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weeder’s digest: valentine’s flowers decoded

by Grace Bonney


Good afternoon everyone! It is I, she who gives a whooty-who-wait-wha(?) about Valentines day on the outside, but secretly on the inside wants my boyfriend to deliver to me one of the following:

1. flowers (even though I am a florist)
2. diamonds and pearls
3. a live beating heart

And maybe you can relate to this… perhaps you’re all nonchalant with a spiel about how V-day is an over-marketed holiday involving underpaid rose farmers in South America and cheap (albeit delicious) chocolate candies in a heart shape box with a flavor map. YES. I mean, NO. Truth is, expectations run amok on Valentine’s Day and most of us need a little something to remember why we’ve started or stayed in a Relationship, whether it’s a dozen red roses or a chocolate bust of Stevie Nicks.*

During the victorian era most folks were studied in in the art of floriography, or what was known as The Language of Flowers. Different flowers indicated different intentions; most obviously and well know, red roses infer passion and true love… pink roses…eh, not so much. There are over 250 species of roses, and rose fossils have been found in the Oligocene deposits in modern-day Colorado; roses have graced the earth for at least 35 million years. Every rose has it’s thorn. It is said that cupid, while shooting arrows at bees that had stung him, created thorns on rose stems where his arrows missed. When Venus was trying to save her dying lover Adonis, she shed a few drops of blood creating the first red roses. If only she knew they’d be grown year-round south of the equator (roses are indigenous only in the Northern Hemisphere) with formaldehyde, stored for weeks after cut, and mixed with baby’s breath…all for $100 a dozen. But enough! After all, it is the thought that counts with flowers. And that thought may run deeper than you think. If we backtrack and consult the Victorian text we soon discover that each individual flower has a unique meaning. I’ve always enjoyed reading into things…and so I give you:

VALENTINES FLOWERS DECODED


Anything with red roses indicates TRUE LOVE; truer that true, passion, the realest, the sizzler blue plate special, “Girl I’m gonna take you out for dinner and dancing. And you can order the steak tonight.” type of deal. I like steak, so that’s good I guess. NEXT!


Anything with orchids to me reads “Girl I understand that your are exotic and unusual and have needs like a delicate flower. Because I am sensitive. And I know that luxury is important to you. And that is why I spent an obscene amount of money on these. So much in fact, that I have been forced to give up my spot at Treasure Island Self Storage, and that is why you are surrounded by my model car collection.”


Hot pink reads HOT in general to me, like the Cosmo quizzes that embarrass you but you take them anyway. (You don’t blog about these things.) With flowers, hot pink feels very sexy to me. But also reminds me of a Juicy Couture Charm Bracelet and a Champagne Rain. In a good way I think. Like this…”Girl I wanna see you work, see you dance. With out that shirt, without those pants.”


A woodsy, romantic mix like this with ranunculus, peonies, and anemones says let’s take this to the next level. “Girl, I WILL help you move out of your 5-floor walk up.”


Poppies and yellow in general is commitment and friendship. “Thank you for always cleaning the cat box. I love you, and your italian stuffed peppers with sausage. We would both look so good together behind the wheel of a ’73 El Camino.”


Last but not least stands the single stem. A single flower given is the best (and it pains me to say this as a florist, but I’m practicing honesty lately) romantic gift. Especially on Valentines Day. Because it says you thought about me, about the fact that it was, in fact, Valentines day. But you didn’t feel that you needed an expensive bouquet to tell me how much you love me. –Sarah

*DOES NOT EXIST to my knowledge.

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