The rose is a symbol of love, hope, joy, passion, remembrance, and condolence. No flower has been the subject of plays, songs and poems more than the rose.
The history of the rose goes far back.
The Greeks revered the red rose as having come from the blood of Adonis; the Romans used roses in their parties and thought nothing of carpeting the floor with rose petals; the Persians associated the rose with the heart; the early Christians made the rose a symbol of love in connection with the Virgin Mary and Christ's Blood.
The Victorians even talked in roses, and some of that language still survives today. A red rose, of course, signifies respect and love.
A yellow rose, in Victorian times, meant a jealous suitor but today means friendship. The white rose signified innocence and purity.
In the U.S., white roses are often used at weddings and have acquired the additional meaning of happiness and security.
Pink roses are often used to signify appreciation or gratitude. White and red roses together signify unity. White roses fringed in red have come to mean the same thing.
The Victorians used more than just colors. Two roses bound together signified an engagement. A thornless rose signified love at first sight.
A wilted rose, of course, signified rejection.
There were also meanings in rosebuds, half-open buds and roses in full bloom, as well as meanings in the number of roses given; fifty roses, for instance, signified unconditional love and twenty-five roses were given as congratulations.
For Valentine's Day, in addition to individual roses, why not promise her a rose garden - or at least a plant - to be planted as soon as conditions allow?
There may be no meaning in the language of roses for a whole rose plant - but in the language of gardeners, it's surely a gift of love!
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by Tamara Galbraith
During the winter months, when more plants are indoors, gardeners need to be on the lookout for a couple of tough pests that, once settled in, can be hard to control.
Fungus gnats, the near-microscopic flying insects that feed and breed within damp organic matter in potting soil, can actually be a problem any time of year.
These tiny flying pests can spread pathogens, chew on roots and be a general nuisance. Fungus gnats' favorite hangout is the fungus existing in moist, organic soil, so the best way to battle these bugs is by letting your houseplants dry in-between waterings.
However, some overwintering houseplants--like those lovely amaryllis bulbs many of us were forcing during the holidays--like to remain somewhat moist. So...what to do?
A good drench of an indoor plant pest control product on the soil is a good start, and a layer of sand on top of the potting soil will also help.
The sand helps prevent the fungus gnats from reaching and subsequently laying eggs in the potting soil, but still allows moisture to reach the roots.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, spider mites can become a terrible problem for indoor plants when conditions are too dry, which is often the case during cold days when we have the heat on. If you notice a plant's leaves shriveling and dropping, or webbing in between stems and leaves, you've probably got a spider mite problem.
Again, a good pest control product will help. However, the humidity around the affected plant will need to be addressed to keep mites from returning:
• Keep plants away from the hot blast of furnace output vents.
• Spray sensitive indoor plants with water daily, if possible.
• Move all sensitive plants together and run a humidifier near them to keep air moisture levels high.
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