Risky Regencies

Happy Cupid’s Day

Today, of course, is February 14, Valentine’s Day! The Big V-Day. The day of pink and red, of flowers and chocolates. The day of over-priced “special menus” in restaurants, served by surly waiters who definitely don’t want to be there helping you make the day Very Special. But the flowers and chocolates (and champagne!) make that okay…

Speaking of flowers, I have a very cute old book that belonged to my grandmother about the “language of flowers.” Floriography (a means of communication in which various flowers and floral arrangements were used to send coded messages) was especially popular with the Victorians, who loved all things sentimental. But this idea goes back to antiquity, and was well-known in Medieval and Renaissance art (all those saints with their symbolic blossoms). So, I took out this book and tried to put together bouquets for various romantic couples. Here’s what I came up with…

Emma and Mr. Knightley Arbor vitae (everlasting friendship); Daffodil (chivalry, respect, uncertainty); Gorse (love in all seasons); Heliotrope (devotion); Honeysuckle (devoted affection); Lavender-colored roses (love at first sight–literally in their case); Lavender (devotion)

Elizabeth B. and Mr. Darcy Buttercup (riches); Mint (suspicion); Oats (music); Blue poppies (mystery, attaining the impossible); Red tulips (declaration of love); Light pink roses (desire, passion, joy of life); Wheat (wealth and prosperity)

Cathy and Heathcliff Amaranth (immortal love); Bird’s foot trefoil (revenge); Lobelia (malevolence); Mallow (consumed by love); Marigold (pain and grief); Love lies bleeding (hopelessness); Black poppy (death, hatred, farewell); anemone (forsaken, sickness). Wow, they sound like they’d be fun on Valentine’s Day…

Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester Acacia (secret, chaste love); Purple carnations (my heart aches for you); Oak leaf (strength), Oxeye daisy (patience); White poppy (consolation); Eglantine rose (a wound to heal); Elderflower (compassion); Snowdrop (consolation or hope); Blue and white violets (faithfulness/modesty)

Catherine Morland and Mr. Tilney Purple and white lilacs (first love/youthful innocence); Mullein (good nature); Cherry blossom (a good education); Forget-me-not (true love); Red and yellow mixed roses (joy, happiness, excitement)

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Any favorite romantic couples you’d like to send flowers to? And hey, what are your own favorite flowers? (I love pink roses and gardenias…)

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Lois
13 years ago

Alas, no flowers here, but some really nice chocolate is a’waiting! 🙂

Lois

Louisa Cornell
13 years ago

Amanda, you clever girl! I love the flowers you came up with for each couple.

My favorites are gardenias, hyacinth and red roses. The DH loved yellow roses.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY RISKIES !!!

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

Louisa, I hit on the idea for this post when I was leafing through that book and saw that sending black poppies means “hatred”. I thought “what kind of psycho sends flowers like that?” Heathcliff, of course! 🙂 And I also love hyacinths, their smell seems to mean “winter is finally over”

Lois, I have some chocolates waiting, too, yay! I thought about eating them for breakfast, but will be good and wait for lunch.

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

I have lovely memories of Lily of the Valley, so fragrant and delicate and a beloved aunt’s favorite scent.

For myself I love the scent of lavender, so lavender usually shows up in my books.

My husband has never been very creative about flowers – red roses, if he thinks of them. I love the scent of roses, but even more, I love a colorful bouquet of spring flowers. (nothing has shown up yet, but my daughter gave me candy!)

azteclady
13 years ago

Oh yay, gardenias!

Happy Valentine’s to all of you wonderful Riskies!

(I prefer sending homemade orange sugar cookies, myself)

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

Yum, orange sugar cookies!

One thing I do dislike about florist roses is that there is no smell! The scent of a summer garden rose is one of my favorites, and one I’m always searching for in perfumes. I also like violets and irises…

Megan Frampton
13 years ago

My favorite flowers are tulips; I am without either of my boys this Valentine’s Day, so I plan on doing exactly what I want to today–really, the best V-Day prezzie I can imagine.

This is a cool post, I love the idea of flowers having extra meaning.

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

In case anyone wants to send me a bouquet, here’s what I’d like in it, please.

Arbor vitae, Daffodil, Gorse, Heliotrope, Mullein, Cherry blossom, Red and yellow mixed roses, Oxeye daisy, Light pink roses, and Buttercups. (Might as well hedge all my bets for life.)

Another really clever post, Ammanda, choosing flowers for the stories and the main couple.

I love yellow flowers (er, not the sunflower, please).

Ladyhawk
13 years ago

I love the language of flowers!! I always liked the idea of owning a flower shop and arranging the bouquets with hidden messages. Imagine my surprise when I read a story where the heroine did exactly that!

Roses are my favorite, but I also fancy lilies, lavender, ranunculus, daffodils, star jasmine, honeysuckle, gardenias, hyacinth, poppies, wild flowers… okay, I love flowers. 🙂

As for a romantic couple, I’ve always adored John and Abigail Adams. They were madly in love with each other and best friends.

For myself, today, I bought a box of assorted Dove chocolates, to be enjoyed over the coming week. I splurged on egg salad on a croissant for lunch. And I bought half-dozen romance books, yesterday, so I feel well and truly spoiled. 🙂
~Judy

Cara King
13 years ago

So the “Cherry blossom (a good education)” in Catherine & Tilney’s bouquet was for Tilney, right? 😉

And LOL on Cathy & Heathcliff’s immortal love!

