You can’t go wrong with flowers on Feb.14

There is a very real difference between the flowers men like to give and women like to get

Heather Taylor shows off a bouquet of multiple colours

Heather Taylor shows off a bouquet of multiple colours

There’s often a difference, says Heather Taylor, between the types of flowers men like to buy for Valentine’s Day and what  women like to get.

The owner of Parksville’s Blossoms N’ Such says she does her best to bridge that divide, but it remains, nonetheless.

“There is a big difference,” she said. “Men like to buy red roses because we have been raised with the concept that red roses are what you give to ladies.”

“So they buy red roses and we sell lots of them. It’s the flower of love.”

Statistically however, she said about 65 per cent of women prefer a rose coloured other than red.

“It’s not that they don’t like red, they would just prefer a colour other than red,” Taylor said.

She illustrates her point through her experience with a variety called the circus rose.

“One year, women were buying these orange and yellow circus roses like crazy,” she said. “We thought, because the women like the circus rose, we should bring in some of those as well for Valentine’s Day and we didn’t even sell one. We tried to tell the men the ladies like the circus rose, but they bought red.”

It’s a good idea, suggests Lynn Freeman, an arranger at Qualicum Beach Florist, to put some thought into exactly what you’re trying to say when you present a woman with a rose.

“Red is the most popular colour, and then there’s hot pink for those who don’t want to express the, ‘I love you.’” she said. “A white rose is the colour of purity and innocence. It says you might be interested in getting to know a woman. It’s saying you might want to ask her out on a date.”

Yellow roses, she added, are the colour of friendship, while a hot pink rose says something more might be possible.

“Hot pink says I’m really in like with you and would like to get to know you more,” she said. “It’s not red and it’s not white, but in between. Hot pink is fun. It shows there’s a little spark.”

A red rose, she added, bumps it up a significant notch.

“A red rose says yeah, I love you babe,” she said.

Whichever type of rose is purchased for people’s loved ones however, both Freeman and Taylor know there won’t be much action until the actual day itself.

“Some people come in the day before, but mostly it’s on Valentine’s Day,” Taylor said. “Often it’s on the way home from work.”

She said it took her a while to figure that out.

“One year we were just devastated,” she said. “We thought Valentine’s Day is over and the coolers are just jammed with roses. I was ready to burst into tears and send the staff home when, boom, at 3:30 p.m. it just hit and we were running until 6:30. We literally ran up and down the shop, getting half a dozen roses, a dozen roses. It was like an assembly line.”