A Florist’s Guide to Flowers for Guys – The Banner Journal
Express your love on Valentine’s Day the right way
By Lucia Rossi
Although the beauty of a flower is fleeting; your love is certainly not. If you plan to use flowers to speak for you this Valentine’s Day, make an effort to get the right message out.
For centuries, people, especially women, have loved flowers. They can tell how well you really know the person you’re giving them to and they can tell how much you care. It doesn’t matter how simple or extravagant the arrangement is. Flowers can speak louder than words. They might not be that helpful, but they sure make sense. It was then that the thought really account, and it all depends on who receives them.
To prepare for V-Day, you need to ask yourself some questions about who you are giving the flowers to. What is their favorite color? Do they have a favorite flower? What does their personality look like (for example, calm and simple or strong and colorful)? Are they allergic to certain flowers? Do they have cats? This will be mentioned later. And how much do you want to spend?
These are things you need to tell the florist so they can help you find what you are looking for. You shouldn’t wander the flower aisle alone. If you have the florist to help you make the custom arrangement, you will actually get more for your money than buying something pre-made. Give the florist creative freedom and take risks, unless the person you’re giving them to is really picky, in which case know exactly what they want.
I have been proud to have been a Stop & Shop florist for three years now, and from my experience, I can honestly say that it is much better for the customer to buy their flowers in the supermarket than in a florist. I’m not saying that just because I’m working on it. There are a lot more opportunities for a better deal, and a lot of free stuff that can be used to make a $ 15 bouquet look like a $ 30 bouquet.
There are four main things a flower shop has that supermarkets don’t. They are: a delivery service, the freedom to take a few stems from a flower and not just a bouquet, a wider variety of flowers to choose from and a staff that can be professionally trained.
On the other hand, the delivery is overrated. They are always late on Valentine’s Day due to their huge amount of orders. Even though the florists in the supermarket are not “professionally” trained with courses or schooling, we learn from those who passed the torch on to us. We develop our own styles based on what the company asks us to do. Supermarket flower departments also have better prices as well as customer service policies that allow you to get a full refund or exchange if something goes wrong. Did I mention that we wrap bouquets in paper and tape for free?
Let’s talk about the different types of flowers that Stop & Shop and other supermarkets commonly sell.
Roses, of course. Roses are classic but cliché. They are over the top and overpriced on Valentine’s Day. Roses are the most beautiful before they die because that is when they are most open and largest. I highly recommend using only half a dozen or less in your V-Day bouquet if you want originality. If you know the recipient loves roses, try mixing and matching bouquets of half a dozen different colors in one arrangement. Like mixing yellow, orange and red roses, it will give it a sunset look. Stop & Shop typically sells 6 stem roses for $ 5, although the price may increase a bit for the holidays. If your heart is set on the dozen classic red roses, then be sure to add baby’s breath and some greenery to make it look beautiful and full.
Stop & Shop pack and organize for free. They can also dip flowers in glitter, spray paint if available, and place faux diamond and bead pins in the middle of the flowers… for free. At least the one where I work does it, others don’t. These are just small ways to spice up a simple rose bouquet to give it a wow effect without spending too much money.
Pre-made mixed bouquets aren’t bad either. They generally have a good variety and they are cheaper than roses. It would be a good choice if you are in a hurry and don’t have time to choose something. These are already made with a Valentine’s Day theme and usually have cute bouquet names on the labels.
Tulips are in season right now and are a great choice for mothers, friends, and other family members. They look great mixed with other flowers if the bouquet is meant to impress. You should know that tulips fall because they are not strong, and if you squeeze them too tight, they break easily. They don’t require a lot of water in the vase. They also grow fast, which also means that they die quickly. The same goes for irises.
Daisies are a promising choice depending on the type you get. Stop & Shop offers regular daisies, tinted daisies and gerbera daisies. Tinted daisies are great for kids or teens because they come in these bright and fun colors of blue, purple, green, yellow, and orange. Regular daisies are more mature, take up a lot of space, and pay attention to statement flowers. They are also very durable. Gerbera daisies can be large and beautiful, but should not be alone in a bouquet as they are very fragile and die quickly.
