In Victorian times, sweethearts knew how to voice their affection without saying a word. Lace the mystery of their language of flowers throughout your soiree.
Unspoken messages sent in a bouquet are a timeless tradition. The Victorians flirted with flowers, sending clues about their sentiments through their selection of blooms and colors. Bouquets exchanged among friends communicated happy notions or were offered in times of joy or sadness.
Celebrate the ardor of spring by setting a table decorated with hidden floral meanings. For example, use pitcher of purple tulips (meaning a declaration of love) or an arrangement of forget-me-knots (representing true love or remembrance) to celebrate the romance of an anniversary or bridal shower.
Start this pretty table with voile fabric topped with a layer of patterned fabric (we used a purple-and-white check tablecloth) that holds the color scheme together. Containers of pink dianthus (for pure affection) and pink and peach pansies add more "thoughts" and color at guests' feet. Antique armchairs with cushions complete the romantic setting.
Arranged in a vintage floral mug, scented blue hyacinths signify sincerity and consistency.
A selection of spring blooms that fit a color scheme holds the party's look together. These purple lilacs signify the first emotions of love.
Set a pretty scene by mixing vases of different heights for fresh informality. Match the flowers' shapes to the profile of the container -- wispy forget-me-nots are a perfect match for a delicate pitcher, while branches of purple lilacs take centerstage in a tall water pitcher.
Known for centuries as a symbol of love, myrtle makes a memorable topiary when dressed up with a crisscrossing pink ribbon.
A chandelier finishes an outdoor room. For dazzling sparkle, hang one adorned with crystal beads and florets from a sturdy bough. Line the inside sockets with tape, and then set in tapers. Camouflage the chandelier's cord by wrapping it inconspicuously around a branch.
Pillows displaying special embroidered messages fit the setting's romantic tone.
A spring gathering in praise of flowers requires refreshments for the sweet tooth. Petits fours served in an old-fashioned compote are sure to be savored.