How To Give Flowers Like A Gentleman
Spring blooms bouquet, including the anemone, ranunculus, tulip, lisianthus, scabious and white lilac. Photograph courtesy of Floom
Think beyond a petrol-shop red rose this Valentine’s Day.
Gird your loins. It’s nearly Valentine’s Day. If you are lucky/smug enough to have somebody to celebrate it with this year, you’re probably fretting about how to convey your affection when 14 February rolls around next week. Our advice? Keep it classic. Countless men have curried favour by floral means in the past, and there are few gestures more wholesome than thrusting a bouquet of flowers at somebody you like.
It may be a tried-and-tested way to express your love and affection, but there are ways to get it wrong. When you don’t know your gerberas from your geraniums and your roses from your ranunculi, compiling a good bouquet isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. With this in mind, we spoke to Ms Lana Elie, founder of London-based florist Floom, an artisanal online floristry service that supports local independent florists, who gave us some expert tips on what we should do when we want to impress.
KEEP IT IN SEASON
These days, we have access to pretty much any flower we want, but sticking to something seasonal is often the best option, says Ms Elie. “I would recommend flowers that are in season, so that your carbon footprint is lower,” she says. You may think that means there are slim pickings in wintertime, but that’s not the case, and being conscious of the environment doesn’t mean compromising on something special. “February is great for incredible flowers, with varieties like ranunculus, anemones and stock,” says Ms Elie. Combining seasonal flowers is also a safe bet, because they won’t look too incongruous together.
GIVE A VARIETY
Flowers are very much down to personal taste, but much like clothes, they have a habit of drifting in and out of fashion, which means certain blooms may look a little passé. “Purely stylistically, gerberas have had their time,” says Ms Elie. “But saying that, if someone likes it, I wouldn’t say there’s anything you shouldn’t buy. If you like it, go for it, but I think it’s always good to change it up and try different flowers.” Something that looks a little bit different will always go down well.
DO ROSES DIFFERENTLY
What about red roses? A failsafe classic or a mawkish, hackneyed cliché? “Roses are definitely a classic, but I tend to think being different is always better,” says Ms Elie. Giving somebody a red rose can feel unoriginal and predictable, so try and find roses that have a point of difference. “Go for a garden rose, or something that isn’t mass produced and still has its scent as a result,” she says. “The real beauty in any flower comes from it being in its natural state.”
Like it or loathe it, the photo potential of a bouquet of flowers is one of the reasons why they’re a desirable gift, even if the recipient just wants to post it so they can show off. And so what if they do? “The best time to get flowers delivered is early in the day when the light’s perfect,” says Ms Elie. “This way, they can snap a shot for their Instagram. We all know that's half the fun.”
MESSAGES ARE PERSONAL MATTERS
If you were wringing your hands about what on earth to write on the message card, you needn’t worry. “There isn’t only one way to write a message, because that’s really not what flowers are about,” says Ms Elie. “It really depends if anonymity versus a heartfelt message should be used. It’s quite situational, and the beauty of a considered bouquet of flowers is that it works as an anonymous surprise, an emotional gift, or even a quick ready-to-go present.” And don’t feel like you need a day of artificial romance to show somebody you care. “Flowers can be for every occasion, not just for lovers, and not just for Valentine’s Day,” says Ms Elie.