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My Love is like a red, red rose


My love is like a red, red rose. The immortal words of the Scottish Poet Robert Burns back in the eighteenth century still ring true today. Nothing symbolises love more poignantly than the red rose and it is arguably one of the most romantic flowers in western civilisation. Dating back some 200 million years the rose is the second oldest flower only to the humble buttercup.


The history of the rose

The rose’s historical significance is also key in Greek mythology. When the Goddess of love Aphrodite mourned the death of her lover Adonis she was said to have scratched her foot on the thorn of a rose that until then had always grown white and so the red rose was born. This flower has now become one of the most powerful floral symbols of never ending love. Care must be taken with its thorns as Aphrodite discovered. The rose and its thorns is said to be like love, to be handled with care for fear of causing pain and distress...

Roses and their color

But what of the significance of the number of roses given, A single rose where its bud is still closed is said to denote simplicity and so its meaning is as straightforward as “I Love You”. A red rose whose bud has opened into full bloom is said to mean "I love you with all of my heart and soul." Therefore, if you were to receive a dozen red roses whether in bloom or in bud the declaration of love is said to be repeated many times over. If you were to receive fifty red roses then such a declaration would show love’s infinity.
What of the significance of the color of the rose given?  If red denotes love and passion what of the myriad of other colors that are available. For Valentine’s Day the giver can choose from a host of colors to truly reflect their intent whether one of passion, enduring love or friendship.
White is said to signify purity, innocence and reverence. Yellow is most commonly related to friendship. Orange is said to signify desire and attraction whereas blue is related to mystery and the unattainable. Well being and abundance is keenly associated with the color green whereas purple is said to demonstrate to the recipient love at first sight. Finally pink, so pretty in pink, this color rose, as you might imagine is said to signify both sweetness and gentleness.
The further meaning of roses can be had by combining both the color and number of roses given. Two roses that are intertwined, or stems wrapped around one another, expresses a marriage of ideas. Two red roses intertwined actually means "marry me." A purple and blue rose together means love at first sight, but the love is unattainable.
Roses are a wonderful way to convey a symbolic message. By combining colors and numbers of roses, the messenger can truly express his or her feelings without saying a word. Valentine's Day is a great opportunity to exercise this form of expression by stating "I am in love at first sight," "Let's be friends." or "I love you."
The rose, in all it’s colors, numbers and stages of bloom is a flower that can truly live up to its reputation as the Queen of the floral kingdom and has both the gravitas and frivolity in its infinite variety to please both the giver and receiver.