When it comes to V Day, it’s D Day for us men. There’s the dinner date. The chocolates. And by God, the flowers.
If you’re the type who can’t tell eustomas from roses, and either of them from the tissue you’re using to wipe the cold sweat off your brow, you’re not alone.
Here are some tips to help you through your floral conundrums – from one formerly clueless Neanderthal to another.
1) Know her preferences
If the girl you fancy fancies flowers, chances are, she already has her favourites. Pay attention to the blooms she’s ordered before. Or, just plain ask her. She’ll only be too happy to unleash her Instagram feed of all things flowery on you. Take a screen grab, then run to your nearest florist.
2) Know your day
Or more specifically, hers. For instance, if she’s going to receive the bouquet at her office, then bring it out for your dinner date together, fragile blooms like hydrangeas are probably not a good idea. You’d want hardier varieties like roses or wildflowers for a full day out. If you're having the flowers delivered to her home, anything goes.
Or if you’re delivering the bouquet yourself, think about how you’d look with a humongous bunch of roses in your hands – all 99 of them. If ‘silly’ comes to mind, a smaller arrangement might fare better. Particularly if you plan on riding the public transport like a knight in sweaty armour.
3) Know your budget
Have an idea of the amount you’d like to spend on her blooms, then discuss with your florist to see what he or she can do for that price. Note however, that the prices of roses are typically higher this time of the year. And it’ll cost you far more for specially imported variants like David Austin roses.
4) Be adventurous
If the world zigs, zag. If everyone’s getting roses, don’t be afraid to try something different. Ranunculuses, ornithogalums and peonies are great alternatives. Throw in a few wildflowers as fillers, and you’ve got an arrangement that paints you as someone who’s got a unique taste for the extraordinary – and who thinks the same of her.
5) Trust your florist
Most flower shops descend into a war zone on 14 Feb and the days leading up to it. In all likelihood, customised orders will not be entertained. For the rare few that do, they’ll probably use whatever they’ve got available. Which means you won’t have much of a choice either way.
The best thing to do is research thoroughly beforehand. Suss out their portfolios and style, then make a call. Once you’ve decided on a florist, give him or her your budget, and a free rein to craft your piece the way they deem fit. Like most creatives, florists produce their best work for clients who trust them.
6) When in doubt, get ‘em anyway
Sure, some girls may claim they don’t like flowers. Your gal may even have warned you against getting one for her, especially on a ‘commercial’ day like V Day.
Thing is, I’ve not met a girl who isn’t touched by a gift of flowers. Most girls, even yours, will appreciate the gesture. So if you’re still racking (and wrecking) your head over what to get her, try a visit to the flower shop.