Saying it with flowers
If you think that old-fashioned romance is a bit of a has-been tradition, think again. Joanne Zammit from Qronfla tells Ramona Depares that nothing gets the pheromones soaring as fast as a beautiful bouquet.
Nothing spells love like a massive bouquet of something brightly coloured and fragranced, right? Particularly if it comes with a huge ribbon and thorns on the side… I’m talking roses, baby – that ultimate, universally-recognisable symbol that spells out romantic intention in big, neon colour.
But of course, it’s not just about roses. Joanne Zammit, from Qronfla, explains that although tradition still holds strong, the increase in the popularity of offering flowers to your sweetheart means that lovers are starting to experiment with more varieties on this all-important day.
“As florists, we have noticed that Valentine’s Day has become more and more popular as time goes by. It’s one of those celebrations that are truly timeless and bring out the best side of everyone. Every year gets busier and busier.”
February 14, she explains, officially made it on the Maltese calendar of celebrations some 40 years ago, mainly thanks to the influence of the British services. Qronfla was involved even back then – in those days, a big ball used to be organised by the services at Lascaris and Qronfla used to supply a heart arrangement made of red carnations and other loose flowers for the occasion.
And if you thought that buying flowers was a gentleman’s prerogative, think again. Joanne admits that the majority of Valentine’s Day bouquets are ordered by the men. However, the number of women who choose to express their feelings with flowers gets bigger every year. Even more intriguing, it appears that Valentine’s Day is no longer simply for lovers, but has become a good excuse to show your affection even towards platonic friends and family members.
“We get family members buying flowers for each other – daughters for their mothers and so forth. Then there are close friends who want to find a way to say they really care.”
Tradition is still going strong, as the number of red roses on order for next week has already reached ridiculous figures – the red rose signifies passionate love. People go for anything from three to six, nine and even 12 roses. Those who have a well-developed playful side typically add a couple of soft toys and balloons to the mix.
“Mixed seasonal flowers are not as popular, but we sometimes do get requests for those too. Mixing seasonal flowers with roses is also popular, because it gives a creative touch without totally removing the traditional idea of romance.”
Enjoy your roses for longer
Should Thursday bring the florist over to your doorstep, give your roses a bit of special attention and care, and you can prolong their life and enjoy them more.
Before you put them in a vase, hold the stems under running water and cut an inch off the stem while the water is still running. Cut it at an angle and make sure you use a sharp knife.
Place the roses in the vase with fresh water, in a cool room where flowers will be away from sunny windows, heating, or warm appliances. Change the fresh water in the vase every other day. Add a sachet of flower food for better results.
What does your bouquet say?
Traditionally, a rose bouquet for your lover should be in an odd number, as even numbers are a sign of condolence.
A single rose of any colour symbolises utmost devotion, or to put it in simpler terms: “I love you!”
Two roses entwined together are considered to be a marriage proposal.
A bouquet of 11 or 12 roses indicates a secret admirer.
Different colours have different meanings
White roses: purity and innocence
Yellow: remember me; jealousy
Red and White: unity
Lavender: love at first sight
Blue: the impossible