All Images: Thyme Lane Photography
A gift of flowers is a wonderful way to let that special someone know that you love them. Whether it’s on Valentine’s Day, a special occasion, or just ‘because’, flowers are an endearingly personal gesture of love. However, with so many different blooms, bouquets and bunches on offer, it can be challenging to know which ones to choose.
To ensure that you get it right and find the perfect gift, let’s take a look at some of the best flowers for love and the history behind some of them. As professional florists with decades of experience in cut flowers and gestures of love, we’ll give you our top tips on how to choose your flowers and a few hints to ensure your gifting always goes as planned.
The History of Giving Flowers for Love
The idea that flowers have meanings and can be given to represent feelings, occasions and even messages is called floriography. Floriography has been around for thousands of years; however, our recent understanding of flowers and their symbolism is thought to have come from a specific system of flowers and meanings used in 17th- century Turkey.
Visitors to 17th-century Turkey spread floriography around the world, resulting in it becoming particularly popular in England and France during the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1819 a book was published by Charlotte de la Tour called Le Langage des fleurs (The Language of Flowers). While there have been some changes along the way, much of what we currently know about floriography can be traced back to this book.
While flowers have been used as a gift in England for hundreds of years, it wasn’t until the discovery of the Turkish system that it became a popular standard practice. People began sending flowers for a range of specific reasons including for love. It quickly became a popular practice to send messages of love on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is a festival of love that originated in roman times and was adopted by the church as a way to remember St Valentine. As more colours and varieties of flowers have become readily available the tradition of sending flowers has grown in popularity, now with over 570 tons of roses shipped to the UK each February.
Reasons Flowers Are the Best Gift for Your Loved Ones
Despite a broad range of alternative gifts being readily available, flowers are still the most popular way to show your partner how much they are loved. Just in case you’re not quite sure what to buy this year, here are some excellent reasons to visit your local florist and get that beautiful bouquet:
- Flowers are a timeless and classic gift, not only are they beautiful and visually striking, but many also carry a deep symbolic message of love.
- The act of giving flowers represents love, affection, and appreciation.
- Different types of flowers and their colours have specific meanings, allowing the giver to customise the gift to perfectly convey their feelings.
- The fragrance of flowers can lift the spirits and bring a sense of joy and happiness to the recipient.
The Best Flowers for Love
The best flowers to include in a romantic bouquet for your loved one include:
Roses are a classic Valentine's Day flower and for good reason; they're beautiful, fragrant and packed with meaning. Roses have been linked to love and passion since ancient Greek times when they were associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.
Red roses in particular are the go-to symbol for romantic love and giving a bouquet of red roses on Valentine's Day is a tried and true way to express your love and affection. But, it's not just the colour that makes them special, the thorns on roses also represent the challenges and difficulties that come with love, making them even more fitting as a symbol of love on Valentine's Day.
Lilies are a great choice for love, they have a unique beauty and hold a special meaning. They come in different colours and species but white lilies are the most popular. Historically, lilies have been associated with purity and innocence, making them the perfect flower to symbolise true love between two people. They also have a sweet fragrance which makes them even more appealing.
Giving a bouquet of lilies on Valentine's Day is a way of expressing your love and devotion to your partner, showing them how special your love for them is. It's important to keep in mind that Lilies can be very dangerous to cats, if ingested, even small amounts of lily can cause severe kidney damage or failure. So, if you're a cat owner, it's better to choose another type of flower.
These simple but pretty flowers are a great choice for love or for Valentine's Day. They come in a variety of colours such as red, pink, yellow, and white, and each colour has its own specific meaning. Red tulips represent true love, pink tulips represent affection, yellow tulips represent cheerful thoughts and white tulips represent forgiveness and purity. Giving a bouquet of tulips on Valentine's Day is a way of expressing your love and devotion to your partner, it will be a sweet and thoughtful gesture.
These luxury blooms are elegant, beautiful and known for their unique appearance. Orchids come in different colours such as white, purple, pink, and red, each colour also has its own meaning. Giving orchids on Valentine's Day represents refinement and uniqueness, just like your special love. Orchids are not only beautiful, but they also have a long vase life which makes them a great choice to gift.
Bright and sunny, these flowers symbolise adoration and loyalty. Sunflowers are known for their bright yellow colour which represents happiness and joy. Gifting a bouquet of sunflowers on Valentine's Day is a way of showing your partner how much you adore and are loyal to them. Additionally, sunflowers have a long vase life and are easy to care for which makes them a great choice as a gift.
