The history of roses

The earliest records of roses dates back five-thousand years ago, when they were known to grow in China. Later, the ancient Greeks and Romans associated roses with Aphrodite and Venus, goddesses of love who were often depicted adorned with roses around their head, feet or neck. Used for hundreds of years to convey messages without words, they also represented confidentiality. In ancient Rome, a wild rose was placed on the door to a room where confidential matters were being discussed. This symbolism carried through to the modern day with the Latin expression “sub rosa”(literally, “under the rose”) which means something told in secret. In Medieval times, Christians identified the five petals of the rose with the five wounds of Christ. The rose later became associated with the Virgin Mary and was eventually adopted as a symbol of the blood of the Christian martyrs.

Valentine’s Day flowers

hearts on redThe history of gifting your loved one Valentine’s Day flowers comes from the custom of sending floral bouquets to pass on non-verbal messages. Introduced in the eighteenth century by Charles II of Sweden, each flower had a specific meaning attached to it, making it possible to have an entire conversation using specially chosen flowers.

The meaning of Valentine’s Day roses

Today, people continue to send flowers on special occasions or to express sentiments of love and admiration, the most popular date for flowers being Valentine’s Day, February 14. With its beauty, scent and symbolism, roses have historically been a gift that relays a thousand words, not only of admiration, but the hope of passion in the future.

purple matched set

The color of a rose has meaning

When you consciously choose a certain color as your Valentine’s day rose for your beloved, you bring a whole new depth to the gesture of gifting flowers. The following are some commonly associated meanings for each color:

  • hearts sunsetThe red rose has come to be the ultimate gift to express deep emotions, of love, longing or desire. They can also be used to convey respect, admiration or devotion. The red rose remains the ultimate symbol of passionate affection in Western art and literature as well as for Valentine’s Day gifts for your wife or girlfriend.
  • White Roses are common in the bridal bouquet as white is the color of purity, chastity and innocence. White flowers can be used to convey sympathy or humility as well as indicating spirituality. The pure white color also conveys respect, pays homage to new starts and expresses hope for the future.
  • Yellow roses are an expression of exuberance and indicate purely platonic emotions. Yellow roses evoke sunny feelings of joy, warmth and welcome. They are symbols of friendship and caring rather than of romance. In many Eastern cultures, the color yellow represents joy, wisdom and power.
  • Pink Roses come in various hues and are generally gifted to convey gentle emotions such as admiration, joy and gratitude. They are appropriate for sending thanks, cheering up a friend, or recognizing a romantic occasion. Evolving cultivation techniques have created a wider array of pink rose shades, and thus the meanings attached to them have become more nuanced. Light pink rose blooms are indicative of sweetness and innocence. Deep pink rose blooms convey deep gratitude and appreciation.
  • Orange Roses have a contemporary feel to them as they first began in the early years of the twentieth century when cultivators began crossing yellow and red roses. Orange roses create a subtler meaning of love emerging from friendship. Other meanings associated with the orange rose are any enthusiastic message such as love, thanks, friendship or congratulations.
  • A Lavender rose means enchantment. It also expresses “love at first sight”. Darker shades of lavender roses, closer to purple in color, convey a sense of regal majesty and splendor. These roses are used to express fascination and adoration.
  • A perfectly blue rose cannot be achieved naturally so they represent the unattainable or the mysterious. Blue roses therefore embody the desire for the unattainable, for the one that you love, but cannot have.
  • Green is the color of harmony, of opulence, of fertility. It is also a color indicating peace and tranquility. So called green roses are in reality off-white roses with shades of green. They can symbolize best wishes for a prosperous new life or wishes for recovery of good health.

rose and girl

Eternal roses

Roses are a traditional gift for Valentine’s day, but if you wish your gift to last a little longer than the usual cut stems, consider a rose bush that you can plant in your yard and watch growing over the years. For a rose that will last for eternity, consider a gold/silver dipped rose, taking the beauty of a natural rose, picked at its best and preserved forever. This is a unique and special Valentine’s day gift to be treasured, being the ideal way to convey a message of love on the day and long into the future. What other Valentine’s Day roses for your woman could mean as much?