Category Archives: Valentine’s Day

Top Tips For Romance

Part One – How To Tell If A Girl Likes You

We like to be helpful and so for this year’s Valentine’s we’ve called on a “specialist” to share his top tips in the dating game. Unfortunately, given one of his most sensible tips is to pretend to be your target’s ex-boyfriend, we’re not sure exactly what he’s a “specialist” in. We’ll share a new post every day this week, addressing a different aspect of love and the wooing game. Without further ado, the first installment: How to tell if a girl likes you. Read on!

The most effective way to discover whether or not a girl likes you is to examine her Amare Saccuss (‘love sack’). This is a small area at the front of the brain which fills with mucus whenever feelings of a romantic nature develop. The mucus can be easily accessed by piercing the skull with a large syringe and drawing the substance out. The redder the mucus the stronger her feelings are likely to be towards you.

However, it is not always appropriate to pierce a lady’s brain with a needle.  In such cases there are a number of ways (although much less effective) to uncover her true feelings:

1. Ask her if she likes you.

This is perhaps the most obvious, but also the most dangerous. You’ll be playing your cards very firmly away from your chest.  She’ll immediately discover your intentions and there’s no guarantee that she’ll give a truthful answer.

However, there is a method you can use to disguise your question and intentions. Walk up to her with a clipboard and ask if she likes Martin (assuming that you both have a mutual acquaintance called Martin).  Pretend to tick something on the clipboard. Then ask her if she likes Peter (again, only if you both know someone called Peter). Continue this with 50 or so names until eventually you ask her “Do you like me?”. If she says yes you might want to try to kiss her, but I would recommend playing it cool by then asking her another 50 or so names.

2. Does she always laugh at your jokes?

If a lady likes a man she will often laugh at his jokes, even if they are not funny. The most important thing is to know whether she laughs at your jokes because she likes you or because you are very, very funny.  I would suggest that you enrol yourself in an open mic comedy night to confirm just how funny you are. If your jokes result in a standing ovation, hysterical laughter and a job as a man who appears in many TV panel shows, then you are probably quite funny and she has no romantic feelings towards you at all. However, if your performance results in heckles, awkward silences and a pint of urine being thrown in your face, then I would strongly urge you to wash your face, run straight to the lady’s house and kiss her.

3. Is she often running her hands through your hair, stroking your neck, holding your hand and asking you out on dates?

It’s possible that she likes you, but it’s more likely to be some kind of trap to humiliate you. You must tell her that you will not stand for her games and you will only agree to a date upon the condition that you gain access to her Amare Saccus for scientific research.

We hope this was helpful!

Top Tips for Romance: Part 2 – How To Get A Girl To Like You

There are many well documented ways to make a girl like you. Unfortunately they are mostly wrong. A fast car, a nice house and fashionable clothes doesn’t project ‘cool guy’, it reeks of ‘organised crime’.

Rule #1: Do Not Be Yourself

Under no circumstances must you be yourself. There’s a reason why you’re single and using the advice of an online flower delivery company to find a mate. Be someone else, but don’t make the mistake of being someone obvious like James Bond or George Clooney. In reality women would be put off by James Bond’s disregard for human life or George Clooney’s busy work schedule.

Nothing says potential boyfriend like ‘former boyfriend’. People are always getting back together with old flames. Find him, follow him, and become him. By mimicking the personality and look of her ex lover you will be tapping into tools which have already proven to work on this specific lady in the past.

Rule #2: Become Best Friends With Her Mother

Nobody has a bigger influence on a woman’s relationship than her mother. Become close to the mother and she’ll be sure to put in a good word for you. It’s easy to befriend a mother by simply turning up at her house unannounced with a bottle of Martini, Casablanca on DVD and a Backgammon board. When she answers the door you must repeat these words exactly: “Hello. I’m a friend of your daughter. I’ve come to be your friend too.” Everyone likes having friends and it will reassure her that you have not come to murder her.

Rule #3: Be Mysterious

All women like mystery. It’s thrilling.

  • Change your name often. (Occasionally claim to have no name)
  • Lurk in the shadows.
  • Give false information.
  • Pretend to be confused.

