Thursday, 19 September 2013

Can you give a man a greeting card with flowers on?

Irises at St Remy - Vincent Van Gogh

I’m finding that as I get older, I’m questioning more and more of the things I used to think were ‘set in stone’. 

For instance, now that I’ve just passed my 70th birthday, I’ve found myself doing a radical re-think about how a seventy-year old should be – from how to dress without coming across as ‘mutton dressed as lamb’, to whether I’m spending my time ‘appropriately’ when most of my contemporaries have long since ‘retired’.

Another question that has keeps cropping up in my mind since I’ve been creating greeting cards is: why does it seem to be universally accepted that you can’t give a man a card with flowers on? 

Water Lilies - Claude Monet

Is it that men don’t like flowers? I think not! 

  • Many of our ‘celebrity’ gardeners enthuse about flowers as much as their female counterparts. (And my Dad used to grow Sweet Williams, his favourite flower, on his allotment.)

Percy Thrower was THE authority on gardening when I was growing up

  • And just think of the number of famous painters who have painted flowers, from Redoute and his roses to Monet and Manet and Gustave Klimt!

Peonies in a Vase - Edouard Manet

Ah, but they were a special case, they were artists, so they don’t count. Ordinary men don’t like flowers.

  • Not true. ‘Ordinary’ men have worn flowery clothes at various times in the past – just look at these 18th century buttons for  a man’s waistcoat! 
  • And there are certainly plenty of floral prints in evidence in menswear departments at the moment! I'm not saying I like this one, but it seems to be quite acceptable! (I don't suppose I'd like it on a woman either!)

The evidence does seem to suggest that men do like flowers! 

Garden Path with Chickens - Gustav Klimt

So, ladies, would you give a man a floral greeting card?

And gentlemen, how would you feel if you were on the receiving end of one?

I’ve talked this over with friends and there was general agreement that finding suitable greeting cards for men was a real challenge. It seems we aren’t yet ready to take the risk!

Luckily, I’ve managed to come up with plenty of ideas for cards for men and boys that don’t have a flower in sight. And, of course, they are some of my bestsellers! 

for just a small selection
  I've added lots more since I wrote this blog post, in 2010!


Unknown said...

Well, I think you may be on to something here. I don't think most men do "cutesy" cards, but the examples you show are very far from that. It is true, lots of men enjoy gardening, and visiting gardens open to the public, so why not a card?
Interesting blog post Judy.

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you for your comments, Angela. I think we just need few men to indicate that they'd like a card with flowers on and then we could start a trend! :D

Tracie said...

What a delightfully enlightening and thought provoking article! I know my dad would be one of those men who would appreciate a floral card.

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Tracie - thank you for your comments. And I'm always pleased to hear of a man who would appreciate flowers on a card - it makes a designer's life so much easier!

Annie - said...

You know... I have never given a man a floral birthday card. BUT I do have floral note cards that I send to either gender. I have no clue why I do that! HAH! Thanks for making me think. :-D

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you for stopping by, Annie. Your comments are very much appreciated.

I think there's a lot of illogicality going on in our choices of what's suitable for a man. But I've now had one man come out and say that he likes cards with flowers on. So that's a start . . .

Jayne said...

I totally agree. I got my love of gardening from my dad, and he also likes to take photos of flowers and nature. He would certainly enjoy receiving a card with his favorite blooms on.

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Jayne, good to see you and good to hear that your father wouldn't be averse to cards with flowers on. I wonder whether it will ever become a generally accepted thing?

RescuedinTime said...

Great thoughts! I think it would depend on the man, maybe not my husband, but my father has always enjoyed gardening and wouldn't object to a floral card - especially if it featured one of his favorite garden plants. Maybe, with some promotion, you'll start a new trend, manly floral cards...

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you so much for stopping by, RescuedinTime! I think you've probably hit on something when you mention 'fathers' rather than 'husbands' - maybe it depends a bit on the age of the man. I might try a few floral cards with an older age on and see what happens - nothing to lost but my time :)

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