Flowers have long been a beautiful and meaningful way to show someone that you care. Their natural beauty is sought after and admired the world over. We give flowers for all sorts of reasons – to celebrate holidays, congratulate someone on an achievement, or even to help mourn loss. Flowers convey meaning through their color, scent, and cultural indications.
For many centuries, people from the Middle East and Persia used flowers to convey messages that they could not or would not say out loud. This tradition made its way over to Europe, but especially to the United Kingdom where during the Victorian Era, high society developed a language of flowers to subtly communicate strong feelings with one another. As it was impolite and against the norm to be so forward and directly state affections and emotions, the language of flowers being given or displayed allowed for leeway.
The color red symbolized romantic love, and the rose was the epitome of affection. While many different colors of roses symbolize many different things, the red rose has grown to represent romance and deep love. The red rose is so laden with meaning that even today, a single long-stemmed red rose is seen as one of the clearest ways to declare that you love someone! White roses meant purity. Pink roses indicated a step down from love, but certainly indicated affection. In part due to this language of flowers, we get our familiar Valentine’s Day color palette of red, pink, and white!
Carnations were also very popular to give as a gift and are often a more affordable option to roses. During the Victorian era, red carnations held a meaning similar to a red rose, indicating “my heart aches for you”. A gift of white carnations spoke to adoration and purity. Combinations of carnations and roses are very popular to give as gifts for Valentine’s Day!
The perfect Valentine’s Day gift
Flowers are the ideal Valentine’s Day gift for anyone! They pair perfectly with any other gift, bringing a thoughtful touch to any thoughtful present. If you are going out to dinner, flowers are a showstopping way to get your partner excited about what’s coming up. Also, it can be very flattering for your date to have a beautiful arrangement to show off at dinner! Regardless of where you’re going or what you’re doing, a stunning flower arrangement is a must for love or for congratulations of any kind.
Flowers will never live forever, but with the right care they’ll last for weeks! Roses in particular do well after being cut. With three easy steps, your roses will last:
- Remove any foliage that falls underneath the water. This will help prevent bacteria from developing on the leaves.
- Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle and cut off ½ inch every day. Doing this allows the stems to continue to get clean, fresh water. Pro tip: when you cut the stems, do it under running water.
- Change out the water daily. Fresh water is key to getting the longest life possible out of your beautiful roses! Just as you get a fresh glass of water when you need it, your roses need it too. Bacteria will grow inside the water if it sits too long, shortening the life of your flowers.
Why roses for Valentine’s Day?
Roses epitomize beauty for many, and a red rose symbolizes love. What better flower for the holiday of love than a red rose?
Roses also make a memorable part of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays that is still well-loved today: Romeo and Juliet. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” Juliet declares. And truly, what other flower is worthy of such admiration? With its plethora of colors, variety of bud shapes, and memorable scents ranging from faint to luscious this beautiful phenomenon of a flower is cultivated the world over by flower fans.
Such great care has been put into the creation of many different rose breeds for the ideal color, smell, and shape for everyone! However, the red rose reigns supreme on Valentine’s Day, and a dozen perfect red roses is the benchmark that all Valentine’s Day gifts must live up to.
Why a dozen?
Across many cultures the number twelve is seen as a symbol of completeness and wholeness. It’s how we measure time in hours and months; one complete day is 24 hours and 12 months is a full year. To symbolize the fullness of our hearts on Valentine’s Day, we give a dozen red roses to our beloved. Red roses for Valentine’s Day are a perfect gift with their gorgeous long stems and perfect vibrant blooms.
Fun fact: did you know that if you receive thirteen red roses, you have a secret admirer?
While it is nice to receive flowers regardless of how they are given, there is no feeling like that of receiving flowers sent straight to your door from that special someone! Coming home to that special box and opening the box to find beautiful, farm-fresh flowers with a special message from your loved one is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!