Impress your girlfriend with nontraditional V-Day bouquets

    Women like flowers almost as much as men like bacon. They look pretty, they smell pretty and they show that you remembered to do something nice.

    Pick a different plume than a rose at Saville Flowers. Photo by author.

    The take-home message is that you need to buy flowers for your girlfriend this Thursday, and sure, roses are a pretty safe bet. But — yes, there’s a “but,” but don’t panic — a little creativity could come in handy. Anyone can deliver roses, so if you go even a centimeter out of your way, you can make your girl feel even more special.

    Medill sophomore Tara Garcia Mathewson has been working in flower shops since she was 10. “Roses are huge,” Mathewson said. “They’re definitely the standard.”

    Saville Flowers on Sherman Avenue, where Mathewson currently works, ordered 1200 roses on Saturday. But they’re far from your best option; roses are one of the weaker flowers, and they’re prone to early fading. If you don’t want your flowers to fade before your hangover does, consider a bouquet of chrysanthemums or carnations, which Mathewson described as “the other rose.” They’re known for lasting a long time, and they come in an array of colors.

    “Every flower in here is appropriate for Valentine’s Day,” said Kathy Yale, a Saville employee. So breathe: You can’t go wrong.

    Now for the expert level of the flower game. Each flower, in conjunction with its color, has a meaning or message associated with it. Let your bouquet speak for you — it’s almost like text messaging, but more Victorian.

    Go for red or white ‘mums if you want to say “I love you” or “truth,” or choose pink or red carnations for “fascination” or “passionate love.”

    Gardenias both smell pretty and mean “you are lovely.” Brighten up someone’s life while expressing “devotion” with sunflowers. Or possibly express your secret crush with a daffodil for “unrequited love.”

    For the more exotic, try an orchid — not only can they last for up two weeks, but they also also represent love and beauty. They’re also almost as well-liked as roses, and less cliché.

    Photo by author.

    If you choose to go for a bouquet rather than a single blossom, Mathewson recommends adding extra greenery, such as ferns or baby’s breath, to fill things out. (Bonus: baby’s breath represents happiness and will make it look like there’s more to the arrangement than there actually is.) There’s no magic trick involved: “You just do it how it looks good,” Mathewson said.

    Also, consider investing in a vase, If you just used up all of your money on flowers, see if anyone has an empty wine bottle they’ll let you take. No one wants to be forced to stuff that nice bouquet into yesterday’s Ice Mountain bottle.


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