|Edgar Degas, Woman Seated Beside a Vase of Flowers, 1865|
"A bouquet of flowers and leaves may be selected and arranged so as to express much depth of feeling -- to be truly a poem. We present herewith a list of many flowers and plants, to which, by universal consent, a sentiment has become attached."
Bladder-Nut Tree--Frivolous amusements.
Currants--You please me.
Dogwood Flowering (Cornus)--Am I indifferent to you?
Flax--I feel your kindness.
Fuchsia--The ambition of my love thus plagues itself.
Geranium, Ivy--Your hand for next dance.
Pine Apple--You are perfect.
Saffron--Excess is dangerous.
John H. Young, Our Deportment (1881)The message I usually seek to communicate with flowers is "Why would you think I bought these at the grocery store?" But why stop there when you could ask someone to dance with a geranium or express charity with a turnip? And, after all, nothing says "frivolous amusements" like the Bladder-Nut Tree.