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Roses aren't just for Valentine’s Day

Hundreds of millions of roses are grown specifically for Valentine’s Day each year. This tradition dates back to the 19th Century when the Victorians used floral bouquets to deliver a message to love interests. Their popularity is, in part, due to the strong symbolism attached.

Written by Chloe Marchbank

However, as well as signifying your love for another on this specific day, roses are also featured in many British gardens, they often form all or part of wedding bouquets or their petals may be spread as a romantic gesture – perhaps for a proposal.

But, did you know that there are around 100 species of rose – which vary in colour and shape? Here are a few more things you might not know about them:

The Tallest Rose
The tallest rose bush on record is in Morristown, New Jersey – it was grown by Robert Bendel at his home in the USA and grew 5.66m (18ft 7in). The red rose bush was measured in October 2009.

The Largest Rose
The largest rose bouquet ever had 156,940 blooms – it was created by and displayed in NordWestZentrum shopping mall in Frankfurt am Main, Germany in 2005.

The Oldest Rose
The oldest rose bush in the world grows on the Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany – it is believed to be over 1000 years old.

Decorative Flowers
Roses are the oldest species of plant to be grown as decoration – they date right back to AD 50 when the Ancient Romans cultivated the flower to decorate buildings, furniture and people whilst petals were laid to create carpets and walkways.

A Colourful Meaning
The colour of the rose determines its meaning:
  • Red: love and passion – the ultimate symbol of love, the red rose is known universally as the lover’s rose.
  • White: humility, purity and innocence – it is often referred to as the bridal rose, and is associated with young love.
  • Yellow: friendship, joy and caring – while in Victorian times it symbolised jealousy, a bouquet now represents warmth and affection.
  • Pink: gentility, femininity, elegance and refinement – this colour also carries additional meanings depending on the shade, a deep pink conveys gratitude and appreciation, while lighter shades signify grace, gentleness, admiration and happiness.
  • Orange: enthusiasm and desire – they express admiration and attraction with an underlying message of passion and excitement.
You can also send additional messages by mixing up the colours, for example, a mix of red and white roses are said to symbolise unity.

Edible Petals
Did you know you can eat roses? Their petals are edible and can be used to make jams, syrups and rosewater.

While a bunch of roses is thoughtful, they will have far more meaning if you have grown them yourself and they will look beautiful in the garden as you do so. If you want to grow your own, click here and find out more about one of the most popular garden plants – including how to plant and care for them.
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