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Valentine, What Shall I Give Thee?

Updated on December 28, 2014
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Here in Louisiana we say, "Let the good times roll!" Holidays are celebrated with crafts, costumes and decorations, to everyone's enjoyment.

Say It With Old-fashioned Flowers

Are you wondering what to give your sweetheart for Valentine's Day this year? Why not try a natural gift, like flowers or a plant?

Since Victorian times, many herbs and flowers have been given special meanings and there is even a "language of flowers". You can tell your love how much you care, and give them a beautiful, fragrant gift at the same time with an old-fashioned bouquet called a tussie-mussie. If your sweetheart is a gardener, then a live plant or some other gift sporting flowers would be greatly appreciated. Many suggestions are here in this article. I hope you will enjoy perusing this page.

My One and Only Sweetheart, What Shall I Give Thee to Show My Love?

Blue Violets

Lovely violets symbolize modesty and devotion.
Lovely violets symbolize modesty and devotion. | Source

Tussie-Mussies: Nosegays with Meaning

For centuries lovers have pondered the question, "What shall I give my love?" Flowers were often given as a symbol of love, but during Victorian times the simple nosegay was raised to the level of language and the tussie-mussie was born. Today, people still create these little gifts from nature that mean so much. Tussie-mussies are small bouquets of flowers and herbs, but what is special about them is that each plant has a meaning.

During Victorian times young ladies and gentlemen would flirt or feud with each other by sending a tussie-mussie. A "conversation" may have gone something like this: A young man may send his lady fair a bouquet of forget-me-nots (for true love), rosemary (for remembrance) and maybe southernwood (for constancy). Now if she wasn't convinced by this gesture, she may send him a tussie-mussie of yellow roses (for infidelity) and larkspur (for fickleness). If he was smart, he would gather up some white violets (innocence) or a bunch of rue (repentance). If this did not dissuade her, then the young man could have received a handful of fumitory (for hatred).

Today you will find tussie-mussies as bride's bouquets, as gifts for new mothers, departed friends, new neighbors, for special days or just to let someone know you care. You can make your own tussie-mussies from the herbs and flowers in your own garden. Arrange the plants with the one which expresses the main sentiment in the center and place the others in a circle around it. If it is to be carried, wet a cotton ball and place it in the middle of a plastic wrap square, then fold the square and twist it around the base. Secure it with florist's tape. To complete the bouquet, a round paper doily (with an X cut in the middle) and some ribbon add a special touch. I like to write a note telling the names of the plants and their meaning.

Reference: Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs.

Arabian Tea Jasmine Plant

Live Jasmine Maid of Orleans Plant

This fragrant shrub will grow on in your sweetheart's yard for years. It's a gift that keeps on giving. In the language of flowers Jasmine means amiability and Spanish Jasmine means sensuality.

Herbs and Flowers for Love and Friendship

Some herbs and flowers that convey love and friendship and their meanings:

Red Louisiana Iris

The iris represents pure heart and courage.
The iris represents pure heart and courage. | Source

Angelica - inspiration

Basil - love, good wishes, hate

Bay - achievement and fame

Beebalm - virtue

Chamomile - wisdom, fortitude

Chervil - sincerity

Costmary - sweetness

Dill - good cheer, survival in the face of odds

Geranium, scented - happiness

Geranium, unscented - folly

Goldenrod - encouragement

Iris - pure heart, courage, faith

Kate Greenaway's Language of Flowers

Victorian book, with illustrations, listing the meaning of hundreds of flowers and herbs.

Garden Sage

Sage represents long life and wisdom.
Sage represents long life and wisdom. | Source

Give Her Flowers

One Dozen Red Roses - Premium
One Dozen Red Roses - Premium

Red roses signify undying love. This bouquet of South American red roses is a favorite for any occasion. These premium, long stemmed roses have large flowers that are sure to please. Your flowers will be picked fresh and delivered directly from the grower to your recipients door so that they will last much longer.


