Say it more sincerely with flowers. That sounds simple enough, but how to buy flowers takes a little bit of know-how.
The worst thing you can do is give someone the wrong flowers for the wrong occasion. Or present your loved one with a bunch of their least favorite flowers.
Read on to avoid the pitfalls of giving flowers, and gain a few tips about protocols that are still observed in the 21st century. Be inspired by the addition of special touches that are so very much appreciated by the recipients.
Springtime and Celebrations
Across the world, flowers have been part of celebrations of all kinds. Birth and birthdays, marriages, deaths, and everything in between. In light of moral strictures during the early Victorian period, a whole language of flowers developed. This enabled lovers to send discreet messages.
For example, a man might send lilacs, symbolizing the joy of youth, to a woman for whom he was feeling the first emotions of love. Red chrysanthemums, however, were unequivocal: they say “I love you”, and might have made the recipient blush, particularly if the arrangement was a large one.
The Farmer’s Almanac
The Farmer’s Almanac, first published in 1792, has made its way online. It gives a useful list of flowers and herbs and their meanings. This is great if you are in the habit of picking bouquets yourself in a nearby field or your own garden.
Even if you live in the middle of the city, you can still use this informative list as inspiration, and consult with your florist on the composition of special arrangements you would like to send.
If you are unsure, florists can also tell you the meaning of flowers. They’ll happily tell you for free that your mother will not appreciate a bunch of arum lilies, or any other white flowers — lilies, daisies, chrysanthemums — before she actually dies. Sending flowers traditionally used in funeral wreaths is one sure way to put a nail in your own coffin!
Avoid flower arrangements or bouquets containing red and white flowers only. It represents blood and tears and is considered very unlucky. Never take red and white flowers to someone in the hospital because the superstitious implication is that they are going to die.
If you’re buying flowers to take home for an “anytime flowers” occasion, tell the florist why you want the flowers and ask for their advice as to which flowers you should buy. Good florists always have good ideas.
What Are Your Favorite Flowers?
This is a very good question to ask everyone you intend to send flowers to. Whether it’s your grandmother, an aunt, or someone you love romantically. Ask the question well in advance since you’re likely to get a withering look if you ask two days before Valentine’s day or on the eve of your tenth wedding anniversary.
Another important piece of information is to find out which flowers for which loved ones have an intense dislike. It is perfectly acceptable to instruct a florist to make an arrangement with “everything except marigolds”, say. If, by some accident you gave gaudy gerberas to someone who does not like their particular scent, it could be taken as an insult.
Diarize Important Dates
Make sure that you order your flowers well in advance. For this, you’ll need to set up reminders and notifications about one week in advance of the date. Make them recurring “appointments” in your online calendar so that you’re set up for life. Also, make notes about their favorite and least favorite flowers for future reference.
A handy tip for birthdays is to record the birth date, including the year so that you always remember milestone birthdays (40th, 50th, 60th, etc.) and anniversaries. While you would be expected to remember when exactly you got married, don’t count on remembering what year your siblings or close relatives were wed. Such social flair, and remembering important anniversaries will be a kindness appreciated.
It is an excellent idea when giving flowers to your spouse to ensure that the flower arrangement or bouquet follows another tradition, that of wedding anniversary themes.
For example, paper is the theme for the first wedding anniversary. Paper ribbons can be used to adorn an arrangement from the florist, or you can ensure that recycled brown paper is used to wrap a bouquet. some anniversaries lend themselves well to this idea. The 8th anniversary calls for pottery or bronze, so a pottery container or base for your gift arrangement would work well with some bronze-colored wire flourishes and predominantly bright yellow flowers.
Some herbs, such as yarrow, have yellow flowers, and the herb itself smells sweet, so it can be used as a filler in any arrangement. A similar creation can be arranged the following year, for your ninth anniversary since the theme for that occasion is willow and pottery. Willow can be used sparingly as a filler, and a piece of glazed ceramic art can symbolize pottery.
Filler flowers, for the uninitiated, includes greenery such as ferns and a host of other finer stems with smaller flowers such as baby’s breath or gypsophila, many asters, as well as specialty fillers like Soli Tara Gold, sold in vast quantities at the famous flower auctions of The Netherlands, and shipped all around the world.
How to Buy Flowers With Beauty In Mind
While we usually restrict the gifting of flowers to special occasions, you should buy flowers the way you cook: always with love. Flowers themselves are beautiful sign and celebration of life in nature. Cut flowers are the human attempt to bring that beauty into our homes and prolong the pleasure of looking at them.
One method of choosing a florist you can depend on is to walk past it on the street or check out its oñline shop. If you like what you see, then that is the florist for you! Because sending flowers is such a personal thing, we recommend you speak to the florist in person and talk about the kind of flowers and arrangements you are likely to send.
In any case, it is worth choosing a florist affiliated to Interflora and Fleurop, the international flower delivery service. That way, no matter when you or your loved one are in the world, you can be sure that your gift of flowers arrives on time.
The Case for Carnations
Apart from being the traditional first-anniversary flower, red carnations present purity in love, as opposed to red roses, a symbol of passionate love. Once all the rage, carnations are still considered a classy flower and a safe bet if you want to avoid the cliché of red roses for Valentine’s Day. If you manage to find carnations that still retain that faintly cinnamon-like scent they’re known for, you’re certain to score extra points with your loved one.
Like roses, carnations come in a whole range of colors, and pairing them in an arrangement with other flower staples such as lilies, chrysanthemums, or tulips is a good idea. It says that you care enough to spend that little extra to show your appreciation of the special person in your life.
Be Original and Personal
The true mark of love is sending to your loved one the flowers they like. Convention has it, for example, that yellow roses once signified jealously, a decrease of love and infidelity. But if the object of your love adores yellow roses above all other flowers, it makes sense to give them a huge bouquet of yellow roses.
These days, there is no fixed rule about how to buy flowers. Do it with kindness, with generosity, and with love. You’ll make your loved one happy, and you can be happy to have touched someone’s heart.
Oh, and remember the card that goes with the flowers!
Read other articles on our site designed to bring light and love into your life.