As someone who had worked in the floral industry for oh at least 6 years I am soo glad that I am not feeling the pressure of Valentines Day. I miss the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but the one thing I do not miss is the drama of Valentines Day! So listen up guys of all ages here are my thoughts as a woman and a florist on giving Valentines.
Guys are the main customers on this day and let me tell you, some of them wait up until the last minute when the shop is about to close. They'd come in begging us for some sort of arrangement that would redeem them from the silent treatment or a fate worse yet getting shut down from sex completely for some terribly long time that to them would be an eternity. So this blog is directed at you men who seem to be idiots when it comes to things like birthdays, anniverseries and the grandest of them all Valentines Day!
It is already friday the 11th and you, by industry standards are running late on your order if you have not yet placed one, I personally would reccommend Floral Fantasy in Madera and Frankos in Full Bloom in the Fresno area, because they do not compromise and because they both hired me! Floral Fantasy also has some candy usually and lots of other cute gift ideas. They offer some of the better quality higher end flower arrangements that will be sure to please the one you love. You can go in and get an arrangement right out of the cold box, but let me warn you that you will be paying quite a bit for any arrangement. Valentines Day is the floral industries most marketable holiday.....everyone wants a Valentine. For those women that say they don't. They are EFFFING LYING!
Thats right they are LYING, they have probably been burned by some dumbass in their life somewhere along the line, but don't let them fool you. They would be as happy as a pig in shiz to get an arrangement at their job like anyone else. But of course Mon Cheri this means they are tres aime, ('very loved' for you numbskulls). Who does not want to show how much they are loved to the world.
Roses come in a wide array of colors now, everything from deepest burgundy red/almost black to lavender to beautiful serene lime green. These are ordered by men who usually know what they are doing and know their Valentine very well. As far as the general rose colors for Valentines day remember these tips as far as color.
Ok so here are some key things to remember
Red roses signify true love
Pink young love or early stage of the relationship
Yellow are for friendship
White is pure love
Roses are sold in the following ways;
tube rose is a rose in cello with a vial and a smallbow no greenery
wrapped roses, with greenery and filler like baby's breath usually in cello and a tissue liner and a nice bow
all vases have greenery and filler flower unless you prefer greenery only and are sold in the following ways;
bud vases either single, double or triple
two and three dozen
I would not go over three dozen roses in one vase as it is very heavy and awkward to carry 2 dozen roses are best. Some will get the number of years they have been together or add a single special rose or other special flower to signify something that only they and their valentine will understand.
Roses are traditionally filled with baby's breath, I prefer purple wax flower to baby's breath and greenery to kick it up a notch gold bows or twigs are sometimes added, as are butterflies or other little symbols of nature like birds or dragonflies. These would be categorized as Deluxe arrangements.
A classic look for roses that I enjoy making or getting, are roses with greenery only and maybe a twig, nothing too frou frou.
You can also get them wrapped in cellophane but you are better off ordering one in water, if for some reason a vase is not what you want when presenting it have the designer take arranged roses and wrap them in cello, so that they can be added to the vase later, but remember roses need to drink that water, the longer they are left in vials the shorter their lifespan.
As designers we long for that classic rose with a nice firm head as consumers our wants in roses are varied, some want their roses open if that is the case with your valentine, remember that by the time the heads are open the lifespan of the rose is already halfway through.
As for other flowers mixed arrangements are always pretty too, usually you can get what is called a spring mix, you can specify colors or flowers, but in general they include flowers like snap dragons, larkspur, belladonna or gladiolas mixed with daisies and carnations, lilies or gerbera daisies, roses, and and assortment of other smaller filler flowers. Higher end arrangements are more often than not arrangements that include some type of tropical flower. The orchid is the flower most often used in tropical, as are the antherium, and protea.
To keep your arrangements long lasting remember to never place in a window or in a hot area, they like cool areas. Water should be changed every other day and you can add a baby aspirin or a pinch of sugar to the water help them take up nutrients.
If your Valentine likes plants send one with a few roses tucked in with water vials, ask for a green plant with freshcuts in vials. Same goes for silk arrangements, women say oh flowers just die, so then send a nice silk arrangement with freshcuts added in for the day.
Add ons are things like candy, stuffed animals and oh yes balloons, seems the bigger the better, but stop and remember what kind of car they drive are they going to get in an accident trying to tote this stuff home? Personally my favorite add on is jewelery the kind you add yourself if you are presenting your Valentine with the arrangement personally. Most shops shy away from doing anything special with jewelery because they do not want the liability. Another popular gift seems to be lingere although I did not see much of it pass through our doors at the shop, this too can be something you give along with flowers. Other touches like gift certificates to the nail salon or spa or even Starbucks gift cards make great add ons. Personal touches like a cd burned with your songs or a picture of you together in a heart shaped frame, or maybe an origami paper heart http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLSQlhN5DeU you dont need a lot of money for some of these ideas. Or take my challenge and head out to Childrens Hospital and take a pic in front of the Central Cali's Biggest heart and send that pic to your love saying "this is how much I love you!"or better yet print it and put it in a frame! These are all sweet ideas!
Sweets, my favorite part of Valentines day. I remember getting Valentines Day cakes shaped like a heart from my dad all of us me, my sis, n my mom would get one almost every year, until Perlongos Bakery went out of business. If you don't want a cake or cupcakes from Nonnis in Madera then you better book it to Sees or better yet check the Madera Community Hospital gift shop they sell Sees. If you want to give some wine to your Valentine I highly reccomend Quady wineries "Electra" I have had both the red and the white and I hate wine, but these I loved!!! (thanks Pauline) They were sweet and not overpoweringly bitter, you can find it at Savemart on Howard road or at Cost Plus World Markets in Riverpark, it is a little pricey but well worth it!
Finally a word about cards and what to write on them, as a florist I often times had to find just the right words to put on my clients' card. To me the simplest things are the most memorable and always if possible in your own hand! A heart with your initial, or the word "Always" before your initial or name, or some cute quirky phrase that only your Valentine would understand. I dont want one of those big giant cards that do everything except your laundry,some women might, but to me the simpler the better. If you must write an ode to your love do it in your own hand and write her a true love letter, this is something she is sure to cherish.
However simple or grand you make the occassion, whether you are in the first date stages of your romance or have loved this Valentine of yours for 20 years or more, always remember never to forget to tell your Valentine how much you appreciate and love her the way she is. Well I hope this helps some of you guys out there! Happy Valentines Day!