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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2007
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Daily photos by John Godbey

Let Roses do the talking

Danielle Komis
dkomis@decaturdaily.com· 340-2447

Before you grab those yellow roses in the floral department for your Valentine’s sweetheart, freeze!

If they’re not for a friend, yellow roses could be the death rattle of an already wheezing romantic relationship.

Light pink: Grace, gladness
Light pink: Grace, gladness
Unbeknownst to some, choosing a red, yellow, pink or any other colored rose is not as straightforward as choosing what color you or your sweetheart likes. Rose colors hold various meanings such as friendship, purity, desire and grace.

The importance of flower meanings began in Victorian times, when frank conversation was considered inappropriate. To supplement that communication, floral bouquets were often passed back and forth to convey messages. During that era, the arrangement, the number, and even how fully bloomed the flowers were meant something.

While today’s society is much different from those hush-hush times, many people still hold on to the meanings of roses, if just for nostalgia’s sake.

If you have a lover who is clued in to those meanings, you’d better be sure you know what message you’re sending.

For example, red roses — the most popular Valentine’s Day rose — symbolize love, passion, respect and courage, said Ann Bentley, owner of Simpson’s Florist in Decatur.

The store’s next most popular roses for Valentine’s Day are yellow roses, which symbolize friendship and joy.

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Red: Love, passion, respect, courage
Light pink roses come in third, she said, which symbolize grace and gladness. Lavender roses stand for love at first sight or excitement.

While the days of worrying about the meaning of flowers have had their heyday, many men still ask about the meanings, Bentley said.

“They’re really concerned,” she said. “They want to make sure they’re not sending the wrong signal.”

Sandy Yeager, floral designer at Le Ann Florist in Athens, also said that some men, though not the majority, seem pretty concerned about which color to purchase.

“I guess because they don’t want to get in trouble, especially if they’re already in trouble,” she said.

And sometimes, customers just want to branch out from the mainstream rose colors for Valentine’s Day, said Kristen Bentley, head floral designer at Simpson’s Florist.

“A lot of times people will want something different than just white, pink or red,” she said. “People will ask if we have anything different.”

And with so many varieties nowadays, they can usually get two-tone roses or unusual colors, she added.

Which may be the way to go if you fear messages — especially the wrong ones — altogether.

Other top- selling flowers for Valentine’s Day

  • Tulips

  • Lilies

  • Carnations

  • Daisies

  • Mixed arrangements

    Sources: Simpson’s Florist in Decatur and Le Anne Florist in Athens

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