Since we don't dare have a single toxic flower around here (Harris), I stick to roses and sunflowers, and I never pay a lot for them. My favorite deal is the $8 bunch of spray roses from Trader Joe's — they don't usually have them at our little Back Bay store, but when they do, it makes my day. There are so many flowers on each stem and they are so fragrant. If you choose wisely they'll open slowly and last a long time. (Gently pinch a few buds between your thumb and forefinger to be sure they are fresh and firm. If they feel soft and mushy, move on.)
Here's my current bouquet. I have to keep them on the bedroom mantel because it's one of very few places the cats don't go, the other one being the top of our Japanese tansu, which is about as tall as I am and is already covered with glass items, etc., that Harris and Toffee would like to use for gravity experiments.
Some call this pitcher "hobnail" but my husband calls it "wartware."
There is one problem with these inexpensive roses, however. There are always a couple of single flowers with very short, broken stems. Since there are often about 50 in the bunch, it hardly matters. I put them in a tiny bud vase and leave them in the kitchen by the sink.
But then at night, they get restless and wander.
Imagine this horrible scenario: you get up for a drink at 3 in the morning and discover an empty vase by the sink, which had previously held two roses. You go looking for the missing flowers and discover them doing a tarantella together in your living room. You'd probably faint dead away — unless you actually died dead away — from the terror and embarrassment of watching tiny flowers executing intricate dance steps you'd have trouble with yourself.
I am fortunate to have a posse of stalwart cats to protect me from such an ignominious end. They patrol the apartment at night and capture errant flowers, so that all I wake up to is this:
If you don't have any cats it would be prudent to get some for protection. Otherwise, don't buy any cheap roses.