Conflicting messages – please bear with me, this is about flowers. Roses, in particular. It all began in a supermarket, where the lady in front of me grabbed the last bunch of tulips proclaiming: “I always need something fresh after Christmas”. The empty bucket confirmed that she was not the only one.
A couple of days later I was thrown into confusion. One magazine occupied two pages with: “Not for sale. Red Roses, it’s over”. As this was the beginning of February, the message was clearly targeted at a specific audience. The advertisement came from Bloom & Wild with the subtitle “Show us how you #Care Wildly this Valentine’s Day”. Now, wait a minute, this can’t be coming from a flower shop; they would be compromising their own business. Bloom & Wild must be an upmarket DIY company. A quick search on the net confirmed however that they actually brand themselves as the UK’s most-loved online florist. So this was some kind of publicity stunt. OR masses of red roses left to wilt at the borders.
Taking the time to read the full message made things clear: Bloom & Wild feel that Valentine’s Day is not an event that ticks boxes with “a generic dozen”. It is more about showing you care. In their own words: “Care isn’t just big romantic gestures. It’s the little things we do for people, when nobody else is even looking”. Taking this further, Valentine’s Day is not only for lovers, it’s for everybody. This is what I call inclusive. Rest assured, they still send out bouquets. Like their Letterbox Flowers, flat-packed with arranging instructions, that fit through the front door. I imagine ballerina style long stems. Go and practice your “reference”.
But is there an alternative for those who were promised a rose garden? How about a potted “City of London Rose”, a shrub with large, shaggy, blush-pink fragrant flowers on an upright but bushy plant? A creation developed from “Rosa New Dawn” in 1986. Sustainable. Positioned next to your Living Christmas Tree. Now, that’s a thought.