Roses Are Red…
SO GARDENINGSunday, February 14, 2021
The Unlikely Gardener
“The rose is red, the violet's blue… I drew thee to my Valentine… And said it shou'd be you.” – Gammer Gurton's Garland, 1784
As you turn the pages of the Style Observer , by now, on the day of Saint Valentine, many of you would have received your beautiful bouquets and unravelled your fabulous gifts of sentiment. On this particular day, no gift is too small or, on the contrary, too large with words of sincere romanticism and affection trumping all things material. In the words of Shakespeare, “love looks not with eyes, but the mind and therefore is Cupid painted blind.”
With the caveat that material things can never substitute love, show me 20 women in a garland of 100 who would not appreciate from a single rose to a grand bouquet of nature's best on Valentine's Day.
This week, we bring the outdoors inside on the most traditional day of the radiant red bouquet with a little insight into what your loved one intended when he chose your single stem or large bouquet, what colours and why. For those gentlemen who may be a little late on the order, today's Unlikely Gardener might assist you to make it right.
Understanding the flower
Nicola McGrath of The New Greenhouse was kind enough to lend her floral expertise today. For the gardener and flora aficionado, one would naturally wish to ask those who cut stems for gifting and décor about the sentiment behind the practice. Nicola kindly obliged by volunteering that she strives to “deliver happiness on behalf of others… every flower ordered is an act of love… a romantic gesture on a special day like Valentine's Day. One of the most heartfelt gifts anyone could give is the gift of flowers”. After all, as Rumi penned, “What is the heart? A flower opening.” Unsurprisingly, since we must now adore from six feet apart, this gift of love is even more relevant today than ever before.
Why red roses?
As the international symbol of romance, Nicola, as our local bouquet purveyor, is of the view that “red roses have always been the universal language of love… the red rose is the ultimate symbol of romance, no matter where you are on the globe”. Nicola and her team have found that some of you “want a more unique expression of love and so we offer unique variations… to include rainbow roses… we also find that white and pink roses are also popular requests on Valentine's Day”.
If you're curious about the symbolism of the colours, here's the rundown:
1. Red Roses: True Love, Passion, Romance & Burning Desire.
2. Yellow Roses: Friendship, Joy & Caring.
3. Orange Roses: Desire.
4. Pink Roses: Elegance & Sweetness.
5. Peach Roses: Sincerity & Gratitude.
6. Lavender Roses: Love at first sight.
7. White Roses: Purity & Innocence.
8. Multicoloured Roses: You decipher, but they're supposed to symbolise fun!
If you're curious about the significance of the number:
1. A single stem – “It was love at first sight.”
2. A dozen roses – “Be mine.”
3. Two dozen roses – “You're always on my mind.”
4. Fifty roses – “I love you unconditionally.”
5. Seventy-seven roses – “You're my soulmate.”
6. Eighty-eight roses – The ultimate “I'm sorry & I love you.”
7. Ninety-nine roses – “I love you until the day I die.”
8. One hundred roses – “I am devoted.”
If you're a member of the “Galentine's Day Club” only, l wish to remind that love isn't only for lovers. To love anyone unconditionally, you must love yourself wholly. If you're low, there's no shame in ordering yourself and/or members of your tribe that “Galentine's bouquet”. Also, if you and/or your partner aren't into roses or the commerce of Valentine's Day you can always quote a little Neruda and say, “I love you between shadow and soul. I love you as the plant that hasn't bloomed yet and carries hidden within itself the light of flowers.”
With the prayer that we all continue to love and live a little more within the confines of this year, we must give a Valentine's nod to Longfellow who said, “Kind hearts are the gardens, kind thoughts are the roots, kind words are the flowers, kind deeds are the fruits. Take care of your garden and keep out the weeds. Fill it with sunshine, kind words and kind deeds.”
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