The Victorian language of flowers meant that you could express a wide range of sentiments with a simple floral nosegay. On Valentine's Day, the sweetest of holidays, we take a look at some popular flowers to include in a bouquet and how they speak the language of love.
Dorothy Biddle was a pioneer in the world of American flower arranging, traveling around the country by bus and train from the late 1940s to the late 1950s, encouraging Americans everywhere to grow and arrange their own flowers. Her legacy lives on today in her company, Dorothy Biddle Service, run by her granddaughter, which continues to sell flower arranging supplies—now on the Internet.
Up in Cape Cod, the rhododendrons are in full bloom at the annual Heritage Museums & Gardens Rhododendrons Festival. Home to two noted hybridizers—Charles Owen Dexter and Jack Cowles—the garden is a great place to see the many new varieties in bloom. A new and dramatic water element—the Flume Fountain—and a new children's garden are also worth visiting for their unusual landcaping.
A weed-covered lot in Southern California, owned by Caltrans, is completely redone by a couple who live adjacent to the garden, complete with native varieties, a citrus grove, and hundreds of new plants, creating a Mediterranean idyll.