Tips on Life and Love

The Victorian Tradition of Flower Giving

Who doesn’t love being surprised by flowers? Whether you’re on your first date or in a life-long relationship, receiving flowers makes your heart skip a beat. Learn all about flowers and their meanings from authors of THE ART OF MANLINESS, Brett and Kate McKay.

Giving a woman flowers is a standard romantic gesture that can help you woo women. But it has unfortunately become a pretty ho-hum cliché. Instead of giving your lady flowers like every other schmo out there, try resurrecting the Victorian tradition of giving flowers. It will infuse the gesture with new life and romance and bring back some of the subtlety, mystery and fun of courtship.

During the Victorian era, a whole romantic language developed around the giving and receiving of flowers. Everything from the type and size of the flower to the way it was held or presented conveyed layers of meaning and communicated a gentleman’s feelings and intentions. Each bouquet contained a secret message for a lady to eagerly interpret and endlessly dissect.

Your lady will swoon that you put far more thought into your selection of flowers than grabbing a bouquet out of the case at Wal-Mart. You’ll come off as a real gentleman and a hopeless romantic. Of course, the language of flowers now lies next to Latin in the graveyard of dead discourse. Even in Victorian times, flower meanings were never set in stone and varied from dictionary to dictionary. Therefore, for this tradition to work, you and your love must be using the same source. (You don’t want to send a bouquet meant to declare your love and have her interpret it as a message of rejection!) So use the flower list below as your dictionary, and give the cut-out card included in the back to your lady.

The Art of Manliness

by Brett McKay

Here’s a partial list of meanings to help you get started. Follow them, and you’ll need smelling salts to revive your date when she swoons for you.

Need some helpful dating tips? TV’s Mary and Rhonda share how to master the dating domain.