Number of Roses
...How many are you giving?

The meaning of number of roses in a bouquet was a strict code in Victorian times. In those days if you had received two different bouquets of roses: one of thirteen and the other of just two, you would be presented with a dilemma. In this case the bigger would not necessarily mean the better, but you would certainly have needed to fully understand the implications of number of roses.



The strict Victorians were able to carry out a complete courtship with few words exchanged but they needed access to many flowers, especially roses. Here then is the basic dictionary for meaning of number of roses; Roses by the numbers.

Single Roses:

This is the strongest emotion. It says "I Love you" or "I love you still". It shows deepest affection and utmost devotion but also 'simplicity': the simplicity of one.

Two Roses:

This indicates two people joined as one. Two roses with their stems wired together used to signify a coming engagement or marriage.

Six Roses:

This stood for the 'need to be loved'.

Thirteen Roses:

This number of the same roses in a bouquet represented the 'secret admirer' or 'You have a secret admirer'.

Thirty-Six Roses:

A bouquet of thirty-six roses signifies the start of a full blown romance.

One Hundred Roses:

This rather large bouquet would represent an undying love. Love until death, or a hundred years, whatever came first!

One Hundred and Eight Roses:

This, it is suggested, represents a marriage proposal although you would hope someone also gives you a very large vase!

Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Roses:

Well, you guessed it, one for every day of the year. Rather over the top I would think but on the other hand, marry them right away because they are either very wealthy or they are a Rosarian with a very large rose garden! (hopefully both.)

Roses have a meaning and the number has significance, but be careful of the withered rose bouquet of any number!

You probably should have offered a rose-hip spa treatment, because according to this "withered" offering, you made "No Impression"!

Using flowers to convey meaning has been traditional for centuries but the meaning of number of roses became a strict code, a secret language. for the Victorians.




Dig Around #1: Visit Kew Gardens in London, online.

Dig Around #2: Join a garden forum perhaps.




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