A stress-free guide to buying flowers on Valentine's Day

A stress-free guide to buying flowers on Valentine's Day

© iStockphoto.com/Mikhail Choumiatsky © iStockphoto.com/Mikhail Choumiatsky

By Ted Rybka
Provided By WorldNow

Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love – new, old, romantic, platonic and everything in between. One of the most common ways to express your feelings is by giving flowers. However, not all flower arrangements are created equally and not all types of flowers are appropriate.

So what should be a joyous, romantic and fun-filled holiday often turns into an angst-filled, hand-wringing and nerve-racking experience for both men and women.

Grabbing a bouquet at the corner flower stand will always work in a pinch, but to really captivate someone special in your life, head to your local florist and put some thought into it.

Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose

Before you order a dozen roses and call it a day, reconsider. Although roses are standard for Valentine's Day, is "standard" the sentiment you really want to convey?

According to Marybeth Flowers, owner of Flowers by Flowers in Parkville, Md., run, don't walk away from the idea of giving roses to your sweetheart.

"It's so much of a cliché," said Flowers. "Technically speaking for $85 you can get the best designed arrangement that portrays more love than 12 stems of red roses. Plus, it will last longer. And, if you must have them, it could incorporate a few roses."

Think before you order

With a few mouse-clicks, you can easily search for arrangements online by price, type of flower and delivery options. No fuss, no muss. What could be easier?

Although Flowers receives countless orders through her website, she doesn't advise going that route for such an intimate occasion. Instead she recommends calling or visiting a florist in person. Just a little bit of information on your beloved can help a florist develop a unique and personal arrangement.

"You don't need to know every flower available or even the types of flowers the person likes most," said Flowers. "You know this person. You know how warm they are. Just look at the way they dress. If they are a flannel or corduroy kind of person then we can develop something like a bohemian bouquet or something with a prairie look."

So take a few minutes and think about your situation.

"Is this a hot romance? Have you just started dating? Is this for a single friend or a parent? How old is the person?" asked Flowers.

Based on your situation, you might want to consider the following:

Age Range


20 and under

Gerbera daisies

20 – 30

Cubed glass containers
Low-round clustered flowers
Monochromatic design (different types of flowers in the same shade)

40 – 50

Garden variety mixture

60 and above

Blooming plants
Basket arrangement

Personalize it

To really amp up the "wow" factor your flower arrangement or bouquet should speak to the person to whom you are giving it.

"If you're coming in early enough you can customize the piece," said Flowers. "Come in with a theme. Where did you go on your honeymoon? Did he or she like birds of paradise? Is there a vase he or she loves? Bring it! Do things to make it personalized."

Not only should the arrangement be personalized, but the note attached as well. You don't have to be a professional greeting card writer to create a sentiment that touches your partner's heart.

Too embarrassed or intimidated by sharing "sweet nothings" with your florist? Flowers says don't be.

"First and foremost we have seen everything," said Flowers. "We have written everything on cards. Anyone who owns a floral shop is elated to see you. This person is coming in for a specific purpose – they really want something special."

If the entire process is too overwhelming and you're still not sure what to do to set the mood for a very romantic evening, Flowers suggests anything with orchids. "Orchids are some of the sexiest flowers I can ever think of," she said.

Ted Rybka is an editor for WorldNow and has written on a variety of subjects for print, radio and television for more than 10 years.

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