Everything’s coming up roses – my flower obsession

A few months ago, Champagne Gillian talked about a game where you pick alternative careers. In the comments, I suggested that I’d leave the world of academia to become a florist. I’ve thought about those comments for a while now and pondered what precisely appeals to me about being a florist. And in short, it’s the flowers…. obviously. I love receiving flowers, I love picking flowers, I love looking at flowers. I even love drawing flowers (badly). And with Valentine’s Day approaching, well, I can’t help but think about flowers!

I’m very lucky that my partner brings flowers home from town most weekends. He takes our son into the park in Dublin’s city centre to play on the swings, ride his bike, feed the ducks and otherwise run about the place (the downside of living in a Georgian building is that there is no yard), whilst I get a well-deserved (according to me) lie-in. They then run their errands and stop by Jerry the flower seller to pick up a couple of bunches of flowers – well one bunch, but Jerry always gives them an extra one for free.

This may or may not be an accurate depiction of Jerry.
This may or may not be an accurate depiction of Jerry.

I used to think a weekly bunch of fresh flowers was an extravagance, an indulgent spend that in our budget-conscious times was probably unnecessary. I’d be grateful – sure – but in the back of my mind was the little voice nagging, “Oh, we could have spent those measly few euro on blah blah blah”.

But I’ve learned to simply say thank you. It’s a lovely gesture, I love flowers – where’s the problem? But the receiving of flowers on random days not associated with birthdays, anniversaries or other “worthy occasions” is perplexing for many. Surprisingly, many of my girlfriends seem to think it’s a sign of a guilty conscience. “So, he just brought you flowers. For no reason, like? Are you not worried he’s up to something?”

Indeed, random strangers have called out to him from passing cars as he’s walked down the street with flowers. “Ya really must’ve screwed up badly!” the lads commiserate, as if flowers are only bribes to win good favour from the missus. Importantly, not all flowers are created equal. I love roses (not yellow), despise lilies (sadly, I do receive these quite often, but I’m not one to say no!), adore tulips, freesias, lizianthus, agapanthus, irises and pretty much any other purple bloom. And if baby’s breath were to pass the threshold, it would be immediately met with divorce papers!  Ugh – how horrible is that stuff?

One of my favourite blooms – a lotus I photographed in the grounds of the Summer Palace in Beijing
One of my favourite blooms – a lotus I photographed in the grounds of the Summer Palace in Beijing

But it’s not all roses in my house (see what I did there?). Despite the fact that he loves to bring flowers home and I’m more than delighted to receive them, neither of us can abide removing dead stems and washing out the vase. It’s like an unspoken stand-off – the ex-flowers will stay until one of us relents. And more often than not, it’s the cleaning lady who caves first!

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching and the inevitable price gouging that occurs at all levels along the supply chain, the best advice is to give your beloved a flowering plant rather than a bouquet. Not only will you receive more bang for your buck, but the flowers will last and last – a much better metaphor for enduring expressions of love, no?

Do you get flowers often? What are your favourites?

Written By

Carolyn is the editorial director of Champagne Cartel and a freelance writer. In her spare time she is a long-distance runner, peanut butter enthusiast, and single mum to three incredible humans.


  • I have a negative association issue with flowers. I pretty much only get them (from anyone) when someone I care about enormously has died. So as much as I like a bunch of bright about the place, I’m not ready to say goodbye to any of my nearest and dearest in exchange!

  • Oh no, Champagne Mia! That’s so sad. It reminds me of a Canadian friend of mine in Australia who seems to be the angel of death in his family – whenever he goes home for a visit, someone dies (and no, he’s not offing them in an effort to reach his inheritance sooner!).

  • I like that he gets you flowers, it means that he’s thinking of you and he obviously likes them as well. A part of me would be the same, could’ve spent the money on such and such, but I think at bit of natural beauty in the home goes a long way. Until they die, and yes, the scum at the bottom is gross and often hard to reach…lol, we can’t be pleased can we?

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