19 Apr 2011

The Language of a Red Rose

The Language of Flowers

In Eastern lands they talk in flow'rs
And they tell in a garland their loves and cares;
Each blossom that blooms in their garden bowr's,
On its leaves a mystic language bears.

The rose is a sign of joy and love,
Young blushing love in its earliest dawn, And the mildness that suits the gentle dove,
From the myrtle's snowy flow'rs is drawn.

Innocence gleams in the lily's bell,
Pure as the heart in its native heaven.
Fame's bright star and glory's swell
By the glossy leaf of the bay are given.

The silent, soft and humble heart,
In the violet's hidden sweetness breathes,
And the tender soul that cannot part,
In a twine of evergreen fondly wreathes.

The cypress that daily shades the grave,
Is sorrow that moans her bitter lot,
And faith that a thousand ills can brave,
Speaks in thy blue leaves "forget-me-not".

Then gather a wreath from the garden bowers,
And tell the wish of thy heart in flowers.

James Gates Percival
I've spoken to you many times about the pleasure I gain from gathering fragrant tussie mussies to dot around the rooms of our peaceful home.

Following the flood they've been composed mainly of roses, since most of our garden didn't like having its feet wet, but since the roses have thrived with the extra water they received, this has not reduced the satisfaction I have each time I catch the scent of one of these little nosegays as I go about my day.

If you'll wander with me around the rooms of our home this fine autumn Monday, this is what you will find:

Abraham Darby in a little Doulton Violet Vase that once belonged to Jemimah's Great Grandad sitting near we do school each day.

A funny little Mme Isaac Pereire, misshapen, but still with its characteristic deep fragrance scenting the spot where we knit.

A little coronation vase of Pierre de Ronsard on the coffee table.

A little bunch of tight rosebuds in an antique ink-bottle on the sink. Mostly they will open...

There is another little vase too, next to my husband's bedside.

To me this is the most important vase in our home, because in it for the whole of the rose season from spring to late autumn I try to keep a single red rose in the narrow red bud vase.

Long stemmed red roses are overdone, I hear you say, but this perpetual flower is a little secret message to my wonderful husband to let him know that I care for him, I appreciate what he does for us, and I love him very much.

In the Language of Flowers, red roses mean love, respect, unity, desire and love. I don't know about you, but I fail often to express these sentiments to my Beloved in words. Real life interferes too often - we talk about the mundane and the important, but rarely the romantic.

I'm really good at taking him to task about being late home in the evenings. I constantly hassle him about disciplining Jemimah too strongly, I...well...that's mostly all I harp on about...but I do it a lot. I'm not so good at telling him that he's an awesome husband, a terrific dad, a great provider and a wonderful friend.

At least my rock of a husband is reminded in a little way that I love him when he sees a fresh rose on his bedside each week. I know that, because even after so many years he still remembers to say thank you. Nice, isn't it?

Messages of love to your husband can never be overdone really now, can they?


  1. Splendid! I especially love rose buds ♥
    My own domestic situation is such at the moment that all I can think is how my grandsons would demolish those delicate vases!
    So glad your garden is giving you pleasure, Jeanne.

  2. No, they can't.

    Where is the pic of the one tucked behind your ear?
    ...and did you make your sweet little sink towel as well?

    Tell Jemimah please that I lika the Poplicola belowa.

    Who is wondering when the 'scratch and sniff' app is coming out.

  3. oh Jeanne I am now feeling thoroughly challenged about encouraging my hubby, was feeling all grumpy with him over the weekend over petty things really and it makes me lose sight of all the wonderful things about him, thanks for your kick up the butt encouragement. Love your beautiful roses :-)

  4. Great reminder for me Jeanne, thanks!

  5. Richele, I did knit the dishcloth. They're incredibly satisfying little fellas when you have a spare hour or so.

  6. I love rose buds but never seem to get enough from my few roses in the garden. Perhaps they aren't getting enough water. I am also a flower person and love to have flowers in my house. however I am restricted to where I place them as I have one naughty kitten that loves to pull apart the petals and play with them.


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