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How to choose flowers

We know that choosing a bouquet can be tricky, so we asked our workshop team to give some pointers on how to choose the right bouquet for the right person or occasion. If you want to order a bespoke bouquet, call the stand on 01273 711 711.

The history of giving flowers

Ask a florist how the tradition of giving flowers began and you’ll get a different story every time. Historians know that it goes back at least as far as the Greeks, who would leave flowers in their temples, where each bloom related to a different god or goddess.

The Ottomans developed a complex language of “floriography” and would give each other bunches of flowers that contained hidden meanings. This ancient art was brought back to Europe by intrepid travellers and was soon adopted by the Victorians.

In Victorian society, expressing your feelings openly just wasn’t the done thing. So people gave flowers instead. They would think deeply about the composition of their bouquets. Everything from the blooms, to the colours, to the size and even to the specific placement of each flower all held secret meanings. There were even guidebooks to help recipients decipher the meaning of the flowers they had been given.

These days, scientists have proved that flowers really do improve the mood of the people you give them to. Studies have shown that they can lift the spirits of people who are feeling down. These days we follow our own rules for composing bouquets.


 Composing a bouquet

Here is a quick and easy guide to composing or choosing the right bouquet for someone special, courtesy of our very own Lib Adams.

1. If you don’t know much about flowers, that doesn’t mean you can’t pick out the perfect bouquet. Start off thinking about who it is you are buying for, would they like something soft and warm or bolder, brighter statement blooms?

2. Where will these flowers be placed? Are they going to sit in a tall elegant vase or a small pot? In the kitchen, or the living room, or even the bathroom!

3. Look at the forms and the textures of the flowers. Variety is your friend when you are putting together a bouquet but be careful not to overpower your small, dainty flowers.

4. Size matters. If you are using large blooms then you must be careful that the smaller flowers in the bouquet don’t get lost. You can have both but make sure your florist gets the ratio of small to large just right.


5.  Colour is the most important part of any bouquet, from the tiniest and most modest posies to the most elaborate and extravagant floral arrangements. We use a colour wheel to find the right combinations but you can do it with your eyes too. Contrasting colours create bold, striking bouquets and complimentary colours are used for softer, more elegant compositions.

6. As florists we’re always thinking numerically, there are certain shapes and patterns that works better than others. We work in odd numbers because that makes for better arrangements within the circle of a bouquet. So instead of having two or four of one bloom, we always look to use three, five or seven.

7. Don’t forget the foliage. Adding foliage helps to create a more pleasing shape within a bouquet but it also helps protect the heads of the flowers from knocking into one another and getting damaged. Foliage around the edge of a bouquet strengthens the stems and prevents them from snapping.

8. The last and most important rule we follow is to have fun! There’s nothing to worry about, a good florist will always do their best to help you. At the Flowerstand, we think that being a florist is just about the best job in the world and we love sharing the joy that comes from creating beautiful bouquets of flowers.


  • St Johns Church
  • Palmeira Square
  • Hove
  • 01273 711 711


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