Flowers are my passion and when I was asked to set a table for a benefits banquet using a floral centerpiece and eight place settings I found the Victorian Era theme fit my love of flowers. This era was named for Queen Victoria who ruled England from 1837 to 1901, whose enthusiasm for flower designs was a time of elegance for all things flower. They decorated not only with flower arrangements in a vase but also with flowers on plates, tea pots and in pictures for the walls, and their use of flowers was displayed in all their treasures. The Victorian women would often wear flowers in their hair, on their arm or around their neck. Their love of flowers was a way of expressing affection, and was given to friends and lovers according to the message they wanted to express, for the Victorians knew the meaning of flowers. Their floral arrangements were, formal, proper, opulent, lavish and showy. Aristocratic members of society would exhibit wealth by creating large, excessive, luxurious and often overdone flower arrangements.
MEANINGS & USES _ The exact origin of the name Aster is debated. Some say the name for these beautiful flowers is direct from Greek mythology: Asters were said to have grown from the tears of the Goddess Asterea. Others say they were named for their abundant growing patterns (like the night sky) and their star_like shape. Asters have long been given to symbolize love, daintiness and afterthought. Gentlemen and ladies in the past used to present them to people they hoped to draw affection from. Placed on the graves of French soldiers, Asters were used as a symbol of a better life to come. They can also be used to symbolize a 20th Wedding Anniversary and are a wonderful gift in a bouquet for any occasion. The petals of the Aster used to be smoked to ward off evil serpents, but could also be used to help with headaches, colds, back pain and muscle spasms.