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Will you be saying it with flowers this Valentine’s Day?

Valentine's Day flowers

How do Valentine’s Day flowers bought online fare? Should you share the love and splash out on your Valentine or do you think the whole event is just over-commercialised nonsense?

With help from our expert at Which? Gardening, we recently compared Valentine’s Day-style bouquets predominantly made up of red roses from some of the biggest online florists.

Spending between £20-£40 on each bouquet, we assessed them on arrival and compared them with their online images. Then, following the instructions to the letter, we kept them for a week in our office. After seven days, we judged them again to see how they looked.

Our expert found Moonpig’s The 12 Red Roses to be the best. She liked the big, fresh red flowers and, at £28, felt they were good value for money. They were also the second cheapest we tested, only beaten by Flying Flowers’ bouquet, which cost £24.99.

Supermarket flowers

Of course, you don’t have to buy your Valentine’s Day bouquets online. In fact, you may find that it’s cheaper and less risky to pick up a bunch of flowers at the supermarket. This year, both Lidl and Aldi are selling a dozen red roses for £5 over Valentine’s Day.

If you aren’t fussed about them being red, you can find roses in a variety of colours in your local supermarket or petrol station. These usually cost around £3-£4, and you can be sure that they won’t get damaged on their way to your beloved. I recently bought roses from Tesco for £3, which lasted almost two weeks.

How deep(-pocketed) is your love?

But are most supermarket-bought flowers too cheap for Valentine’s Day? Should we be splashing out on our partners on the most romantic day of the year? Or is it an over-commercialised farce and yet another way to get us to part with our cash?

In recent weeks, I’ve noticed a plethora of cheesy Valentine’s Day gifts available, from big teddy bears holding hearts to heart-shaped balloons and even mini frying pans designed to fry heart-shaped eggs. The shops, it seems, are determined to sell us true love.

Whether you’re in a couple or single, love it or hate it, it’s hard to escape the big day. There’s even a ‘Galentine’s Day’ encouraging women to buy their gal pals bunches of flowers and chocolates on the 13th. But is that an anti-Valentine’s protest or just giving brands even more reason to promote unneccessary spending?

When did Valentine’s Day become about making money rather than celebrating romance? Shouldn’t we show our loved ones that they’re special every day and not just on 13/14 February?

I know I’d rather get a cheap bunch of petrol station flowers every Friday than an expensive bouquet just once a year.

Which corner are you in when it comes to Valentine’s Day? Do you love it or do you loathe it? Will you be saying it with flowers this year?


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In 2016 Americans spent just under $20billion for/on Valentine’s Day. Seems faintly obscene and just goes to show that advertising and the media has the power to induce lemming like bhaviour – in the US.

To convert that it was roughly $200 per man.

Let us hope that in the UK we are a little bit more sensible. We may think that in an uncertain future we ought to be buying Premium Bonds to help pay for the eventual loss of job/mortgage deposit/ children/ ratirement/ care homes. A good time to make a resolution about not wasting money on commercialised dates.

Anyway a nice Infographic for the UK:

Jane Wolstenholme says:
10 February 2018

Another over commercialised day on the calender, making other people richer and me poorer. I feel sorry for those who feel pressurised to spend silly money when they can show their love in so many other ways.

No one has to be poorer. Just don’t succumb. If you want to impress a potential partner then Valentine’s Day is an opportunity, but if you are already established then you’ll both know what is worth doing and spending, and what is not. Me? mrs r will get a nice dinner at home, some sparkly wine and an orchid in a pot – so much better value than a bunch of (temporary) flowers. But then I’ve always been too careful with my funds.

Christmas and Easter are fixed events on the calendar, but there is no reason why a couple cannot celebrate time together on a date that suits themselves.

The day after Valentine’s Day is a good time to pick up flowers etc. at discounted prices.

They can. Exactly the point. A choice everyone has.

Yes, but whether every young lady would agree with a rational approach. 💔

These days we must consider the LGBGTQ++. I am surprised at this comment. 🙁 However I expect to be moderated on Monday.

I do apologise. As a constructive suggestion, please select from these emojis: https://emojipedia.org/valentines-day/

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Perhaps I am a minority, duncan. I sometimes think, from all the publicity, that we are on the decrease.

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Is there an orientation that describes someone who objects to commercialism? I used to think this was normal.

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I suppose you could be an atheist – atheism is a non-prophet organisation.

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I hope I have resisted commercialism better than most, Duncan. It’s all about telling us what we should believe or do, and I hope it’s obvious that I’m not keen on that. It must be much harder for anyone growing up in the 21st century.

Who’s nicking my jokes, then?

