Answering my own questions since 2001

On Giving (and Receiving) Flowers

Ms. Peechie outlines her high standards for receiving flowers. She also offers some sound commentary on sending flowers to a woman’s workplace:

One surefire way to eliminate any sort of floral judgment – send me an arrangement at work. There are few things women like more than overt displays of affection that say “Look how much someone loves me” in front of other people. Any girl who says she doesn’t like stuff like that is a DIRTY LIAR. She is just playing the reverse psychology game; or nobody loves her that much and she’s trying to talk herself into the fact that maybe it’s ok to live alone with 30 cats.

To add to her list (and reiterate a few points):

  • Give flowers when there’s no occasion. That’s pretty much the only time
    I give flowers–they’re sweeter for the surprise.
  • Don’t give flowers to say you’re sorry. They’ll look like a cheap tool of
    emotional manipulation. Just apologize and save your money.
  • Stay away from roses. Especially one rose. They’re predictable and tacky.
  • For God’s sake, don’t ever give anyone carnations.
  • Buy your flowers from a florist. Get them wrapped.
  • I rarely get arrangements, and instead select a bunch of a single type of
    flower (often in two or three complementary colours).
  • If you can’t get to a florist, and are only going to the corner grocer,
    definitely go with the single type of flowers. The bouquets are likely to
    be crass. This is a particularly sound rule if you have no faith in your ability
    to evaluate flowers.
  • I tend to favour daisies, tulips and alstroemeria (the latter last a very
    long time).
  • Try to select some flowers with unopened buds–they’ll last longer.

Should you receive flowers, here are a couple of tips:

  • Don’t grill the guy on his flower purchase. Say they’re lovely, put them
    in water and move on.
  • Cut at least an inch off the stems. Cut the stems on a diagonal, as this
    will maximize the stem-end surface area.
  • If you receive tulips, put a penny in the bottom of the vase–it’ll help
    keep the stems strong.
  • Certain flowers disdain cold water. I forget which.

Lastly, a quick pet peeve. It really irritates me when I’ve bought some flowers
and I meet a colleague or friend and they say, jokingly, "oh, somebody
did something wrong!" I know they’re just making a joke, but it implies
a kind of stereotype and emotional stupidity that gets under my skin.

9 Responses to “On Giving (and Receiving) Flowers”

  1. sxKitten

    If you do get roses, drop an aspirin into the water, and use warm water when you fill the vase. If they start to droop, fill your sink with warm water, submerge as much of the stem as you can and cut another inch off the bottom while the stem is under water.

    Oh, and always strip off any leaves that are going to be underwater in the vase.

    I can usually get roses (which I happen to really like, cliched as they are) to last at least 10 days this way.

  2. NetChick

    …I’d add only one thing to these thoughts, with regards to making flowers last longer:

    — change the water every other day

  3. Marc Vandersluys

    Another tip: if you live with/are married to this someone, and this someone tends to be overly frugal, make sure you burn the receipt or get rid of it somehow. Appreciation for the flowers will plummet at the sight of anything over..say…10 dollars.

  4. donna

    getting flowers at work is indeed fabulous & touching. but many women are getting practical — buy her something she wants, rather than something that will die. I’d much rather have my partner buy me a new toy than flowers. :)

    having some fancy new toy delivered to work isn’t quite so romantic, though. Pity.

    I bought my ex flowers once. A little potted rose plant. He was touched, but we suck, so it died. Later, I bought him an awesome t-shirt that says “Powered by Pancakes” with a lovely stylized image of pancakes. He still wears it. Much better gift. :)

  5. Jill

    The best way to preserve flowers? Fill the vase with a mix of 3/4 water, 1/4 7-UP and put a few pennies at the bottom. Perfection.

  6. joke

    Wow, I rarely buy flowers. Nonetheless these are basically all tips that seem pretty intuitive. Which only reinforces my sad feeling that women generally set a very low bar, that most men are nonetheless unable to meet. Another tip: don’t let the florist fill out the bouquet with a forest of weird, green branches. Buy flowers, not foliage.

  7. bree

    i like the part where I get the flowers, but I inevitably end up with a vase full of death that sits around my apartmetn for way too long. I’d rather get a $20 necklace than a similarly priced bouquet. The exception would be if it was delivered to work. I would like that for the surprise, novelty and brag factors.

    Heidi Richards Mooney Reply:

    Where women are concerned, flowers at work are the ultimate display of “he likes me.” Flowers at work OOZE Romance and what gal doesn’t want a little romance in her life?

    It works with single women or those in a relationship.

    And women love when others in the office say things like “your boyfriend could give my boyfriend a lesson or two.” Or “gee your husband is SOOOO Romantic.”

    If you want to get her attention, send flowers!

    And by the way, lots of men love flowers too!

    Thanks for the great post,

    Heidi Richards Mooney, Chief Goddess
    Eden Florist & Gift Baskets

  8. Isabel

    Fantastic advice, particularly the tip about choosing a monochromatic arrangement. Such a tasteful and sophisticated look.

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