Apr 24, 2018

The Origin Of Giving Flowers As Gifts

by Caitlin Schweppe

People love giving and receiving flowers, whatever the occasion! These beautiful blooms can say ‘I love you’, help a sick patient feel better or bring a smile to any face. But when did we start giving flowers as a gift, and why? Below is a brief history of how the tradition of flower giving started...

The earliest find of people giving flowers is as long ago as 60,000 years! Petals have been found in excavated graves, suggesting that flowers were given as gifts to the dead. The healing properties of plants were widely known, so perhaps these were good luck charms to wish health and prosperity to loved ones in the next life.

Ancient civilisations also placed huge importance on flowers - the Greeks and Romans associated them with the gods. Have you heard the myth of the small, beautiful flower Narcissus? He was a young Roman who was cursed by the goddess Nemesis for being too vain to love the nymph, Echo. You can still see these pretty petals bloom in springtime, generally near rivers or streams (Narcissus loved to stare at his reflection in the water).

When the Victorians were exploring far off countries like Turkey they learnt about Floriography - the Language of Flowers - and used this to express themselves back in England. People weren’t expected to show any feelings, so flowers came in very useful when they needed to tell that certain someone they were in love! Lots of books were written deciphering this new secret language and the meaning of these flowers can still apply today. We all know that roses represent love, but did you know that violets represent loyalty? Supposedly, bunches of flowers were even used in military tactics to send coded messages to the troops regarding strategy - the enemy just assumed they were tokens of affection and nothing more!

Nowadays, anyone can give the gift of flowers to send their love and thoughts. The modern woman is just as keen to send flowers to her man as he is to receive them! Perhaps next time you are choosing a bouquet to send, have a think about what you are really trying to say with these blooms and pick the flowers to match the sentiment. It is a perfect way to make any gift that extra bit more thoughtful.