I have been reading (surprise!) about the Victorian era's language of flowers, or floriography.
While I knew, vaguely, that different roses had different meanings, I hadn't realized how complex and rich the language was until now.
For example, my abundance of gladiolus flowers can represent strength and integrity. I am almost happy they are taking over the yard now.
Of course, the language of flowers is not precise. Gladiolus can also mean infatuation.
Can you imagine, during the heyday of floriography, how many secret and ambiguous messages were passed back and forth this way? I also imagine that many hours were spent interpreting bouquets and planning responses. Given the detailed nature of this research, the time spent arranging flowers, and the time spent decoding messages, I suspect this was an upper-class activity.
It does seem like a fun language to learn, although I don't know if I could ever find the time, or muster the patience to try an pull off anything other than the smallest arrangement.
But I may start using floriography to plan flower beds.......