Roses are red, violets are blue: but what do the colour of flowers mean?

Most ladies will be hoping to receive a beautiful bunch of flowers this Valentine’s Day - but few of us will realise that the colours chosen in the bouquet and indeed the number of flowers themselves can hold great significance.

Back in Victorian times, people used to communicate secretly with each other with the giving and receiving of beautiful blooms, something which we still do to this day.

“A lot of these meanings come from Victorian times. There was a book published in the late 19th century, and basically it allowed Victorians to send coded messages to each other at a time when public displays of affection weren’t (allowed),” florist Nick Priestly explained.

Red roses symbolise deep passion, so it’s no surprise these are one of the most popular flowers today, and certainly most popular at Valentine’s Day. White roses signify everlasting love, while lilac roses mean love at first sight.

However if you get a bunch of yellow roses, it might be time to re-evaluate your relationship, as this variety of flower stands for friendship – or infidelity, if you believe the Victorian meaning!

The combination of colours can contain a hidden message too. Red and white blooms put together either can either stand for unity – as believed during the Victorian times - or bad luck if you go with the modern-day interpretation, with the colours being likened to 'blood and bandages'.

The number of flowers in a bouquet can be just as important when figuring out the true feelings of your loved one or admirer too. Nick explained: “The number of roses is significant too. Twelve roses means be mine, 999 roses – if you’re thinking of sending that this year – means I will love you until the end of time.” He added: “It can mean you’re fairly nuts as well if you’re willing to spend that on roses!”

Once you’ve figured out which flowers and colours to send to your loved one this Valentine’s Day, it’s really quite easy to make an attractive bouquet.

Simply take one flower and some foliage, then add another flower and some foliage until you get a nice bouquet. Wrap the stems round each other, ensuring they don’t cross over as this could cause the stems to break, and once the arrangement looks as you would like it to, tie with string and finish off with some coloured cellophane. Voila!


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