The Language of Flowers © Ann Swan SBA





What’s in a name? Well, plenty, according to the Victorians who took great delight in giving meanings to individual flowers so that they could send coded messages which otherwise could not be spoken. The language of flowers is known as floriography and there is an abundance of flora to which the Victorians attached meanings, signifying passionate love, sympathy, hope and even revenge. The Selection Committee was presented with a wide variety of interpretations of the theme and ardent researchers even found meanings which should remain hidden for propriety’s sake! Members and exhibitors researched their portrayals of plants with unusual Latin, common or nicknames, and cultivars which also convey meaning, sometimes personal to them. The discovery of plants throughout history to the present day has conjured up interesting names and meanings dependent on their appearance, medical properties, food value or growing habit.


As part of the educational requirement of the Society’s charitable status, over 700 works were shown, including miniatures and three-dimensional work, and Members demonstrated their various techniques throughout the exhibition. There was also selection of work by students participating in the Distance Learning Diploma Course, now in its ninth successful year, attracting students from both the UK and worldwide. The exhibition was also the venue for the launch of a revised seminal work featuring work by tutors and students, Handbook of Plant Forms for Botanical Artists. To purchase or view this book click here. The Society’s annual open exhibitions are held at Westminster Central Hall in Storey’s Gate, London SW1H 9NH, open daily from 11am to 5pm including Sundays. Entry is always free although visitors can purchase a beautifully illustrated catalogue as a guide. All work is for sale with the addition of top quality greetings cards, limited edition prints and members’ books for added temptation.


The Language of Flowers © SBA


SBA Awards 2013