Flowers are perfumed words. They send out messages spanning a wide spectrum of emotions. For centuries, flowers have been given as gifts with the express intent to relay specific sentiments. This poetry of blooms is especially used during February, the month of love.

However, I beg to differ with the traditional giving of roses for Valentine’s day. As a gardener in Central Texas, I know to cut back my rose bushes by 2/3 in February. Therefore, roses are obviously not the natural, in-season flower to include in Valentine bouquets.

So, what flowers are blooming at the end of winter that have the same brilliance and spicy fragrance as roses do? I choose snapdragons! They are hardy winter survivors when planted in October and flaunt their gaudy but stately displays starting in February. In the dictionary of flowers, snapdragons mean graciousness. What a lovely sentiment to give your significant other. When you give snapdragons, you are recognizing the kindness, charm, good taste, and compassion in your beloved partner.

The colors of flowers also denote specific characteristics. Since snapdragons come in many colors, a mixed bouquet can summarize a totality of your feelings. For example, you could say, “I am happy (pink) in our loving (red), friendship (coral) and you put a smile (yellow) on my face every time I reverently (white) think of you.”

How about that for declaring your passions?!

Which floral bouquet speaks for you?

Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.

Helen Keller

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