My work as a wedding and gift florist brings me into contact with interesting people from all walks of life. No two floristry commissions are the same, but I can’t honestly say that I’m never asked the same question twice, because some questions crop up time and time again. One of the most popular, and one which I’d like to address here is: is it really a good idea to give flowers as a gift?
Now, this might sound like a silly questions with a very swift and decisive answer – “of course they are! They’re wonderful!” – but it’s often followed up with a set of terribly well-considered pre-emptive justifications. They’re a bit cliched. They don’t last long. They don’t look like you’ve put much thought in. So let’s take a look at each one of these in turn, and I’ll show you just why giving flowers is a really good idea.
The idea of floral gifts becoming cliched is, sadly, a by-product of the mass-market flowers available at petrol stations and supermarkets. The old adage of saying “it” with flowers has become something of a pop-culture reference point, and has lots its meaning. Flowers have never been cliched… when every single bloom is unique, how can it be cliched? What’s cliched is how they’ve been used, taken for granted, and thoroughly under-appreciated. When floral gifts are done well, they’re stunning.
“But they don’t last long” … no, sorry, I don’t buy it. Every professional florist takes great care of the flowers they use, keeping them cool and fresh for as long as possible. Part of our training as florists involves understanding the care required by fresh flowers in terms of temperature, moisture and handling, and it makes a huge difference to the lifespan of every arrangement. A bouquet created by a high-end florist doesn’t have a token three-day “best by” date sticker on it; it’ll last a whole lot longer than that.
Conversely, the transient nature of a floral gift arrangement sometimes accentuates the value of the gift. The lucky recipient knows they can’t take it for granted, so they pay more attention to it. Floral gifts are often given pride of place, and serve as beautiful focal points until nature takes its course and they start to droop.
So that’s the timespan taken care of. On to the next argument – the idea that giving flowers as a gift looks like you haven’t put much thought in. When you reflect on it, is that really the case? Giving flowers is actually very considerate – it’s an expression of how you feel, it’s unique, and it won’t take up lots of house room. What are the alternatives? A box of chocolates sends a message, whether you like it or not: “you’re going to eat these, and then you’re going to feel guilty about it, and then you’re going to put weight on.” Meanwhile, an ornament – no matter how tasteful and pretty – will get put in a cupboard and forgotten, then quietly discarded several years later amid more guilt. As you can see, neither of these is a particularly effective or enduring way to show you care.
Of course, in addition to all these benefits, giving a floral gift ensures you’re giving something that’s one of a kind. All you need to do is ask, and your florist will tailor the arrangement to the recipient. If they love roses, roses can be included. If they like decorative flourishes, just say so, and sparkling diamantes can be part of the arrangement. A floral gift isn’t something pre-packaged off the shelf; it’s something nobody else in the world has, it won’t clutter up even the most minimal home, and it won’t pile on the pounds. Surely that has to make it the most thoughtful gift of all!