When I was a kid in Ohio, springtime meant fistfuls of violets, plucked from pockets of purple in the otherwise green grass around our house. Even now, when I find myself back home during violet season, I always pick my mother a bouquet. And she still oohs and ahhs over every bouquet like I’m still five, and she still brings out the teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy white vase that fits nothing except a few violet stems and a couple tablespoons of water. Many a Mother’s Day was celebrated with that tiny bouquet on the table or in the kitchen window.
Now that I live 1,000 miles away, it’s pretty hard to find a florist that will deliver a fistful of hand-picked violets on Mother’s Day. So like many others, I look online for a long-distance delivery of a pretty mix of blooms (taking care to avoid those huge, allergy-inducing, pollen-dropping-everywhere stargazer lilies that drive mom and me crazy!).
I never really thought about what individual flowers mean, but a while back I happened to run across a list of flower meanings from the Farmer’s Almanac. It made me curious, and I looked up the significance of some of the wild and cultivated flowers I remember from my Ohio childhood. You can find the whole list here, but these were my favorites:
Blue Hyacinth, which was always growing in my Maw Maw’s (Grandma’s) flower bed: Constancy of Love
Honeysuckle, that bloomed at the edge of our woods: Bonds of Love
Morning Glory climbing the rail fence and occasionally sneaking into the garden: Affection
Daisies along the driveway waiting for “He loves me, he loves me not” fate: Innocence and Hope
Geraniums, which I dutifully sold for the marching band fundraiser every year: True Friendship
Lilac, the sweetest smell of springtime: Joy of Youth
Oh, and my beloved violets? They stand for loyalty, devotion and faithfulness. That sounds just about perfect. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!