The Language of Flowers

On my walk the other day, I was drawn to the peonies in the yard. I love this time of year, with its abundance of green grass and trees, and especially with flowers blooming everywhere. And since we’ve experienced a ton of rain in my neck of the woods (with a flood advisory in some areas ☹️), the flowers are growing quite nicely.

Looking at the flowers got me to thinking about what flowers symbolize in the floral arranging community. When I checked online, I learned a new word: florigraphy—the language of flowers. According to, the following flowers have these meanings (captions and punctuation as per that website):

Peony = I’m shy, but I like you a lot.


Iris = Thank you, or Sending sympathy.

Gerbera daisy = Cheer up, or Thank you.

Tulip = Happy housewarming, or You’re a great host.

Red rose = I love you.

But during my walk, the peonies spoke a different message to me. The closed bud below reminded me of how I sometimes approach life—with a closed mind when opportunities to stretch or change come my way, or with closed hands when asked to give time or energy that I think I don’t have.

Or I’m like the peony below: sort of open but still wary.

The fully open peony reminds me of open-handedness or open-mindedness. I wish my default mode was flexible/open. But as of late, I’ve realized how cautious I’ve been about trying new things. Perhaps that’s a factor of getting older. But I know I’ve played it too safe at times. I’m working toward being more open. How about you?

Jennie, I hope you have an open hand to receive your copy of Mary Quattlebaum’s book, Brother, Sister, Brother, Sister, Me and You.


And Charles, the same goes for you in regard to Andy Murray’s book In Brigantia. Please comment below to confirm.


Tia Tigerlily and her mini-me are pleased at the floral theme of the post and the fact that the FTD site mentioned that the tiger lily symbolizes “confidence, pride, and wealth.” “Very fitting for me,” she said (though she probably has about 37 cents to her name).

Photos by L. Marie. Tia Tigerlily Shoppie is a product of Moose Toys.

Photos by L. Marie

53 thoughts on “The Language of Flowers

    • I guess it’s par for the course, then. Though I am trying to be a little more open–which is why I wrote a science fiction story. I don’t usually write those.

    • It was. As I mentioned to Charles, the lighter irises are in the yard of a friend who wishes she hadn’t planted them, since they took over the yard. I didn’t realize they so invasive.

  1. I am not as open to new things . . . but part of that is because I’m more “discerning” as a result of experiences I’ve already had. I know better how I enjoy spending my time. And I understand that time remaining is finite.

    As a result, I’m no longer “open” to things that I view as a waste of time. 😀

  2. My mother planted iris along the street, just for show. In the backyard were peonies, that I always thought were show-offs, not shy, thrusting their bright red faces up and out.

    I’m surprised that I’m not as cautious or shy as I was in younger years.

    The last photo and caption are darling!

    • I think of peonies that way too, Marian! 😊 They are so large! Ants seem to love them.

      Tia is gratified that you like her photo. I believe she also is confident that she can parlay her 37 cents into a fortune somehow.

  3. Funnily enough, little connection for you, I was listening the other day to Bobbie Gentry (as it was, what her fans call, Bobbie Gentry Day because of the Ode To Billie Joe song that goes ‘It was the third of June . . . ‘ ).
    And one of the songs I was listening to was Sweet Peony. I love Gentry-the Salinger/Lee of the music world.

  4. Our neighbor has those peonies along the side of his house that is very close to ours. Their perfume is lovely, but at the same time, they attract a lot of ants. You’re right about lots of rain. We can’t keep up with the growing grass. I think it’s supposed to stay dry for a couple of days . . . I hope.

    If you’re ever open to meeting up some time, let me know.

      • More Portugal posts to come. I visited a ranch where they’re trying to start a horseback riding resort. Before I left New York, I wrote up someone who’s trying to start a cooking school resort in the north of Portugal. This is a new trend, and among those who are getting in on it are young Israelis fleeing the political situation in their country.

  5. Beautiful flowers and a lovely walk! It is good to be open to new things. We do have but so much time in every day, so we have to pick and choose our favorite things. Every year, alongside my beloved plants I like the best, I plant something different. I am amazed that some of these new additions quickly become a new favorite. And so it seems to be in life; we open the window of our minds to a new idea and we find joy!

  6. I love peonies. In fact, I like them in all stages of closed and openness. When I was doing Chinese brush painting, peonies was one of the traditional subjects. Peonies are native to China. It’s considered the “king of flowers” there and symbolizes nobility, honor, and wealth.

    As I get older, I need to be more careful physically. I’m not as strong or as nimble as I used to be. But I’m also realizing what a vice fear can be–fear of failing, fear of looking stupid, fear of trying something new. It keeps us from living fully.

    • King of flowers? Wow! I see why. They are so large. It’s nice to know that royalty is nearby. 😊

      I know what you mean by the fear of failing or looking stupid. That often keeps me from trying new things. 😟

  7. I enjoyed this bouquet of flowers you shared with us in this post. Peonies are a very most favorite of mine. We left lots of peonies when we left our Tiny Ten acres to move to Florida. I miss all those flowers and the wild birds we fed. We have beautiful new flowers that are beautiful year round and some new birds that are quite the characters. I’m a shy, quirky kinda person and only became cautious in my 50s. At 67 I keep my eyes and ear open!

  8. So many lovely flowers around your neck of the woods. The rain is good but too much does lead to flooding and hope it doesn’t come to that. Nothing wrong with not taking up opportunities. I tell myself if I stay in my comfort zone and be in routine, things are okay and that means I am alright and can look out for others. At the same time, sometimes there are opportunities you just can’t resist. Hope Henry has been well *waves* That little circle pop up in the last photo reminds me of Polly Pocket toys I had when I was as kid 🙂

    • I think Moose Toys wanted to emulate Polly Pocket. 😊 I’m glad that Polly Pocket has made a comeback and can be found in stores along with these Shoppies secret lockets.

      Henry says hi. He hopes to star in another post soon. I told him he had to give others a chance, which made him tear up a bit. But I think he finally understood.

      • I haven’t seen Polly Pocket here for years in Australia. Maybe it will make a comeback here. They were so popular at one point in time.

        Henry has to learn not to be selfish and yes, give others a chance. But I think he’ll be glad to know he has a few fans over here 😀

      • Hearing that perked him up, Mabel! And yes, he needs to learn to not be selfish.

        I hope Polly returns to Australia! I see her in stores a lot here!

  9. I’ve always been a cautious person … I can talk big, but I do little 😉 I’m still cautious but learning to stick my neck out a bit, test the air outside my shell. My risk taking though is limited to writing 😉 Love the photos, Linda.

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