Tips and Advice

Florists share their top tips on creating a bouquet for every emotion

Article by Homes to Love

Joy, sorrow, love, nostalgia and gratitude, this New Zealand Flowers Week five florists show us how to create beautiful arrangements for every emotion

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During a fragrant celebration of blooms, five of the nation’s best florists were tasked to create a bespoke floral arrangement inspired by emotion for New Zealand Flowers Week.

Joy, sorrow, nostalgia, love and gratitude were embodied in five show-stopping installations. The florists share how to take these ideas and turn them into smaller bouquets:


Flowers represent a universal language, says Kath Parkes from Mrs Bottomley’s Flowers. They have the power to evoke a range of emotions and often are linked to particular memories or periods of life for people.

Parkes was given nostalgia to represent in flower form. “So often someone will say how a flower reminds them of a special person in their life – often a grandparent. Sometimes it’s the scent, which is very powerful at evoking memories and transporting us back to a place or time, but sometimes it’s the flower itself and remembering it growing in the garden. My installation is a garden that triggers positive associations with the past – with gardens of the past, or with the people who created those gardens.”

Colours to look for: A wide range of colours conjure up a nostalgic feeling and are reminiscent of times past, where plants and flowers in every hue would be found growing side by side, says Parkes.

Flowers to choose: Chose old favourites like fragrant roses, pansies, delphiniums, poppies and cherry blossom.

Nostalgia in a bouquet: A smaller nostalgic bunch would contain a range of ‘garden-style’ flowers with different forms, such as sweet peas, roses, delphinium and ranunculus, and it would be loose, natural-looking and fragrant.


“Sometimes people are just lost for words,” says Kerri Murphy from The Twisted Willow. “Flowers are a great vessel to let others know they are loved, thought about and worth celebrating.”

Murphy represented sorrow through a lens of mental health; darkness in the instalment represented how we feel in a depressive state, the second colour grey embodied hope and the final colour white showed the light that overtakes the darkness.

Flowers to choose: Murphy chose her flowers for their strong form; anthiriums, leucospermum, phaleanopsis orchids and cymbidium orchids

Sorrow in a bouquet: Dark tones, using different textures and foliage to create a deep, sorrowful display of emotion


Love is the emotion most strongly connected to flowers. Think Valentines, date night, wedding anniversary, or ‘just because’ – a stunning bouquet of flowers, or even just one red rose, is a message of devotion.

“The colour scheme was an easy option, in my opinion,” says Samantha Trott from Samantha Rose Flowers, who opted for a proposal theme for her floral arrangement.

Colours to look for: Pinks, reds and lilacs for a feminine, romantic look.

Love in a bouquet: Red roses symbolise love, therefore they’re always a good option. Also look out for soft pink roses, lilac roses, hydrangeas, lilac stock, phalaenopsis and cymbidium orchids, and red snapdragons for a truly indulgent love look. 


“As a florist, seeing the joy that people experience when they receive flowers and the emotion associated with giving flowers makes me feel that we provide an important service to our community,” says Chikako Shiraki from White Tree Floral.

The softness and gorgeous colours of flowers such as roses, belladonna, stock and alstroemeria convey a strong feeling of joy, she says. Colour has a powerful connection to joy and happiness. 

Colours to look for: All and any, the more the merrier

Joy in a bouquet: Choose an abundance of coloured and perfumed flowers such as sweetpeas, freesias, roses, belladonna, stock, alstroemeria, phalaenopsis orchids, winter roses, eucalyptus and Ruscus.


Flowers that say “thank you” was the inspiration behind Linda McKenzie’s floral arrangement. Bright, cheery colours and thoughtful flower choice are the perfect combination to help make someone feel appreciated and special.

Colours to look for: Pinks, yellows, whites and an abundance of lush green foliage.

Gratitude in a bouquet: Gratitude and thankfulness are best represented in flowers such as roses, sweet peas and poppies.

Words by: Bea Taylor

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