Rule #4: Be Dying

Fake an illness. Sympathy is a powerful motivator of emotions. Even if a woman doesn’t love a man, she might be forced into loving him just in case she believes that one day she could have loved him, but now she might never get that chance. Alternatively, claim to be immortal. This would make you appear quite unique and a good long term investment.


Top Tips For Romance: Part 3 – How To Ask A Girl Out On A Date

This can be quite a daunting task. There’s always the chance that she will say no and everyone in the world will laugh at you. Forever. Here are a few handy tips for getting that elusive ‘YES!’

Option 1: Ask Your Friend To Do It For You

This is without a doubt the best option. Not only will it make you look powerful like you have people who do your bidding, but it will also subliminally remind her about being in school. Everyone has fond memories of school. They were simpler times, free from soaring mortgage payments, the ever increasing awareness of your own mortality and Russell Howard’s Good News.

General Rule #1: Do Not Make Eye Contact

Nobody likes eye contact. The eyes are the windows to the soul. Therefore the fringe is the curtain to the soul. There’s a reason why so many women have bangs these days. With demons like Derren Brown and Dynamo walking the streets of the Earth, many people have become fearful of eye contact; because they believe that their thoughts can be both interpreted and influenced. Look at the floor. It will make you seem both considerate and lacking in confidence, which has been known to be a great turn on.

Option 2: Create The Illusion That The Date Is With Someone Else

Technology is wonderful for deceiving ladies. Using a fake email account or a pay-as-you-go cell phone, begin a text based conversation with the woman of your dreams under the pretence that you are someone that you know that she would go on a date with. Once the date is confirmed, go to the place where the date is set to take place. Be ten minutes early and order a bottle of moderately priced wine. Have the waiter open the bottle. When she arrives and sees that you are not the person she was expecting she will be very angry and want to leave. Explain that she can’t leave, because you’ve already ordered the wine and won’t be able to send it back. If she has any empathy for human beings during these tough economic times, she will agree to stay and not let wine go to waste. Use the following moments to apologise for deceiving her (possibly blame it on someone else). If she accepts your apology the date will most likely go ahead.

General Rule #2: Do Offer Money

It’s very offensive to straight out offer a woman money to go on a date with you, but if you were to approach the situation with “If you go out with me I will give £1000 to charity”, then it would be impossible for you to look like a bad person. In fact, she would have to say yes for fear of being a bad person herself. It’s disgusting manipulation of the best kind.


Top Tips For Romance: Part 4 – How To Kiss Your Sexy Neighbour

Easy Solutions #2

So, you want to kiss your sexy neighbour, but you’ve never even said hello.

What you will need: 1 x computer with photoshop, 1 x printer, 1 x A4 envelope, 1 x black pen, 1 x red pen, 1 x stamp, 1 x pot of extra strength glue, 1 x photo of yourself with a lady.

Step One: Use your computer to photoshop Angelina Jolie’s head onto the lady’s body in your photograph. If you are unable to do this, seek the assistance of a ten year old child.

Step Two: Print out the photo, place it in a frame and hang it in your hallway.

Step Three:
 Use your computer to write a script for a short Hollywood film. Put all of your effort into it, because although it will probably never get made, you might discover that you have a hidden talent.

Step Four: Print out two copies of the script and place them in the envelope. Write your name and address on the envelope using the black pen. Then, using the red pen, write the words “Confidential” and “Urgent” in bold capital letters. Exclamation marks are optional.

Step Five: Lick the stamp and stick it on the top right hand corner of the envelope.

Step Six: On Saturday morning stand outside your neighbour’s house until the postman arrives. As soon as he posts your neighbour’s letters run up to her door and post your envelope.

Step Seven: Return home and glue your letterbox shut.

Step Eight: Pretty soon your neighbour will discover your envelope and she will immediately bring it to the correct address, because of the bold red writing. She will be unable to simply post it through your letterbox, because you have glued it shut. When she knocks your door, answer it.

Step Nine: When she hands you the envelope say the words “Oh, thank God. I was worried I wasn’t going to get this in time before Monday.” The “Confidential” written on the envelope will have made her curious, so she may ask what the envelope contains.

