Hollyhocks, Heart’s Ease and Phlox: Valentine’s Day and the Language of Flowers

If you’re going to give the object of your desire or loved one flowers this Valentine’s Day, take inspiration from The Language of Flowers.

Popularised in the Victorian era The Language of Flowers ‘constitutes a language, which may be made the medium of pleasant and amusing interchange of thought between men and women’. The sentiments attached to flower names are wonderfully diverse, and for every situation there is seemingly an appropriate flower. So be unconventional this year and give something other than a red rose. Be inventive give seeds, living plants or of course cut flowers.

A small snippet of Flowers and meanings:

Bachelor’s button (cornflower) – Hope in love
Coreopsis – Love at first sight
Forget-me-not – True love
Heart’s Ease – Think of me
Heart’s Ease, Purple – You occupy my thoughts
Pansy – Think of me
Phlox – Our souls united
Double red pink – Pure, ardent love
Rosemary – Your presence revives me
White roses – I am worthy of you
Maiden’s Blush Rose – If you love me you will find me out
Tulip – Declaration of love
Variegated Tulip – Beautiful eyes

If you have given any of the above and then receive any of the following in return, I’m afraid it’s not good news!
Acacia, rose – Friendship
Basil – Hatred
Candytuft – Indifference
Carnation, yellow – Disdain
Convululus major – Dead hope
Mourning Bride (scabious) – Unfortunate attachment
Variegated pink – Refusal
White roses (withered) – Transient impression
Yellow rose – Decrease of love
Rue – Disdain
Tansy – I declare against you
Trumpet flower – Separation

All definitions taken from The Language of Flowers, Etiquette: Rules and Usages of The Best Society, (Melbourne: PRC, 1886)

Wightwick Manor – The art of small detail

Wightwick Manor is a gorgeous place and one that I have been meaning to visit for a long time. It was worth the wait!

The interior is a feast for the eyes: William Morris furniture, De Morgan ceramics, plasterwork -the ceilings are amazing and during a visitor lull one of the very kind room attendants let me lie down on the drawing room floor so I could get a better look- and Pre-Raphaelite paintings. The latter was the reason for my visit to the house, the quality of the art collection is well renowned and I was particularly thrilled to see the portrait of Effie Ruskin (by Millais) where her hair is adorned with foxgloves. Also, seeing Watts portrait of Janey Nassau Senior was particularly moving, having only ever seen it reproduction, seeing it in the flesh was a bit like meeting an old friend. This list barely touches on the variety of objects in the house, but too be honest I was quite overwhelmed once I got inside.

The exterior of the house is also really something, particularly some of the architectural and decorative elements. Here are some of my favourites….





More info http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-wightwickmanor