Sending flowers has long been an international sign act of kindness - whether you're saying 'thinking of you' to a loved one, or even just 'thanks' to that friend or client.
And as the weather heats up, the ultimate act of self-care is spontaneously buying yourself one of the beautiful, colourful bunches on offer from a local florist.
But if you're anything like me, receiving a bunch of flowers, while delightful (please nobody stop sending then) also leads to a mild sense of panic.
Within a day my blooms always end up drooping sadly, and no matter how many times I change the water, they're usually dead within days.
Sending flowers is no easier - the politics are frightening! Which ones are inappropriate for a family death, which ones are a sign of friendship vs romance?
Here to help all is the blooming lovely Kerri Murphy, of Twisted Willow, who was recently featured as one of the national ambassadors at this year's New Zealand Flower Week (NZFW).
How do I keep my flowers fresh, especially in the summer?
My best advice is to change your flowers' water every two days, make sure you recut the stems every time you change the water. Bacteria in the water makes the flowers die faster, so always make sure the stems are clean and there are no leaves or foliage on them. Always make sure your flowers are kept out of direct sunlight and it's best if they live in a cool room. A hot tip would be to regularly put flower food in your vase which you can buy from any professional florist.
Which flowers are the best to give as gifts?
Any flower is the perfect gift. Of course, this time of year is best for peonies, delphiniums, poppies, to name a few. If you buy from a professional florist, we pride ourselves on our knowledge and presentation; offering advice and tips on how to best care for your flowers.
There are certain flowers that don't have a long vase life; but trigger memories for some and the enjoyment they give is worth it, if only for a moment. These flowers are sweetpeas, lily of the valley, and helleborus.
Murphy created a floral artwork drawing on her experiences with depression for NZFW. Her stunning design, and those done by the rest of the talented ambassadors, can be found below.
NZFW runs from November 11 to November 17. You can find more information here.