Step Ten:Even if she doesn’t, casually announce that it’s just the script for a new film you’re starring in with Angelina Jolie. While your neighbour is being impressed mention that you’ve just opened a bottle of wine. Ask her if she would like a glass. You won’t need to have a bottle ready. She will automatically decline, because it’s Saturday morning, but it will make you appear artistic, because only creative types drink wine in the morning.

Step Eleven: There’s a 50/50 chance that she will now ask if you know Angelina Jolie. Even if she doesn’t ask this question it is important that you now point her towards the photograph hanging in your hallway, thus causing her to enter your house.

Step Twelve: Whilst she is looking at the photo, open the envelope and say the words “Why have they sent me two?”

Step Thirteen:
 After she is done admiring the photograph say the words “Hey, you wouldn’t mind running through a few scenes with me, would you?” She will be reluctant to decline, because she’s already declined your offer of wine and won’t want to seem rude, especially to a man who she now believes to be an associate of a top movie star.

Step Fourteen: Take her into the living room and tell her that you aren’t in many of the early scenes, so you should start with the final act.

Step Fifteen:
 After she’s read a few lines, compliment her by saying “You’re very good. Have you done any acting before?” This will put her at ease.

Step Sixteen: Now, if you’ve written your script correctly, you will have included a climax where you and Angelina Jolie’s character kiss. It’s Hollywood writing 101. Upon reading the direction notes of this scene your neighbour will instinctively be reluctant to kiss a man she’s only just met on a Saturday morning.

Step Seventeen: However, before she says the words “We don’t have to kiss, do we?” she will start to think about Angelina Jolie and her lips. All women have the exact same strong feelings about Angelina Jolie, and no matter what they say, it is thinly veiled jealousy. Your neighbour will start to wonder about you kissing Angelina Jolie on Monday. At first she will realise that this is her one opportunity to beat Angelina Jolie by being a better kisser. Then she will imagine the kiss chain from her, to you, to Angelina Jolie, to Brad Pitt. This will seal the deal in her mind.

Step Eighteen: When your neighbour moves her mouth close to your’s, begin to kiss her. Mission accomplished.

Step Nineteen (Optional): If you want to take a risk, you can make your script about a man who kisses his neighbour by doing this exact thing. Your neighbour might appreciate the Charlie Kauffman quality to it. It’s a good way to come clean and rid yourself of the guilt. If she admires your efforts you might enter into a love affair. Sadly this step will only work 60% of the time.

Notes: Women can use this tutorial by simply replacing the photo of Angelina Jolie with Johnny Depp.


Top Tips For Romance: Part 5 – A Valentine’s Day Adventure

People say that romance is dead, but it’s just evolving with the times. Candles have been replaced by LEDs, poetry has been replaced by gangster heavy txt spk and long walks on the beach have been replaced by a 100m sprint around a petrol station forecourt. It’s just how things go. Compliments have very nearly been replaced by the Facebook poke. Tell someone their hair looks nice before it’s too late.

One Valentine’s Day, in a bid to recapture the more traditional type of romance, I decided to take a lady for a daytime stroll along a cliff, (the third most romantic generic location behind a hilltop and a frozen lake respectively).

Knowing that hunger could very well be an issue in this isolated location, I prepared a picnic basket filled with the most romantic foods (Toblerones, Mint Aeros and Flakes). To increase the romance tenfold I decided to have the basket already planted there, which meant leaving it unguarded. This thought worried me. Although this was not a popular spot, I could not cope with the idea that some stranger might stumble upon my romance hamper. I did what I had to – I buried it. Precautious is my middle name and also quite a good description of my personality, so I buried it far deeper than I needed to. I also buried the shovel in a separate less deep hole, for fear that someone might find the shovel and decide to go on a random dig and unearth my love basket.

February 14th came and I found myself walking hand in hand with the potential love of my life. The Sun seemed to be burning brighter than ever before and a cool breeze kept the conditions perfect for a romantic stroll, because as you probably know, romance cannot develop at temperatures of more than 25 degrees.

Upon arriving at the cliff top a tiny lamb leapt into my arms and we both stroked it whilst laughing manically at the joy of such a thing. After the novelty of the lamb had passed I tossed it to one side and decided it was time to unveil the picnic basket.

