Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 16.12.49A NORTH East florist is helping northern Romeos – with a guide to buying Valentine’s blooms which are an alternative to roses.

14 February is one of the busiest days of the year for florists, as shoppers splash out on bunches of traditional – and sometimes more expensive – red roses for their loved ones.

However, Susie Griffiths, of the Rebel Flower Company, at The Village, intu Metrocentre, Gateshead, has devised a number of romantic ways of ‘saying it with flowers’ on Valentine’s Day, which offer acontemporary take on the traditional bouquet of roses.

“Red roses may have become a firm favourite but in fact, there are many flowers and plants associated with love,” she said, “whose links with romance go back even further.

“For centuries, orchids, for example, have been linked with love. Potions made from orchids, once drunk, were said to result in hopeless infatuation and Cymbidium orchids, in particular have an alluring honey fragrance, mythically believed to aid fertility.”

Having managed florists in England and Ireland, Susie started her own floristry business at intu Metrocentre at a stall outside House of Fraser. She was so successful she was able to move into her very own store in the centre’s Village for independent retailers.

With her wealth of experience and to help those stuck for inspiration or wanting to impress their loved one, Susie has come up with a five tips for romantics who are rebelling against roses:

  1. Go for fragrance. Pick a bloom that not only looks beautiful, but smells beautiful, too; so every time your Valentine smells the bouquet, they’ll think of you.
  2. You don’t always have to go for the biggest bouquet. Choose three or five flowers (an odd number is always best) and add a few sprigs of lavender or rosemary for fragrance. Tie them with an elastic band and cover the band with a length of ribbon.
  3. As an alternative to a bouquet, a corsage is a lovely, old-fashioned way to present flowers to your date. This should be a small spray, consisting of a single flower with maybe some fern or gypsophila that would be attached to clothing or to a handbag.
  4. If you are keen to stick with red, which is traditionally the colour of passion, then why not opt for a striking single exotic bloom, such as an amaryllis? Or a simple bunch of red tulips or spring blooms, tied raffia and a label saying ‘will you be my Valentine?’
  5. And, if roses really are a must, then you’ll find plenty in shades of soft pink, yellow or cream, which are possibly even more beautiful than the blood red ones. Did you know pink roses actually symbolise elegance and romance, whereas a yellow flower signifies friendship?

“I think the thing to remember, is you can be creative.” said Susie. “There is so much variety out there; if you make your blooms stand out you’ll definitely make the right impression with your Valentine.”

For more information visit www.rebelflowercompany.co.uk