I Hope You Will Buy Yourself Flowers

I have been buying myself flowers every week or two from late autumn to late spring for the past twenty years. Until I started my research for this post, I had no idea that my flower-buying habits were unusual. How about you? Do you buy yourself flowers? If you don’t, why not?

Why Don’t You Buy Yourself Flowers?

Some women won’t buy flowers because they don’t like seeing them wilt and die. Fair enough. If this describes you, please substitute “flowering potted plant” whenever I say “buy yourself flowers” and read on.

Some women claim they can’t afford fresh flowers. I understand that, but we aren’t talking about $80 floral arrangements. Some supermarkets and most farmers’ markets have beautiful and inexpensive flowers. But if you don’t have a good store near you, or if you just prefer to go to a florist, a single rose or gerber daisy will set you back less than $5.00.

My worry is that the reason a majority of women don’t buy themselves flowers is because they are waiting to be given them by someone else. And that, I don’t understand. You could claim that I don’t understand because I am single. But I have been given flowers by men, and I have given myself flowers, and I have to say that I prefer the latter. If flowers make you happy, does it make sense to wait for someone else to provide that happiness when you could give it to yourself? No, I don’t think so either.

Why Should You Buy Yourself Flowers?

Flowers do promote happiness, along with all kinds of other positive emotions, but I don’t expect you to just take my word for that. Studies from little-known universities like Harvard back me up.

The earth laughs in flowers.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Living with Flowers   (Harvard University)

  • People feel less anxious, less depressed, and more compassionate toward others when there are fresh cut flowers in their homes.
  • Flowers in the kitchen provide a boost of energy to those who struggle in the morning. This energy boost carries through into the work day and positively affects co-workers.
  • Where flowers are located matters. Put them in your kitchen, living room or dining room where they can be seen first thing in the morning.

Flowers in the Workplace (Texas A&M University)

  • Women offer more flexible and creation solutions to problems in workplaces that include flowers and plants.
  • Men offer more ideas in workplaces with flowers and plants.

Receiving Flowers (Rutgers University)

closeup of ceramic frog extending bouquet of flowers

  • Being given flowers has an immediate impact on happiness. For seniors in institutional settings, there was also an 81% decrease in depression.
  • For everyone, there’s a long-term positive impact on mood with less anxiety long after the flowers have been received.
  • 72% of seniors studied experienced enriched personal memories in the presence of flowers.

Giving Flowers (Rutgers University)

  • Men and women who give flowers are perceived as strong, capable, courageous, and happy.
  • People who give flowers are seen as emotionally intelligent, meaning that they can express their feelings and understand yours.
  • Women who give flowers are thought to be especially appreciative of beauty and nature.

Here are a few more benefits, specific to buying yourself flowers, that haven’t yet been studied.

Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day–like writing a poem or saying a prayer.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

You Should Buy Yourself Flowers Because…

  • flowers are gorgeous and they remind you that life is beautiful.
  • it is good to be reminded that you are special.
  • you work hard and try your best, and you deserve a reward for that.
  • they brighten a room.
  • if you have flowers on the table at dinner, you turn an everyday meal into a bit of an occasion.
  • when you make yourself happier, you make other people happier. This is called ‘mood contagion’. If you’re going to be contagious, isn’t it nice that it’s for something positive!
  • just because. You don’t need a reason for everything.

isolated clear vase of flowers

What Flowers Should You Buy?

There are no rules. My favourite flowers are tulips, gerber daisies, and roses–each for different reasons. Buy whatever appeals to you,  is fresh, or  is inexpensive. It matters not.

In Victorian times, however, your choice of flowers did matter. Flowers took the place of words and gestures when it came to sharing feelings or complimenting the recipient. If this interests you, you might enjoy a novel titled The Language of Flowers , a good read about a young modern-day woman who has been in foster care. She uses the Victorian language of flowers to heal her own life and the lives of others.

There’s quite a lot of variation in flower meanings across multiple Victorian dictionaries. However, just in case you want to buy yourself flowers to reinforce specific ideas and emotions, here are meanings of some of the most common.

Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.

Sigmund Freud

Alstroemeria – aspiring Daffodil – chivalry Orchid – delicate beauty
Amarayllis – dramatic Delphinium – boldness Pansy – loving thoughts
Anemone – fragile Daisy – innocence Peony – healing
Azalea – abundance Freesia – spirited Rose – pink – appreciation
Begonia – deep thoughts Gladiolus – strength of character Rose – white – unity
Carnation – pink – gratitude Hyacinth – sincerity Rose – yellow – friendship
Carnation – yellow -cheerful Iris – inspiration Tulip – pink – caring
Carnation – striped – refusal Lilac – first love Tulip – white – forgiveness


How Can You Make Cut Flowers Last Longer?

three calla lilies arranged in glass
Tribe member Diane sent in this photo of three Calla lilies she purchased at a grocery store and arranged in a glass container. Now over 2′ tall, these plants make Diane smile!

