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A Long Row To Hoe

(A Gardeners Letters)
by Ken Beattie
by Ken Beattie


Ken Beattie has hosted a number of gardening-related programs for WTN.

Ken is currently working with the Canadian Wildlife Federation and is also the author of an informative gardening book series.

July 16, 2006

Dear Sis,

I was just sifting through some of the old photos and came across proof of your first marriage. There in somewhat dowdy color, was a water stained photo of your wedding flowers, yellow roses. Perhaps we should of looked into floral meanings prior to selection of the nuptial arrangements. Far be it from me to interfere or suggest that the marriage would have survived longer had the appropriate flowers been used. In any event, the yellow roses that looked so wonderful on that day so long ago, are said to mean decreased love, infidelity and jealousy.
It wasn't me who made up the do's and don't of floral language, it was popular in Edwardian times. Apparently suitors would encode, often times naughty, elaborate messages to the intended ladies. Greens, flower color, shape and stage of development all had specific meanings. A guy had to be mighty careful as well as educated, to send the correct message. Likewise, the woman who received the bouquet or nosegay had to be able to interpret the mix correctly.
Here are a few examples of flower meanings so that if you get or send floral delights for St. Valentine's Day, you won't get your wires crossed. The easiest is the red rose, this means true love, as does a pink rose. A full blown rose or cabbage rose, means an ambassador of love. Yellow signifies jealousy for the most part and several other nasty qualities.
Hibiscus is associated with persuasion, Calla with beauty and the Crocus is dedicated to St. Valentine. The potted Azalea that you often send over to Mom represents temperance, so don't send a bottle of wine along with the plant, mixed messages you know.
All in all, I think that yellow roses for the bridal bouquet was a mistake, but judging by your success, it all may be just a myth. Enjoy St. Valentine's Day and stick to red roses and of course, chocolate. I have heard it said that chocolate is not just for breakfast.

Love Ken

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