Wedding season is upon us…herbs & flowers for romance!

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Some herbs & flowers have historical significance for romance, anniversaries and weddings. This list comes to us courtesy of Botanical Interests seeds… and it’s a fascinating read!

Marjoram – Ancient Greek and Roman brides and attendants added marjoram to their bridal crowns and nosegays. Called, ‘Joy of the Mountain’ (from the Greek word for oregano), it was said to promote happiness and marital bliss. Marjoram was also a favorite herb of the Greek goddess, Aphrodite. It was said that if a girl put marjoram on her bed, Aphrodite would visit her and reveal her future spouse. Even today, in some areas of Europe, girls put marjoram in their hope chests.

Rosemary – Ancient Greek brides wore rosemary in their bridal crowns. And it has been used as a traditional symbol of remembrance and fidelity ever since. In the Middle Ages, sprigs of gold-dipped rosemary tied with a ribbon were popular wedding favors and were meant to symbolize the fact that the bride and groom were starting a new life, but would never forget their past acquaintances. English brides also wore it on their veils as a symbol of love and marriage. “There’s rosemary that’s for remembrance. Pray, you love, remember.” —William Shakespeare.

Forget Me Not – This flower name is an English translation of the French, ‘ne m’oubliez pas’. There is a legend from the Middle Ages about a knight and his lady who were walking near a river. He was picking flowers for her, and wearing heavy armor when he accidentally fell in the river. Before he sunk below the water, he threw the flowers to her, shouting, “Forget me not!” Lovers wore Forget Me Nots in 15th century Germany to remember each other when they were apart. Since these times, the flower has been associated with romance, faithfulness, and everlasting love. (Also see Forget Me Not Victoria Blue and Forget Me Not Victoria Pink)

Lavender – Symbolizes love and devotion. In the Middle Ages, this popular herb was thought to be both an aphrodisiac and a promoter of fidelity.

Pansies – The name “Pansy” actually comes from the French, ‘pensée’, meaning ‘thought’ or ‘remembrance’ which may be due to the way the flowers look like faces and often have their heads bowed a little as if they are thinking. The early pansies (called Heartsease) usually had three colors in each blossom, making them a symbol of the Trinity, and thus the first wedding anniversary. In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the juice from a pansy was used as a love potion.

Sweet Peas – The common meaning of sweet peas is ‘blissful pleasure’. They were popular in Edwardian England (during the reign of King Edward VII 1901-1910) for weddings.

Here are sweet peas, on tip-toe for flight
With wings of gentle flusho’er delicate white,
And taper fingers catching at all things
To bind them all about with tiny rings.—John Keats (English Romantic Poet 1795-1821)

(Recommend varieties: Sweet Pea Bouquet Blend, Sweet Pea Cupid Pink, Sweet Pea Fairytale Blend, Sweet Pea Little Sweetheart, Sweet Pea White Elegance, Sweet Pea Wedding Blush (Large Packet)

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Popular flowers for Victorian Weddings:

Victorians lived during of the reign of England’s Queen Victoria (1837-1901). In this age of strict social customs, a girl or woman could silently make her feelings known to a suitor merely with the flowers held in her hand. Or, a suitor could send her a bouquet to signify his intentions. When preparing for their wedding, a bride-to-be would study the meanings of flowers before choosing varieties for her bouquet. The meaning of flowers can vary depending on the source of the information, but common themes are apparent.

(Although it is a wonderful idea to grow flowers for your wedding bouquets or décor in your own garden, it’s always a good idea to have a back up plan – such as giving away packets as a wedding favor – in case Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate)!

Below are some common meanings of Botanical Interests flowers and herbs that have meanings that may have relevancy to your ceremony:

Basil – Best wishes
Bells of Ireland – Good Luck
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) – Encouragement
Bellflower – Humility, Constancy, Gratitude
Borage – Courage
Carnation – Fascination, Devoted Love
Celosia (Coxcomb) – Unfading Love
Cleome (Spider Flower) – Elope With Me
Coreopsis – Love at first sight, Always Cheerful
Cosmos – Peace
Daisy- Innocence, Loyal Love, Purity, Beauty
Delphinium – Boldness, Big-hearted, Fun
Daisy- Innocence, Love
Fennel – Flattery
Forget Me Not – Remember me forever, true love
Goldenrod (Solidago) – Success
Larkspur – Beautiful spirit, Levity, An Open Heart, Lightness
Lupine – Imagination
Marjoram – Joy, Happiness
Mint – Virtue, Warm Sentiment
Money Plant – Sincerity
Morning Glory – Affection
Pansy – Loving thoughts, Merriment
Poppy (Red) – Pleasure
Rosemary – Remembrance, Devotion
Sage – Gratitude, Wisdom, Great Respect, Virtue
Snapdragon – Gracious Lady, Strength
Statice – Success, Remembrance
Stock – Bonds of Affection, Happy Life, You’ll Always Be Beautiful to Me
Strawflower – Agreement
Sunflower (dwarf) – Adoration
Sweet Pea – Blissful Pleasure
Sweet William – Gallantry, Smiles
Viola (Johnny Jump Up/Heartsease) – You Occupy My Thoughts
Yarrow – Good health, Cure for Heartache
Zinnia – Friendship, Affection, Goodness

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Traditional flowers for Wedding Anniversaries:

In addition to the traditional gifts like paper or clocks for a 1st anniversary or gold for a 50th anniversary, there are also traditional flowers for milestones. Flower seeds are especially nice gifts for couples who love to garden.

1st – Pansy or Carnations
2nd – Cosmos
3rd – *Fuschsia
4th – *Geranium
5th – Daisy
6th – *Calla Lily
7th – *Jack-in-the-pulpit
8th – *Clematis
9th – Poppy
10th – *Daffodil
11th – Morning Glory
12th – *Peony
13th – Hollyhock
14th – *Dahlia
15th – Rose
20th – *Day Lily
25th – *Iris
30th – Sweet Pea
40th – Nasturtium
50th – Violet

* Botanical Interests does not have seed available for this item.

We carry Botanical Interests at all Sloat Garden Center locations.

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