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Gifts that keep on giving

Flower arrangement in a decorative, reusable pitcher
Flower arrangement in a decorative, reusable pitcher. Courtesy of Society of American Florists, aboutflowers.com

Flowers make wonderful gifts, no matter the occasion, but their beauty is temporary. All fresh flower arrangements will eventually whither and die, even if you follow your florist’s recommendations for keeping them looking good. There are alternatives, however, that still have the beauty of flowers but are less temporary.

If you really want to give fresh flowers—they are always a good gift after all—consider the container in which they are arranged. You don’t have to use a standard glass vase. Container choices are as endless as the flowers they hold. Your florist likely has teacups, coffee cups, bamboo pots, baskets, ceramic vessels, silver bowls, and other less-than-traditional containers already on hand.

There’s no reason to limit your creativity to what is in the floral shop, however. Your florist can most likely order anything you can dream up, with a little notice, and may even let you bring your own container to use for an arrangement. Here are some idea’s to get your creative juices flowing:

  • A flask or beaker for a doctor/researcher/lab technician
  • Pyrex measuring cup for a cook or baker
  • A Mason jar for someone with a country decor or someone who likes to make preserves
  • A silver ice bucket for a wine lover (maybe include a bottle of champagne if the occasion calls for it)
  • A watering can for a gardener

Another option to consider is giving a plant instead of fresh flowers. Plants can last for years with proper care and can remind the recipient of your generosity every time he or she looks at it. Whether the plant is intended to live in a pot inside the home or be planted in the yard, some are easier to take care of than others so talk to your florist about the best plant for the recipient of your gift, as well as the occasion.

With a little outside-of-the-box thinking (a wooden box might make a good container!) you can come up with a gift that is both beautiful and long-lasting. Don’t be afraid to ask your florist to help you come up with the perfect container or plant to make your gift memorable. After all, that’s what they are here for!

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