I’m looking for varieties that can be grown from seed, but would be interested to hear about others, as well.
After roses, carnations seem to be the next flowers most associated with love. Also like roses, the type of love to be expressed varies with the color. Interestingly, these expressions are not always of a positive nature. Here is a breakdown:
Red carnations symbolize love with pride and admiration.
Pink carnations are a symbol of love for a woman or a maternal figure. These are also the perfect flower if the object of your affections is a Gama Phi Beta sorority sister. It’s their official sorority flower.
Pure white carnations symbolize the innocence of pure love.
If you are intending to express positive romantic feelings, stay away from yellow or striped carnations as these express varying degrees of rejection, disappointment, and unrequited feelings.
Other notable flowers that symbolize love include daisies (loyal love), red chrysanthemums, and daffodils (unrequited love). Additionally, you might spice up a bouquet by adding flowers that have meanings other than love to complete a full picture of your feeling. Gardenias for example, indicate purity and sweetness. They impart joy, and compliment the physical beauty of the receiver.
The myrtle is also associated with love and fertility. You see this often in renaissance era paintings.
This is a crepe myrtle!
If you’re looking to grow flowers for bouquets, I can’t recommend baby’s breath enough. I know it might seem really basic, but I’ve loved arranging flowers since I was a little girl and it really can add just the right extra touch to a beautiful bouquet. And it looks lovely growing in the garden, too!
I found this website that gives flower meanings for different kinds of flowers. It’s interesting, because it says that there is a flower for all different kinds of love. For example:
Arbutus: I love only youWhite Camellia: You’re adorableGardenia: I love you in secret
… among many others. Kind of fun if you’re trying to send a message this Valentine’s Day.
Orchids are often associated with passionate love – in antiquity the Greeks associated them with virility. I like them both because they tend to smell amazing, and because they are often very strange looking.
Tulips are another flower which have a long association with love. In fact, Persian myth states that the first tulip “sprang up from the drops of blood shed by a lover” (see link below). I think they’re an excellent alternative to roses, beautiful and soft, without the thorns. They can be a little finicky to grow, but will do well if you live in a cooler climate (see here for more info)
Carnations are traditionally a symbol or marriage or engagement. Forget-me-nots (pictured below) were named for a somewhat sad love story, in which a young man fell into a river and drowned while picking the flowers for his lady. Honeysuckle is a symbol for love, and for generosity. Violets symbolized faithfulness. I still like roses best.
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