Christmas time is the season of goodwill.
And in the spirit of goodwill, one Preston florist is spreading a little festive cheer around the city.
Mills and Bloom Florists, in Hennel Lane, Walton-le-Dale, has been leaving bouquets of flowers around Preston, with a note attached saying take me home as part of a national campaign run by the British Florist Association,
Shop owner Melanie Mills said: “We wanted to join the lonely bouquet campaign after reading about it on the British Floral Association Facebook page, we thought it was a lovely idea - how nice would it be to be able to brighten someone’s day just by leaving them some flowers to find, with a note attached to tell them why.”
The idea stemmed from a lady in America who decided to leave small bouquets in various locations for people to find with a note attached asking them to care for the flowers.
When the BFA caught wind they asked florists up and down the country to get involved and ever since, people have been finding bouquets and posting their images on the Lonely Bouquet Facebook page.
But the campaign has had an overhaul for the first week of December and to see whether the general public would pick up the bouquets, the Evening Post set out on a stealth mission with Melanie and fellow florist, Josie Gunson, to view the results.
We first set up the festive floral bouquet on a bench outside Cafe Nero on Friargate.
At 10am on a Wednesday there were more Christmas shoppers milling about than normal but nobody took the bait.
Despite a few people reading the card that clearly stated ‘take me home’ there were no takers - perhaps they were thought they were being had?
So after over half an hour peeping out from behind a bin, looking at the same spot, we decided to try elsewhere.
Sitting on a bench outside Marks and Spencers, more and more shoppers passed by our bunch and, again, people would stop and read the card asking them to let Mills and Bloom know when they had received the bouquet.
But it wasn’t until Molly Zhou, 24, from Preston, plucked up the courage to pick up the flowers, that we could come out of our hiding place.
Molly, a student who also works as an assistant manager at the Chinese Buffet, said: “I wasn’t going to pick it up because I thought it was a trick.
“I just thought it was beautiful, so pretty, and it would lovely in my restaurant. Thank you very much.”
Melanie and Josie have so far given away three Lonely Christmas Bouquets.
The first was placed outside the shop in a bus shelter and was picked up by a lady who called into the shop to say thank you.
Melanie said; “The second, on Tuesday was found outside C Masons Veterinary Surgery in Bamber Bridge and we received a phone call to let us know.
“We are on our fourth bouquet today and they will continue to be left in and around Preston until Sunday, when we will be ending our busy week with our annual Christmas open day.”
For more information on the campaign visit www.facebook.com/BFALonelyBouquetatChristmas