Lavender - devotion

Marjoram - joy

Mint - refreshment

Mugwort - pleasant journeys

Parsley - merriment

Rose - love success

Sage - long life, wisdom

Salad burnet - cheerful disposition

Santolina - full of virtue

Savory - interest

Southernwood - constancy

Sweet woodruff - humble spirit

Tarragon - lasting involvement

Thyme - daring

Violet - modesty, devotion

Yarrow - health

Many other flowers and their meanings can be found in Kate Greenaway's the Language of Flowers.

Red Iris by naturegirl7 and Garden Sage by lalagniappe are available on Zazzle. Just click on the links provided.

Reference: Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs.

Hummingbirds by the Pond

Valentine Cards and Floral Gifts

Designs by naturegirl7. All Valentine cards can be customized with your own words.

Blue Violet Valentine

Bouquets of violets were the flower of choice for young gentlemen to give their lady love.
Bouquets of violets were the flower of choice for young gentlemen to give their lady love.

Acacia, Yellow ..... Secret Love

Almond (Flowering) ..... Hope

Allspice ..... Compassion

Amaranth (Globe) ..... Immortality, Unfading love

Amaranth (Cockscomb) ..... Affection

American Linden ..... Matrimony

Azalea ..... Temperance

Bay Tree ..... Glory

Cape Jasmine ..... I'm too happy

Cardinal Flower ..... Distinction

Chickweed ..... Rendeavous

China Rose ..... Beauty always new

Chrysanthemum, Red ..... I love

Chrysanthemum, White ..... Truth

Clematis ..... Mental beauty

Clover, Four-leaved ..... Be mine

Daisy ..... Innocence

Dittany of Crete, White ..... Passion

Fern ..... Fascination

Garden Sage ..... Esteem

Iris, German ..... Flame


Reference: Kate Greenaway's Language of Flowers

Blue Violets Mug

Taiwan Cherry and Bee

Fresh Lilies Bouquet

Festival of Lilies Fresh Flower Bouquet
Festival of Lilies Fresh Flower Bouquet

Beautiful stargazer lilies, signifying purity and sweetness, accented by sweet smelling pink and white stock (a symbol of lasting beauty) make this bouquet a treat for all the senses! Your fresh cut lily bouquet will be picked fresh and delivered directly from the grower to your recipients door so that they will last much longer.


Southern Magnolia Flower

Magnolias signify a love of nature
Magnolias signify a love of nature

Still More Flower Language for Lovers

Jasmine ..... Amiability

Jasmine, Spanish ..... Sensuality

Jonquil ..... I desire a return of affection

Justicia ..... The perfection of female loveliness

Laurel ..... Glory

Lemon Blossoms ..... Fidelity in love

Red Stocks

Stocks signify lasting beauty
Stocks signify lasting beauty | Source

Lily, Day ..... Coquetry

Lily, Imperial ..... Majesty

Lily, White ..... Purity. Sweetness

Magnolia ..... Love of Nature

Mint ..... Virtue

Morning Glory ..... Affectation

Mugwort ..... Happiness

Myrtle ..... Love

Pear ..... Affection

Peppermint ..... Warmth of feeling

Ranunculus ..... You are radiant with charms

Ranunculus, Garden ..... You are rich in attractions

Rudbeckia ..... Justice

Sorrel, Wood ..... Joy

Stock ..... Lasting beauty

Sunflower, Dwarf ..... Adoration

Tulip, Yellow ..... Hopeless love

Red Stock Flowers by lalagniappe

Reference: Kate Greenaway's Language of Flowers

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    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Very romantic lens with great and heartwarming ideas. Good job.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      11 years ago

      I love to get flowers but my husband refuses to buy them. The don't last, but I can count of getting a nice, new house plant.

      Great lens


    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Great lens! Would love it if you'd pop on over to mine to see more great Valentine's Day gifts! All are handmade with me! Great prices and FREE shipping on Swarovski heart jewelry! 5 stars to ya!!! Thanks. Annie~

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      11 years ago

      Welcome to The Totally Awesome Lenses Group.



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