Wednesday, 20 June 2012


The sun is shining! 
Now that's a big surprise in my neck of the woods, so I'm posting some pretty flowers today. It has made me think about how flower images are customarily used in many different forms of writing.  

So, today, I'm thinking about the LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS.

Cards, notelets, ecards...
A gift of flowers as gesture of thanks, or to mark a special celebration? Think of the many and varied ways of flowers decorating a gift card, notelet, or ecard. It may be a simple flower image-but equally it may be accompanied by some flowery prose.
Gift tags...
The gift tag accompanying a gift of flowers may be well received greeting or... a very standard brush off-thanks, but no thanks, I'm not going to be seeing you any more... Ever read that in a romance novel? So for a brush off the barest hint of writing on a card would be the norm.

Letters and diary excerpts...
 What do you think of the dicentra on the left? You may know this one more commonly as 'Bleeding Heart'.
I, personally, look forward to this one flowering every year in my garden, and think it's one of the most stunningly shaped flowers I've planted. For me it's a happy time when I see it but the name would indicate a former, less happy conceptual interpretation. 

What do you see about this image which would make it sad enough to illustrate a tragic letter or perhaps an unrequited love diary extract? How many novels or diaries can you think of that an image like this one would enhance?

Perhaps the imagery of flowers might represent something entirely different from the visual image portrayed. 
Take these poppies that are now just a bit too blown to be perfect any more. The following phrase immediately comes to my mind.

'But pleasures are like poppies spread: you seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed;' 

What is that phrase about?  Does it refer to a relationship that 'has lost its bloom'? You might be amazed to find out how the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, has used it in his poem 'Tam O' Shanter'. He is referring to a moment lost...

The concept of giving flowers... 
It may even appear as an afterthought when the hero of a romance novel realises he hasn't wooed his heroine, has given almost no gifts at all and their relationship is well beyond the first bloom stage. Indeed the relationship may well be floundering to a crushing end...
Here's a little extract from my history mystery - MONOGAMY TWIST. Luke realises he's been a bit remiss over the giving of physical flowers and has never sent Rhia any romantic written gestures either.

 'He’d never properly wooed Rhia, or done any of the courtship rituals he’d entered into with previous lovers. Normal courting hadn’t been part of their contract. Since she never seemed to need any of that, it hadn’t occurred to him that it could be an element in their relationship that was lacking. She’d always filled the cottage with flowers from her garden so he’d never bought any. Nor had he bought her chocolates. They’d been far too busy restoring Greywood Hall and partaking in the extra jaunts necessary to his business.
Apart from the fiasco of the amethyst pendant set, he’d never bought her any gifts. In his defense, she’d made it clear she wasn’t interested in material things.
All she seemed to want from him was sex. She’d been the initiator of some frantic coupling during the last couple of months. Now he wondered if that was all he meant to her. A stud for a year?
But where did that leave him if she was now turning away?'
Whatever...enjoy the flowers!

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