COMPETITION TIME!! If free flowers be the food of love, read on....
Updated: Feb 7, 2019
Roses are red,
Their cost makes me blue,
I need an off-shore account
To buy some for you…
Okay, okay, that’s slightly crude, but it makes the point. Don’t get me wrong, red roses really are beautiful – who doesn’t love their smell and look? They’re also the ultimate romantic statement, but to be honest, if you're looking to sweep someone off their feet at Valentine's, you'd be better off using a broom.
I work with roses throughout the year, especially for weddings and events, and love finding new ways to show off their many colours and varieties. They’re never cheap, but at this time of the year it makes my eyes water to see what red roses are being sold for. I get that it’s all about supply and demand, but I can’t help feeling sorry for the thoughtful guy or gal who has to pay well over the odds for some stems that are extortionately over-priced, and probably won’t last very long.
With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about other floral alternatives you can give this Valentine’s Day that are kinder on your purse strings and aren’t such a cliché. You’re also sure to win some extra brownie points for floral knowledge and for having put some thought into what to give.
At the top of my list has to be some beautiful Ranunculus. In fact, my fiancé thought they were a variety of rose until I told him otherwise this week. They're actually from the buttercup family, if you didn't already know. They come in a variety of romantic colours and have a history in literature of representing emotion. The Ranunculus flower represents charm and attractiveness, and that you are mesmerised by the recipient. Drop that in and you’ll definitely be in their good books - unless it’s a tinder first date, in which case stick to chat about what you’ve been binge watching on Netflix (truth) and how busy the gym is at 7am (lies - you’ve never been).
If you’re going for a bold and beautiful look, how about some yellow mimosa? If you’re like me, then you met your other half through work. In his case it took four years to pluck up the courage to ask me out. I can’t help thinking that things might have progressed slightly quicker if I’d walked into my office one morning to find a small, discreet vase of flowers on my desk with some mimosa in the mix. They represent the value of friendship and having a secret love, so all eventualities are covered. If the feeling is mutual, you’ve won; if it isn’t you can fain ignorance and say you only knew the bit about the value of friendship.
Next on the list is the tender spray rose. These delicate beauties are the perfectly formed miniature version of the standard rose, but featuring small clusters of flowers on one single stem. The pink spray rose represents admiration, tenderness and poetic romance – quite the romantic statement to attract cupid’s bow.
How about the gift that keeps giving? Jasmine is one of my favourite smelling flowers. They look great in an arrangement, but can also be bought as a plant, that’ll be perfect in a window box and brighten up your love’s life for far longer than stems. Their perfume is beautiful and represents love and sensuality - the perfect recipe for love.
Lastly, and by NO means the least, we have the long, slender stems of the Lisianthus. These represent the joining of two people for a lifelong bond, which is why you often see them used in wedding work. They also represent traditional values and old fashioned morals, so if you’re an old romantic, these are the ones for you.
Your local florist will have all of these flowers, but St Valentine’s Day is their busiest time of year, so it’s best to order in advance than facing the panic of choosing the best of what they have left the day before. Don’t be afraid to discuss your budget - we’re a nice bunch(!) and will do what we can.
For one lucky reader though, your flowers this Valentine’s Day will be absolutely FREE! Here at Me & Stem we’re giving away one romantic bouquet made up of some of the suggestions in this post, which will be delivered on 14th February. To enter, simply follow Me & Stem on Instagram, look for the Valentine’s bouquet picture and tag a friend who deserves some flowers. It’s as simple as that! Good luck!
All images in this article © Madison Phipps