How to understand the secret language of flowers

Valentine’s Day has come and gone. And though many people wait until February 14 to give their sweetheart a gift of flowers, the fact is that flowers are perfect for giving any time of year – whether it’s a special occasion or not.

Flowers have a symbolic language all their own. The meaning behind certain blooms has such deep roots in human culture that when someone gives us flowers as a gift, we experience their hidden messages as feelings and ideas about the giver. From the passionate love conveyed by a single red rose to the cheerful friendship in a bouquet of yellow daffodils, flowers have the power to say what words often fail to express.

Science shows that floral communication may be more than just the fanciful “floriography” of Victorian times. A study conducted at Rutgers University found that flowers are powerful “positive mood inducers” in both women and men, bringing related health benefits.

One reason to explain flower power is selective botany, according to the research. More than 5,000 years of domestic cultivation has weeded out unappealing flowers so that only the most pleasing, attractive, mood-enhancing blossoms remain.

When it comes to gifting flowers, an expert florist like Barbara Arsenault at Blooming Bouquet Flowers and Gifts can help you send the right message.

“Flowers mean whatever you want them to mean,” says Barbara. “They are the perfect gift anytime of year because they’re so versatile.”

Nonetheless, she says there are a few rules to follow when buying flowers for someone:

Consider the relationship. The perfect bouquet for a friend’s milestone birthday will be different from the flowers you send your mom on Mother’s Day. And while red roses are the standard to symbolize romantic love, they may not be appropriate if the relationship is too new. A better choice is a mix of blooms that incorporate your sweetheart’s favourite colour to send a cheerful message with less pressure.

Know the statement you want to make. A massive bouquet of one type of flower can speak volumes and the more extravagant, the louder the message. (Just ask the singer Beyonce, who reportedly received 10,000 “good luck” roses from her husband, rapper Jay-Z, before her Super Bowl half-time performance at the end of January. One wonders how he topped that for Valentine’s Day, just two weeks later.) But sometimes, less is more. A single stem is often the perfect gesture.

Surprise people. It’s traditional to give flowers for certain holidays (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day) and occasions (birthdays, funerals, graduations). But thinking beyond the usual reasons induces more happiness. “Just because” flowers are the best to give and receive – they symbolize the beauty of personal relationships and bring joy any day of the year.

Have you ever gotten or given “Just because” flowers? Share your story in the comments section below!

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