How to buy flowers on March 8th
Text Elena Kryvovyaz
There is nothing worse for a Russian woman than to go through 8th of March without a bouquet of flowers. Giving flowers is a simple way to make sure she knows you are actually fairly civilized, despite being a foreigner.
What do they mean?
Tulips in general denote sympathy, while yellow tulips reveal a hidden love. Red roses unequivocally point to the heart. An orchid praises unique beauty and a chrysanthemum speaks of undying youth and health.
Get Your Numbers Right
This is important in Russia, because you should present only odd numbers of flowers (1,3,5,7 etc.), because bouquets and bunches of even numbers are traditionally presented at a funeral. Presenting an even number of flowers may cause the wrong reaction.
Where to buy
Moscow is full of flower kiosks and special botanical shops where you can buy any exotic plant from anywhere on the planet. Unfortunately, all these shops are rather hard to find when you’re running late for a rendezvous. So, the first piece of advice is to buy flowers in advance.
Almost every underground passageway near a metro station has small kiosks with a basic assortment of flowers (yellow and white roses, lilies but they’re rare). Usually they are already tied into bunches. You can buy a single flower (80-250 rubles for a rose and 50-80 for a tulip), or a bunch of roses – it’s up to you. The more flowers you buy, the cheaper they are and bargaining - up to 15% for brave bargainers, but packing will cost 10-15% on top of the cost of the flowers.
Kiosks at supermarkets
You’ll find a bit more choice here than near the metro stations, but roses are in majority again. Prices are considerable higher (1,500 rubles or even more for a mixed bunch of five flowers with herbs added) but the service is about the same as in the metro kiosks. Bargaining is out of the question in these establishments. Russians do not usually go to such stores to buy flowers; except if they have plenty of cash and have to buy the family groceries at the same time.
Most of them have sites with their catalogues and deliver flowers around the city. Some florists specialize in selling roses (Au Nome De La Rose), others –wild flowers (sendflowers.ru, buket.su) or orchids etc. Prices vary from a reasonable 600 rubles (for simple but stylish flower composition) to 5,000 rubles or even more for something rare and incredibly beautiful. Single flowers are often sold here, and the price is sometimes lower than in metro kiosks: 80-120 rubles - and the wrapping costs nothing. If you bring something special and symbolic, hey, she might be yours forever. Isn’t that worth it!
Vo Imya Rosy/Au Nome De La Rose
m. Okhotny Ryad, Bolshaya Nikitskaya, 14,bld.2
m. Kropotkinskaya, Prechistenskiye Vorota ploshad, 1/5
8 (909) 945-69-90
m. Belorusskaya, Lesnaya ul., 8/12,
m. Prospekt Mira, 18/1
8 (495) 628-58-36
Many internet shops deliver flowers 24 hours a day.