The rose, June’s birth flower is rich in symbolism and myth. Its image has been utilized throughout history on such diverse topics as love, war, politics and beauty.
The first rose of record is said to be in ancient Greece. The Gods had a tendency to find beauty in tragedy. It was one of these tragic moments that created the rose. Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, created the rose when her tears mixed with the blood of Adonis, her lover. The Romans, not fearful of copying the Greeks like a Xerox machine, created their own legend of the rose’s creation. According to Roman legend, there was an incredibly beautiful maiden named Rhodanthe. She was relentlessly pursued by suitors. Exhausted by their pursuit, Rhodanthe sought refuge in the temple of Diana. Diana was jealous of Rhodanthe and when the suitors broke down her temple gates to get near Rhodanthe, she became furious. Diana’s rage led her to turn Rhodanthe into a rose and her suitors into thorns. The rose’s appeal was farther reaching then just the west. The Persians had their own tale of creation. The Persian legend explains the creation of the red rose as well as the origin of the nightingale’s beautiful voice. According to legend all roses were originally white and nightingales were ordinary birds who can only chirp. One day the nightingale met a beautiful white rose and fell in love. The nightingale’s love was so intense and his need to express his love so great that he was inspired to sing for the first time. When the nightingale made his moves on the rose and pressed himself up against it the thorns pierced his heart, coloring the rose red. If you are like me (Greek), clearly the Greek mythological tale is more appealing. However, fossil evidence suggests that roses existed 35 million years ago, well before any of these myths suggest.
The rose’s symbolic value is not exclusive to England but was most widely used and popularized there. The rose was first looked upon as a symbol of war. A civil war that raged on from 1455-1487 between the House of York and the House of Lancaster. The House of York adopted a white rose, the House of Lancaster was represented by a red rose. The war has been dubbed “The War of the Roses”. The winner of this war, Tudor Henry VII (The Tudors), merged his Lancastrian rose with the rose of his York bride and thus the creation of the Tudor Rose, the Rose of England.
In later years the rose evolved into a form of language creating a secret means of communication between lovers. In the mid 18th century the wife of the British ambassador in Constantinople described this language in her letters. Largely due to the publication of her letters after her death, we have the code necessary to decipher the intricate language of roses. For example if you want to ask your love interest “will you love me?”, send an open white rose. Want to ask “Don’t you love me any more?” , send an open yellow rose. Want to say “I respect and look up to you” then send a bouquet of white roses. Red roses signify “forever I Love You”. However a bouquet of red and white roses state “Together we are one and united”. Want to declare your attraction to someone but don’t want to go as far as declaring your undying love, then purple roses are the way to go. Colors alone aren’t enough to deliver the complex messages of love. In combination with the colors, the number and degree of bloom of the roses have also been assigned meaning. A dozen roses says “Be Mine”. Thirteen roses tells someone we’ll be friends forever. Three dozen roses expresses “I’m head over heels in love!”. Six dozen roses or more says “my love for you is limitless”. In addition to its Victorian assigned message, this last one says “I’m a Starbright Gold club member”.
Regardless of its diverse assigned meanings, the one constant is the rose’s undeniable beauty. The recipient of a beautiful arrangement of roses is always appreciative.
This and most scribes on this web log is brought to you by Starbright Floral Design. We are a full-service florist located in the heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District. We deliver inspired floral compositions throughout Manhattan, all of New York City and everywhere beyond. We invite you to visit our website at www.starflor.com. Here you will be able to gain a broader perspective on our organization and on the work that we do. You may CLICK HERE to visit our e-portal where you may place an order for designer-inspired flower vases and arrangements, our orchids, plants and so much more. We offer same-day delivery to most parts of the United States.
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