The language of roses and other flowers, floriography, has been used in many parts of the world for thousands of years but only really took off here during Victorian times. The strictness and formality of Victorian England leant itself perfectly to the need for a hidden message. The language of flowers enabled messages to be sent that couldn’t possibly be expressed in words and not all of those message were pleasant. Some flowers, such as the orange lily, signified hatred and contempt so you certainly wouldn’t want to be given any of them!
Floriography is complex and covers a vast number of different varieties of flowers however on Valentine’s Day it seems right to concentrate on the language of the rose. The rose is certainly a dominant flower. William Shakespeare mentions roses over 50 times in his writings and a book could easily be filled with quotations and rose-based poems from other writers.
So what is the hidden meaning behind the different colours of the rose?
The Red Rose
This one’s easy – the red rose symbolises love. A passionate, sexy and unconditional love. Were you aware that there is also a code as to the number of red roses given to the loved one?
1 rose = “I love you.” Perfect for a fairly new relationship.
6 roses = “I’m infatuated and passionate about you”
12 roses = “Be mine”
15 roses = “I love you and I’m sorry”
20 roses = “My feelings are very sincere”
24 roses = A loudly shouted “I’m yours!”
50 roses = “My love knows no bounds” and clearly I’ve got loads of money!
The Pink Rose
The pink rose symbolises grace and elegance. It confirms gratitude and platonic love and so is the perfect “thank you”, “thinking of you” or “get well soon” rose.
The Pastel Coloured Rose
Soft pastel pinky, peacht colours indicate friendship.
The White Rose
Traditionally associated with weddings and new beginnings the white rose speaks of innocence and purity.