Roses have been a symbol of love for many thousands of years. Some people think it could of be back as far as roman times. The Roman god Venus, the goddess of love, favourite flower was indeed a rose. This lead to the fresh petals of the fragrant Rosa gallica, being spread over the beds of rich romans before they made love. This of course only happened during the short time in June when they were in flower. Maybe the Romans got the idea from the Greek goddess, Aphrodite. She was always pictured with roses around her head, shoulder and feet. When her lover Adonis died, her tears and his blood met on the ground a red rose grew and from this sign, it is thought the rose became the symbol of everlasting love .
It is not just western beliefs either. Hindu’s believe that their goddess Laxmi, (goddess of fortune and prosperity) was formed from 1008 petals and 108 roses.
Swinging back to the more modern times, well ok during the Victorian period, men expressed their feelings to ladies that they admired, not by notes but by flowers and again, roses and even more so red roses, were the plant of choice.
Why red roses? Maybe it’s the colour itself, red. Red is the colour of blood and it’s often used to show Honour, long lasting devotion. Whatever it is, roses are still used today as symbols of love.
Some of our rose names and history have links or stories of romantic connections and these are some of my favourite ones, complete with their stories
The lovely Rosa Mundi (gallica ‘Versicolor) was thought to be given the name Rosa mundi after the very lovely mistress of Henry 2, Rosemund Clifford. Rumour was the Queen poisoned her and the king was so distraught, that around her grave, he planted the most beautiful plant he could find, Rosa mundi
And there is Lady Hillington, the famous socialite, who wrote that ‘when she heard her husbands footsteps approaching her bed chambers, she would lie back and think of England’
The Empress Joséphine was Napoleons first wife and it was her beauty and true love of the rose that really created the range of delightful roses bred in France. It’s only fit that her rose is included
Not forgetting Rosa ‘ Belle Amour’. It’s name means basically beautiful Love and that really sums up valentines for me
What can be more romantic than to plant a rose for the one you love and this the most romantic of all days