You don't have to be a super-scientist or fluent in the language of flowers to know the rose naturally expresses love, appreciation and romance. When someone sends us a rose we blush right away! The reason why this Valentine tradition is alive today stems (pun intended!) from the Victorian era,
I'm not going to lie- I have a crush on long stem red roses (how could you not?!), and I may or may not have been absolutely dreaming of a job as a farmer, staying right there and living and growing flowers in South America when I visited the Rosaprima farm in Ecuador a few years ago. Sadly, however, I'm sitting right here writing about roses from my desk in Atlanta, Georgia in the states as the Rosaprima farm gets ready for Valentine's Day (just two months away). The only thing that comforts me? These gorgeous red rose bouquets and what better way to start the season than by sharing these gorgeous images of the red Finally rose from my friend Katrina Barrow Photography.
There is so much that makes a rose special, actually. The flower's lively history and high market demand make it popular with a lot of people for a lot of things especially at Valentine's Day. Every year on Feb. 14, millions of people exchange the flower to express their love — and upwards of 250 million are produced annually for Valentine’s Day, as of 2018, according to the Society of American Florists.
Red roses have stood the test of time because of their hefty and energetic symbolism. The rose’s life as a symbol didn’t start with romance but today it effortlessly represents beauty, love, even politics and yes, romance across cultures. Even though the cultivation dates back at least 5,000 years in Asia, the use of the rose in nineteenth century English and French pop culture is what led to its popularity and use at Valentine's Day.
According to The Culture of Flowers by Jack Goody a book by Charlotte De Latour that translated Language of Flowers was very popular in the nineteenth century. This dictionary of flowers covered everything from the gravity of mistletoe at Christmas to the musk rose’s symbolization of “capricious beauty.” People really bought into this book. It became so famous that nine editions (of the English translation version alone) were printed in three decades.
During this period bouquets of all kinds were being used to deliver messages of love interest. Just think, without having to pick up a pen or think about reading and what to write you could simply send a flower. Just as quickly as the emoji you sent yesterday totally conveys an emotion without a single letter or word, so did the flower back in that day. You can see why it was trendy to send all kinds of floral notes but it's the red-rose-note-at-Valentine's-Day bouquet that really stuck.
“There is no colour, no flower, no weed, no fruit, herb, pebble, or feather that has not a verse belonging to it: and you may quarrel, reproach, or send letters of passion, friendship, or civility, or even of news, without ever inking your fingers,” Lady Mary Wortley Montagu wrote.
The traditional color of the rose is red which plays a paramount role in why this variety has kept the same message through the ages. The undeniably elementary and intrinsic feelings red evokes allowed stories and poetry about a red rose's lasting emotional power to sprout during the nineteenth century. According to The Secret Language of Color, a blush brings redness to the face in moments of attraction and desire and this redness is associated with sexuality and status. It's true that no flower has been more written about than a red rose. The color associations make it easy to develop entertaining stories that have remained and kept the red rose a powerful symbol of love and passion through different cultures.
Red roses are just as energizing today as well, 5,000 years ago, since I am being honest! The most magnetic of all red roses to receive and to use in floral compositions, to me, is the standard Finally rose grown by Rosaprima in the Andes mountains of Ecuador. This variety really draws you in the most charming way. I admire it for its large bud size and long vase life. According to their website, "Words and pictures will never fully encompass the sheer beauty and grandeur of this Rosaprima rose. Romantic, sophisticated, and sensual, Finally is undeniably the most beautiful among all red roses. With an intense crimson color that shades off to a darker tone, she speaks of love that awaits a passionate expression."
Enjoy these photos of the Finally red rose fresh from the people of the Rosaprima farm outside of Quito, Ecuador. Katrina and I worked hard to give this rose what I think it deserves: artistic images that capture the nature of it's iconic and effortless, raw, sensual and moody beauty.
Please, also enjoy these photos from a trip to meet the people of Rosaprima and see how the Finally rose grows in person at the iconic, sustainable, rainforest-friendly flower farm set amid the Andes Mountains in South America.
See how the trip unfolds to discover for yourself why the meaning of the red rose has been the same for centuries, how easy it is to fall in love with this variety of flowers, and why you blush when someone sends you a read rose... finally!