Roses will al­ways be pop­u­lar but there is also a move­ment to buy flow­ers that are in sea­son

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - VALENTINE’S DAY -

WithValen­tine’s Day just around the corner, part­ners will soon be faced with find­ing a bunch of flow­ers that their other half will like. As Tesco su­per­mar­kets sell shy of one mil­lion flow­ers each year to loved-up cus­tomers, we went to their head florist for ad­vice. Michelle Buck, who grew up in Iver but now lives in Ge­orge Green, gave Katy Clifton some top tips ahead of this year’s spe­cial day.

Michelle, could you tell us what in­spired you to get into floristry?

Af­ter de­cid­ing on a ca­reer change, I en­rolled on an evening course at my lo­cal col­lege and af­ter two weeks I was com­pletely hooked. I’ve al­ways had a pas­sion for flow­ers and de­sign but never re­ally thought of it as a ca­reer choice. It wasn’t un­til af­ter I had my chil­dren that I knew I wanted to do some­thing I en­joyed for a job. I joined Tesco in 2015.

When do you start pre­par­ing the de­signs and ideas for Valen­tine’s flow­ers?

I start to work on ideas a year in ad­vance, so no sooner than Valen­tine’s is over for one year, all the plan­ning and de­sign­ing be­gins again. We start with a re­view of the event and build on what we learned. I keep up to date with what is go­ing on in the mar­ket, fo­cus on up-and-com­ing trends, visit grow­ers to see what new and ex­cit­ing prod­ucts we can of­fer our cus­tomers.

Why do you think Valen­tine’s Day is such a spe­cial day?

Whilst you should not limit your­self to ex­press­ing your love for your part­ner to just one day, Valen­tine’s is that spe­cial day when you can go that ex­tra mile to make that spe­cial some­one feel im­por­tant and loved. So whether it is a sim­ple sin­gle rose or a stun­ning 100-rose bou­quet, make sure you send that ex­tra spe­cial some­thing.

What is your favourite flower?

I have loads of favourites but David Austin Roses’ Beatrice, teamed with beau­ti­ful fo­liage, are very spe­cial to me be­cause they were my wed­ding flow­ers.

For those who like flow­ers which are quirky or unique, what rec­om­men­da­tion would you make?

If some­one didn’t want to buy roses, an­other ro­man­tic ges­ture would be to maybe use flow­ers from their wed­ding bou­quet. Valen­tine’s for me is not all about red, I like to use hot pinks teamed with rich pur­ple and scented flow­ers are sim­ply a must.

Are peo­ple mov­ing away from the more tra­di­tional flow­ers, such as roses and car­na­tions?

I don’t think peo­ple will ev­ery re­ally fall out of love with roses and car­na­tions. They will al­ways have their place. There is a trend to cel­e­brate sea­sonal with cus­tomers buy­ing into sea­sonal blooms when they are avail­able. We are still con­tin­u­ing to see the vin­tage and just-picked trend in wed­ding flow­ers.

What do you think is so nice about re­ceiv­ing flow­ers from your part­ner?

It’s the thought be­hind it that makes it spe­cial, the fact that they have taken the time to go and choose them with you in mind.

Fi­nally, for those last­minute part­ners, when is the last point you should buy flow­ers?

It is al­ways best to try and be or­gan­ised to en­sure you can ac­quire the per­fect bou­quet, how­ever, if you have left it un­til the last minute, you can or­der on­line at Tesco di­rect up un­til 5pm on the 13th to get next-day de­liv­ery.

Eye for de­tail: Tesco head florist Michelle Buck at work.

Clas­sic: Car­na­tions are a peren­nial Valen­tine’s Day choice.

Stylish: Ms Buck flavours hot pink flow­ers.

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