I found this copy of the POETRY OF FLOWERS (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co.) in an antique flea market. The inscription on the flyleaf reads in part, “Miss Carrie Lawrence, May 18th 1891.”
People who lived in the nineteenth century assigned meaning to each flower. Choosing flowers for a bouquet was a delicate matter because you wanted to send the right message.
For example, if you wanted to say “Let the bonds of marriage unite us,” you would choose the following flowers for your bouquet: blue convolvulus (bonds), ivy (marriage), and a few whole straws (unite us).
If you saw the movie KATE AND LEOPOLD, starring Hugh Jackman and Meg Ryan, you might recall the scene in which “Leopold” shows “Kate’s” brother how to choose a bouquet for his girlfriend. Sad to say, the language of flowers has faded with time. I would like to see the POETRY OF FLOWERS in print again as a runaway best seller.