By: Mary Femniak
The clandestine language of flowers, the ritual of attire,
the power of the fan…
Join us as The New Hartford Garden Club celebrates its 50th Anniversary by extending an open invitation to “The Victorian Tea”. The gala will be held at Berkshire Hall in Brodie Park, in New Hartford on Sunday,
June 24, 2012 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Enjoy tea sandwiches, finger foods and a wonderful performance presentation by Kandie Carle, “The Victorian Lady “a gifted actress and historian. Tables dressed by club members in their best linens and china place settings, and adorned with fresh cut floral centerpieces will help spirit you and your friends to an elegant 1890’s Gilded age Victorian soiree.
History, dress and culture are all part of the Victorian lifestyle presentation as Kandie, a talented storyteller and entertainer demonstrates how women dressed in the era before zippers and Velcro. Men did not escape fashion customs, using curling irons heated in fires to tame their mustaches as well as wearing corsets called “braces”. As for social media… with no texting, cells or computer? No problem! Learn how the secret language of the fan delivered messages from young women to their suitors before the advent of electronic media. And a man’s flower choice to gift a lady would convey his intentions sending coded messages, allowing him to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken. An orange lily would convey his desire and passion, phlox a message of harmony “our souls are united”, while a morning glory could denote a love in vain.
The Victorian flower garden played a critical role for households, and flower arranging was a vital social skill with floral displays reflecting sentiments and various blossoms each having distinctive significance. Depending on the time of year, it was common to “call” on friends and neighbors for tea and guests were treated to freshly gathered bouquets displayed on side boards gathered from the family’s cutting gardens. Summer homes in Connecticut’s northwest, such as the “Esperanza” and “Elp Stone” eesidences grew extensive cutting gardens with big flowers and strong wild colors. Peony, Cosmos, Dames Rocket, Flox, Lilac, Sweet Pea as well as Roses were staples for entertaining. An important part of the residence, the floral garden provided practical aromatherapy before the advent of deodorant as well as personal relief in the form of individual floral “tussy mussies” worn decoratively on clothing.
Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased from Sibyl Pellum 860-379-3722 or Marty Jahne 860-379-4983.
The New Hartford Garden Club is a volunteer nonprofit organization seeking to promote and encourage education and appreciation of the preservation of our community through sharing knowledge of gardening, beautification, conservation, ecology, wildlife habitat and environmental responsibility. All proceeds are used to fund youth educational programs, community projects and scholarships. We would like to thank the New Hartford Historical Society for their helpful insight on how gardens played such an important part in the Victorian community.
For more information on the New Hartford Garden Club email: NewHartfordGardenClub@gmail.com, or visit the New Hartford Garden Club’s Facebook page.