Thinking outside the bouquet for Valentine’s

With the possible exception of ordering out of season flowers for a wedding, flowers for Valentines (especially roses)  are at their most expensive peak. Yet giving and receiving flowers creates a lovely romantic dance that we should all engage in – even if it is just with ourselves.

I’ve pulled together five tips on gifting flowers for this day of lovers (some might actually save you money).

  1. Think creatively. What is your beloved’s favorite color and find flowers that match that. Red roses too expensive? What about red tulips? Or something with a scent (most florist roses are scentless). Or use this year’s color of the year – ultra-violet. Your local floral shop can help think outside the traditional bouquet.


  1. Make it precious – think small. Find an exquisite vase or antique perfume bottle and carefully choose a selection of small blooms or fleurets. My last post had an idea of a delicate arrangement. Or send your beloved three roses instead of a dozen, each tied with a beautiful ribbon.


  1. Go big and focused instead. One, two or three tropicals can have extensive impact when paired with some grasses and a big leaf.


  1. Extend and personalize your purchase. If you’re picking up a bouquet at the grocery store or Trader Joe’s shake it up a bit.  Find (or buy) some extra greenery or branches (pussy willow or curly willow are both nice). One of my floral mentors insists on using three kinds of foliage.  Take the bouquet out of the bag, add the branches, and rewrap the flowers, tieing them off with a nice ribbon.
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Starting with a more or less standard size grocery story bouquet. One type of foliage.


Adding the additional foliage and sticks makes the bouquet personalized.
  1. Want to buy local? Get yourself to a flower shop specializing in locally grown. Or if you are lucky enough to have a farmer’s market there may be a local flower stand there (just a note, farmer’s markets are usually a weekend thing). Just remember when buying local, growers are dependent on the seasons and may not have all flowers available to wholesale to a local shop. So dahlias in February? You are probably out of luck.



It’s fun to put together a bouquet using the language of flowers. For example, put together a bouquet of  red roses (passion,) red tulips (love). Alstromeria (devotion), stock (beauty) and ivy (let us bind together).  A card reinforcing the message is all that’s left to deliver your floral poem of love.

The first year my husband and I dated, he had two roses delivered to my workplace. A red rose for passion and a yellow rose for constant friendship.  Two roses, not a two dozen.  The surprise of it, and the memory of it, are still keenly with me. It doesn’t take much to have an impact. It just takes thoughtfulness.

Below, an example of an another out of the box Valentine’s arrangement featuring lilies, carnations and tulips.



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