Tuesday, 18 October 2011


I love to receive flowers. A couple of friends of mine (both girls) when they come around for supper invariably bring a gooey cake (or two) and some flowers. Receiving flowers from a girl is OK. But what if a bloke gave me them? The answer, it seems, lies in a story about Allen Tate, the American poet told by Peter Levi:-

I recall that once, in Oxford, where he was a guest of All Souls, Allen rang up his great friend David Cecil for social advice,
'David, it's my birthday.'
'Oh good, happy birthday,’ and David put the phone down. It rang again.
'David? It's Allen again. I've had some flowers for my birthday.'
'Oh, how charming.'
‘Yes, but they're kind of worrying. They're from a man. Is that all right in England? Or should I send them back?
'Ah, I see. Cut flowers or in a pot"?'
'In a pot'
'Oh - quite all right!’


  1. glad to hear that it's okay to receive potted flowers from a bloke!

  2. You make me laugh! Fresh flowers, no matter from whom, potted or cut, is wonderful!

  3. Mixed feelings about cut flowers. Yes, they are beautiful, but they are basically dead and won't ever grow again. More worrying, though, is to think of how many resources (mainly water, the most over-used and abused resource of all) are going into cultivating flowers in places such as Africa, where a LOT of the cut flowers in florist shops all over the world come from, with work on the fields and in the green houses done mainly by women for ridiculous payment. Sorry - I'd no intention to spoil your joy at being given a beautiful bouquet (I love flowers, too!); I've read an article about that not too long ago and it struck me how little I knew (and had thought about it) of all this.

  4. That's so 'English' (sic) isn't it? I can relate to that. I, too, love being brought flowers and often am - by female friends. But what would I think if a male friend brought them? Hmmm.

  5. I never knew that, Librarian. I thought most of our flowers came from Lincolnshire, Jersey and Holland. One lives and learns.

  6. I'd much rather see them growing than in a vase...I hate to see the gradually decaying.


  7. I love to receive flowers-either cut or potted-though potted is preferred. It never occurred to me to send flowers to a man. I don't think most men would send flowers to another man. Of course there's nothing wrong with it-just tradition I suppose.


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