Wavechange – Given that we have the highest ever university-educated population, in whom taxpayers have invested vast sums in the faint hope of cultivating open minds, are you suggesting we are getting an inadequate return on our investment and that people today are more susceptible than ever to commercial propaganda, a tendentious media, political dogma, and institutionalised stereotyping? Or have the goalposts been moved?

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I don’t understand your point, John. I had not appreciated that it was the aim of taxpayers to cultivate open minds through education. I think the main ideas are to help prepare people for employment and to do high quality research, a role that is often not appreciated by the public and the media.

I think it is fair to say that there is more commercial propaganda than in the past. When I was a lad we had one TV program without adverts. Now we have dozens, including ones devoted to marketing, and now we have social media too. I cannot make any informed comment on changes in institutionalised stereotyping or political dogma.

Well, if education doesn’t open people’s minds to alternatives, and inculcate a degree of scepticism in the rational assessment of possibilities, what does? I should have thought an open mind was a prerequisite for serious research, and I must admit that I thought that a questioning culture was one of the supreme benefits of academic study rather than learning by rote which would be adequate for many of life’s pursuits and many successful careers. It seems to me that society’s powers to discriminate intellectually are being suppressed by more mundane objectives. This is extremely helpful to the marketing and advertising industries.

I would agree with that, John, but your original point was about taxpayers’ expectations. A good researcher does indeed need to assess information objectively in their chosen field of study if they are to be respected but that does not imply that they don’t have political and other prejudices or subject to the influences of marketing.

Whether we believe that Valentine’s Day is too commercialised may not depend on our career choice.

Duncan: the IQ of 100 measurement is a theoretical average of the population. Given the difficulty of designing any test to measure intelligence, as we still don’t really understand what it is, most IQ tests only reveal a range in which an individual might be positioned. However, 100+ does not equate to ‘highly intelligent’; for that you need to be in the 125+ region just for starters, and as far as we can tell there’s little correlation between very high intelligence and what the Scots call ‘a canny sense’. In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the higher the IQ, the lower the general capability. The one thing that does tend to identify the very highly intelligent is their awareness of how little they know. Often the very best students are worryingly insecure.

John: University education was, at one time, about teaching students to think. It still is, in the very best universities, with the central aim being to challenge the student at every turn. Sadly, there’s evidence that in the wholesale conversion of almost all FE institutions to Universities, that is no longer the norm.

In the older universities, teaching had strong links with research and still does. When the new universities were created, they generally lacked this vital link. Ian mentions the importance of challenging students and I strongly agree. Successive governments have pushed people who lack motivation and/or ability into universities and since retention of a high proportion of students is economically vital, degrees have been dumbed down in many cases. Perhaps we are a little off-topic.

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Duncan – You are right. We should never under-estimate the intelligence of the advertising industry and its ability to motivate consumers in particular directions, even at times by the use of counter-intuitive psychology.

To some degree everyone is suggestible in some way or other and can be persuaded to desire something if the right nerve is excited. The higher the profit margin on the product the more likely that highly sophisticated techniques will be employed to reach the weak spot in the customer’s susceptibility and penetrate any mental barriers to their acquisition of it. The high margin makes the extra effort worth while. As much attention as is given to stimulating the impulse to buy is devoted to defeating any resistance. A whole range of symbols, metaphors and associations are used to create an image that connects with the ideals of the target. Price has often been a sticking point that needed to be overcome but there are ways around this now.

This is neatly demonstrated in car adverts. They are shot in exotic locations. They exemplify freedoms and indulgence. They have nothing to do with the technical capabilities or performance of the vehicle. The engine is irrelevant; it is the cockpit that counts. They might feature a desirable – but non-essential – accessory that moves the purchase to a higher level of appeal. But essentially they are all about lifestyle. And for the generation that cannot afford to buy a home they offer liberation from parental oversight for a modest monthly amount. Values have taken the place of the cost. Nowhere is the on-the-road price of the car mentioned; it is morphed and massaged into a PCP [personal contract plan] craftily contrived to come in at an affordable level with a bit of a stretch. So with the new model you can be the envy of your friends, a person of distinction, a citizen of the future, and a stalwart of style. Impressionable? Gullible? Susceptible? We are but putty in the hands of experts in understanding the psyche of consumers and the power of aspirational marketing. Only by realising that and challenging it can we retain our independence . . . but some people don’t want to, or have been brainwashed by commercialism to feel insecure if they do, which is the extra – and compulsive – twist in the psychological manipulation.

Other philosophies are available.

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“Imagination is more important than knowledge” Albert Enstein.

