Roses are red – and a cliché. I remember the moment I decided I didn’t like them. I was working in a florist in Covent Garden, and a man came in and ordered two separate bunches of red roses to be delivered for Valentine’s Day: a dozen for his wife – and two dozen for his mistress.
Call me soppy, but I like flowers on Valentine’s Day – and I suspect I’m not alone. So to avoid looking like an unimaginative philanderer on February 14, here are some suggestions for other flowers to send to your one true love – whatever their personality. And a tip: don’t feel like you must choose flowers from the ‘Valentine’s section’ – if anything, these are best avoided, as they will inevitably be more expensive and less attractive.
The busy valentine
The ethical valentine
Petalon deliver seasonal hand-tied bunches across London by bike – and now offer postal service to the rest of the UK. They offer two choices of bouquet each week and it’s worth booking early to avoid missing out. For every bunch delivered, they donate £1 to Bee Collective, a charity for bees. If you’d like to support an independent florist, Floom is the best option – it showcases bouquets from around the country that can be ordered for same and next-day delivery. There’s also Bread and Roses, a social enterprise that trains refugee women in floristry.
The hipster valentine
The traditional valentine
For a classical bouquet, make sure you order from a first-rate florist to ensure they don’t stuff it full of uninspiring blooms and filler foliage. The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers create beautiful bouquets. Waitrose is also a reliable option for flowers – and Lidl do excellent lilies. Just buy a few bunches and wrap them up in pretty paper.
The artistic valentine
For an original bouquet, Bloomon is a good choice. There are three sizes to pick from and flowers arrive wrapped up in brown paper. The ‘less is more’ philosophy means that each flower is given space, and the receiver is encouraged to play around with the arrangement to see what they think works best.
The rose-tinted Valentine
I’ve been rude about roses but I shouldn’t be, really. Roses are beautiful – and a symbol of love, after all. A large bouquet of them can be perfect. I’d just avoid red on Valentine’s Day. Flowerbx do lovely roses in over twenty colours.
The seasonal valentine
Appleyard offers a large array of seasonal flowers – as well as a subscription service and letterbox flowers, if one bouquet a year doesn’t quite seem enough…
The decadent valentine
The green-fingered valentine
Not everyone likes flowers – and plants have the benefit of lasting longer. For a more horticultural twist, send a plant from Patch or Conservatory Archives, or tuck some seeds from Suttons into a Valentine’s card.