As dogwoods sprout into pink starbursts, and daffodils make the last rounds, botanical expert Skye Suter thinks about scooping up the blooming beauty into bouquets. She refers to these as Tussie-Mussies, hand-held sprays that are simple to make and can express so much.
Suter encourages you to make your flowers “talk.”
The language of flowers comes in handy for Mother’s Day.
“In Victorian Europe, they took the idea of symbolism from older ideas from the Middle East and of the past and turned it into a secret language of flowers, in which lovers or friends could exchange messages that were forbidden or not not proper to say out loud,” she said. “When someone was courting, they couldn’t be overt about it, so people would give flowers to each other with secret messages.”
Roses and their colors speak volumes. A single rose, for example, is “simplicity.” A white rose says, “I am worthy of you.” A yellow rose symbolizes jealousy or a decrease of love.
“On Mother’s Day, I would say use pink. And if you combine the colors, it’s also meaningful. Red means pure and lovely, but white and red together means unity,” Suter said, adding that it’s good to use whatever is in bloom. Think bleeding hearts, Lily of the Valley and garden roses.
A typical bouquet with locally accessible flora for Mother’s Day might include fennel fronds (defined as “worthy of all praise”), lemon mint (translated to “virtue, homey-ness and cheerfulness”), purple coneflower (“skill and capability”), geranium leaf (“comfort”) and bee balm (“compassion and sweet virtues.”) The herb sage references wisdom, and laurel indicates success.