Random floral thoughts.
I saw Isaac Stern receive post-concert flowers on a documentary about his last China trip, along with several other performers. He threw the flowers to someone in the audience, then encouraged the other performers to do likewise (they seemed to have wanted to keep their bouquets). I thought this was all rather tacky--he should have kept the flowers.
I see nothing tacky about that gesture at all. Stern, with his international reputation is highly unlikely to do anything tacky or against custom; perhaps it was a question of "different country, different customs." Stern was obviously sharing his enjoyment of the event by sharing with the audience their delight in the performance. I've often seen that done, particularly after an operatic performance where the lead soprano or lead tenor (when the poor guy even gets some flowers) shares them with the audience.
I did a competition once where a female competitor received flowers in the lobby after her performance, before the competition was over, from some group of boys attending the same college (also where the competition was held). She must have been the sweetheart of Phi Mu Alpha, or something. I thought it was rather tacky, as she had not won yet, and I was waiting to perform!
Why was that tacky? Some friends obviously wanted to share their appreciation for the performance that had just taken place. Do you think only the winners should be presented with flowers? Did you think you were being up-staged, somehow? It was, after all, in the lobby, not on stage. It seems like a kindly, thoughtful gesture; nothing tacky about it in my mind.
Some people have flower arragements put on stage for recitals. Nice, as long as they don't get knocked over moving the pianos around for two-piano concerto performances.
... and how often have you seen that happen?