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The clueless guy's guide to Mother's Day bouquets

The best thing about gerbera daisies? They’re cheap! But, um, that doesn’t mean we don’t love you, mom.

The best thing about gerbera daisies? They’re cheap! But, um, that doesn’t mean we don’t love you, mom.

Guys, Sunday is Mother's Day. Flowers are a no-brainer.

But should you actually use your brain when choosing a bouquet, you can get a gift that knocks her socks off. We asked award-winning floral designer Ian Prosser, who's worked for presidents and celebs, to help a brotha out with some tips for ordering Mother's Day blooms. Prosser's Botanica International Design Studio on Henderson Boulevard in Tampa no longer takes walk-ins, but his advice will help you hit a home run with your mother, girlfriend or other deserving woman in your life.

Get the most bang for your buck. Expect to spend at least $50 for a respectable bouquet. Stretch your dollar by choosing assorted gerberas — those bright, cartoony daisies that cost about $4 a bunch at grocery stores. "It's casual, it's unpretentious," Prosser says. "Gerberas just make you smile." Or invest in long-lasting blooms like mums, carnations, orchids or lilies.

Shop in person. Web sites like, and recruit local florists to fill their orders, so what you see online is usually what you get. But smaller Internet retailers often ship orders in a box: Mom gets a dozen thorned roses, some baby's breath and a vase, which she must prune and assemble herself. Your best bet is to head to a local flower shop on Friday to scope out the Mother's Day specials. Check the fine print to make sure a vase comes with your order; if it doesn't, then shell out the extra $10.

Go beyond roses. Men buy roses because "when a guy goes into a flower shop, he doesn't want to sound stupid. He's out of his normal realm. He thinks if he orders roses, then he's sounding pretty knowledgeable," Prosser says. But he adds, "I think it's a cop-out." Unless your mom specifically has expressed a desire for a dozen roses, then she'd probably appreciate something more imaginative. Put a twist on the classic by ordering spray roses — baby roses with five or six buds on a stem. Another alternative is a European bouquet bursting with tulips, freesia and delicate annuals called stock.

Appeal to her floral personality. "Everybody has a floral personality. We fall into five categories," Prosser says. If Mom is a traditional "Talbots girl," then send her an arrangement of lilies, mums, carnations or jewel-toned roses in a round, centerpiece-style vase. For the outdoorsy type, go for a fresh-picked look with a clay pot full of loosely arranged blooms. Romantics will appreciate a bubble bowl of delicate flowers like hydrangeas, open roses and Queen Anne's lace, artistic women will treasure the clean lines of a few orchids in a fun piece of pottery. For a dramatic diva, think bold colors and strong lines, which you'll find in bird of paradise and other tropical flowers.

Use common scents. Lilies smell divine — unless you have allergies. Even if your madre can handle heavy aromas, they could be a sneezefest for her brunch guests. Ask the florist to use an unscented variety of her favorite bloom, or stick to light fragrances, found in freesias, sweet peas and some types of roses.

Fill out the card. Put your gift over the top by personalizing the card, which comes free with your order. If you have a nickname for your mother or she has one for you, now's the time to use it: Mamakat, these irises remind me of your beautiful blue eyes. Love, Snookums. Or whatever.

Happy Mother's Day

The clueless guy's guide to Mother's Day bouquets 05/02/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2008 4:51pm]
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