Todd and I will be going out for an afternoon tea…which should be nice.

Cara

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

“So the “Cherry blossom (a good education)” in Catherine & Tilney’s bouquet was for Tilney, right?”

He had to learn sometimes a vivid imagination is the best defense, tee hee!

And afternoon tea sounds wonderful!

Ladyhawk, I also love the Adams’ story! They had what everyone wants–someone who is a lover and life partner, and also a loyal and understanding friend. If only that wasn’t so darned hard to find sometimes. 🙂

Susan Wilbanks
13 years ago

No plans for Valentine’s Day whatsoever, thanks to the fact my husband and I are both sick, and he was just diagnosed with pneumonia! So he’s resting, and I’m taking care of him. Maybe I’ll go out this afternoon and pick us up a little treat from Cupcake Royale.

I like flowers that come in strong, bright or dark colors. Red and yellow roses, tulips, gerbera daisies, that sort of thing. For my wedding, I had red and yellow roses, partly to symbolize passion and friendship united.

And I love the idea of sending flowers to favorite couples. I googled this website to get ideas for my choices.

One of my favorite literary couples is Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. I’d give them ox-eye daisy (patience), white heather (protection), kennedia (intellectual beauty), magnolia (perseverance and nobility), and edelweiss (daring, courage).

In real life, I have to confess I enjoy watching Barack and Michelle Obama together–they just have such a strong vibe of passion and friendship and shared humor. I’d get them bells of Ireland (good luck, because I figure they and we could use some), dahlia (dignity, elegance), dragon lily (inner power), fuchsia (confiding love), ginger (strength), and ivy (wedded love, fidelity, and friendship).

Cara King
13 years ago

Susan, I hope you and your husband get better soon!!!

Cara

Megan Frampton
13 years ago

Susan, that website says that “TURNIP = Charity.” Yeah, I guess if you’re sending someone a turnip you or the recipient is deserving of some charity.

Likely, of course, that the turnip is a name for a flower, not the veggie, but still, that made me laugh.

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

I’m not at all sure I would appreciate getting a bouquet of turnips. Heirloom tomatoes, maybe…

Susan, I love both your bouquet ideas! I was reading an article about the Obamas that said “they make marriage look hot”, so flowers are a must this V-Day. 🙂 Fell better soon.

janegeorge
13 years ago

How fun, a secret flower code!

I love freesias. I’ll have to Google their meaning!

We’re going out to dinner here:
http://www.nopasf.com/
With another couple who are dear friends and we rarely get to see them.

Love and good health to all!

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

(laughter) Megan, only you could go up to that website and find what a turnip to send someone.

I’d rather get nothing than be sent a fistful of turnips, radishes, or those odd-looking heirloom tomatoes. A dandelion’s prettier.

And Susan, I want to know what the Obamas got for each other. I’m betting it’s something cute. ObamaDaily doesn’t seem to have any pics on LJ. 🙂

janegeorge
13 years ago

Freesias are innocence and friendship. Awww.

Another flower I like in a garden, Love-in-a-Mist, means “perplexity” when sent. That’s a good one for the flower arsenal, a very genteel way of saying, “WTF mates?”

Louisa Cornell
13 years ago

How funny, O Divine One. The heroine of The Raven’s Heart always smells of lily of the valley. The hero adores the scent and her, of course.

My love of gardenias I inherited from my Mawmaw as she always wore the scent of gardenias.

A dozen pink roses and a box of Godivas chocolates were delivered to me at work from my brothers. The card was addressed “To our favorite sister.” I am their ONLY sister, but that is beside the point! They really are sweet when they aren’t being overprotective and obnoxious! LOL

Janet Mullany
13 years ago

I bought some daffodils and tulips (pink and cream) today–I really love getting daffodils early in the season. These came from Ireland.

I love peonies and lilac.

Today I took my husband to a day spa (actually for his birthday which is tomorrow) and he had a gentleman’s special (massage, facial, manicure, pedicure) which he loved. I was afraid he’d think it was too girly. Then we went out for a dinner where the starters and desserts were good but the main course was horrible. But we had a good time anyway.

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

Good on you, Janet. The men may pooh-pooh spa-ing but from experience I say they love it!

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

Oh, yes, Janet! Lilacs, yum. I have two huge bushes at the back of the yard, and when they bloom (for about a week) it smells gorgeous. I think I just love all flowers. 🙂

Todd
13 years ago

Afternoon tea was very nice, but I blew it on the chocolates! I bought sugar-free ones by mistake!!! (How lame is that?!)

How can there even be such a thing as sugar-free chocolates?? I will have to slip out today at some point and find something to redeem myself with…

But tonight we’re going to a play, so that should be something, anyway. 🙂

Todd-who-is-deeply-deeply-ashamed

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

Aw, Todd, I bet you totally ruined Valentine’s Day (not!) 🙂

Cara King
13 years ago

Actually, I’m curious to try the sugar-free chocolates, so it’s fun! Plus, of course, Todd then had to go get me a very large very nice box of sugary chocolates too, so I have the best of both worlds. 🙂

Cara

Acai
13 years ago

Catherine Morland and Mr. Tilney[Photo] Purple and white lilacs (first love/youthful innocence); Mullein (good nature); Cherry blossom (a good education); Forget-me-not (true love); Red and yellow mixed roses (joy, happiness, excitement)

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