Livin' La Vida Lucia

A Florist’s Flower Guide for Guys

Speak your love on Valentine’s Day the Right Way

By Lucia Rossi

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Although a flower’s beauty is fleeting; your love sure isn’t. If you’re planning on using flowers to do the talking for you this valentines day, put in the effort so they get the right message.

For centuries, people, especially women, love flowers. They can say how well you really know the person you’re giving them to, and they can say how much you care. No matter how simple, or extravagant the arrangement is. Flowers can speak louder than words.They may not be so useful, but they sure are meaningful. This is when the thought really counts, and it’s all about the person receiving them.

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To prepare for V-Day, you need to ask yourself certain questions concerning the person you’re giving the flowers to. What is their favorite color? Do they have a favorite flower? What is their personality like (for example, quiet & simple or loud & colorful)? Are they allergic to any flowers? Do they have cats? This will be mentioned later. And how much do you want to spend?

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These are things you need to tell the florist so they can help you find what you’re looking for. You shouldn’t wander into the flower department alone. If you have the florist help you to custom make the arrangement, you will actually get more for your buck than if you bought something pre-made. Give the florist creative freedom and take some risks, unless the person you give them to are really picky in which case be aware of exactly what they want.

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I’ve been a proud florist at Stop & Shop for three years now, and through my experience I can honestly say it’s much better for the customer to buy their flowers in the supermarket than in a flower shop. I’m not just saying that because I work there. There are way more opportunities for a better deal, and a lot of free things that can be used to make a $15 bouquet look like a $30 bouquet.

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There are main four things that a floral shop has that supermarkets do not. These are: delivery service, freedom to take a few stems of a flower and not just a bouquet of them, a wider variety of flowers to choose from, and staff that may be professionally trained.

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ON the other hand, delivery is overrated. They’re always late on Valentine’s day due to their immense amount of orders. Even though the florists at the supermarket are not “professionally” trained with courses or schooling, we learn from those who have passed down their torches to us. We develop our own styles based on what the company asks us to make. Supermarket floral 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 we wrap bouquets in paper and ribbon for free?

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Let’s talk about different types of flowers that Stop & Shop, and other supermarkets commonly sell.

Roses, obviously. Roses are classic but cliché. They are overdone and overpriced on Valentine’s Day. Roses are the most beautiful before they die because that’s when they are the most open and large in size. I highly recommend using only half a dozen or less in your V-Day bouquet if you want originality. If you know the receiver absolutely adores roses, then try mixing and matching different colored half dozen bouquets into one arrangement. Like mixing up yellow, orange and red roses will give it a sunset look. Stop & Shop usually sells 6 stem roses for $5, although the price may go up a bit for the holiday. If your heart is set on the classic dozen red roses, then be sure to add baby’s breath and greenery to make it look nice and full.

Stop & Shop wrap and arrange for free. They also can dip flowers in glitter, spray paint if available, and place faux diamond as well as pearl pins in the middle of the flowers…for free. At least the one I work at does, others may not. These are just small ways to spice up a plain rose bouquet to give it a wow factor without spending too much cash.

Pre-made mixed bouquets aren’t bad either. They usually have a good variety, and they are cheaper than the roses. This would be a good choice if you’re in a rush and don’t have time to pick something. These come in 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 relatives. They look good mixed with other flowers if the bouquet is meant to impress. You should know that tulips fall over because they’re not sturdy, and if you hold them too tightly they break easily. They don’t require much water in the vase. They also grow fast, which also means that they die fast. The same applies to irises.

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Daisies are a promising choice depending on which kind you get. Stop & Shop offers regular daisies, tinted daisies, and gerbera daisies. Tinted daisies are great for children or teens because they come in these fun bright colors of blue, purple, green, yellow, and orange. Regular daisies are more mature, take up a lot of space, and give attention to the statement flowers. They are also really long lasting. Gerbera daisies may be big and beautiful but shouldn’t be alone in a bouquet because they’re very flimsy and die quickly.

