The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
How to Increase eCommerce Sales with SEO
How to Increase eCommerce Sales with SEO
February 28, 2024

With the development of the online shopping market, SEO has become a crucial factor in driving targeted traffic and increasing sales. Effective...

Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of ‘The Language of Flowers,’ speaks at the Hilton in Fort Collins

Venessa Diffenbaugh

Throughout the Victorian Era, flowers were used to express romantic sentiments, including honeysuckle for devotion, aster for patience and red roses for love, according to Random House.

But in Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s debut novel “The Language of Flowers,” the main character Victoria Jones uses this flowery symbolism to express feelings of sadness, mistrust and loneliness.


Diffenbaugh is speaking at the Hilton on Prospect Road tonight at 7 p.m. The event is free and will conclude with a book-signing and sales.

“(The novel) is about someone who has really never been loved and who learns to love and trust again,” Diffenbaugh said of her New York Times Bestseller. “It’s a really good balance between intense, dark, difficult topics (and a) really beautiful soft side.”

“The reader can enter a really dark world without feeling overwhelmed,” she added.

The story follows Victoria, an 18-year-old who was just emancipated from the foster care system. She finds herself with nowhere to go and ends up sleeping in a public park and planting her own flower garden there.

Jamie Ford, the author of “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” said the novel is “a deftly powerful story of finding your way home, even after you’ve burned every bridge behind you. ‘The Language of Flowers’ took my heart apart, chapter by chapter, then reassembled the broken pieces in better working condition.”

Victoria’s skills with flowers are recognized by a local florist, and she learns that she can powerfully communicate with and help people through the flowers she gives to them.

“The flower element came naturally with the story, so I just went with it,” Diffenbaugh said.

According to a book review by Janet Maslin in The New York Times titled “A bouquet of petals and thorns, all defined with meticulous precision,” “The overriding emotional message of ‘The Language of Flowers’ has to do with family. Victoria desperately wants one. But she thinks that she is too damaged to learn how to love.”

In addition to her love of writing, Diffenbaugh’s inspiration for the story came from being a foster parent for more than five years.


Her foster children are older now; one currently lives in Colorado Springs and another attends New York University. But she said they’re still very much part of her family.

The novel, which came out in 2011 and includes an appendix consisting of a flower dictionary, is currently printed in 40 translations.

“I was shocked (about the selling success of the novel),” Diffenbaugh said. “It was quite a thrill that it sold so well.”

She also said she is excited to come to Fort Collins tonight because she grew up in Chico, a college town in northern California.

“It think Fort Collins will have a very similar feel,” she said. “It’ll feel a lot like going home.”

Entertainment Editor Courtney Riley can be reached at

View Comments (8)
More to Discover

Hey, thanks for visiting!
We’d like to ask you to please disable your ad blocker when looking at our site — advertising revenue directly supports our student journalists and allows us to bring you more content like this.

Comments (8)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *