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Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Bloom with a View

Passion Flower in my Fathers garden.

Involved, as I am, in painting pictures and heraldry, in my favoured Pre-Raphaelite / Medieval style, and equally with studying paintings in Museums, I often have to refer to a list I have with me, that explains the symbolism of flowers, that the artist would include in the background or adorning the figure, allowing him to send coded messages, to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken.

The language of flowers, sometimes called
floriography, though most popular in the Victorian period, dates back to antiquity.

In Medieval and Renaissance culture, flowers were often given moral meanings. This is most apparent in art in which Saints are often depicted with flowers that are symbolic of their virtues.

In the 19th Century it became so popular that almost every flower known had a symbolic meaning assigned to it. Below you will find the meanings that were assigned to the flowers and figures used in Paintings, Poetry, in Hair and Jewelry:

Rose = Love, hope
Pansy = Thoughtfulness
Lily = Eternal life
Forget-Me-Not = Remembrance
Ivy = Memory, immortality, friendship, fidelity
Wreath = Memory
Angel = Guardian, Protection, Divine Love
Butterfly = The 3 stages of life, death, resurrection
Fleur de Lis = Flame, ardour, mother
Wheat = Resurrection

The following is a list of More Symbolisms

Acacia = Immortality of Soul, Secret Love
Acanthus = Heavenly Garden
Apple = Blossom Preference
Azalea = Temperance
Bachelor Buttons = Celibacy
Basil = Hatred
Buttercup = Cheerfulness
Camellia = Reflected Loveliness
Carnation = Admiration, A woman's love
Crocus = Youthful gladness
Daffodil = Regard, desire, art, grace
Daisy = Innocence, youth
Dogwood = Durability
Fennel = Strength
Fern = Sincerity
Goldenrod = Precaution
Hawthorne = Hope, merriness and springtime
Heather = Admiration, solitude & protection
Heliotrope = Devotion, constancy, infatuation
Hibiscus = Delicate beauty
Holly = Foresight
Hollyhock = Ambition, Fertility
Honeysuckle = Generosity and devoted affection
Hyacinth = Unobtrusive loveliness
Iris = Hope, power, message
Jasmine = Amiability, sensuality, grace, elegance
Laurel = Special achievement, distinction, success
Lavender = Distrust
Lemon Blossoms = Fidelity in Love
Lilac = First emotions of love, youthful innocence
Lily of the Valley = Return of Happiness, purity, humility
Lotus = Eloquence, mystery and truth
Magnolia = Love of nature
Marigold = Sorrow
Mint = Virtue
Morning Glory = Affection, Resurrection
Myrtle = Love and Marriage
Narcissus = Egotism
Nightshade = Secrets
Olive = Peace and security
Passion Flower = The elements of the passion of Christ
Periwinkle = Friendship
Pine = Fidelity, fertility, regeneration
Pineapple = Hospitality, good host
Poppy = Peace, rest
Primrose = Consistency, Early youth
Quince = Temptation
Rhododendron = Danger
Rosemary = The herb of remembrance
Sage = Domestic Virtues
Stephanotis = Bride's good luck flower
Sweet Pea = Delicate Pleasures
Sweet William = Gallantry
Thistle = Defiance, earthly sorrow
Vine = God
Violet = Faithfulness, steadfastness and modesty
Water Lily = Purity of heart
Weeping Willow = Mourning
Willow = Forsaken love
Wisteria = I cling to thee, welcome fair stranger
Zinnia = Thoughts of absent friends

Weeping Willow : D G Rossetti
More Symbols

Anchor = Hope
Bird = Winged Soul, Eternal Life
Bridge = Linking of Earthly & Heavenly Realms
Conch Shell = Reincarnation
Cross = Love, Faith, Goodness
Dog = Loyalty
Heart = Love, Devotion, Charity
Oak Tree = Steadfastness, Life
Palm Tree = Peace
Sun shining = Everlasting Life

So Knights, when you buy your Ladies Flowers, as I know you do every week... you know now not to buy her Lavender, even if it does smell nice.

Sir Dayvd ( who probably is a pansy but its not something he's going to advertise ) of Oxfordshire


  1. I apologize for the crazy formatting, but something was very strange going on with text boxes and such -- like a flower garden, some beautiful fonts and spacing; some weeds of serifs mixing in with sans serifs and tabs mixing with flush left...

    Sir Bowie

  2. Sir Dayvd might be a pansy, but judging from the photo, he carries a big stick and bigger talent.

  3. why thankyou.. Sir J

    Due to technical difficulties the flower list isn't reading right... myself and bowie and hooks are working on the problem and hopefully shortly it will be back to its rightful useful splendour..

    Sir Dayvd ( who before this gag gets out of hand is most certainly not a pansy lol ) of O

  4. Now there you go blaming the computer, or as I like to call it, the idiot box (because contrary to its perception, it is only as smart as its input).

    Lovely blog, in more ways than one, so I'm a Narcisus Poppy Periwinkle who's Sage advice like Sweet William restored Olive with Sweet Pea so as to remove the Thistle from your blogs Weeping Willow...only because I was lost in Zinnia. Of course I wont rest on my Laurels, nor reveal my Nightshade as to how I made the blog bloom like a Morning Glory!

    Sir Hook the Buttercup Crocus Dogwood of Warrick

  5. Thanks for fixin' it all gentleman.

    This is one of those rare posts that I'll actually print out and save.
    We're thinking of somehow turning our backyard into a mock-English garden. A Hoosier Garden.

    Sir Bowie "who's busy playing with his new woodworking tools he received from Sir William of Keglers" of Greenbriar

  6. Yeah Cheers Hooky you're a star, even tho we tease you to death..

    I'm great at designing on paper but getting the whole thing onto websites and blogs... my patience runs out, and my brain wants to crash and shut down...

    I am this minute working on the Carrera Ink Print-ware site and have pulled out what hair i have left.

    Bowie ... I am very interested in all your woodworking. lady Suz mention you were thinking of doing it a while back...... I have just "inherited" ( taken over) a set of small carving chisels from my father... who can no longer use them....and am using them to create Wood etch print blocks to use in my handprinter.

    I'll be interested in any blog, you write, about the woodwork you are into, as you know i am a huge fan of William Morris and his Company also created Arts and Craft i will send you a link over regarding that.

    Seems the Knights are back from their summer travels and cosying down with Winter Hobbies...( and warm heavy beer )

    Sir D ( thanks again Hooky ) of O

  7. Sir Bowie and Sir James are in the woodworking shop as I read camp chair has already been created out of scrap woods...getting ready for sitting around the campfire as we have cool weather on the way this week!

    I planted lavender and it died...perhaps that's good...need to print this list and plant mindfully those which we want to have living in our world...

    my great grandmother always had zinnias because they reminded her of friends and Mom always has pansies because they have "such happy faces" and make her smile

    p.s. who is the lovely lady in your portrait?

  8. a quick look around our world -

    already growing:

    have an angel, and a fleur de lis hanger for the wreath on the door


    basil - died

    crocus and daffodil already bloomed


    hyacinth already bloomed


    lavender - died

    lilac at the lake house

    lily of the valley at the lake house (and Suzanne means this)

    myrtle (crepe myrtle)

    conch shell
    oak tree

    seems like we're on the right path to a symbolically happy place : )

    Lady S
    who is glad we took out the rhododendron and planted the japanese something or other whose leaves change colors with the seasons