Buying the right Valentine’s Day flowers

Published 8:58 pm Thursday, February 3, 2011

Heather McGinley/Suffolk News-Herald Dozen roses: Ray Bennett, owner of Ray’s Florist, holds a vase with a dozen red roses in his shop on Main Street. Bennett recommends roses as a great gift for a significant other because they are a universal symbol of love.

Hoping to do something special this year for loved ones on Valentine’s Day? Two Suffolk business owners would prefer that you send flowers.

Ray Bennett with Ray’s Florist and Lenette Britt of Lenette’s Floral Designs offered advice on everything from romantic floral bouquets to friendly flowers.

Red roses are the most popular flowers prepared and delivered by Ray’s Florist and Lenette’s Floral Design. Stargazer lilies are another popular favorite at both locations, while mixed garden flowers and carnations are also high sellers.

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When selecting flowers, color is important, Britt explained.

“Red means love,” she said. Pink stands for feminine or friendship, yellow is for friendship, and white means eternal love.

The type of flower you give and the number of flowers you give is also significant. For someone you are very serious about and have been with for a while, red or white roses would be appropriate, Bennett said.

“Everyone thinks of roses as love,” he said.

For someone you have only been dating for a short amount of time, Bennett recommends a mixed vase of fresh flowers, with or without roses. For friends or family members, he recommends a mixed vase with no roses because you don’t want to give a friend the wrong idea.

Britt also advises to start small with a new significant other and work your way up.

“If you are trying to impress someone, don’t go all out,” she said. “Give them one rose, and see how they react. If you start out with 12, you will have to keep it up.”

Britt advises young men coming into the store, “If she doesn’t appreciate one rose, then she won’t appreciate anything else you give her.”

When you choose flowers, it is important to know what your significant other or friend likes, Britt said.

“Ask them what they want. A lot of people get what they would like. Always ask or probe,” Britt said. “I wouldn’t want anyone to give me something I don’t like.”

If you are looking for something unique for Valentine’s Day, tulips and Gerber daisies are also nice, but aren’t often purchased for Valentine’s Day, Britt said.

Britt and Bennett also recommend sending gifts in addition to the flowers. Both florists can send teddy bears and candy in addition to flowers. Bennett explains that he has even sent jewelry if the customer brings it in to send to his significant other.

Britt recommends a candy bouquet that she prepared by adding candy on stems to an arrangement and a special vase. This year, the Faith Hill Collection of vases will be available to customers.

Bennett advises that anyone ordering flowers to be delivered should order early. Bennett said that with any florist, there is only so much room in the delivery vehicle, so if you want your flowers delivered at a certain time, you should contact your florist early.