Thinking outside the box has produced many a genius. Kids developing brains are doing this all the time (or should be). The more creative you are the more you are likely to be able to do this. See: wikihow.com – How to think outside the box.

Ignoring the off-topic warning – after all, St Valentine’s Day will have passed in a few days time – I feel I must say, about higher education, that we need to bear in mind that it is funded overwhelmingly by taxpayers, in both direct and indirect forms, who have no experience of it, don’t have relatives going through it, and might resent its cost and perceived self-indulgence, and are therefore entitled to be assured that it is producing for the benefit of the nation a cohort of highly intelligent [and open minded] people who can power this country to greatness through the years ahead. Whether those are justifiable expectations is another matter but I share Ian’s and Wavechange’s view that we have gone for volume rather than quality and as a result have secondary schools with poor teachers [as too many good ones have found a niche in academe] and too many graduates who are not fit for employment in the essential occupations.

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I suspect the mistake was made in the mid ’70s, when the forecasts for the educational level of workers required for the 21st C was grossly miscalculated.

Staying with original topic, there is nothing quite so blind as first stage love, or opportunistic for advertisers to take advantage of and feather their own nests out of someone else’s gullibility.

On the other hand, for couples whose relationships have stood the test of time, it is an opportunity to show their appreciation and devotion to one another through what sometimes can amount to quite difficult periods, but these are the couples who are less likely to be taken in by the advertising industry and will usually buy each other gifts that they know they will enjoy and not those presented by them.

John, there are some individuals who could be considered ‘smart’ which is not quite the same as intelligent, but the motivation behind these types is usually of a narcissistic nature where self interest is really the name of the game. You will find them in board rooms of large multinational companies where they have acquired a way in which to dupe everyone into believing they have the companies best interests at heart, when essentially, the reality is it is their own, but I am off topic again.

It seems to be the smarter graduates who go into advertising to help mislead the rest of the taxpayers who funded their education, and into finance, engineering (defames the profession) ever more complex “financial instruments” to confuse everyone, including themselves.

Nothing wrong in my view in happy couples using Valentines Day as a means to express their feelings. I’ll be doing it. Whether we fuel the card, flower and catering industries profits buying overpriced stuff is entirely up to them. Perhaps we should all keep open minds and closed wallets.

I’m unsure how you determine the “smarter graduates… go into advertising“. I have a friend who holds down a very senior position in a European ad agency and his initial degree was in Art. He’s very creative, and a very unusual person, with an outstanding sense of humour, but without defining what you mean by ‘smart’ I would say the ad industry is looking for creatives above all else.

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Morning all, it’s really interesting to read your discussion about Valentine’s day being commercialised, but some of the comments are off topic. Can I ask you all to remember the community guidelines? Any rude or offensive comments will also be removed.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of Valentine’s day, as Wavechange pointed out 15th Feb is a LOT cheaper. This year we’re going away to Prague. We wouldn’t normally go away but my partner found a good deal so we thought why not! Flowers are nice but I spend so much time out of the house, I can’t help but think they’re a bit wasted on me.

If you are heading off for a break shortly have a great holiday, Alex.

And Prague is certainly a romantic city.

I will ignore it just as I do with all the other over commercialised days that are promoted heavily throughout the year Has anyone counted how many there are ? days imported from other countries quite often the big bad US of A A day for everybody and every imaginable thing as Ian will inform us Come on Ian count them for me

I have noticed all the adverts for liquids that could make us smell nicer. What is that telling us?

Today I’m wearing Civet. Next week I suppose it will be Musk. More appealing than Mr Beckham’s glandular secretions.

I had a delayed childhood. I didn’t get a Valentine card until I was at least seven. Today I think they are passed from one stroller to the other.


I would send my favourite flowers dandelions or thistles would any lady like some You will have to wait until they flower though as they have not appeared in the fields as yet I am in a silly mood tonight sorry again

No thanks bishbut, they give me hayfever. 🤧

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You name does not suggest you are a lady ? But you could be ? What’s a name anyway ?

malcolm r says:Today 19:46
With an inkjet printer and decent paper just design and print your own truly personal cards. Or save the planet by sending an electronic card, such as offered by https://www.jacquielawson.com/. Other electronic cards are available.
👫 (other combinations are available)

Will you be my valentine?
Can you make my world to shine
Would you cook my favourite prime
Beef or lamb with a sprig of thyme
Could you serve my drinks on time
Topped with lemon or a slice of lime
Are you warm hearted and a tad benign
And not too inclined to speak out of line
Then you could take me out to dine
So everything would be just fine
‘Cause I could be your concubine
(But only in your dreams, not mine)
And you could be my Valentine!
🙂 🙂 🙂