Flower Etiquette: How to choose and gift flowers

Flowers are incredibly versatile. They are the perfect impromptu present, an appropriate gesture to acknowledge a very happy, special or sad occasion, and they can seal the deal when trying to impress. If you have let someone down or fear you have caused offence, flowers may say more than an embarrassed apology.

Be prepared to spend, and don’t economise. Never buy bunches that look as if they might expire the following day. Also, if they’re in a fridge, ask how long they’ve been there. Don’t overlook the importance of the card that accompanies a delivered bouquet – it is as important as the flowers.

Make sure the bouquet suits the occasion and the style of the recipient. Avoid white flowers for celebratory bunches (they are often associated with funerals and death), and be careful with overwhelming scent, which can trigger allergies.

Local, seasonable blooms will usually be better value and often last longer.

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