Sending Flowers 101

You look at a bouquet of flowers and you see petals of various colors, some leaves, a stem or two. What she interprets is baffling. A snarl of emotional symbols. Red roses for love, chrysanthemums for friendship, bamboo for luck. No need to tear your hair out. DailyXY will help you cover the basics.

First off, flowers are not just for Valentines Day, or for when you screw up (although they can sometimes be highly effective in the case of a bungled love affair). Furthermore, the rose should not be the only bloom in your flower-sending repertoire.

Here are a few more tips to make you into a better gentleman.

1. Ask the florist for help! Calmly explain the full situation to the florist. What do you need the flowers for? What is the recipient of the flowers like? What kind of message would you like to send?If you equip the florist with the right information, he or she will most surely create something better than the fist full of cellophane-wrapped carnations you’re tempted to buy at the Yonge and Eglinton subway station.That’s right, women generally hate carnations: they’re cheap and ugly and so standby they communicate that you’ve put a half-assed second of thought into them.

2. Personalize the arrangement. What colors does she like? What flowers seem to speak to her personality? What’s her style? If you’re sending flowers to your grandma, chances are she’s going to like something different, maybe something frillier, than, say, your high powered film exec girlfriend who enjoys clean lines and minimalism. (In that case, you could try giving spring buds, or a single lily.)

3. When giving flowers as a housewarming gift, bring them already arranged in a vase. If you bring only a wrapped bouquet, you in fact make more work for the host or hostess – who then has to cut and arrange the flowers. Furthermore, she/he might not have the right-sized vase. And the arrangement could end up looking like crap.

4. Expand your horizons beyond the rose. Use your imagination! The rose is cliched. It also comes with a highly loaded message: love. You can keep things a little lighter and less commitment-y. Try tulips, an arrangement of colorful Gerber Daisies or a single, exotic flower, like a Thistle or a Bird of Paradise.

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