AD | This post is a paid collaboration with Marks & Spencer.
Two things guaranteed to fill both my home and my heart with joy are gorgeous vases from M&S (I treated myself to the pretty pink apothecary vase a few months ago and it’s been all over my instagram account since) and receiving, or buying myself, beautiful flowers.
It doesn’t seem that long ago when my now six year old was the clingiest baby boy in the entire world and my only treat was a couple of hours in M&S late on a Friday night - the Cheshire Oaks branch used to open until 10pm. In between putting him to bed and hurrying back for his late night feed, I used to rush through the aisles, have a quick supper at the deli counter and then select a bunch of flowers to return home with. Just a little something to brighten up the muslin cloth-strewn living room and make me feel slightly more human and in control for a while.
And I think that’s the power of flowers, plants and pretty things. No matter what’s going on in our lives, they offer us a chance to stop and take a breath for a minute or two. We open up the packaging, smile at what we see, perhaps the smell of nostalgia hits us (it’s lavender, for me), and then we pop them on a shelf or on the mantlepiece to admire for a while - M&S flowers come with a five day freshness guarantee but I’m sat in my living room typing this over a week on from taking these photographs and the bouquets still look and smell amazing.
I don’t believe that flowers should be reserved for the big occasions - I’m more of a ‘brighten up an ordinary day’ type of person - but they are an incredibly lovely way of saying ‘thank you’ or wishing a friend a ‘happy birthday’. M&S flowers arrive boxed and perfectly arranged, and even the next-day (yes, they offer free next-day UK flower delivery) if you’re running short on time to get your gift to someone special.
Want to find out which are my favourite M&S flower bouquets and how I’d recommend styling them? Read on! And have a look at these flower arranging tips from one of my favourite interiors bloggers, Melanie Lissack.
Say Thank You with The Scented Spring Posy
My first choice, particularly now March is almost in touching-distance, is the scented spring posy. Although the sheer amount of flowers that are included in it make it far from posy-sized. With one yellow dyed gypsophelia, twelve white narcissus and sixteen white tulips, this is one generous bunch. And could you think of a sweeter-smelling way to say thank you to someone? Who wouldn’t be overjoyed to receive what is basically spring in a box?
After snipping the stems - M&S recommend cutting off 2cm - and removing any leaves that would potentially sit below the water line, all you need to do is fill your vase with water and the flower food and pop your flowers in to position.
I’m normally a fan of a statement vase but instead chose one to complement the simple, fresh tones of the flowers and opted for a clear fishbowl vase. And I did have another reason for doing this, too. I knew that I wanted to put the bouquet in the most spring-like room in our house - the bedroom. The glass vase almost blends in to the wallpaper making the tulips seem like part of the floral design. What do you think?
Or The Collection Rose & Seathistle Bouquet
For a more luxurious arrangement to say thank you with, I’d recommend the rose and seathistle bouquet from M&S’ The Collection range. The white roses contrast beautifully with the vivid green chrysanthemums and if your chosen recipient loves the combination of white walls, aged wood and green home accessories as much as I do, they’re going to go crazy for these flowers. The delicate white stocks and leafy lime sandriana are just the cherry on top.
With taller stems than the spring posy and to complement the blue-toned seathistle, I chose what is probably my favourite ever vase, a simply stunning splatter ceramic one. It’s so unique and the finish is amazing, I can’t quite believe that it’s only £25. So, if it’s someone that you’re saying a really big THANK YOU to, send the vase with the flowers. Honestly, they’ll jump with joy at such a gift.
Wish a friend Happy Birthday with The Collection Cymbidium Orchid Bouquet
For a birthday, how about a real statement of a bouquet? Potentially, your flowers could be arriving in the midst of many present deliveries so let’s choose something to stand out amongst the other gifts, right? The Collection cymbidium orchid bouquet does exactly that. The pinks and berry shades are beautiful and the cymbidium orchids, so unusual. I don’t think anyone would not be wowed when opening this gift box and seeing them staring back at them.
Because the bouquet arrived immaculately presented, I simply snipped the ends off of the stems and then placed them in the vase before untying the ribbon holding them together. Often I like to play about and try different combinations - sometimes I even split the flowers and place them in a couple of different jars or vases - but not in this case as I wanted to retain the fantastic fullness of all of the different flowers combined.
I knew I was going to be placing these flowers in the middle of the living room, a room with a lot of colourful accessories, so I chose a simple but stylish teardrop vase to display the bouquet in rather than one that would compete with it. I think it was a good choice, don’t you?
Or The Collection White Avalanche™ Roses
Finally, for a naturally beautiful way of wishing something the happiest of birthdays, this breathtaking combination of perfect white Avalanche™ roses and pittosporum foliage is simply divine. Classic, elegant and certain to match any interiors. It’s a very safe but exceptionally stylish bouquet to choose - a perfect Valentine’s Day gift, too.
Of all four bouquets, this is the one, over seven days on, that looks almost the same as it did on the day I opened the box. I’ve done nothing other than change the water and give the stems an additional small snip every couple of days … the quality of the flowers is fantastic.
Styling-wise, of course you could let the roses shine and use a tall, clear, conical vase, but I couldn’t help myself. Much like I’m drawn to white flowers and greenery, I can’t resist a striking vase, particularly a blue and white ceramic one. I think it’s a dream combination. And the roses are so stunning that they really hold their own against a more flamboyant vase, anyway.
To say thank you, to wish someone a happy birthday, or for any other special occasion, including just treating yourself now again, I’d wholly recommend taking a look at M&S flowers (and vases). I know you’ll be as delighted with them as I am. And, oh how I wish this blog post was scratch n sniff. My house smells amazing!