Sharron Goodyear

What's in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet. — William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet act II, sc. Ii

The Beauty of Roses

For centuries it has stood the test of time as the symbolism of love, beauty, and passion. According to Greek legend, a beautiful nymph was found dead by Flora, the deity of flowers. Saddened by this she decided to reincarnate her as a flower. She asked Aphrodite to bestow upon her unsurpassed beauty and Dionysius to give her fragrance and nectar. Chloris then place dewdrops on her and named her Rose, the Queen of the flowers. Another legend claims that all roses where white until a nightingale saw one and fell deeply in love. Once only chirping, the nightingale began to sing. As he pressed up against it, a thorn pierced his heart forever turning the rose red. It is said that Cleopatra seduced Marc Anthony by lining her floor and bedroom in a sea of roses evoking passion that overtook him. Early Christians claimed the five red petals stood for the wound of Jesus. And each of us sparks a memory of love at the site of a rose. Poems have been written about them, and wars have been named after them. It is amazing that such a little piece of beauty can lay claim to such a vast legacy as the rose has.

Some know the meaning behind the colors of the roses, but few don’t realize the symbolism of the arrangements of the flower themselves. Let’s not forget the number of the roses have a special meaning too. In Victorian times, no suitor came to call without them. The bouquet had a story to tell about the feelings and intentions of the gentleman presenting them. Nowadays, we are elated if we actually ever get to receive them. When we do, we walk head held high as we bask in the sea of envy of our friends. We savor this as long as we can cause God only knows when this might happen again, but none the less, we are loved. Ladies you know what I am talking about. And this is for the guys that don’t.

This is an education about the red rose. A red rose stands for enduring love and overwhelming passion. It also represents courage and respect. A single red rose or a thorn less red rose represents love at first sight. A bouquet of roses represents innocent love and a tea rose tells your love that you will never forget them. Red and yellow roses combined denote happiness, whereas, red and white represent unity. Two red rose with stems wired together as one implies an impending engagement. A fully bloomed rose over two buds implies secrecy. Six red roses means an infatuation, but nine means forever bound. There are more numbers with more meanings, but the mother of all is fifty or more roses. This represents a love beyond love that knows no bounds.

Never give a woman slightly withered white roses unless you are trying to lose her. This is the most insulting of meanings. It stands for fleeting beauty. It also lets a woman know that she has made no impression on you. Next time you give your girl red roses ask her does she know the meaning behind the color and number of them. If you have to tell her, she will think you are truly romantic.