These classic flowers represent love and admiration, they come in a variety of colours such as red, pink, yellow, and white. Each colour has its own specific meaning, red carnations represent love and admiration, pink carnations represent gratitude and yellow carnations represent friendship. Giving a bouquet of carnations for love or on Valentine's Day is a way of expressing your love and admiration for your partner.
How to Choose the Best Flowers for Your Valentine
When choosing Valentine's Day flowers, there are several things you can do to make sure you select a gift that they will love:
Order from a Florist
When it comes to buying a bouquet of flowers, it's always better to go to a florist instead of a supermarket. Florists are experts in the art of flower arranging and they take great care in selecting, storing, and arranging the flowers to ensure they are at their freshest and most beautiful when they are sold. They will typically have a wider variety and a greater selection of flowers than supermarkets, as well as more unique and specialist varieties.
Additionally, a florist will be happy to talk to you about what you want, offer advice and may even offer to create custom bouquets to match your ideas. If you’re unsure about the right colours, flower meanings or which blooms are in season, your local florist will be happy to talk you through your options.
In contrast, supermarket flowers are often mass-produced and are not as fresh. Overall, buying a bouquet of flowers from a florist is a better choice for both the quality of the flowers and the experience of buying them.
Consider Your Partner’s Preferences
Firstly, consider the recipient's favorite flower, this is a thoughtful gesture and shows that you have paid attention to their preferences. Secondly, think about their favourite colours, as this can add an extra personal touch to the bouquet. Thirdly, consider any blooms that might link to a happy memory or event in your relationship. For example, if you first met at a sunflower field, a bouquet of sunflowers would be a lovely and sentimental choice.
It is also important to consider the meaning behind different flowers and colours, as they can convey specific emotions or messages. With a little thought and consideration, a bouquet of flowers can be a truly special and meaningful gift for Valentine's Day.
Check for Allergies
When buying a Valentine's Day bouquet, it's important to consider if your loved one has any relevant allergies. Some people may have an allergic reaction to the pollen, dust, or other substances found in flowers, which can cause symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. In severe cases, an allergic reaction can even lead to anaphylaxis.
Giving flowers to someone who is allergic could ruin their enjoyment of the gift and even make them feel unwell. If you are not sure, you can ask them or their family members or consider alternative options such as artificial flowers or live plants. Showing consideration for the recipient's allergies can make your Valentine's Day gift even more meaningful and thoughtful.
Think About Your Budget
When choosing Valentine's Day flowers, it's important to consider your budget to ensure that you get the best value for your money. One way to save money is to opt for flowers that are in season, as they will typically be less expensive than out-of-season varieties. For example, roses, which are traditionally associated with Valentine's Day, are often more expensive at this time because of their popularity. Cheaper alternatives to red roses as a Valentine's Day gift could be carnations, daisies, lisianthus, chrysanthemums and sunflowers.
Additionally, you can choose a bouquet that has a mix of flowers, this can make the bouquet look more substantial and give you more flowers for your money. It’s also a great idea to speak to your florist who will be happy to give you advice on how to stay within your budget.
Plan Ahead and Order in Advance
Rushing to buy flowers at the last minute will inevitably end up in a race to grab the last tatty bunch of supermarket roses whether your partner likes roses or not. The sooner you start planning and ordering your flowers the more likely they will be a success. It's particularly essential to plan ahead for Valentine's Day to ensure availability and get the perfect bouquet for your loved one. It’s also important to factor in any time required for delivery. (If you opt to have your flowers delivered, make sure you know where your partner will be on the day.)
Ordering in advance allows you to choose from a wider selection, customise the bouquet to your loved one's taste, and ensure that the flowers are fresh and carefully arranged. Waiting until the last minute may result in limited options and lower-quality flowers.
Carefully Consider What You Write on the Card
When deciding on a message for a Valentine's Day card, consider your relationship with the recipient, the tone of the message, and personalisation. A message for a romantic partner should be intimate, while a message for a friend or family member should focus on appreciation and friendship. Use specific details, quotes, poems or lyrics that are meaningful to both of you, and make sure the message is sincere. Avoiding generic phrases and messages will help ensure the message is heartfelt and meaningful.