“Look over there!” I yelled as I pointed at a bush. She turned away and I quickly got on my knees and began to dig with my bare hands. “Well, will you look at what I’ve found?” I said, proudly brandishing a shovel. “I bet there’s some treasure around here.”

I set to digging, as my potential wife gazed blissfully out at the sea. “Come see this view.” she said, her voice as soft the lamb I’d stroked a minute before.

“In a moment.” I replied “I think I’ve found something.”

Minutes passed, and I was still far from unearthing the picnic surprise. My date was losing patience. Half an hour had gone and the treasure was still far my grasp. I’d been too cautious with my burying. By this time I’d become quite manic. Her pleas for moving on or for conversation were met by screeches of “Leave me. Let me work. I’m onto something.”

The Sun began to set and the sky became a canvas of purple, violet and peach. “Come and enjoy this sunset with me. Please.” she begged, but I gave no reply. I was no longer a man; I had become a JCB born only to dig.

Night had officially checked in and the temperature was falling fast. It had already fallen below 7 degrees, which is the generally accepted minimum temperature for incubating romance. My offer of a jacket was met with silence. She’d gone. Not wanting the day to be a complete waste of time, I carried on digging.

If you’re expecting a funny twist, like I dug all the way to China or I’d been digging in the wrong place, you’ll be very disappointed. There is nothing funny about what I discovered after eight hours of digging – Someone had stolen my picnic basket. Maybe romance really is dead.

15 most unusual dating sites for Valentine’s day

Dating.  A veritable minefield and as Valentine’s day approaches on the horizon, you may be wishing you could find someone perfect for you.  Whoever you are.

And whoever you are, there is probably a dating website which will suit you.

We have trawled the internet for the best of the unusual dating sites out there:

Love in the Country1. Muddy Matches

What: A website for people who are more paddock than pavement.   All rosy cheeks and tweed, this is a great site if you know your thoroughbreds and don’t mind plucking your Sunday lunch before you cook it.

Pick up line: “Are you a chicken? Because you’re impeccable.”

Things to do on a first date: Clay pigeon shooting and country walks.  Make sure to bring your wellies.

2. Date Doctors

What: This is a dating site for “doctors, physicians and the women who love them.”  (That’s what the website says anyway; someone forgot to let them know that women can be doctors too).

Pick up line: “Dial 999, I think my heart just stopped”

Things to do on a first date: Visit the Wellcome Trust collection and view all the creepy medical and scientific specimens collected by Henry Wellcome.

Score: love one.

3. Love at first serve

What: Dating site for tennis players and tennis lovers.  For courting on the courts, the website advises you wear pro-style tennis wear or hang out at the club house with a jug of lemonade to refresh weary players.

Pick up line: “Love one?”

Things to do on a first date: Try a game of real tennis (an indoor game played on a court with sloping roofs and buttresses; the forerunner for modern day tennis) for a bit of a laugh.

4. Cupidtino

What: A dating site for Mac lovers.  Mac fans are a passionate bunch, get two together and the results could be very heated indeed.  What a great way to meet a future partner by sharing in your passion for iPads (that is until the iPad becomes fully sentient and capable of love)?

Pick up line: “iDate?”

Things to do on a first date: Mac lovers seem to be happy anywhere, doing anything, as long as they are talking about Macs.  So, cinema or a loud bar might not be a good idea.

5. The Altas Sphere

What: A dating site to get together people who really – really – like the work of Ayn Rand.  I’d say this is fairly niche, I personally enjoyed The Fountainhead, but perhaps not ‘that’ much.  There are, however, around 12,000 dating profiles on the site, though.  So if you do like Ayn Rand a lot you certainly have a good chance of finding someone compatible.

Pick up line: “Feeling Randy?”

Things to do on a first date: Visit the Ayn Rand institute for details on up-coming talks and essay competitions you could enter together.

Mile high club?

6. Crew Dating

What: Date aviators; pilots, flight attendants, air traffic controllers with the thought that you ‘never fly solo again’.   Hailed as the ‘Facebook of aviation’, it’s a one stop dating site for people who understand the busy and long hours of people in our aviation industry.

