Friday, 21 March 2014

Yesterday's Yellow

Time has run away with me this week and I've only sat down today to think rainbow colours and yellow in particular but I have a post of contrasts.

First of all I've made a small grid of local road signs. These are rather prosaic perhaps, but with much yellow nonetheless. Indeed, I hadn't realised until I started looking just how much yellow there is to be found on British signage.


On another tack altogether, yellow flowers are all over our gardens now here in the UK as spring has well and truly sprung. Everywhere you look there are cultivated daffodils and crocuses and all those millions of wild dandelions and celandines.

I gave a short talk recently to my weekly French class about the language of flowers and I thought I'd share some of this with you (not in my rather dodgy French, you'll be glad to hear ...). The sending of messages through flowers was fashionable in Britain, France and the USA in the 19th century and often, though not always, expressed feelings of love or friendship. When I was researching the idea, I found some charming thoughts.

These yellow crocus flowers are said to bring gaiety and the joy of youth,


this mixed clump of daffodils from my garden to bring high esteem, love without equal or say 'The sun always shines when I am with you',


and these gentle little primroses nestling in a corner of our garden by a small stone wall might bring silent affection and say, ' I cannot live without you'.


If you're amused by this idea, you will find many, many more references in The Forgotten Language of Flowers. This is a long list of British flowers and trees, both wild and cultivated, with their meanings. The language of flowers was reportedly brought to the UK in the early 18th century by Lady Mary Wortley Montague, the wife of the then British Ambassador to Constantinople.

My thoughts as I looked through the list were that I might want to consider my choice carefully next time I buy flowers for a friend!


12 comments:

  1. Nice yellows, and I enjoyed the comments re the language of flowers. You might also be interested in the fairly recent novel "The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh - I enjoyed it immensely, and was surprised (as were many of her readers, apparently) to find that many of my favorite flowers do not convey meanings as lovely as the flowers themselves are!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks for your comment and for the book title which I've just ordered for my Kindle - such an easy way to buy books! I will let you know how I get on ..

      Delete
  2. I'm delighted to know the meaning of the primrose, one of my favourites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As was I to learn the meaning of Lily of the Valley - one of my favourites - and one I chose for my wedding bouquet, without knowing it's significance. Among other things listed is 'You've made my life complete'. How appropriate was that?

      Delete
  3. I'm glad to see someone else recommended "The Language of Flowers" too. I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it. I have to chuckle at your "Broad Town" sign. For some reason my brain keeps reading it as "Brown Toad"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Broad Town is actually a small village on the side of a hill so not much scope for still water and toads, I suspect - still, an amusing thought!

      Delete
  4. I'd vaguely heard about flowers and their meaning but its good to know there's a book. Must get my hands on 'The Language of Flowers'. Don't see the flowers you've posted pictures of here in India. I like those daffodils. Interesting that the traffic signage in the UK has so much yellow in it, in India its red, black and white.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The flowers of early spring in the UK are almost all yellow, white or purple, each year bringing a wonderful rebirth of cheerfulness after our grey winter - and one of the pleasures of living in temperate places.

      Delete
  5. Hi Charlton, I enjoy the graphic quality of the signs,myself. Your Spring flowers are lovely; I'm jealous, though, because ours aren't blooming yet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so right. The graphic quality of signs is a pleasure - and why I was motivated to show them here, I guess!

      Delete
  6. You're right, plenty of yellow signs and oh those flowers! Amazing the hidden meanings of flowers ... a way of sending messages without words!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've just popped over to your post - which I'd somehow missed in my searches of other yellow posts today - and what do I find - more codes and hidden messages without words!

      Delete

Hello and thank you very much for taking the time to leave a message on my blog. Every comment is welcome and I will try to answer you as soon I can.