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When it comes to lilies, there are also several types. There are stargazer, asiatic, calla lilies, and Easter lilies. Stargazer lilies have a lovely strong smell, but can be overwhelming for some. Asiatic lilies are the ones that don’t smell. Easter lilies are huge, smell, but are typically used for church. Calla lilies are very elegant, but usually associated with weddings. My main tip for lilies is be sure to carefully remove the brown stamens, those little dangly things in the middle of the flower, because the yellow powder is impossible to get off clothes. Lilies otherwise go great with roses and greenery. They don’t usually go alone either because their stems are often grow kind of scattered, and leave large gaps of space if the flowers haven’t bloomed yet.

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Carnations deserve more credit than they are given. Carnations, mini carnations, and rainbow carnations, are great for children or teens. It also works great as a filler flower. It may not have a wow factor on its own, but looks glamorous when lightly dipped in glitter. They’re cheap, last a really long time, and can go with anything. They’re just often used for funerals so people often associate them with the feeling of sympathy.

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Alstroemeria is simple flower that make bouquets looks huge. They come in all different color schemes and have little dashes in the middle of them. They’re inexpensive, but can die easily if they’re put in too much water. They accent the edges of arrangements really well.

When it comes to hydrangea, a little goes a long way. Only three stems comes in a package because they’re very large. Sometimes, they’re so large it can make a bouquet look awkward. It creates a not-so-symmetrical balance in a bouquet. Just imagine putting a huge fluffy ball in the middle of a bunch of flowers, now try three. If spaced out right they can look really nice, they’re usually best in short small vases.

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Other great filler flowers that are big, strong, and last long are mums (Chrysanthemums), disbuds, and pompons. They all look similar, but have different styles. They come in different colors and sizes. You just pick whatever works for your arrangement best. It’s definitely a must if you want something durable, versatile, large, and can pop with color.

Get some accent flowers if you can afford to get fancy. Try using eucalyptus leaves, palm leaves, leather greens (no relation to actual leather), gypsophila (baby’s breath), or hypericums, which look like red berries.

If your valentine is fonder of plants, go for the orchids. Orchids are super elegant, delicate, unique, and make for great house décor. They are easy to care for, but very difficult to grow once all the blooms fall. An orchid can last well over a month if they are cared for properly. They should 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.

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Now that you’re more familiar with flowers, let’s talk about the finishing touches. You can add a small bear to hug the arrangement, stick in a metallic or glittered heart-shape pick, attach a balloon, or stick in 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 traveling.

To be honest, our Valentine’s Day vases, although glamorous, are very pricey. You might be better off going to the 99cent store or Michael’s. You can even bring a vase you already own into the store, just buy flowers and have us arrange them inside for you. How many flower shops do that?

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If you want to get the best prices on flowers then you have to buy them before Valentine’s Day. I don’t know when exactly the prices will go up but assuming V-Day is on Sunday and sales change for Stop & Shop on Friday, I’d say you should haul your ass over there by Thursday.

If you come before Valentine’s Day you will have a better selection, time to pick and choose without pressure, and have the florist free from other customers to help you personally and give you suggestions. If you keep your bouquet in water in a refrigerator for a few days, they should be perfectly fine and fresh.

Valentine’s Day will be a long day for all of us, especially the clerks who will be working 8 hours shifts, *ahem*ahem*. Please don’t get angry, and blame the floral clerks for having only half dead flowers left by the end of the day because you came too late. We can do our best to jazz 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, please do not attempt to haggle us on the prices. It’s a chain company store, not a flea market. I only say all this because it has happened.

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Lastly, have faith in our abilities to assist you. We as florists wouldn’t want you to give someone something anything less than what they deserve.

So, be kind and show love to your valentine, and those who are there to help you with your romantic gesture.

 

 

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1 reply »

  1. Thanks for the help with your florist guide. Very funny but with lots of good tips like what flowers to choose in season. I think I will be going with a flower delivery service but I appreciate your post!

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