Pick up line: “Cabin crew, prepare for take off; my heart is about to soar.”

Things to do on a first date: With all the wining and dining options available in most departure lounges, you’re spoilt for choice.

7. A sound match

What: Based on the idea that the music you listen to defines your personality, this site matches you with suitable partners.  If you like A-ha, you won’t be sent on a date with an AC/DC fan.  You can complete the free 3 minute music personality test, pick your genre and off you go.

Pick up line:  “I want to be on your most-played list.”

Things to do on a first date: How about some impromptu busking in the park?  You can use your earnings to go for a romantic meal afterwards.

Virtual romance

8. Gamer Dating

What: As the name suggests, here you can share your love of gaming.  You can select your potential partner by the game they like the most.  Be warned, the potential date partners have profile names like The_reaper and NeonDragon etc.  Not the most romantic, but then I don’t think I’m the target market.

Pick up line: “Do you want to see my special moves?  Left, left, down, up, up…..”

Things to do on a first date: Make sure your avatar is dressed appropriately for the date, don’t bring weapons.

9. Sober and Single

What: A lot of dates involve meeting for a drink, but this doesn’t have to be an alcoholic drink, and for those who don’t drink, it can be an awkward moment when you order sparkling water in a cocktail bar.  This is the website for people who want a drink- and drug-free relationship.

Pick up line: “I’m intoxicated but only by you”

Things to do on a first date: There are lots of places where drinking isn’t allowed; libraries, public transport, many museums.  How about hopping in the car and driving out into the country side for a brisk walk and a hot chocolate?

10. 420 Dating

What: With the slogan “Why toke alone?”, this site is in stark comparison to number 9, and is a dating site dedicated to people who perhaps do dabble in drug-taking.  They don’t say what people smoke and the site doesn’t advocate the use of illegal substances, however, looking at the featured smokers you can have a pretty safe guess.

Pick up line: “You’re smokin’”

Things to do on a first date: Go to the local shop, pick up some snacks and you two are good to go…

11. Shy Dating

What: A dating site for people without immediate confidence meeting new people.  Shyness could rather get in the way of dating, since dating is all about meeting new people.  This allows similarly terrified men and women to meet potential partners.  I imagine the dates would start off pretty quiet, but it’s a good choice if you take time to come out of your shell.

Pick up line: “…”

Things to do on a first date: Watch something; cinema, theatre.  Takes the pressure off the conversation.

Love me, love my pet

12. Love and Mate

What: Looking for the purrfect partner, for you and your pet?  This may be the place.  Sadly, they don’t allow you to browse by pet type. If you are an ardent chinchilla lover, you’ll have to trawl manually through potential matches to find a fellow ‘chilla enthusiast.

Pick up line: “If this were Crufts, you’d get Best in Breed”

Things to do on a first date: Walk in the park.  With the pets.  Bring snacks to feed your love interest’s pet furtively. It’s important to get their pet on your side.

13. Geek 2 Geek

What: Geeks looking for love; whatever your flavour of geekery.  Create your perfect dating pool by selecting  geeks who like comics, Dr Who, Hitchhiker’s Guide, Star Trek, Simpsons, Zombies, Super Heroes or Society of Creative Anachronism.

Pick up line: “You had me at “Hello World”.”

Things to do on a first date: No matter what your geek streak, most geeks (and non-geeks) love a visit to a Science museum, or how about a clue-based treasure hunt using all your GPS gadgets and tweeting clues to your desired.

14. Asexualitic

What: As with any type of dating, online dating throws up a fair number of people “just looking for one thing” (if you know what I mean).  This is a dating site for people definitely not looking for that thing.  It’s a website for people who don’t want sex – for whatever reason.

Pick up line: “You can leave your hat on.  And your coat and dress”

Things to do on a first date: Since the bedroom is out of bounds, time to take to the great outdoors.

Don't be clown hearted

15. Clown Dating Agency

What: The clown dating agency for clowns and others in the circus profession.  The site is no longer active but they say lonely clowns can still email and they will see what they can do. So paint on a happy face and get emailing.

