1. having many interrelated parts or facets; entangled or involved:
2. complex; complicated; hard to understand, work, or make:
Anyone who has stopped to take a photograph of a single, perfect flower, a cluster of buds or a fallen leaf will know how intricate are these small marvels of nature.
We humans are dependent on plants –for food, medicine, shelter and fuel –as well as less tangible things, like the calming scent of lavender, or the sheer joy of being given a bouquet of roses.
Over time, the properties of plants have come to be ascribed deeper meanings and significance. ‘Floriography’ — the language of flowers — may be less well-known today than in its Victorian heyday, but we still associate roses with romance and lilies with funerals. White violets apparently mean “let’s take a chance on happiness.”
In Victorian times, floriography was widespread; with dictionaries available to help people navigate this intricate language and send the “right” messages through their choice of foliage.
On occasions where I’ve chosen flowers for bouquets and arrangements, I’ve tended to do so on a purely aesthetic basis. I wonder now, what anyone familiar with floriography might have made of my choices? Perhaps:
“Respect! You’re a wonderful friend. I’m sincere” and “Could you pick up some bread on the way home?”