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The secret garden: notes on the hidden language of flowers


Vita Bergens Malmgård in Stockholm city is perhaps not the most obvious place for a garden. But behind it's red fence, greenhouses, and flower fields lies Sweden's oldest commercial garden, dating from the 17th century.

Full of life and golden sunlight, step inside this secret garden with us, and learn the many surprising hidden meanings of the flowers that grow there.

The history of flower meanings

Floriography, or the laguage of flowers, is an old form of secret communication using flower arrangements. Special significance has been attributed to flowers for thousands of years in many different cultures, but has strongest links in Europe to 19th Century Victorian England.

What are the different flower meanings?

Most flowers have earned theirassociatedhuman qualities based on their characteristics. For example, flowers associated with shyness or modesty may curl up their petals at night, and flowers associated with pride may thrive and grow tall in sunny open spots. Vita Bergens Malmgård invites golden sunlight as well as dappled shade and soft flowerbeds that boast a range of different blooms during the summer.

Flowers growing in the meadow:

Poppy: Consolation
Daffodil: High regard
Daisy: Innocence
Edelweiss: Courage
Larkspur: An open heart
Fern: Fascination

Flowers growing in the garden

Red roses: Love
Lily: Purity
Tulip: Passion
Yellow chrysanthemum: Slighted love
Peony: Shyness
Sweet-pea: Thank you for a lovely time

Flowers growing in the greenhouse

Hyacinth: Sympathy and sorrow
Basil: Good wishes
Chives: Usefulness
Lavender: A long life
Geraniums: Stupidity
Sunflowers: Arrogance

Flower meanings by colours

Some plants, including poppies, lilies and especially roses have historically been used to express a range of sentiments based on colour alone.

White rose: a fresh start

Red rose: I love you

Crimson rose: mourning

Pink rose: happiness

Yellow rose: infidelity

Orange rose: enthusiasm

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