The Language of Flowers

“Plant the garden of your life with friendship’s lovely flowers.”


Spending my childhood in Virginia and Kentucky, I grew to love the many beautiful flowers and trees in my yards. Our house in Arlington was lined with colorful azalea bushes, and I found comfort in the dogwood and magnolia trees with their trusty blooms each spring. Our move to Kentucky meant fewer azaleas, but far more colorful flowering trees like pink crabapples and Eastern Redbuds. 

While there is much symbolism and lore behind flowers, I also appreciate the practical benefits of keeping flowers in your home. If you’re budget conscious or like the idea of procuring flowers when they’re in season, organizations like the Chicago Botanic Gardens make recommendations about what’s affordable and in bloom throughout the year. For those among us wishing to grow flowers at home, the U.S. Botanic Garden has great online resources for sustainable growing.

As we celebrate the arrival of spring, Language of Friendship would like to share some of our favorite blooms, and remind readers how the gift of flowers, to oneself or a friend, can brightening any day.  

Tulips. While yellow roses often get top billing as the “quintessential friendship flower, symbolizing friendship, happiness and new beginnings,” tulips have long been a favorite of mine. With so many colors brightening store shelves by late winter, these blooms are affordable and easy to find. Yellow and pink tulips are the perfect flowers to give to friends, with yellow blooms symbolizing cheerfulness and hope, pink tulips associated with “…affection, caring, good wishes, and love,” according to Bloom & Wild.

Hyacinths. The most fragrant flower in our list of favorites, hyacinths also come in a variety of colors. Like tulips, pots of hyacinths appear in grocery stores everywhere by April, reminding Midwesterners like me that temperatures aside, spring will come! Admired for their colorful blooms, I also love that “each flower color has a unique fragrance,” according to Flower Meaning. When considering colors to gift to friends, keep in mind that blue hyacinths represent sincerity while pink symbolizes joy, playfulness, and fresh starts.

Gerbera Daisies. My experience with this flower reminds me of my experience with sushi. Neither was on my radar growing up, and I was well into my 20s before I came to know and appreciate the fine qualities of these beauties. Another bloom known for its varied colors, many of which are very bright, is fitting for its association with cheerfulness. When considering gifting these, remember that orange gerberas represent “happiness, joy, friendship, and warmth,” according to Petal Republic.  And as daisies are the flower for those born in April, it’s another reason to put these blooms on your list.

Dandelions. With National Dandelion Day coming up on April 5, I can’t leave this spring favorite off my list. Not only were these everywhere in my childhood front yard, but kids often assume this colorful weed is actually a flower. That was the case in the late 1960s, when my oldest sister brought a kitten named Dandelion home from preschool. Her classmate brought a litter of kittens to school one morning, each named for a favorite flower. And like a weed, Dandelion was adaptive and survived a long time. A constant companion to my siblings and me, this cat was the dear friend who made the move with us from Virginia to Kentucky. And like his namesake plant, Dandelion brought us much joy, perseverance and hope.

“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”

Winnie the Pooh
The author with Dandelion circa 1981

2 thoughts on “The Language of Flowers

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  1. Beautiful post. My love for flowers comes from my Mom and Gram. I have fond memories planting flowers with them. Tulips also one of my favorites along with daffodils, the first flower of spring and symbol of hope. They are determined flowers. that push through the snow and give hope that warmer days are ahead.


  2. Thank you for sharing this Amy. It is encouraging to see the spring flowers push through the ground despite the circumstances!


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