I can always get at least a full week of beauty from my supermarket flowers. When I’m really lucky, it’s two weeks. If you want even longer and you happen to like carnations (I don’t), they seem to go on forever. Here are a few simple tips for keeping your flowers looking great as long as possible:

  • Remove any greenery that will be below the waterline.
  • Cut the stem of the flower at a 45 degree angle. This maximizes the surface area for water to get in.
  • Use a clean vase.
  • Change the water every other day.
  • When you change the water, also freshly recut the flowers.
  • Make a small slit in the neck of a tulip, just below the bloom.
  • Put two or three ice cubes in the water each day to keep tulips from opening too quickly.
  • Add several drops of vodka and a teaspoon of white sugar to the water to keep flowers from wilting. When they eventually do start to wilt, add a shot of vodka and they will apparently straighten up for a day or two. (I haven’t tried this one.)
  • Keep flowers away from bowls of fruit. The gasses in the fruit will wilt the flowers.
  • Do not put vases of flowers in direct sunlight.

For more photos of gorgeous cut flowers, and some suggestions for arranging them, see my Pinterest board. Better yet, I hope to hear that you have made a little self-care journey to your nearest florist, farmers’ market, or supermarket.

What are your favourite flowers? Have you any other suggestions for keeping them looking beautiful longer? Do you buy yourself flowers? If not, will you start? Let us know in the comments below. 

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  1. I think flowers are beautiful. I bought a bunch of colorful fake flowers from the dollar store when we moved into this apartment. They sit in a treasured vase on my kitchen counter. I really like the splash of color against the wall. I prefer fake flowers because I don’t need to worry about all the care required. I can change them out anytime I like for different colors or different blooms for a nice change. I am also able to change the theme colors with the seasons. Plus, I save money by buying them once.
    You are spot on with what you say it does to not only your mood but the moods of others. Great article! 😀

  2. Lots of good reasons for your flower choices, Susan. I notice that fake flowers now look quite authentic. I like your reference to the ‘splash of colour.’
    Thanks, as always, for commenting.

    1. Yes, fake flowers have come a long way over the years. Now that the dollar stores carry them it is an even better bargain to select a variety of different blooms and colors. I keep mine in a bag on a hanger in my closet so there is not much of a storage issue either.
      No thanks needed, I love this website and commenting and connecting with other tribe members is my pleasure. 😀

  3. We bought flowers yesterday two bunches of tulips one purple and the other orange tones.
    I loved that you included what the various flowers mean to people.

  4. You’re right. A week ago I bought myself a bunch of supermarket flowers in memory of the passing of my mother two years ago. I wasn’t sure how long they would last but they have brought me no end of pleasure and and evoked many happy memories. They are only just beginning to wilt now. I don’t think I have done this before except for picking wild flowers. I suppose that falls into the same category. Don’t imagine I will be finding any of those in the near future but I will treat myself to some uplifting blooms again before too long.

    1. What a beautiful idea to do that Gill, honouring your mom and bringing yourself pleasure at the same time. I’m so glad you did that… and that you are going to treat yourself again before too long.

  5. I am not a fresh flower girl myself but I do have several potted plants in my kitchen and family room. I also buy fresh flowers for my mom because she loves them!
    I do however fully agree with your thinking on self-care and the importance of not waiting around for someone else to do/buy/say things for us.
    Great article!

  6. I have always bought myself flowers. Even when I was married (long, long ago and far, far away) if I wanted flowers I had to buy them myself, and I enjoyed them more because they were the flowers I liked in the colors I liked and because they made me smile when I looked at them. Flowers nurture the soul as well as giving pleasure to the eye. Great article Karen – thanks!

  7. Hi Karen, I do buy myself flowers and am often encouraged to do so by my husband as well. While reading your writings on flowers, I also couldn’t help but think that buying flowers for others also brings them the same sense of enjoyment that I receive from them. I will choose flowers from now on when bringing a hostess gift!

  8. Hey Karen…… You certainly do put a lot of time, effort, and research into your Profound Journey! Though I do not read it every week, I do enjoy when I make the time to read it.
    Yes I do buy myself flowers…. not weekly….. I might just buy them more now!

    1. Thanks so much for reading when you have the time and for commenting, Eileen. Truly, hugely appreciated.
      So glad to hear that you buy yourself flowers. I do hope you will now buy them a little more often. You are definitely worth it!!

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