Fresh Flower Tips for Valentine’s Day

By Andrea McMasters

(This article was first published in The Gateway Gardener January/February 2009 issue.)

a picture of a rose and baby's breath flower arrangementAh, it is that time of year again!  Love is in the air, hearts are aflutter, romance is in bloom.  To what am I referring, you ask? Valentine’s Day, of course.  It is never too soon to begin thinking about the holiday (as a florist, I am ALWAYS thinking of this holiday—it haunts me!), and with a little advance planning, you can make it a day your special someone will always remember.

Many of us like to celebrate the occasion by visiting a favorite restaurant or discovering a new eatery.  A nice addition to your meal might be a lovely bouquet of flowers waiting at your table when you arrive.  Your local florist can work with the restaurant of your choice to create wonderful ambiance for your special dinner.  If coordinating this seems a little daunting, surprise your sweetheart with a lovely corsage to wear for the romantic evening.

Most people choose to send roses for Valentine’s Day, and if you fall into this category, there are many exquisite varieties that are sure to best express your sentiment.  Of course, the most traditional and timeless of all colors are red roses.  But, red doesn’t have to be boring.  Why not try a velvety, deep burgundy variety this year like Black Magic or Black Baccara?  Or, for a more classic look, try Freedom; with its cherry red hue and high petal count, this rose is sure to please.

If red roses aren’t your cup of tea, there are many beautiful varieties from which to choose.  The following are some great selections to try this year:  Attaché (bright pink, highly fragrant), Ambiance (yellow with salmon pink tips), Cool Water (lavender with a large head and high petal count) or Latin Lady (a true red and white bi-color).  Likewise, many roses have particular meanings:  red means love or passion; yellow means friendship; white means purity or innocence; pink means burgeoning love; red and white bi-color means unity; or, discover your own meaning!

If a non-traditional Valentine’s gift (that is, not roses) strikes your fancy, there are several options from which to choose.  You could consider a bright, colorful bowl of tulips (and catch an early glimpse of spring), or a mixed bouquet of seasonal flowers (like Peruvian lilies, Stargazer lilies, dianthus and gerbera daisies) arranged in a keepsake container or basket.  For the plant lover, bring home a potted orchid (such as a dendrobium or cymbidium) or an exotic bromeliad.  A lovely, fragrant potted gardenia is sure to warm the heart of your favorite person.  Who wouldn’t want a delicate cyclamen or hardy hydrangea?

Would you really like to surprise your loved one this year?  Consider having your floral bouquet or plant delivered to his or her home or place of business (most flower shops have a delivery service and can send your item for a nominal fee).  If you plan on having your item delivered, the following is some information you can provide your florist with to help facilitate the delivery:  In addition to his or her name, you need to provide the street address (and business name where applicable) along with the best phone number with which to contact the recipient.  As you can imagine, Valentine’s Day is a high-volume delivery day; placing delivery orders in advance can certainly help insure that your item can be delivered on  Valentine’s Day.  No matter what you choose to send your Valentine, your favorite florist can custom-create your unique expression of love.  Let your creativity flow; get playful, get inspired.  Just remember, love is always best expressed in the language of flowers.

Andrea McMasters is a 2nd generation florist having worked at her family’s Troy Flower Shop since graduating college in 2000. She can be reached at (636) 528-8528.