Published: May 6, 2011
Gardeners seek flowers and plants from Kate’s wedding bouquet

People keen to buy flowers and plants that match Kate Middleton’s bouquet have been flocking to a Brent Knoll garden centre this week.

Sanders Garden World says it has received "hundreds of requests" from customers keen to have similar wedding flowers or plants in their gardens reflecting the Duchess of Cambridge’s interest in floriography.

General Manager Peter Burks told "We’ve had so many enquiries now about the Language of Flowers and flower and plant meanings that we’ve produced a poster and a flyer for people to take away when they visit us."

"The Duchess’ bouquet and the flowers and trees that decorated Westminster Abbey all reflected her interest in the Language of Flowers or floriography."

"We have created a list of Kate’s wedding bouquet plants to help people in their search for information on these flowers and plants. However, at this time of year, the one thing people are going to have trouble finding are hyacinth. This must have been grown especially for her."

The Language of Flowers was devised by the Victorians to help people show their affection florally.

The floral displays in Westminster Abbey featured a variety of seasonal growing and cut British flowers and trees sourced from Royal Estates and other growers around the country.

The floral displays in the Abbey included eight 20 feet-high trees: six English field maple and two hornbeam. In the Language of Flowers field maples symbolise reserve and humility and hornbeams represent resilience.

Peter said: "Flowers have been given meanings for centuries. The Romantic poets such as Keats and Wordsworth were responsible for promoting them, but it wasn’t until the Victorian era that a social code for flowers was devised."

"In the 19th century flowers were used as a secret code between lovers, relatives and friends with each gift of a plant or bouquet bearing a specific message."

Lists were put together showing meanings for each flower and plant. Coded bouquets became all the rage. In fact many flowers have messages that originated in the Language of Flowers that dates back several hundred years prior to the Victorian era. It was a method of communication ‘without inking the fingers’ that originated in Turkey in the 1600s.

The garden centre is offering people the opportunity to find out more about the Victorian code throughout May.

Peter added: "Kate’s bouquet was a shield-shaped wired arrangement of myrtle, lily of the valley, sweet William and hyacinth. It was designed by florist Shane Connolly and draws on important links for the Royal family, the Middletons and on the Language of Flowers."

"The floral meanings are: Lily of the valley – return to happiness, sweet William – gallantry, hyacinth – constancy of love, ivy – fidelity, marriage, wedded love, friendship and affection and myrtle – the emblem of marriage and love."

"The bouquet contained stems from a myrtle planted at Osborne House in the Isle of White by Queen Victoria in 1845. A sprig was used in the Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947. Myrtle was first carried by Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, when she married in 1858 and was used to signify the traditional innocence of a bride."


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