Pick up line: “My love is like a red, red nose.”

Things to do on a first date: Go for a romantic drive in the country in a tiny, tiny car.

The best of the rest

Tee Fore Two – Golfers unite

The Ugly Bug Ball – Ugly love

Horsey Lover – Saddle up

Marry Your Pet – Why date humans, when you can marry your dog?

Mullet Passions – No need to mullet over

Embrace your individualism and go and find love this Valentine’s (and don’t forget to send that love some beautiful Valentine’s day flowers to show your affection).

valentines flowers

We’re Going Red for Heart – Are You?

Be Part RFH LogoAs you’ll know from our announcement earlier this year, we’ve been working very closely with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to get their branded charity flowers website off the ground. But our association with the nation’s heart health charity goes back to the early days of Arena Flowers, as we’ve always been happy to help promote their annual National Heart Month events each February.

2010 is no different as the BHF recently launched their fund-raising pack for Red for Heart campaign, which includes  National Wear It Red Day on 26 February,  and – if you’ve received a delivery from us over the past week or so – you may well have noticed their flyer distributed with our flowers & gifts.

In the New Year we’ll be revealing our special BHF Valentine’s Day bouquets, exclusively available from the BHF Flowers website. But Arena Flowers aren’t the only ones going Red for Heart for National Heart Month this February, so don’t be surprised if you see people sky diving in top-to-toe red.  Or wearing their red pyjamas to school. It’s all in aid of the British Heart Foundation. And we’d love you to join in as National Heart Month is the time to think about your heart and help us fight the UK’s biggest killer.

Be part of Red for Heart by doing anything you like to raise money. Challenge your office to wear to a wear red day – the boldest outfit wins! Bake red cakes. Paint your face red. The only rule is, you’ve got to have fun. So apply for your free fund-raising kit, full of great ideas, by clicking the banner below or call 0845 241 0976 and be part of Red for Heart.


8 Tips For A Credit Crunch Valentine’s Flower Delivery

The big day is just round the corner and, given the “interesting” economic environment we find ourselves in, we thought we’d share a few top tips to help Valentine’s Day lovers get the most out of their money and avoid some obvious pitfalls.

  1. What does she actually want? A survey by a US florist found that 76% of women didn’t want red roses for Valentine’s Day.  The favoured option was a mixed bouquet, apparently.

    If only Rock Hudson had known...

  2. Make her look good – send flowers to her at work: Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this year.  That’s handy for us flower people (less traffic for our drivers) and for couples (as they can spend the whole day together).  On the other hand, part of the the fun of sending Valentine’s flowers is the girl (or boy!) receiving them at their workplace and being the envy of their colleagues.  There are definitely brownie points to be won with a lucky Friday 13th workplace delivery.
  3. Save money part 1 – Avoid red flowers: Prices for all red flowers jump for Valentine’s, irrespective of the flower variety.  Pink flowers’ prices also go up, but not by nearly as much.  Other colours are far more reasonable – a white rose bouquet, for instance, symbolises young love so is entirely appropriate to send on Valentine’s and our mass of white roses is far more affordable than the mass of red roses.
  4. Flowers don't have to be red to be sexy...Be fun – laughter is the best aphrodisiac: Add a photo in our checkout and we’ll print it and send it with your flowers.  You can also record a funny / romantic Valentine’s video message to send to the object of your desire.   Lots of people make their flower deliveries more personal using these low cost but high impact options. After all, they’re trying to outdo the other suitors who are probably just sending champagne, chocolates, balloons, teddies or maybe an “I Love You” card (you can send all such gifts with Arena too, of course).
  5. All red roses are not created equal: Our red roses are, frankly, better than 99% of red roses out there. Not boasting, just being honest really.  They are long-stemmed, Grand Prix red roses. They come from one of the top three rose growers in Holland.  They’re not the cheapest.  But they are very very good.  We totally understand that some people don’t want to spend that much on roses, hence suggesting alternative Valentine’s flowers (see next tip) and gifts. But, if you absolutely, positively must have red roses, then ours are the best. We’ve bought a lot fewer this year (60% less than last year) and we agreed a deal way in advance in order to get a great price.  When the stems we’ve bought run out, they’ve run out.  That’s it.  We aren’t going to buy any more.  We expect our red roses to have sold out by by the 11th or 12th Feb after which time, we’ll only be selling other varieties of flowers. Beware cheap roses - average vase life of 3-4 days
  6. Save money part 2 – Avoid roses altogether: Red roses prices go through the roof for Valentine’s, with the price of a red rose stem often increasing by 500%.  Whilst other varieties also rise at this time, you will get a far better deal if you buy an arrangement featuring a different variety, such as a pink lily bouquet or a 100 tulips bouquet (100 tulips for less than 24 red roses makes a lot of economic sense, plus the tulips will grow in the vase and create an amazing effect over the following days).  Alternatively, keep the number of red roses in the arrangement low, as in our Valentine’s The One.
  7. You get what you pay for, so be careful: “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”  If you buy supermarket flowers, you’ll get supermarket flowers.  If one of our competitors sends you an offer for a dozen red roses for £20 including delivery (which some are doing), then read the small print.  They probably won’t guarantee the day of delivery (not ideal for Valentine’s!) and the rose heads are likely to be the size of a half-eaten M&M.  There are lots of other marketing ploys out there plus the big relay companies charge hefty commissions too.  We avoid any of that rubbish and just focus on doing a great job and saving costs for customers wherever we can.

