Romance is red (or is it)?

The most memorable flowers my husband ever sent was on Valentine's Day some 15 years ago. Ever thoughtful he even managed to remember one of my favourite flowers which just so happened to be in season; he collected them from the shop on his way home from work.
That beautiful bouquet will remain forever in my memory as one of the loveliest bouquets he has ever given not least because these days, he never gives me flowers (well you wouldn’t would you)?
An incurable romantic and like so many before him, he's given many a clichéd Valentine's gift over the years; soft toys (back in our youth), favourite perfumes, even a diamond ring (yes really).
In the early years, we’d go out for "romantic" dinners, where we'd sit with twenty or so other table-for- two couples, looking into each other’s eyes thinking “we’ve been had - double the price for the same food we ate here last week”.
Over the years, I’ve cooked us candle-lit suppers and in the process aquired an extensive collection of heart shaped pots and moulds all to be used in my romantic culinary efforts. During the baby years, we even resorted to the Valentine wine and dine “Marks and Sparks” meal deal with the  “free” bottle of pink wine all for £9.99!
Once he gave me a fountain pen - so long ago in fact, it has since become a collector’s item! A great many years of Valentines experience has been clocked up on our marriage-o-meter, not necessarily man and wife for all of the time, we've some thirty or so Valentine's Days under our belts. Yes, I am that old and yes, we are still married and yet, even after all these years, we still acknowledge Valentine’s Day. Why I hear you ask? Truth is we’re incurable romantics the pair of us; it would be wrong not to at least exchange cards although never any of those sentimental slushy ones.

Friends may pooh pooh Valentine’s as sentimental clap trap and more often than not, I’m inclined to agree with them, but in spite of all the vulgarities of this over commercialised occasion, we still adhere to the tradition of it.  Romance doesn’t have to be excessive or ostentatious; the simplest gestures can be the sweetest gifts of all.

So with this in mind I will forever recall my joy at receiving that beautiful bouquet, the florist told my husband it was the most popular arrangement they had made all day, she recreated it so many times they sold out of all the flower varieties that went into it. Someone even offered her more money for the last remaining one in the shop, mine. The one flower my bouquet did not contain was red roses. It’s not that I don’t like red roses (I do), just not in February. There are so many other flowers to choose from, so many seasonal blooms which your Valentine will appreciate and associate with love and romance.
Here’s the thing, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and one size most definitely does not fit all. For this reason and has been the case for several years at The White Horse Flower Company, I will not be sellng any red roses to my customers on February 14th. They are probably already as you read this, sitting in a cold warehouse somewhere a long way away, cut in January, come February 14th, they’re tired and exhausted (bless them) and will possibly wilt - if not in the hours but in the few days after you receive them. For my small but discerning clientele I shall be buying mostly spring flowers - different varieties and colours and probably not all British grown, such is the demand come February 14th but they will I hope, be fresher and more inspired than an over rated overpriced red rose.  

A very Happy Valentine’s Day this February 14th and may the love be with you (this year and like me for many years to come).