Flora and Letters: Invoking the Victorian Language of Flowers

“Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.” — J.D. Salinger

As a preview to the launch of Flora Powers — the first artist-created floral arrangements available for delivery, launching in Berlin this June— Paloma is revisiting the cryptologic art of floriography. The blooms shown above were available to our recent NonSalon guests to remix and give away as suggestive bouquets filled with mixed metaphors and fragrant fragments. Try your own hand at creating a virtual bouquet using our abbreviated floriography A-Z glossary below (edited by the manicured hand of Paloma herself).

(Azalea + Striped Carnation = A passionate refusal)
  • ARUM — Ardor
  • ASPARAGUS FERN — Fascination
  • AZALEA — Passion
  • BACHELOR BUTTON —Celibacy
  • BEGONIA — A Fanciful Nature
  • CACTUS — Endurance, My Heart Burns with Love
  • CARNATION (STRIPED) — No, Refusal, Sorry I can’t be with you
  • DAFFODIL — Regard, Unrequited Love, Sunshine, Respect
  • ELDER FLOWER — Zeal
  • FOXGLOVE/FAIRY THIMBLES/DEAD MEN’S BELLS — Stateliness, Youth
  • GERANIUM (IVY) — Your Hand for Next Dance
  • GRASS — Homosexual Love
  • HOLLYHOCK (WHITE) — Female Ambition
  • IPOMACA — I Attach Myself to You
  • JASMINE (SPANISH) — Sensuality
  • KENNEDIA — Intellectual Beauty
  • LADY’S SLIPPER — Win me, Capricious Beauty
  • MEADOW SAFFRON — My Best Days Are Gone
  • MOTHERWORT — Secret Love
  • NUTS — Stupidity
  • PANSY — You Occupy My Thoughts
  • QUAKING GRASS — Agitation
  • ROSE (GREEN) — I am from Mars
  • ROSES (GARLAND or CROWN OF) —Symbol of Superior Merit
  • SPIDER FLOWER — Elope with me
  • TULIP (VARIEGATED) — Beautiful eyes
  • VIOLET (WHITE) — Let’s Take A Chance On Happiness
  • WITCH HAZEL — A spell
  • YARROW — Cure for heartache
  • ZINNIA (SCARLET) — Constancy

Abbreviated from http://www.victorianbazaar.com/meanings.html

“I must have flowers, always, and always.” — Claude Monet
NonSalon 003: Floriography, April 21, 2016

Paloma Powers is a creative agency and brand consultancy developing innovative, artist-led solutions for clients beyond the traditional art world. NonSalon, her new event series, pairs artists and visionaries across disciplines to explore diverse contemporary topics through conversation, screenings, workshops, dinners, and other experimental formats. Subscribe to our newsletter or get in touch with inquiries and ideas: paloma@palomapowers.com

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