My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose
“Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
This Valentines’ Day,
I’ll give flowers to you!”
Believe it or not, over 110 million roses will be given this Valentine’s Day. For centuries poets, like Robert Burns, have revered the rose as a symbol of love, beauty and passion. The red rose is the color of the heart and was the flower of Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love. Giving a rose to your betrothed is also intended to show that your love was stronger than thorns.
Charles II of Sweden is thought to be responsible for introducing the Persian custom of giving flowers, known as the “language of flowers”, to Europe in the 1700s. There were books published about the meaning of flowers and how one could have an entire conversation with only a bouquet of flowers. In Victorian times, when Valentine’s Day gained significant popularity, flowers were used to adorn women’s hair and clothing, men’s suits and, of course, stationary and valentines. Flowers were used to communicate one’s feelings without words because the code of moral conduct in Victorian times strictly forbade expressing your feelings toward someone
Flowers could convey a wide array of messages depending everything from the size and arrangement of the bouquet, the type of flowers, or even how they were delivered. Flowers could even silently answer questions. A single flower presented with the right hand was “yes” and when presented with the left hand was “no”.
The Meaning of Flowers
To this day, people “Say It With Flowers.” The color of a rose carries specific meaning. Here is what each color means:
• Red means Love, Beauty
• White means Purity, Loyalty
• Yellow means Friendship but can also mean Jealously
• Pink means Grace, Appreciation
• Red and White Together mean Unity
• Yellow with Red Tips mean Falling in Love
• Lavender means Enchantment
Roses are not the only flowers that send a message. Other flowers have long held meaning as well.