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Valentine's Day Flowers


What says I Love You better then a rose?
For hundreds of years poets and scholars
have been able to describe the rose
only in superlatives.
Roses symbolize both peace and war,
love and forgiveness.

Keeping roses fresh:

Remove any torn or shredded leaves.
Thorns can be removed
without harm to the flower.
Recut stem under running water
before arranging.
If you cannot put flowers in water right away,
store in the refrigerator.
To avoid buildup of bacteria
change the water daily and remove
any leaves below the water surface.
Use water at room temperature.
Keep flowers away from bright sunlight but
also away from air conditioners or drafts.
At night move flowers
to coolest part of the house - doing so
will extend the life of the flowers.
Floral preservative can be added
to the water at each change or
add no more than a quarter teaspoon
of bleach for a large vase.
The same process can be used for Carnations.

Rose meanings:

This widely depends on culture, but first the
formal meanings in English speaking cultures.
Each of these meanings is still used in
society today, so they are still valid.

White roses are for true love.
Red roses are for passion.
Yellow roses are for friendship.
Black roses mean farewell.

Modern meanings:

Red roses mean love.
Yellow roses mean friendship.
Pink roses mean friendship or sweetheart.
White roses mean purity of the mind.
Black roses are for death.


The custom of exchanging flowers may have less
to do with romance and chivalry than with anxiety.
For the shy or uncertain, handing over a bouquet
is often the easiest way to express sentiment.

Ancient myths, biblical stories,
and fables all assigned meaning to flowers.
In the early 1700's Charles II of Sweden
introduced a new language to Europe when
he brought the Persian poetical art called
"the language of flowers" to the west.

Floral lexicons were published throughout
the 18th century, allowing secrets to be
exchanged with a lily or lilac, and an
entire conversation to take place in a bouquet.

It seems the more popular the flower,
the more superstitions and meanings
have been associated with it.
The rose carries the most baggage by far.

One may say we've progressed from Victorian
days -- e-mail allows you to woo another
across the globe as easily as across the room.
But in another sense, we may have lost ground.

The only flower that has a universally
understood meaning these days is the rose.
Communication may have expanded globally,
but the undiversified flower-giving on
Valentine's Day has reduced the language
of flowers to a monosyllabic grunt.

So if you want to let someone know
how you feel this Valentine's Day, exercise
your freedom of expression by choosing
from a wide array of meaningful blossoms.

Let's face it: Flowers are a lot more subtle
than the Notify box on your e-mail,
and they look much nicer on the nightstand!


Roses are among the oldest of cultivated flowers,
with the first known to have grown
in Asian gardens 5,000 years ago.

In its untamed form the flower goes back
even further; fossils of wild roses
date back 35 million years. It seems the appeal
of the rose has stood the test of time.

The ancients explained the beauty
of the rose through myths of godly creation.
The Greek goddess Chloris stumbled upon a
beautiful dead nymph and turned her into a flower;

Aphrodite added beauty; the three graces
added brilliance, joy, and charm.
Dionysious donated fragrant nectar,
while Zephyrus the west wind blew away the
clouds so Apollo could shower the rose in sun.

The flower was then given to Eros,
the deity of love,
and named the "Queen of Flowers."

The Romans had their own ideas on the rose's origin.
According to their legend, many suitors were lined
up to marry a beautiful woman named Rodanthe,
but she had little interest in any of them.

These men were so full of love and desire
that they became rowdy and eventually
broke down the doors to her house.
This episode angered the goddess Diana,
who turned the woman into a flower and her
suitors into thorns to teach them a lesson.

Whatever its origin, the rose is undeniably
the best-known symbol of beauty and love.
It is common knowledge that
red roses mean I love you.

Lesser-known nuances of meaning are
attached to different colors and types of roses.
If you're going to jump on the bandwagon
and shell out the cash for your valentine,
you'd better get the definitions straight.

Red and white together mean unity, pink means
grace and gentility, and yellow symbolizes joy.
If you want to stir things up on February 14,
send orange or coral roses to speak your desire.

Burgundy will compliment your sweetheart's beauty.
(great to accompany a glass of red wine)
Sweetheart roses are for couples who like
nicknames, as they mean darling, dear, or honey.

A single rose signifies simplicity. And don't
confuse white roses with white rosebuds;
the first means you're heavenly, while the
second warns that you're too young for love.

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