Think You Know Your Roses?

| February 1, 2011

Pink and white rose buds — perfect for thank you gifts and bridal bouquets.

You might be surprised to find out that the colors don’t mean what you think at all

Before you know it those prickly but beautiful rose plants will be sprouting new buds. In fact, due to our mild winter, many people may still be enjoying rose blossoms from last summer.

Did you know that those gorgeous flowers in your backyard or fresh from the florist have a rich history of tradition and symbolism? Roses are credited with inspiring people across the centuries to develop a language of color.

When you choose a color, variety or number of roses for someone, you are personalizing your gift with deeper sentiment. However, rose colors may have a very different meaning from what you intend for your gift to say. This guide from Morrison Gardens can help you communicate your feelings in a traditionally recognized way.

Red — Red indicates love, beauty, passion, courage and respect. Dark red brings out the unconscious beauty of a person, as does dark burgundy. A single red rose shouts, “I love you.”

White — White personifies purity, innocence, silence, reverence, humility and youthfulness. When used in a bridal bouquet, white means “happy” love.

Pink — Pink roses, from dark to light, show appreciation, gratitude, grace, admiration, joy and sweetness. Pink roses are a perfect thank you gift.

Yellow — A yellow rose gives the promise of new beginnings, joy, gladness, friendship and delight. Yellow says “welcome back” or “don’t  forget me.” A yellow rose with a red tip indicates a friendship deepening into love.

Orange — Coral and orange dance with enthusiasm, desire and fascination, while peach says “let’s get together.” Peach is also used for showing appreciation, sincerity or gratitude. Pale peach indicates the modesty of the giver.

Lavender — What better color to show enthusiasm and love at first sight than the enchanting lavender rose? A thornless rose of any color also indicates love at first sight.

Black and Blue — No, that’s not what you are when she throws the vase of roses back at you. But, don’t you dare give her black or blue roses for Valentine’s Day. Black is for death or sad farewells, and blue means unattainable or impossible to reach.

A single rose of any color indicates simplicity, gratitude and utmost devotion. A red rosebud is symbolic of purity and loveliness, while white  rosebuds are the gift for young girls. Two roses entwined together communicate “marry me.” When given together (not entwined), red and white roses signify unity. A combination of red and yellow roses indicates jovial and happy feelings.

Six roses signify a need to be loved and cherished; 11 roses assure the recipient that he or she is deeply loved. But, only send 13 roses if you want to keep your identity secret — 13 tells the recipient that she has a secret admirer.

Peach roses show appreciation and the modesty of the giver. • Double the delight. Present a burgundy rose with a yellow center for love and new beginnings.

Pink roses picked from one’s own garden — what friend could receive a better gift than that?

Soft pink, yellow and white, this bon voyage rose says, “Have a wonderful time, but don’t forget me.” • Is this rose orange or coral? Maybe both. Whichever, it dances with joy.

Orange indicates fascination with the universe and its beauty. v Caught in the rain, this whisper white rose reminds you to be silent and listen to the sounds of nature. v For the love of your life, nothing beats one classic long-stemmed red rose.

Pink bush roses can be presented in pots to your favorite gardener.


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