    Small flowers are only suitable for small mammals...

  8. Wow her in the kitchen: Our friends over at Jamie Oliver’s site have put up loads of good ideas for Valentine’s meals and home cooking and thoughts on how to get round credit crunchiness.  We suspect turkey twizzlers won’t be on the menu though. Or, if you like being all web 2.0 and user-generated, you might want to head over to, a friendly site for food ideas and recipes (you could even win some Arena Flowers there).
  9. Bonus 9th tip – Send a hint: If you’re expecting flowers or gifts from someone and don’t want them to send you the usual rubbish, then send them a hint.  There’s a “Send a Hint” button on every product page which allows you to send a snazzy email with a picture of the flowers you want plus your message. You can choose to send the hint anonymously or add your name.  If do send anonymously, be prepared for a nasty surprise – your partner might send the flowers to their other girlfriend/boyfriend!

Hope some of that was helpful and or interesting.  Now it’s up to us to get down to work and get ready for the big day.  It’s going to be unbeliveably busy – here are some pics of Flowers HQ at Valentine’s 2008.  We’ll add some more pics once the big day has been and gone!  Hope Valentine’s goes well for you!

The Mystery of the Black Rose – The Dark Side of Flowers & Roses

Rose - Black BeautyDespite being a rampant Chelsea supporter, black is my colour, rather than blue. Look in my wardrobe and you’ll soon get lost. Not because it’s as big as the Flowers HQ fridge but because, apart from the odd red or white Adam Ant t-shirt (!), I just don’t do patterns or colours. There’s something striking and ‘impactful’ about black that I adore, and it can make an impression that others seldom forget.

So naturally, I had the urge to investigate the availability of the elusive black rose – or indeed any black flowers – on the market.

For a black bouquet I could easily promote to my many dyed-in-the-wool (or should that be ‘died’ in the wool?) alternative chums, especially those who are currently looking for black wedding bouquets and arrangements. Upon reaching the answer, I was devastated. Well, OK, I was a bit disappointed… There’s no such thing as a true black rose. Grr..!

You may have seen Adarsh’s rather well researched blog post on blue flowers, and how science may soon have the answer to supplying the ultimate blue rose. I thought maybe a black one would be on the way – considering the demand – but no such luck.Rose - Black Baccara

This is because the vast majority of flowers have bright colours (including blue) to attract insects – even the ones that attract flies are meat-red and smell of rotten flesh. Nice!

Sadly, the nearest any flower will get to being black is when cell death occurs. So, if you want a black bouquet, it could be argued that it’s best to leave your Grand Prix roses to dry out to a crisp, though that could make a bit of a mess, really, by the time you reach the wedding reception.

But all is not lost. According to, there are over 2,750 varieties of dark plants, with some having flowers that come ‘deceptively close to black’. Some ‘black’ roses to look out for when selecting dark flowers for bouquets include ‘Black Baccara’ and ‘Black Beauty’.

