How to Find the Perfect Flower for the Perfect Lady
“Think staying power when choosing flowers,” advises Sally Ferguson, the director of the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center. “For long-lasting flowers, choose tight buds just beginning to open. Fully-open flowers are short-hitters,” says Ferguson whose website, bulb.com, offers these and other cut flower tips.
More flowers are sold on Valentine’s Day than any other U.S. holiday and, not surprisingly, men are the major buyers.
“Roses are the most commonly-given Valentine’s flowers, but tulips are closing in as a creative alternative,” says Ferguson. “Last Valentine’s season, one major national floral retailer alone reported delivering three million roses and nearly one million tulips for the holiday,” she said. Ferguson says, with either of these favorites, the most important thing is to buy buds that are fresh and gift-worthy. Why not go out on a limb and try buying her some Calla Lilies this year? Score extra points if you buy the flower that adorned her wedding bouquet! Here are some tips to picking the perfect flower:
Non-Traditionalist: Picking Perfect Calla Lilies
- Petals that spring back when touched
- Straight stems (try either classically long for formal vases or stylishly short for low vases)
- Monochromatic (all one color) generally preferred
- Deliver promptly – need water quickly and don’t respond to sitting all day in a box, unless kept cool
Use cut flower food provided by florist
Uncoventional: Choosing Perfect Tulips
- Look for tight buds with some color showing
- Red, Pink, Apricot, and bi-colors dominate for Valentine’s Day
- Monochromatic looks are stylish or pick several for a more fun, flirty touch
- Skip flower food; tulips tend to like plain, cool water — top vase off daily
- Consider potted tulips instead of cut for an unusual gift that will be a lasting treasure!
After all, you can’t really go wrong with flowers. Says Ferguson, “Candy is fattening, lingerie risky, but flowers are almost always sure to please.” For longer vase life for all flowers, she adds: re-trim stem tips before arranging, remove leaves below the water line to keep water fresh, and place vases away from sun and heat. For additional cut flower tips, visit bulb.com.
Want to REALLY impress her next year? Why not try planting and growing your own spring or fall bulbs for cutflowers! What could be more personal than giving the love of your life flowers which you grew yourself?!