When it comes to lilies, there are also several types. There are stars, Asians, calla lilies and Easter lilies. Stargazer lilies have a lovely, strong smell, but can be overwhelming to some. Asiatic lilies are the odorless ones. Easter lilies are huge, fragrant, but are generally used for church purposes. Calla lilies are very elegant, but usually associated with weddings. My main advice for lilies is to carefully remove the brown stamens, those little things that hang down the middle of the flower, because the yellow powder is impossible to undress. Otherwise, lilies go very well with roses and greenery. They don’t usually go alone either as their stems are often a bit scattered and leave large spaces if the flowers haven’t bloomed yet.
Carnations deserve more credit than they get. Eyelets, mini eyelets and rainbow eyelets are perfect for kids or teens. It also works great as a filler flower. It might not have a stunning effect on its own, but it looks glamorous when lightly dipped in glitter. They are inexpensive, last a very long time, and can go with just about anything. They are just often used for funerals, so people often associate them with feeling of sympathy.
Alstroemeria is a simple flower that makes bouquets look huge. They come in all color combinations and have little dashes in the middle. They are inexpensive, but can easily die if put in too much water. They accentuate the edges of the arrangements very well.
When it comes to hydrangea, a little goes a long way. Only three rods come in a package because they are very large. Sometimes they are so big that a bouquet can look awkward. It creates a not so symmetrical balance in a bouquet. Just imagine putting a huge fluffy ball in the middle of a bouquet of flowers, now try three. If they are well spaced they can look very pretty, they are usually best placed in small, short vases.
Other large filler flowers that are tall, strong, and long-lasting are mums (chrysanthemums), buds, and pom poms. They all look the same, but have different styles. They come in different colors and sizes. You just choose what works best for your arrangement. This is definitely a must have if you want something that is durable, versatile, large, and can burst with color.
Get some decorative flowers if you can afford to have some fancy. Try using eucalyptus leaves, palm leaves, leather leaves (unrelated to real leather), gypsophila (baby’s breath), or hypericum, which look like red berries.
If your Valentine loves plants, go for orchids. Orchids are super elegant, delicate, unique and make a great home decor. They are easy to maintain, but very difficult to grow after all the flowers have fallen. An orchid can last over a month if it is well cared for. They should be kept at a cool room temperature and given a few ice cubes once a week. Yeah, you heard me, ice cubes. You can also buy special food drops for them too.
Now that you’re more familiar with flowers, let’s talk about the finishes. You can add a little bear to hug the arrangement, glue a metallic or glittery heart shaped pickaxe, tie a balloon, or glue a small card with a personal message written by you, which is free. If you have a vase arrangement, Stop & Shop florists can give you a free box with tissue paper for safe travel.
To be fair, our Valentine’s Day vases, while glamorous, are very expensive. You might be better off going to the 99cent store or Michael’s. You can even bring a vase that you already own in the store, just buy some flowers and have them put them inside for you. How many florists do this?
If you want to get the best prices on flowers, you have to buy them before Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure when exactly the prices will go up, but assuming V-Day is Sunday and sales change to Stop & Shop on Friday, I would say you should get there by Thursday.
If you come before Valentine’s Day, you will have a better selection, time to choose without pressure, and the florist will be free from other customers to help you personally and give you suggestions. If you keep your bouquet in water in the refrigerator for a few days, it should be perfectly fine and cool.
Valentine’s Day will be a long day for all of us, especially the clerks who will be working 8 hour shifts, * ahem * ahem *. Please don’t get angry and blame the flower clerks for leaving only half-dead flowers at the end of the day because you arrived too late. We can do our best to brighten up whatever is left, but don’t expect free flowers and a miracle. If anything, we can give you some greenery but don’t take advantage of our kindness. Also, don’t try to haggle us over the prices. It’s a chain of stores, not a flea market. I say all of this only because it happened.
Finally, have confidence in our abilities to support you. As florists, we wouldn’t want you to give someone anything less than they deserve.
So, be kind and show love to your valentine and to those who are there to help you in your romantic gesture.