Valentine guide to flowers

Color can change the meaning of your floral gift; be conscious of what flowers you give, some can be deadly to pets



The cooler at Neill’s Flowers and Gifts in downtown Pullman is full of fresh flowers for customers who wish to build their own bouquet. Special projects manager Chris Chandler recommends making an arrangement that is balanced with regard to color and height.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen reporter

Flowers are one of the most common gifts on Valentine’s Day but choosing the right blooms to suit your boo can be a challenge.

Chris Chandler, special projects manager at Neill’s Flowers and Gifts, said red roses are the classic choice for Valentine’s Day, but other flowers can look beautiful and show different sentiments.

“Carnations … last for a very long time and have a very nice fragrance to them,” Chandler said. “Daisies last for a very long time as well, plus they’re kind of bright when it’s gloomy outside.”

Chandler said the colors of flowers often hold more meaning than the flowers themselves.

“People stick a lot of meaning of their own with the flowers,” he said.

Red symbolizes love and romance, while yellow symbolizes friendship. White on its own can mean purity or innocence, but when paired with red it says, “I think we’re a good match,” Chandler said.

Other colors, like orange, lavender and pink can be more ambiguous.

“Orange, some people say is like ‘we’re meant to be together,’” he said. “There’s so many different meanings of those ones that people have attached to them. They don’t really have a set ‘this is what it is,’ kind of like everything else.”

Caitlin Madden, vice president of WSU Horticulture Club, said she likes the idea of giving potted plants, like succulents, because they last longer than cut flowers.

“I feel like it’s symbolic in a sense,” Madden said. “It’s not just going to last that week.”

Madden also said ruffled carnations are fun and can be a good option for Valentine’s Day.

When arranging flowers, Chandler recommended choosing ones that will be balanced in height and color. The arrangement in a bouquet should be either completely symmetrical or completely asymmetrical, he said.

“When it comes down to it, it’s art … if it looks good to you, it’s perfect,” Chandler said. “Some people pick things out of the cooler for themselves that I had never put together, but it makes them the happiest thing in the world.”

Chandler’s best advice for buying flowers for a significant other is to listen to your audience.

“If it’s somebody that you kind of like, don’t send them a dozen roses, because that’s going to scare them off,” he said. “It depends how deep the relationship is … because if a guy you go to class with shows up with a dozen roses, you’re probably going to freak out a little bit.”

Something small, like a mixed bouquet or a single rose, can have the same impact as a larger floral display, Chandler said.

If your significant other is an animal lover, be aware of which blossoms you buy.

Lilies in particular can cause renal failure in cats, Chandler said. In general, flowers should be kept away from pets if possible.

“Cats tend to get into everything,” Chandler said. “If we know there’s a cat in the house, we try not to send [lilies].”

Chandler said people should be aware of online flower companies claiming to be based in Pullman or able to deliver here because they are often scamming.

“We’re the only actual flower shop besides Safeway and Dissmore’s,” Chandler said. “Where there’s a scam to be had, somebody will try and do it.”

Neill’s Flowers and Gifts is located at 234 E. Main St. in downtown Pullman. They are open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.