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The Language of Flowers

Take a cue from the Victorian custom of communicating with flowers and craft a bouquet rich with personal sentiment.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Mysterious Messages

      It's common knowledge that roses symbolize love and passion, but they're not the only blossom with a secret message to convey. Look at what these familiar flower arrangements offer in addition to beauty.

    • Congratulations

      Celebrate a great accomplishment with a sunny arrangement. Large yellow roses (highest achievement), pale yellow calla lilies (elegance), and, unexpectedly, fennel (praise) from the herb garden contribute pretty shades of yellow. For a dramatic touch of green, oak leaves (strength) and ivy (ambition) are tucked around the outer edges of the bouquet, and rhubarb leaves offer up a tongue-in-cheek message: brouhaha.

    • I Love You

      Loving thoughts abound in this arrangement perfect for a wedding shower, an engagement party, or a gift to someone you love. Bold color comes from magenta ranunculus (dazzled by your charm) and hot pink peonies (bashfulness), while pale pink sweet peas (meet me) and bells of Ireland (whimsy) bring in softer tones. Fern fronds (fascination) and white bouvardia (enthusiasm) peek out from between the blooms.

    • True Friendship

      Sweetly scented blue hyacinths (sincerity and consistency) perfectly communicate steadfast friendship in a time of need. Pair them with purple iris (promise) and hosta leaves (devotion) or gather them in a simple bundle by themselves.

    • Missing You

      Cutting-garden favorites, zinnias (thoughts of an absent friend) in orange and hot pink partner with blue salvia (thinking of you) and clusters of green hydrangea (remembrance). Curly sprigs of mint (warmth of feeling) and orange spray roses (love) round out the arrangement.

    • Enduring Love

      Tulips are often used in Mother's Day bouquets, and no wonder, since this multiple-meaning bloom symbolizes perfect love, consuming love, and memory. In addition to celebrating Mom, this simple cluster makes a great anniversary gift.

    • With Sympathy

      Oak leaves (strength) create a grand framework for a bouquet that expresses sympathy. Purple roses (sorrow) and white lilies (resurrection) mix with pale yellow tulips and rosemary (memory). Lavender (devotion), tendrils of clematis (unchanged for eternity), and Queen Anne's lace (safe haven) contribute to the theme.

    • Remember Me?

      Unassuming forget-me-nots (remembrance) serve as a coy reminder to your honey. But they serve a sweeter purpose: This sweet spray carries a declaration of true love as well.

    • Thank You

      Greet the hostess at your next dinner party with a handful of lush greens and beautiful blooms. Green-and-white caladium (great joy), ivy (friendship), and mint (warmth of feeling) contribute texture, while white gooseneck loosestrife (wishes granted), along with white carnations (admiration) and red spray roses make dramatic pops of color against the greens.

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      Be Happy

      Bring a smile to a friend's face with a vase full of wispy lily-of-the-valley (return to happiness and purity). Remind her to take in the moment by pairing them with apple blossoms (good fortune) and sweet William (grant me one smile).

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      Welcome Baby

      Japanese maple leaves (baby's hand) set a sweet tone perfect for celebrating the birth of a baby. Red-and-green caladium (delight), dark green hosta leaves (devotion), and rich purple basil (best wishes) make a rich framework for burgundy calla lilies (beauty) and light pink bouvardia (enthusiasm). Lovely coral roses (admiration) and spikes of heather (protection from danger) add more delicate color.

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      Simple Love

      Known for centuries as a symbol of love, fresh-looking myrtle doesn't need any floral companions to get its simple message across.

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      Next Slideshow 5-Minute Flower Arrangements

      5-Minute Flower Arrangements

      You have a handful of flowers and no time for complicated arrangements. Never fear -- here are 11 ways to get gorgeous results in five minutes or less.
      Begin Slideshow »

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