February has long been a month of romance.

Every year, Valentine’s Day, a holiday honouring love and lovers, is celebrated on Feb. 14.

There are many ways in which we celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day and speak the language of love. One of the most profound ways is the language spoken with flowers.

Flowers have long been linked with romance. From the beginning of time, people have assigned special meaning and significance to flowers.

The lily, for example, is bestowed to be the sacred flower of motherhood. From pre-historic Crete as the symbolic Great Mother (Britomartis) to later times in Greece as the flower of Hera, the goddess of women, marriage and childbirth.

Early in the 18th century, French writer Louise Cortambert published a dictionary that formalized the language of flowers, Le Language des fleurs. The book provided a seasonal listing of flowers by name with selected anecdotes.

During the Victoria era that followed, lovers coded their sentiments in the languages of the specific colours and varieties of flowers.

Flowers have a language all their own; a symbolism that began as a way to send a message that still remains a sentimental practice by those who wish to convey a deeper meaning.

This Valentine’s Day, create your own special message for the one you love using the floral symbolism from The Language of Flowers.

Say I love you in all the different colours of roses. While red roses represent true passion, yellow is the colour of joy and freedom. Orange will show your fascination. Speak to one’s admiration in pure pinks, while the gracious charm of cream or the secrecy of white will be bestowed upon your valentine.

Whatever your sentiment, this Valentine’s Day compose your own romantic verse. Use the lyrics of love to speak to those you adore in the special language of flowers. Remember that flowers, in their unique verse, will express your sentiment in just the perfect way.

Shari Morash is a gardening enthusiast and an accredited designer. She is the owner and founder of Northern Elegance.

A Flowery Glossary

Beauty -orchid

Beautiful eyes -variegated tulip

Captive to you -peach blossoms

Coquetry -yellow day lily

Declaration of love -red tulip

Departure -sweet pea

Everlasting love -baby’s breath (gypsophlia)

First emotions of love -purple lilac

Hopeless love -yellow tulip

Innocence -daisy

Love -rose

Magnificent beauty -calla lily

Message for you -iris

Modesty -violet

Passionate love -yellow iris, red rose

Pride and beauty -carnation

Purity of the heart -water lily, lavender rose

Remembrance -rosemary

Return of happiness -lily of the valley

Secret love -gardenia

Sensitivity -mimosa

Sensual -jasmine

Sincerity -fern

Slighted -yellow chrysanthemum

Temperance -azalea

Truth -white chrysanthemum

Undying love -amaranth

Unity -red and white roses