A Guys' Guide to Giving Flowers
Surprise! Men Gain by Being Unpredictable
For the man who thinks "it's a jungle out there" when it comes to buying flowers, these simple tips will pave the way:
Be Spontaneous. Women may be used to receiving flowers on birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine's Day. They may even notice the absence of flowers on these occasions. But flowers given for no reason other than "I was thinking of you today" have a huge impact because they are unexpected.
Get more bloom for the buck. In a classic case of supply and demand, the price of roses peaks on Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. Roses are a great value during other times of the year, especially during the summer - all the more reason to give them spontaneously.
Don't overlook anyone. A bouquet can express a range of feelings - from romantic to friendly to something in-between. Your wife or significant other will love to receive a surprise gift of flowers. So will your mother, daughter, sister, assistant or female friends.
Try something new. Women are keenly aware of the multitude of floral varieties available and are eager to see new specimens first-hand. Giving roses of an unusual hue - like peach and pink - or an arrangement of mixed flowers demonstrates an awareness of color and an understanding of botany that will not go unnoticed.
Flowers are never boring. Because of their infinite diversity and unique appeal, flowers can be given time and time again without losing their "specialness". Each new floral arrangement is a fresh and individual declaration of appreciation - reflecting positively on your imagination and thoughtfulness.
Flowers don't have to mean commitment. Relax, guys. Women know when an arrangement simply means that you care.
Get professional help. Selecting flowers may be a bewildering experience for the uninitiated man. Fortunately help is available! Floral designers are experts in the art of expression and can create an affordable and personalized flower arrangement that will match both your sentiments (light or serious) and the woman's or man's personality.
Be prepared. When calling your florist or ordering on-line, have the name of the person you're surprising, the delivery address (including city and zip code if possible), the telephone number, and method of payment ready. If you're not sure what you want to order, now's the time to ask for ideas, or choose the designer's choice option and include your comments on the sentiment you want to express, along with any comments on the other person's personality (like outdoorsy, romantic, very feminine, etc.).
A gift of flowers goes a long way. Every woman remembers the last time she got flowers, and so do many men. Just as you never forgot the first time a woman other than your mom served you a home-cooked meal, she'll treasure your thoughtful gesture forever.
Source: The Society of American Florists
Surprise! Men Gain by Being Unpredictable
Survey Confirms Women's Love of the Unexpected
Throughout the ages, pleasant surprises have been one of life's greatest gifts. To understand this, remember the special joy of having been the guest of honor at a well-planned, secret surprise party: the feeling evoked when receiving an unexpected letter from an old, dear friend; or the wonder elicited when coming across an unanticipated and particularly beautiful view during a walk in an unfamiliar place. All of these things, though greatly appreciated had they been foreseen, surely wouldn't have caused quite the same sense of joy.
Although this fact holds true for both sexes, women particularly like to be surprised. Especially by the men in their lives.
Floral consultant and trendspotter for the Society of American Florists (SAF), Denise Lee, agrees saying that although most men primarily buy flowers and other gifts for traditional romantic reasons such as anniversaries and Valentine's Day, it is the gifts given "for no reason at all" that are the most memorable.
Survey findings confirm this
A nationwide (U.S.A.) survey shows that almost all women give an unexpected gift of flowers high marks for emotional impact. In the survey, conducted by Bruskin/Goldring Research for SAF, more than nine out of 10 women (94 percent) say that flowers mean the most when they receive them as a surprise.
What's more, the female respondents are loud and clear on the point that men do not need to be madly in love to send a woman a spontaneous gift of flowers -- any form of fondness, including friendship and fraternal, is appropriate. While the greatest number of women (83 percent) say they wish for surprise flowers from a spouse or sweetheart, one in three assert that they'd be delighted to receive an unexpected arrangement from a son. One in four say the same about a father, brother or male friend.
Lee notes that "Flowers say so many things to women. They express friendship, gratitude, congratulations, celebration, and romance. That's why flowers are always the ideal gift for every woman in a man's life, whether she's his wife, sweetheart, mother, daughter, sister or female friend.
For those men hesitant to surprise a woman with flowers, we say take the plunge. "To a man, giving flowers 'just because' may feel a bit strange at first" says Lee "but a woman's reaction will make him feel like a hero."
Experiment with the range of flowers available - a strategy that men are sure to find popular with the women in their lives. Testifying to a women's appetite for floral variety: two-thirds of the respondents say they would most like to receive an arrangement of mixed flowers as a surprise gift.
Roses are popular
A testament to their popularity, roses top the list of desired flowers for one-third of the women surveyed. Lee says that men used to buying roses only on Feb. 14, when demand is at it's highest, are in for a pleasant surprise during warm weather. Roses are a great value in summer, when the post-Valentine's Day crop comes in.
While red is the favorite rose color for most of the women surveyed (38 percent), pastel colors including yellow, pink and peach are also popular with the ladies. For a woman who's a rose lover, Lee suggests mixing it up by giving her brightly colored roses one time and pastel colors the next. Feel free to ask the florist if he has any unusual roses in, special varieties like fire and ice roses, or Matisse roses are sure to delight.
A specialist is the key
With so many choices--and so many women to please--buying flowers covertly can be daunting. That's why Lee counsels bringing your local florist in on the secret. "You don't need a botany degree to order flowers. Just as most men depend on their mechanics to provide automobile advice, they can become just as comfortable relying on their local florist to help them choose a gift that's sure to please."
Lee further encourages men to give it a try: "They'll be surprised at what a huge and lasting reaction this thoughtful gesture will elicit." "Especially," she continues, "when it's totally unexpected."
Flowers mean more when they come as a surprise. That's the message the women we surveyed are sending the men in their lives. Plus, in summer many flowers are a great value. Now, will guys take the hint?
Survey results are from a survey of 520 female adults conducted in March 1996 by Bruskin/Goldring Research. The sampling error is (+) four percent.
Finding #1--Almost all women agree that flowers mean more when they're given for no reason at all.
Q: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
Flowers mean the most when given as a surprise or "just because".
Agree: 94% Disagree: 4% Don't Know: 2%
Finding #2--A gift of flowers doesn't always mean romance. Women like to be surprised by a gift of flowers from a husband or significant other and just about anybody else.
Q: If you were to receive flowers as a surprise or "just because," from which of the following men would you like to receive them?
Husband or Significant Other: 83% Son: 34% Male Friend: 25% Father: 23% Brother: 23% Don't know: 5%
Finding #3-- Women like to be surprised by a gift of mixed flowers but they wouldn't mind roses either.
Q: If you were to received flowers as a surprise or "just because" what kind would you prefer?
Mixed flowers: 62% All Roses: 28% Other single flower type: 7% Don't know: 3%
Finding #4-- Traditional red is still the color of choice for rose lovers, but other colors are bunched for second place.
Q.What is your favorite color of rose?
Red: 38% Yellow: 19% Peach: 16% Pink: 15% White: 7% Other: 4%
source: Society of American Florists
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