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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