Interflora flowers

The Man’s Guide to Buying Flowers

Many a man can be reduced to a quivering wreck when faced with the prospect of picking a suitable bouquet for the lady in his life. Thankfully, despite it being a subjective process riddled with potential pitfalls, there are a few simple rules that can be followed to maximise the chances of making the right impressio

Who is it you’re buying for?

As a starting point it’s a good idea to know whether or not the person for whom you’re intending to buy flowers actually wants them. If they’ve a pollen allergy and spend the spring stuffing tissues up their nose you might be better off gifting them chocolates. If they’re expecting something else, like a wedding proposal, ensure you’ve got a ring as well as a couple dozen roses.

What’s the occasion?

You wouldn’t wear a white suit to a funeral or give your mother lingerie for Christmas. Why? Well because it’s weird and against social convention. The lines aren’t quite so black and white when it comes to buying flowers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t rules.

Roses are obviously the ultimate romantic flower, although it’s worth remembering that only the red variety signal burning passion. White are actually a sign of love, yellow a symbol of friendship and pink that of grace, gentleness and gratitude. The last are probably best saved for when you’re in the doghouse. A single orchid is a fine alternative for those looking to make a statement without being flashy.

If you’re looking to console your missus you’re advised to stick to white lilies, which are often associated with spiritual and symbolic occasions. On those rare instances your other half is under the weather give floral arrangements in pastel colours. Not only do they create a cosy effect, they’ll also brighten up a room. Perky colours are also very fitting for celebratory garlands.

If you’re thinking this all sounds rather complicated, just thank your lucky stars you’re not living in the Victorian era!

What colour?

If you’re not buying flowers for a specific occasion, then it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the breadth of choice at your disposal. In these cases it’s always useful to have an idea of a governing colour for a bouquet.

Is the lady in your life partial to a particular shade or hue? If you’re not sure try and remember the colours she wears most regularly. Never seen your missus in anything other than blue? There’s a good chance she likes blue. If you heard her complaining about that fuchsia bridesmaid dress she was made to wear by her sister perhaps avoid fuchsia. It’s common sense really.

Where to buy them?

You don’t have to be Alan Titchmarsh to be aware that a retail pecking order exists when you’re buying flowers. Naturally, petrol stations are at the bottom, followed by the crazy guy next to the motorway. Supermarkets (ranked themselves by quality) sit in the middle, with flower stalls and specialist florists at the top.

If you’re planning on handing over a bouquet in person your best bet is to visit the latter where a professional will not only ensure you get the perfect ensemble, but also wrap them and impart useful upkeep advice.

If a supermarket (or god forbid a petrol forecourt) is the only viable vendor, why not consider buying a couple of bunches, getting rid of the packaging and re-wrapping them yourself to at least give them a personal touch.

If your girlfriend is in a different city, a call to a nearby hotel concierge should help you source a decent local florist, although these days its much easier to use a reliable and respected online source such as Interflora.

Don’t panic

Unless you’ve done something absolutely unforgivable the chances are that any effort to buy flowers, no matter how derisory, will likely be appreciated by the recipient. Whether you get a kiss or a wise crack in return remains to be seen, although as the old saying goes, it’s the thought that counts…

This post is by Quidco, the UK’s number one cashback and voucher codes site.