Thursday, 13 February 2014

What are your Valentine’s roses telling you?

Valentine’s Day is upon us again! 

And whether it’s a special day you look forward to or something you’d rather forget about, you can’t help noticing the abundance of hearts and red roses in shop windows, especially, of course, in the greeting card stores!

Roses are red . . . in fact roses can be almost any colour under the sun and many are a mixture of colours. But it’s the red roses that we see around Valentine’s Day, because we all know that a red rose is one of the best known symbols of love.

The symbolism goes back many years, to the Ancient Greeks and the Romans, who identified the red rose with their Goddess of Love, Aphrodite (Greek) and Venus (Roman). It has also been traditionally regarded as sacred in many other cultures and religions, including Islam, Sufism and Christianity.

But wait, there’s a bit more to it than just picking up a bouquet of red roses from the supermarket or petrol station! 

It’s not just a question of any old red rose – to symbolize love, it must be the right shade of red:

  • Bright red symbolizes ‘sincerity’, ‘passion’ and also ‘respect’ and ‘courage’.
  • Burgundy means ‘unconscious love’ or ‘unconscious beauty’.
  • Dark Crimson is associated with ‘mourning’!

And the number of roses in a Valentine’s Day bouquet is also significant:

    o A single red rose in full bloom means, ‘I love you’.

    o A dozen red roses can also be a declaration of love – or gratitude.

    o 25 red roses are used to congratulate.

    o A bouquet of fifty red roses signifies ‘unconditional love’.

So if you are thinking of ‘saying it with flowers’ this Valentine’s Day, make sure that you know the language of roses so that you pick exactly the right combination to express your feelings!

Much as I love the roses that ramble all over the walls of my house and garden, I have no enthusiasm at all for those horribly stiff, tightly-budded, almost black monstrosities that fill the stores at this time of year. I've seen artificial roses that look more alive!

On the other hand, I've had fun concocting patterns from this little watercolour painting I made of a single red rose.

to see what it turned into!

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