Bouquet interpretation

I had dinner with my in-laws for Easter last weekend, and I picked up these flowers to take to my mother-in-law, because she doesn't like chocolate. I thought they'd be a nice gesture, but I have just heard about the language of flowers, and now I'm wondering whether they are or not. Can you tell me what the bouquet means?

This could mean anything

There are three main flowers that I can see: yellow chrysanthemums, gerberas, and lilies.

Now, according to The Language of Flowers (1867), chrysanthemums can have various meanings depending on their colour, but yellow chrysanthemums specifically are for slighted love. There are a few different entries for lilies, but in general, they mean youthful innocence or purity. And gerberas don't appear in any old books about the language of flowers, because they weren't brought to England until the 1890s, but if we turn to a more modern source (1993's Tussie-mussies: the Victorian Art of Expressing Yourself in the Language of Flowers), we find that they mean sadness or needing protection.

It seems like you've just given your mother-in-law a bouquet that either means "your youthful innocence needs protection from slighted love" or "I'm sad that your purity has been sullied by slighted love". Either way, probably not the best thing to be giving your her unless she is actively in the process of divorcing your father-in-law. Possibly a good blackmail bouquet if you take the second meaning, but if that's not what you were going for here, keep this combination in mind for the next time you do need to subtly let someone know that you know all about how they sullied their purity and didn't even get love in return. Could be a useful one to leave lying around the tearoom the day after the office Christmas party.

I'm sure that will help.

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