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Roses are synonymous with love and beauty. If you’re looking for something wonderful and romantic to show how much you care this Valentine’s Day, roses are a perfect choice. Whether one decides on a traditional offering of long-stemmed red roses or a more unique option such as yellow tea roses, the gesture is always received with a feeling of loveliness. Red roses are a symbol of romantic and passionate love while yellow roses symbolize friendship and joy. A white rose is usually an offering of innocence and humility while a lavender or purple rose represents enchantment and love at first sight.

For Valentine’s Day, take a cue from William Blake when he referred to a rose’s “bed of crimson joy” and surprise your loved one with the traditional—but never dull—gift of red roses. Red roses are the classic blooms that always make a statement. When Juliet says to Romeo in Shakespeare’s famous play: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” it goes without saying that the blossom the lover is referring to is red in hue. In Ernest Dowson’s 1896 poem They Are Not Long, he uses roses to symbolize youth, happiness, and decadence. When he says: “They are not long, the days of wine and roses: Out of a misty dream/ Our path emerges for a while, then closes/Within a dream” the reader is made to think that the days filled with roses are fleeting, that they are special because what is truly beautiful is dream-like and cannot last forever. This sentiment is almost like a cut flower as it points out the mortality of a rose bud: it blooms and then fades but we are lucky to have experienced its beauty.

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