Say thank you with flowers
A lovely gift for a hard-working host is a bunch of flowers. So if you’re going to a barbecue, garden party or drinks party, make sure you don’t arrive empty handed. Make sure, however, that you don’t take anything that will get in the way or will be difficult to look after and you need to choose the right combination of flowers to really make your host smile.
Which flowers to choose
• Sweet peas – These sweet-smelling little flowers have a hidden meaning. Not only are they delicate and delightful, but in the language of flowers they mean thank you.
• Acacia – These shrubs and trees symbolise friendship. You can get varieties that are the perfect size for an elegant pot plant.
• Gerberas – Choose a selection of the brightest colours you can find. They are perfect for any party as they really can brighten up any space.
• Herbs – If you are going to a party where food is to be served then turn up early with some potted herbs. If your host wishes, he or she can then use these with the food.
• Crocus – These little perennials will grow year on year of looked after. If your host is green-fingered then some crocuses would make a lovely, long-lasting gift.
How to achieve the look
• Think about the pot – Colourful pots and vases will really help to add some life to the flowers or plants you give as a gift. They instantly add a splash of brightness to a room that your host and the other guests will enjoy.
• Choose carefully – Go for something the host loves. Everyone has a favourite colour or flowers – that’s the perfect place to start.
• Be bold – Go for something bright and cheerful that will be a nice addition to the party and put some effort into it. Perhaps buy a bouquet of flowers from a florist and a nice vase. Arrange them yourself and add a ribbon for an extra personal touch.
• Enjoy yourself – Give your gift and then go and have the best time possible at the party. Your host will love to see guests having fun.
Did you know?
• There are some very specific rules you would be taught should you take a course on proper etiquette. For example, it is discourteous to look around the room while drinking – you should instead look into your glass.
• Manners have improved somewhat since medieval times. The philosopher Erasmus gave some clear advice on how to act at the dinner table. He said: “Turn away when spitting lest your saliva fall on someone. If you cannot swallow a piece of food, turn around discreetly and throw it somewhere.”
• In Japan it is customary to give a gift to your host if you are invited to dinner. But don’t be offended if the gift isn’t properly looked at or opened in front of you as this is considered rude.