When Kate Middleton married Prince William, she carried Sweet Williams in her wedding bouquet to represent her love for him; at the installation of a garden at Kensington Palace in honor of the late Princess Diana, she wore a poppy-laden Prada dress to honor her memory.
Kate was practicing floriology—the language of flowers—using florals to convey emotions or send a covert message. Each flower has a unique meaning, as do particularly composed bouquets. Popular during the Victorian Age, when collecting natural specimens and cultivating plants was all the rage, floriology is enjoying a renaissance today.
Odessa Begay’s lavishly illustrated compendium is an immersive experience in color and beauty. She provides a concise history of the language of flowers, then introduces fifty of the most popular blooms worldwide. Each entry combines Begay’s extraordinary art and a mix of botanical lore, literary excerpts, mythology, folklore, contemporary anecdotes, and fun facts. The Language of Flowers reveals:
- How Christian Dior’s passion for lily of the valley inspired his classic perfume Diorissimo and the design of its extraordinary bottle;
- Why Oscar Wilde had a penchant for wearing green carnations in his lapel;
- How Greeks and Romans believed snapdragons could ward off witchcraft, so they planted them at entryways to their homes;
- Why the vanilla bean, the fruit of a very fussy orchid and brought to America from France by Thomas Jefferson, who used it to flavor ice cream, is one of the most expensive and sought-after food commodities in the world
Colorful, charming, and featuring 150 exquisite illustrations, The Language of Flowers is a must for gardeners, florists, romantics, and all flower lovers—and a perfect gift to express love.