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According to Juliet, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.   I never cared much for the romance of roses.  That is, until they actually did come to me under another name – Beards and Daisies.

You see, I grew up spending Summer Sunday afternoons surrounded by exquisite, organically homegrown blooms cultivated carefully in the rose garden of my late Grandad.  Sweet, fragrant, vibrant flowers that I would stand on tiptoe in front of, in order to snort their perfume as deeply as I could into my little lungs.  They were just delicious – although they didn’t taste as good as they smelled [I tried them].
Later, I forgot all about the rose garden and the rose water me and my sister would make with a jam jar and fallen petals, and as I was sent roses from boyfriends on occasion, I just didn’t see what the big fuss was about.  Twelve red, matching flowers.  They smelled of nothing, and opened very little, and I just didn’t get why they were so romantic.
 I couldn’t understand why, when compared to all of the beautiful flowers in the world, women apparently were supposed to swoon at the sight of this particular offering.  White lilies, birds of paradise, peonies, freesias – there were so many others that I’d rather receive than an armful of tightly closed buds with thorns that seemed to love drawing blood with such passion.  
Then one day, roses came along that changed my life.   Roses I cherished.  From the man I would marry [or that would be an awkward tale to tell on here].  They were the longest stemmed roses I’d ever seen; a perfect pale pink with a slight green tinge to the petals.  They were like fairytale flowers and he bought them for me the birthday before we were married.
But red roses? No thank you.  Until I met Joanne.

Joanne of Beards and Daisies spent her 20’s living on London’s famous Columbia Road, listening to Cockney banter and spending indecent amounts of money at Columbia Road Flower Market.  As her career path led her down a corporate route and into management at one of my favourite stores, Mamas and Papas, she still felt drawn to her first love, floristry.  Realising that motoring along the corporate highway wasn’t bringing her dream closer, she did what few dare to do – she took the leap of faith.  Beards and Daisies was born.

When Joanne offered to send me either roses or daffodils, I secretly hoped for daffodils.  When she confirmed that she would be sending the roses out, I was filled with nervousness.  Being a letterbox floristry service, they arrived whilst I was on the school run and although they weren’t through my actual letterbox [ours is way up in the air and old fashioned], they were waiting for me in our porch cupboard.  I took the box into the house and prepared my vase.

There they were.  Roses.  Real roses. Red, romantic, beautiful, fragrant, bury-your-face-in-and-never-want-to-come-out-of-the-petals-perfect roses.  Ample, velvety soft and saturated in love.  I adore them…and if all roses were like Beard and Daisies’ roses, Valentine’s day would be so much better for rose-receiving partners everywhere.

It can’t be simpler either – for £39.99, a dozen roses can be sent postage free to anywhere on UK mainland.  Simply head to the Beards and Daisies site and see how it’s done.  Bring back roses to the cynics – real roses, and real, true romance.

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