Forget-me-not flowers are pretty little plants that you’ll find growing in spring and summer. They are hardy little devils whose clusters of blue blooms have been symbols of devotion for a long time. You may even see it used in funerary art to remember deceased loved ones—and in the cases of postcards like these, to remind the receiver not to forget them.
The forget-me-not comes in pink and white varieties, too, and is considered an invasive species in some American states. Yeah. They are a self-seeding plant that is so good at spreading itself that they’ll just do whatever the hell they want if left to their own devices. Since they love wet soil, they’ll just kind of meander down into wetlands because sweet, sweet water.
When we look at the meaning behind forget-me-nots in the Victorian era, we find that they—along with a lot of flower language—are associated with love. The memory of true love, devotion, a request to not forget the person sending the message. Adding more flowers creates more complicated messaging, or just adds to what’s been said.
Violets, as in the first postcard, are symbolic of watchfulness, modesty, and faithfulness. Perhaps this card was asking the recipient not to forget the sender and to remain faithful to them! There’s also some lesbian symbolism with violets and violas, with these flowers representing women in same-sex relationships as early as Sappho’s time. A flight of fancy? Maybe, if one forgets that same-sex relationships have been a thing for millennia.
Daisies are a message of innocence or loyal love. They also can mean “I’ll never tell”, something that aspiring authors may want to tuck away in their cap for later use.
Do my eyes deceive me? Am I seeing geraniums in a couple of these? If I am, they have an interesting meaning, too! Geraniums stand for folly and stupidity. Is it a folly to remember someone? Am I reading too much into these gorgeous vintage postcards?
Oh, probably, but it’s still fun to try figuring them out.
I hope you enjoyed these old postcards. Did you use them to make something? Share the links to your creations in the comments below!