be reduced to a coal.”
Full-blown Rose: Beauty
Venus, the Roman goddess of beauty (among other things), once said she has a rival in the rose.

White Lilies: Purity
In the Bible, Jesus uses them as a metaphor for purity with his disciples.
Two to Leave on the Vine:

Yellow Rose: Infidelity
We thought it meant friendship! But no: “Water injures it, the sun scorches it, and this scentless flower, which profits from neither attention nor liberty, seems only to prosper when under restraint.”

Yellow Carnation: Disdain
“It is the least beautiful and fragrant of its kind, yet requires continual care and attention.” We know a few exes who deserve a bouquet. Restrain.

Lilac: First Emotion of Love
“Nothing is more delightful than the sensations it produces on its first appearance on the return of spring.”
CLICK HERE to enter to WIN a Cleveland Magazine Valentine's Day Bouquet!

Know someone who’d love it? Blooms by Plantscaping is selling the Cleveland Magazine Valentine’s Bouquet for $95 plus shipping. A more delicate version is available for $50. Order by Feb. 11 for Valentine’s Day by calling (216) 367-1200.

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