The very act of giving flowers to another conveys volumes
Valentine’s Day is inextricably linked with the bouquet of one-dozen, long-stemmed red roses. According to the Society of American Florists, 187 million roses are produced for Valentine’s Day alone.
Holiday demand has pushed up the price of the ubiquitous (but surprisingly scentless) red bud on a long, stiff stem. In mid-February, you can easily spend $100 or more to send a dozen roses.
Flower enthusiasts and floral designers are ready for an alternative – a fresh and authentic option to industrial-grown and imported flowers. Posies grown in our own gardens or purchased from a local nursery, farmer’s market vendor or fair-trade grower are gaining in popularity for holiday gift-giving. It may mean a rose-free Valentine’s Day, but it also supports a more sustainable one.
Here are some romantic & organic flower-giving ideas:
- Plan ahead and force one dozen hyacinth bulbs or paper white narcissus bulbs in vases along your windowsill. When they bloom, their heady perfume rivals any fragrant rose. Stems can be cut and arranged in a tightly-packed bouquet for gift-giving.
- Harvest a natural winter bouquet from your garden. Look for delicate flowering branches, winter-blooming shrubs, and early perennials. Gather the blooms and branches in a repurposed container and deliver the bouquet to a sweetheart or friend. Some of the best February blooming plants include camellia, witch hazel, forsythia, winter Daphne and helleborus.
- Plant a winter annual in a tea cup. An African violet or tiny cyclamen looks charming in a piece of vintage china or a flea market collectible. Use organic potting soil and tuck a 4-inch flowering plant into the cup. The china probably won’t have a drainage hole, so it can be watered lightly with a spray bottle (water the soil area, not the leaves or flowers).
If you or your sweetheart really desires Valentine’s Day roses, seek out companies that supply organic, sustainably-raised and domestically-grown roses. Two of the best sources are Organic Bouquet and David Austin Roses.