I love the movie Kate & Leopold when Leopold is instructing Kate's brother on the meaning of the flowers and the message they are sending. During the 19th Century not only was what kind of flower you were giving had meaning but also how you give them as well.
Earlier this month Nancy Moser has a wonderful post on The Language of Flowers Check it out and see some of the great examples she posted.
Also Carla Stewart had a post called Say it with Flowers where you can find some additional tidbits.
Romona K. Cecil had a post Flowers, The Language of Love and Other Emotions
And finally back in Feb, 2013 Patricia Carroll had another post on flowers. Flower Power - No it's Not About the Sixties
Below is a brief description about how to present the flowers followed by a short list of some of the flowers and their meanings. I'd tried not to replicate what others have mentioned before but there might be a few cross overs. Enjoy!
1. A flower presented with leaves on its stem expresses aflirmatively the sentiment of which it is the emblem;—stripped of its leaves it has a negative meaning:—if the plant be flowerless, the latter is expressed by cutting the tops off the leaves.
2. When a flower, is given, the pronoun I is implied by inclining it to the left, and the word thou by inclining it to the right.
3. If an answer to a question is implied by the gift of a flower, presenting it to the right hand, gives an affirmative, and to the left a negative reply.
4. The position in which a flower is worn may alter its meaning—on the head it conveys one sentiment, as Caution,-on the breast another, as Remembrance or Friendship,-and over the heart a third, as Love.
5. If the flower to be sent, the knot of the ribbon or silk with which it is tied should be on the left as you look at the front of the blossoms, to express I or me; and on the front for Thee or Thou.
LIST OF FLOWERS AND THEIR MEANINGS
Acacia - Chaste Love
Acacia Pink - Elegance
Ambrosia - Love returned
American Elm - Patriotism
American Linden - Matrimony
Basil - Hatred
Bay Leaf - I change but in dying (Meaning he or she is not about to change)
Buttercup - Childishness, Riches
Cherry Tree Blossom - Spiritual Beauty
Chinese Chrysanthemum - Cheerfulness under pressure
Crocus - Smiles, Cheerfulness
Daisy - Beauty & Innocence
Dragon Plant - Snare, Betrayer
Fern - Sincerity
Rose - Genteel, pretty
Naturally there are hundreds more, if you'd like to read the original source for this posting here's a link to The Language and Poetry of Flowers
Lynn A. Coleman is an award winning & best-selling author who makes her home in Keystone Heights, Florida, with her husband of 41 years. Lynn's latest novel "The Shepherd's Betrothal" is the third book in her Historical St. Augustine, FL. series.
Check out her 19th Century Historical Tidbits Blog if you like exploring different tidbits of history.