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Ah, smell the roses…

Valentine’s Day, celebrated February 14 annually across the globe, is the day where we show the people who mean most to us how much we love and appreciate them by giving gifts and flowers.The rose (genus Rosa) is the classic symbol of love and romance. It is a woody flowering plant that can be classed as a shrub. There are over 300 different species of roses varying in colours, sizes and shapes.

Roses are utilised as ornamental plants, and essential oils are derived for the manufacture of rose water, perfumes and many foods (jams, jellies, ice cream) and beverages (tea). Every year an estimated 110 million roses are harvested with long stems just for Valentine’s Day. Red and orange roses can be given to your sweetheart as they symbolise deep love and affection; yellow roses symbolise friendship and are perfect for a close friend or work colleague; and pink roses symbolise grace and admiration and can be given to your parents, children and relatives.

The number of roses you give someone is also significant. A single rose of any colour says ‘Thank you’ to that individual; two roses combined (usually a red and white) symbolises ‘Marry Me’ and six to 13 roses show deep love and admiration.

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