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Vol. 112 - Issue 1, Wednesday, September 15, 2010
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HISTORIC ISSUES
Vol.6 No.51 - 7/6/1872
Vol.17 No.2 - 7/15/1882
Courtesy of the New York State Historical Association Library, Cooperstown, N.Y (.PDF files)
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Special Sections


The meanings of flowers
by Janine Giordano

Over the centuries, flowers were typically given as a sentiment of fondness. Traditionally, flowers had different meanings, some of which are still commonly recognized today. For example, roses, the choice flower at Valentine’s Day, are given to someone you love. Lilies are given at Easter time, and are a flower representing purity.

R.S. Mercury
But even the number of flowers or the color you choose can represent an important part of the message you are trying to send when giving a gift of flowers, especially roses.

The most well-known color is red, which is a symbol of love and beauty. Almost everyone associates a dozen red roses with the sentiment, “I love you.”

Pink roses are a symbol of gentle love, of grace, while white roses are a sign of chaste or innocent love, or as a show of respect.

Yellow roses are usually given as a token of friendship, or when welcoming back a friend or loved one. Peach roses are a sign of sympathy or a sign of gratitude. Purple roses usually are meant to symbolize love also, usually an unexpected love at first site kind of feeling.

Other flowers popular at this time of year include acacia meaning: secret love; asters, which offer a simple message of love; baby’s breath, meaning happiness, everlasting love; carnations, for deep affection; chrysanthemums, true friendship; daisies, loyal love, innocent love; forget-me-nots, true love; and tulips, which offer a declaration of love.

Even the number of roses you give says something, in some cultures and countries.

A single red rose can tell a woman you are interested in her, and that you love her. Three roses is a sweet and simple way to also say “I love you.”  A dozen roses tells her “Be my valentine.”

Any way around it, saying “I love you” with roses will guarantee that your relationship will be, well... just rosy.

-Giordano

 


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