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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The floral language of love

The whole world seems to be caught up in the romance of Prince William's impending marriage to Catherine Middleton. It was an article about their wedding cake in the Telegraph, which inspired me to research this topic. Apparently Kate (I really can't get used to referring to her as Catherine... ) has requested flowers to play a part in the decoration of her cake by the amazing Fiona Cairns, not only for their beauty but also for their meaning. The daffodil, rose, thistle and shamrock will represent the four nations and other blooms will convey messages of love and luck for the marriage.

Flowers are probably the most popular decoration on wedding cakes, they change with trends but are generally present in one form or another. Using the meaning of flowers to convey a message dates back to the Victorian era, and it is one that now fascinates me. It can also be a minefield as there are many that should perhaps be avoided on your wedding day. Striped carnations (not my favourite flower it has to be said) mean "No, refusal, sorry I can't be with you" and Anenomes (which are so pretty and do feature on my cakes - see above) mean forsaken... oops!

Roses are always a popular choice and the classic red rose symbolises love but avoid the deepest crimson which is more appropriate as a funeral bloom. I'm slightly perturbed by this as I had very deep roses on my wedding day and I wouldn't like to say which side of the crimson/red line they were on.

The meaning of many flowers is simply love, loveliness, pleasure, lasting affection etc... but others have longer messages and the idea of combining two or three of these on a cake in the form of a floral love letter is truly romantic and something I will be using when I redo the display cakes in my window in the next few weeks. The following are some of my favourites:

Lily of the valley - you've made my life complete

Stock - you'll always be beautiful to me

Blue violet - I'll always be true

White rose - you're heavenly

Primrose - I can't live without you

Orange Blossom - Eternal love

White Camelia - You're adorable

White Heather - Wishes will come true

I will keep you posted as I design and make my love letter cake... will it be fit for a princess?

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