Here’s why you should never gift someone white hydrangeas. There’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to summertime flowers: a bouquet of white hydrangeas might seem like the perfect summer hostess gift, but it turns out, the gesture has a historically negative connotation. (Next time, stick with lavender.) We’ve selected a handful of our favorite summer buds with surprisingly intricate meanings.
The daisy look-a-like gets its name from the Greek word “astron,” meaning star. With its wildflower appearance and multitude of colors, the aster is a perennial favorite but blooms best in the summer. Among its color variety, purple asters are most common and generally symbolize wisdom and royalty. The flower overall suggests devotion, purity, and faith.
Justly one of the most popular wedding flowers, the peony is a symbol of good fortune, a happy marriage, and everlasting prosperity. Perhaps their happiness is why the flower comes in every color except blue. Their blooming period is fleeting – late spring and early summer – so you best learn how to plant them now. But don’t let this strongly scented, proud petaled flower fool you–the peony also represents bashfulness, according to one Greek myth.
Morning glories are named so for their fleeting lifespan, blooming after sunrise and dying before nightfall that very evening. Because of their short time in the sun, these colorful flowers represent unrequited or restricted love – a warning to cherish the brief moments when love is in reach. There are numerous folktales about how the flower drew this meaning. It is said Victorians placed morning glories on the graves of lovers to signify a love forever unreturned. On the other hand, in one Chinese myth God banishes two lovers to separate sides of a river, allowing them to meet just once a year.