Flower Stories: Flowery Language

I love flowers! According to Michael Pollen’s book Botany of Desire, they may have seduced me to fulfill their will?  The plot thickens, on realizing they have instructed us on how to send coded messages from the beginning of time.

Floriography (Language of flowers) a style of cryptologic communications through the selection of flowers.

In the Victorian era, outward expressions of affection were non-existent. But admirers and their suitors could communicate their feelings in covert ways. Coded messages in the form of “talking bouquets” known as Tussie-Mussies and Nose-Gays, were worn or carried as a fashion accessory. How the adornment was placed also signaled significance. If in the cleavage, friendship, but over the heart, a declaration of love.

The first floral dictionaries were published in the early in the 1800’s and “The Language of Flowers,” 1884, is still in reprint today. Long lists of flowers and their associated meaning fill the pages. But not all dictionaries of the era agreed on the same meaning, so it was important that the suitor, and the focus of their attention, carried the same publication, or the result might bring a slap in the face, instead of a warm embrace.

From the Bible to the present day, the symbolic meaning of flowers has been an interwoven second layer in literature and in art. Modern-day artists also utilized the language of flowers, artist Lynn Whitney used Floriography to communicate a message in her 2018 stunning visual creation titled, “Not Seeing is a Flower,” that lines the windows at the San Diego International Airport

Published by Loretta Busch

Loretta’s digital-paintings artwork is a bewitching combination of soulful colours and maximalist composition. The abstracted collaged landscape and botanical forms create a visual story that are fully exposed, but forever shifting. The images are an open invitation to travel through time and space; to enter new worlds of emerging possibilities; or to get lost in a meditative journey of colour and form. Loretta has been an award-winning painter and printmaker for over four decades. Her home studio is located on Vancouver Island, BC Canada. She draws her inspiration from the life, the rural setting she lives in, and her many years of travel.