Bouquet interpretation: mind the roses

As part of my commitment to bring back the language of flowers, I'll be writing a new semi-regular column interpreting bouquets. To start with, here's a lovely one from my local Pak n Save that shows that you don't need to have a lot of different flowers in a bouquet to get yourself into trouble with it.

A bouquet of four deep red roses, and four yellow chrysanthemums. One of the chrysanthemums is weirdly long and extends towards the camera in a slightly creepy way.

You might think that this is a simple bunch of roses and chrysanthemums, suitable for any second date or anniversary, but it turns out that things aren't so straightforward. What we're looking at is (according to The Language of Flowers (1867)) yellow chrysanthemums for slighted love, and deep red roses for bashful shame. This might be a good apology bouquet for someone you have cheated on, or a bouquet to send to someone you've been ghosting if you change your mind and decide you might want to see them after all.

At least we can be glad that these are roses and not rosebuds, because The Language of Flowers says that red rosebuds mean "pure and lovely", which combined with the yellow chrysanthemums seems like the sort of melodramatic bouquet that a Shakespearean heroine should carry just before she goes mad and/or dies, and probably not a good choice for any casual bouquet-giving occasion.

I'm sure that will help.

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