Chanel No. 5. Velvet-lined chocolate boxes. Roses. They’re known to be the classic flower of romance, and they’re loved by so many. But what is it about roses that makes them so romantic? What do they symbolize? What can you do to ensure that your roses last? At Freddie’s Flowers we’ve popped on our rose-tinted spectacles to tell you everything you need to know…
What’s the history of roses?
The flower to send when you just can’t find the words. Roses have long symbolised love and adoration for someone, a classic for a reason as when we say this is a flower with a history, we really mean it. Archaeologists have discovered rose fossils that date back 35 millions years, and the earliest ornamental rose dates from around 500 BC in Persia and China. Today, the oldest living rose is 1,000 years old.
But while they’ve long been known for romance, with Cleopatra using them to seduce Mark Antony, and their association with ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite, they’re also known to represent confidentiality. The Latin expression “sub rosa” (literally, “under the rose”) means something told in secret, and in ancient Rome, a wild rose was placed on the door to a room where confidential matters were being discussed.
They’re also the national flower of England, and have been since the 1500s, and The War Of Roses which was a civil war between the royal house of Lancaster (whose emblem was a red rose) and the royal house of York (whose emblem was a white rose).
What do roses symbolise?
Forget about always ‘painting the roses red’ in the Victorian language of flowers, you were saying something different with your roses, depending on what colour you sent. But, no matter what hue, they’ll always represent a token of love.
Red roses – Love & passion
Orange roses – Energy & Desire
Yellow roses – Friendship & Joy
Green roses – Growth & Abundance
Lavender/purple roses – Wonder & Enchantment
Pink roses – Elegance & Sweetness
Peach roses – Sincerity & Gratitude
White roses – Young Love & Innocence
Cream roses – Grace & Charm
In arrangements, what are roses paired with?
Pretty much everything! Although they add elegance to every arrangement they’re placed in, we do like to switch up what we pair with them, depending on the season. In the summer we like to pair them with delicate Spring-like phlox and stocks. In the Autumn or winter we pair them with blooms and eryngium (amongst others) and some lush foliage.
How do Freddie’s Flowers roses arrive?
You’ll notice our roses arrive with tougher looking petals than your average rose.
This is because all our roses come with guard petals, which are the outer petals that are designed specially to protect the rose. We think they give the rose a rather romantic antique look but you can easily remove them if you wish by gently plucking them from the base of the petal.
A llittle rose hack is after a week in the vase – taken them out of your arrangement and add them into a smaller vase (with water) and pop them into the fridge, so as to give them a new lease of life.
Where do Freddie’s Flowers roses come from?
The majority of our roses come from Kenya, where we support local farmers and their families. One of our favourite farmers, who provides us with our gorgeous white roses is Karen Roses, based in Nairobi City, Kenya. They’ve been set up since 1989 and grow 42 different variety of roses.
They do a great deal in their local community, as well as having a school and creche on site which teaches 300 and which they fully donated the land for. They have also funded and contributed to an extensive range of projects including a maternity wing at the local hospital, construction of classrooms in a number of local schools, clean water accessibility projects, construction of libraries and provision of education bursaries to those in need.
They are also in the process of (having seen the impact through COVID on the local economy) creating a circular economy by encouraging and providing resources (including agronomy expertise and free seeds) to the local community to grow food crops and sell back to Karen Roses for use at the canteen to feed workers. (the canteen is 75% subsidised).
There are also fifty beehives on the farm, and they recently donated 100 beehives to provide education on bee farming to the locals.