Language of Flowers


Every year for Valentine’s Day, my husband gives me a dozen red roses. You know the kind. Red rose buds with baby’s breath and florist greenery in a green-tinted glass vase. I don’t mean to sound unappreciative, because I am truly touched by his thoughtfulness, but after twenty-four years of marriage, we know each other well enough for me to suggest he try something different next year. I’ve explained to him that roses are grown on steroids for Valentine’s Day. The buds don’t open up, they don’t smell pretty, and they only last a few days. I’ve also hinted that he might save money by ordering a small bouquet of mixed spring flowers in a glass cube, no carnations or gerbera daisies please. I’ve even given him the name of my favorite florist, to no avail. Every year, same red roses.

One of my favorite books of 2012 is the Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. And not because I love flowers. Diffenbaugh’s young protagonist, Victoria Jones, is an orphan girl with a splendid story to tell:

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.


All you have to do to win a copy of

the Language of Flowers

is identify this beauty:

iStock_000016900074XSmallBecause everyone’s knowledge and understanding of flowers is different, this flower may be more obvious for some than others. I’ll give you a hint: In Virginia, which is zone 7, these flowers bloom in early May, just in time for Mother’s Day. And they smell amazing.

*If more than one person enters the right answer, the drawing will be random. Remember you are on your honor. Don’t cheat by looking at others comments.

This is a one-day drawing. The cut off is midnight tonight, EST. The winner will be announced on Wednesday.


3 thoughts on “Language of Flowers

  1. That’s a pink Peony, where I live we call them Peonías and they bloom close to the end of the year, in mid-spring. I had never seen it in such a pale pink shade, I’d always seen them darker, closer to fuchsia. It’s a lovely flower, though I do not like flowers in vases, I’d rather see them attached to the plant.

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