These pure and beautiful white or pink-tinged flowers symbolize a budding ecstasy, usually the result of secret and newly blooming love. Sent solo or in a bouquet, they’re meant to tell the recipient “I think I’m in love with you.” Source
In the very first corsage my father gave to my mother there was a gardenia. I wonder if he knew the secret meaning of this fragrant flower? It was their first date and they were going to a Greek dance in town. Mom told me she placed the corsage on her left shoulder so when she danced with my Dad, her parents (my grandparents) couldn’t see it. 🙂
Why? Because if you had strict immigrant parents, dating back then in the 50’s was a huge deal. More than one or two dances with a strange man and boy, you got asked the questions. And a corsage? Even bigger questions!
Fast forward all these years and my sisters and I are big fans of gardenias. For my mother’s eighty fifth birthday this month my sister Mary brought her a gardenia plant. It wasn’t long before it was sprouting buds and blooming. We have all been amazed because frankly, we haven’t had the best luck getting gardenia plants to bloom.
If you have ever smelled a gardenia, you know you are either a fan or not. Their strong fragrance turns some off, but I love it and the heady perfume is one I never tire of. When I was a small girl, my maternal grandparents had a large gardenia plant in their sun room. I didn’t know it but my mom tells me that my grandfather watered it faithfully with miracle gro. I do remember Papou (my grandfather) with a q-tip on occasion and I bet he was wiping off those pesky white mites that can be such a nuisance with flowering house plants.
I am completely in love with gardenias to the extent that I wanted a gardenia corsage on my wrist during my vow renewal with Jim for our twenty fifth anniversary a few years ago.
It is amazing how some flowers will evoke a strong response in us that we may not even be conscious of. It is such the case with gardenias. Their beauty and fragrance never fail to take me away to a place back in time. Mostly they remind me of my grandmother, who loved to pick a flower off her beautiful plant and place it behind her ear.
A read an interesting fictional novel recently called The Language of Flowers. If the secret meaning of flowers intrigues you, check it out.
Is there a flower that evokes a strong memory for you? Share it with me!