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Guide to Choosing Flowers

Why do flowers make a good gift?

They can be given for a number of occasions/reasons, they are suitable for just about everyone, they are available for a range of budgets, they don’t need to be wrapped to look like a gift if you have them sent to someone, they are high impact, they can be given over and over to the same recipient and they are used up so they are great for people who already "have everything" or are low on space for storing new possessions. Flowers brighten a room, draw attention to the recipient if delivered in a public location (which may enhance the feeling of being "special"), they’re forms of living art and some of them add a lovely scent to the room.

What kind of arrangement to choose?

Many retailers will have pre-designed arrangements that they suggest for various occasions. Other options are choosing an arrangement that includes the recipient’s favourite type of flower or colour. If you think the recipient may not own a suitable vase for a bouquet of flowers, you can choose an arrangement that comes in a container or, in some cases, add a vase to your order. This is also something to consider if the person you are sending flowers to is likely to be receiving many other flower arrangements at the same time, such as for a milestone birthday or a bereavement. Avoid very large arrangements if you are sending flowers to someone in hospital, as there is often limited room to display them. Take into account whether the recipient has allergies or sensitivities to pollen (if you know) - choose unscented and low pollen flowers or they may not be able to have the flowers anywhere near them, however nice the arrangement.

Arrangements that are all the same colour or all the same flower will look more polished. Very mixed arrangements tend to look less structured. Bright flowers are good choices for birthdays and also for get well arrangements (and again, if sending to a hospital, choose hardier, low-allergy flowers). Softer arrangements, such as white flowers with green foliage are possibly more suitable for condolences.

Many retailers allow you to order other items in addition to your flowers. We have already mentioned adding a vase but some other things commonly available are chocolates and balloons. Teddy bears are popular to include with flowers given on the birth of a baby or for Valentine’s Day.

Some retailers offer not only cut flowers but also living plants in baskets or pots. Do be aware that most "mixed basket" plants will eventually need to be re-potted if they are to last and continue growing for any significant length of time. Other alternatives to cut flower arrangements include "bouquets" of flowers made out of chocolate or cookies, or baby’s clothing.

You can select anything from a single stem to a large bouquet. If sending flowers to someone who has a modern, sleek decor, a simpler arrangement of a group of the same type of flower in all the same colour may look more appropriate in their home. If someone has an older style home with antique furniture, a modern arrangement with tropical flowers may look out of place. In all cases, if you know the recipient has a favourite flower or flowers, you can’t really go wrong selecting those.

We hope you've found this guide useful.

Be sure to check out our other flower guides for more information.