Cosmos - Black BeautyWith its deepest red colour and a black velvet feel to the petals, the ‘Black Baccara’ rose is said to be the darkest red rose available with a mystical and powerful effect on anyone who receives them, while the ‘Black Beauty’ rose – introduced in 1973 from France – is a hybrid tea rose with a slightly smaller flower than the ‘Black Baccara’, but packs as much punch.

An image consultant once told me (!!!) that to show off a love of black to the max, you should ‘accessorise’ with primary colours. My favourite bi-coloured black roses include the wonderful ‘Abrakadabra’ rose – a yellow and dark brown affair with particularly striking wasp-like stripes, depicting devilishness and radiance. Another is the ‘Stracciatella’ rose with velvety black petals with ‘punky’ pink specks. But the story of black – or rather ‘nearly black’ – flowers doesn’t end with roses.

Calla Lily - Black Forest‘Black Beauty’ cosmos is one of the the blackest ‘black’ flowers that can be found. As well as looking particularly sumptuous, apparently this cosmos atrosanguineus smells like chocolate praline. Yum!

‘Black Forest’ Calla Lily – also known as the ‘Schwartzwalder’ Calla Lily – has been developed quite recently through years of Dutch breeding and engineering, producing an energetic, upright plant with silky blooms of the darkest burgundy/black. With lilies being a particular wedding bouquet favourite, I can envisage this becoming one of the leading callas on the market for the future.

Irises are almost legendary for their deep dark colours in hues of violet and blue. The ‘Chrysographes’ Iris with its blade-like leaves is no exception. Sometimes marketed by flower and seed distributors as ‘The Black Knight’ Iris, this flower is almost true black with the darkest plum-purple petals. Iris - ChrysographesAlso look out for the bearded ‘Superstition’ Iris, an equally dark flower with a slightly purple hue.

Tulips have always been our favourite flower here at Flowers HQ and are one of our most regularly requested arrangements. Adarsh’s blog post confirmed that there is no such flower as a true blue tulip, however the ‘Queen of the Night’ tulip is the closest that hybridists have come to creating a truely black tulip. This particular variety is fast becoming one of the most popular tulips to grow. Although not actually black but a very dark purple, in the dim light of dawn and twilight, this tulip looks jet-black.

Although monikered with a slightly dubious name, the ‘Black Boy’ cornflower is another well-established, tall variety, making a grand fine cut flower with double flowers of a rich deepest dark maroon colour.Scabious - Black Knight

The scabious scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Black Knight’ - sometimes called the Pincushion Flower or Bachelor’s Buttons – is something else, with its stunning dark purple flower on a long central stem, with several auxiliary flowers.

When choosing a bouquet, the appropriate foliage is almost as important as the flower stems themselves. A particularly popular choice are our ‘Black Tie’ aspidistra leaves, but we can also source ‘Black Giant’ capsicum to compliment your arrangement. Finally, no discerning blog post on the subject of black flowers would be complete without a mention of one of the most beautiful black flowers on the market – the ‘Black Barlow’ aquilegia.

Aquilegia - Black BarlowA real head-turner, this particular variety comes with fully double spurless near-black flowers that resemble Dahlias. From the picture on the right, I think this particular bloom looks like the perfect blue-black goth hairdo!

Don’t forget – if you’re looking for the perfect flower arrangement (in any colour, not just black!), just contact our customer service team and they will be more than happy to help you source the best flowers this side (or the dark side!) of the web.

Also, if you’re looking to send a one of our existing range of bouquets, check out our superb Black Magic bouquet, framed by ‘Black Tie’ aspidistra leaves, deep pink cala lilies, dark red ‘Grand Prix’ roses and deepest purple lisianthus.

Related posts: You may also find this article about the science behind blue roses interesting.

Back to BlackStop Press! (added 10 July 2008)

Inspired by this blog post, we have added another ‘dark’ flower arrangement – Back to Black featuring red ‘Grand Prix’ roses, blue hyacinths, lisianthus and thistles in a black ceramic cube.
Named after the Amy Winehouse classic? You decide!

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