Red is the ubiquitous Christmas colour, a favourite that will be the predominant colour of the festive season for all eternity. And what’s not to love? It’s a luxurious powerful colour and one that has a huge significance above and beyond Christmas. Red is the colour of power, passion, strength, danger and is the ultimate colour of the life – the shade of blood that runs within us all.
Red is also the colour of fire and is associated with energy, war, determination and remembrance, with the red poppy a timely November reminder of the horror of war. Red is also the colour of desire and eroticism, an emotionally intense colour, and its very presence can enhance the human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raise blood pressure. Red is the most awesome and formidable colour on our planet, and few others can match its power or impact.
In the floristry world, red flowers signify the unifying colour of love and romance. The offering of red roses clearly states the message of love intended for the recipient. Each year, February 14th sees the demand for red flowers and for roses, in particular, cause an annual spike in the wholesale cost of red flowers – they can be increased by as much as ten times in value. For some, a red rose is a tired, hackneyed old cliché, but for others, they are to be admired and treasured as a heartfelt symbol of true love.
Red can be a tricky colour when it comes to flowers that aren’t Christmassy and that have no romantic intent; in the flower world, all reds are not equal. Because red is such a powerful colour, getting the shade and variety right need some thought. A fire engine red flower can often look gaudy or, dare we say, cheap. Dial that shade down a notch and making it a deeper shade of red is usually more successful and looks less screamy. Burgundy, ruby and claret shades are chic and classic alternatives.
Beware and tread carefully when mixing red flowers with other colours. It can be a difficult thing to get right. Mixing red and white is expressly forbidden for most self-respecting florists. You would run the risk of alarming the recipient with red and white flowers a generation ago as this combination was the symbol of blood and bandages and was the ultimate no-no. Red works perfectly on its own or with tones of the same colour. It workes brilliantly with vivid shades of cerise, pink purple and lilac. With all that taken into consideration, we bring you our top five favourite red flower varieties.
It would have been churlish of us not to have selected a red rose in our top favourite red flower varieties and we think you’d have to have a black, black heart made of stone not to be thrilled when presented with these at some point in your life. We’ve cheated and selected two rose varieties that are guaranteed to delight you. First up, we bring you red Naomi. The ultimate luxurious super-rose, ticking the holy trinity of boxes – longevity, head size and scent – it is an incredible and dependable beauty. For a red rose with a difference, we suggest Piano. This deep, blousy burgundy garden rose is a wonderful natural alternative to the chocolate box perfection of red Naomi.
Peony is universally adored, but often when you think of peonies the classic pink varieties come to mind; red peony varieties such as Red Charm do look sensational. The deep crimson red is hard to resist and is a much-loved variety when in season in May and June.
Anemone is back in season and will be a steady fixture here at McQueens whilst they are available. We love their delicate charm and although they are available in a remarkable variety of colours, red anemone – and in particular the varieties with the back centre – are a firm favourite that we adore.
We love the deepest red, almost back variety of Calla lily that is as elegant and seductive as a flower can get. Varieties such as hot chocolate are much admired and a regular feature in our shop displays at McQueens.
Amaryllis is a spectacular wonder of the flower world, it’s the quintessential ugly duckling flower when fresh from the market. They transform before your eyes and are just majestic and resplendent in full bloom. Amaryllis in a deep burgundy red is pretty hard to beat. They are bold, commanding and seductive, and we will always make the most of them whilst they are in season at this time of year.