The old saying goes that 'roses are red and violets are blue'. But as we all know, roses don't just come in one shade – there are actually more than 150 varieties in a wide spectrum of colours. Alongside traditional scarlet, they can be peach or yellow, white, blush pink and even purple or beige. Which means that if you're trying to pick a bunch to send your loved one this Valentine's Day, it's not as easy as it looks. There is one colour to avoid though, and that's yellow!
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But why? Well, according to the experts at online florists Bloom & Wild (and they should know), different coloured roses have different meanings. And if you send your crush yellow ones, you're in danger of entering the dreaded 'friend zone'. So to avoid any misinterpretations, we've created a breakdown of your main colour options, and the hidden message behind them...
The meaning behind rose colours
When it comes to expressing your undying love and passion, red roses are your safest bet. 'Roses date back to ancient Greek-Roman mythology, where often they are mentioned in conjunction with Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love,' says Caroline Grimble, the lead florist at Bloom & Wild. 'So red rose flower delivery may not be the modern concept we take it for. In the Victorian times – where expressions of affection and emotion weren’t common – lovers would send red roses as a way to express themselves. It's a tradition which has stood the test of time.'
When you're past the lust stage, pink roses are a go-to for signalling your long-term affection. 'A few favourite varieties would be the delicate pale pink La Belle rose, then there’s the bold coral Miss Piggy rose, not to mention the vibrant pink Ace rose,' says Caroline.
Pink roses also denote grace, which makes them a solid pick if you're looking for something to send to a best friend or your mum.
'From Bella Donna roses to Butterscotch roses, there are nearly 50 types of yellow rose,' Caroline explains. 'Through its association with sun, sending yellow flowers is a great way to express joy, warmth and friendship.'
Yep, FRIENDSHIP. So if you're looking to evoke a little more, erm, passion, yellow is best avoided. Hello roses do, on the other hand, make the perfect Galentine's Day gesture for your gal pal, and work perfectly as a birthday present or a thank you.
Fallen head over heads? Then nothing beats the original symbol of true love – the white rose. 'Nowadays, the white rose represents purity and innocence, and are traditionally used at weddings,' Caroline reveals. 'In fact, you'll probably have spotted them at the weddings of both Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, and Princess Eugenie an Jack Brooksbank.'
A new love deserves a relatively new variety of rose. 'Lilac roses have an air of mysticism and enchantment about them,' says Caroline. 'Our favourite is the oh so beautiful Morning Dew rose, a specialist rose bred in Holland. It’s even a symbol of love at first sight, making this a secretly romantic rose.'
To get 10 per cent off your Valentine's Day bouquet at Bloom & Wild, subscribe to their newsletter using the form on the home page.
What roses do you have your heart set on this year?
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Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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