I love flowers. And receiving them even more. They are a simple way of making the recipient feel special, whether for a special occasion or just because you can.
You will never offend anyone by sending flowers.
I recently celebrated a birthday. My daughter raced to the florist in the morning, and brought home a bunch of magnificent white lilies. I don’t care how many people say that they expect receiving them, it still makes you feel happy.
Today, Valentine’s Day, is collectively the one day where flowers outdo any other festive gift. It surpasses even the chocolate of Easter.
So, I thought it just apt to write about flowers, and what type of flower suits what type of occasion.
Roses, red roses in particular, are the flower of love. Though all roses denote love, the red rose symbolises romantic love.
Yellow roses are to be sent to friends or co-workers. Pink roses are more about a secret love. White roses are for an innocent love, for family or family occasions, or even for funerals.
I discovered that carnations are for young love, though I’d say that it’s far less common nowadays than in the eighties, when carnations were at the height of their popularity.
Daisies are for loyal love and ideal for Mother’s Day. And giving your daughter lilies seems to denote purity and sweetness. And chrysanthemums are for the bonding of friendship, though probably not ideal for romantic loves.
In the British Debrett’s Guide for the Modern Gentleman, 2009, reprinted 2012:
Flowers are the perfect impromptu present, but follow these basic guidelines to ensure that you get it right;
MIXED BOUQUETS can look cheap if they aren’t of a decent size and well-styled. Instead, buy just one type of bloom, or go for just one colour.
GREENERY is also important – it’s there to bulk up the bouquet and complement the flowers.
DON’T PANIC and just pick the first blooms you recognise. Consider her tastes and style. Classic or contemporary? Minimalist or vintage? Talk to the florist. Explain the style you’re after and the occasion.
BE PREPARED to spend – you can never economise on flowers.
BUY HER FLOWERS on her birthday, on Valentine’s Day on your anniversary and on no particular occasion.
USE THE CARD that accompanies the bouquet to its full potential. For example, include details of a surprise date: “See you in the bar of the ABC Hotel at 7pm”; tell her something you find hard to say: “Thank you for being there for me’; state the obvious: “I love you”/
NEVER ORDER cheap arrangements online; never buy bunches from the supermarket or the garage; never buy carnations or chrysanthemums (the kiss of death); never send flowers as an apology without some verbal backup.
If you want to offer flowers to the host of a dinner or party, it’s best to have the florist deliver them earlier in the day of the event, so that the host has time to arrange them, so as not to be distracted when her guests are arriving. As to the arrangement, it is ideal to ask the florist what is appropriate. They will arrange something either by colour and/or by what is available for that season. Of course your budget also is a big factor, but these days to send a lovely bouquet of flowers, you would be spending about $100 (Australia dollars, or USD). It’s very easy to spend more than this. You can check if the florist has pre-prepared arrangements, as they will tend to be a easier for the florist to pack, rather than arrange on site, and may have a reduced price by the end of the work day.
Online sites for flowers are also becoming very popular and easy to use, and terrific for ordering flowers as gifts for long-distance or international deliveries.
Or going to the local flower markets is always fun, and something of a novelty if you get up early to see the action.
I once picked lavender in a field and was heady from the scents and had to mind all the bees swarming around the pollen. It was lovely to make my own lavender pouches for my dresser drawers.
If my partner came over with a bunch of flowers he picked himself, either from the flower market, or even just as he was walking home by the side of the road, I would be tickled pink… or red. But really, any colour would be wonderful.
Happy Valentine’s Day from the romantics at ETQT.