Valentine’s Day usually conjures up visions of red roses (okay, and chocolate), and while gifting roses is a lovely gesture, it’s also a tired one. Today, there are so many better floral options that not only deliver on variety, but encourage more sustainable practices and support local flower farmers in your area. Giving you enough time to call in your pre-orders, we’re welcoming back Erin Benzakein of Floret Flowers (who joined us recently to share a series of business tips), an expert on all things floral, to shed some light and impart her insight on the topic.
Whether you’re buying for a loved one, for yourself, or simply looking to spruce up the vase on your dining table this weekend, Erin has put together a blossoming source list of pop-up shops, subscription services, and workshops across all of North America to consider, as well as recommendations for unique gift ideas for your flower-loving Valentine(s). Enjoy! -Sabrina
Looking for a special way to show your affection to the flower-lover in your life? Ditch the boring red roses and shower your sweetheart with a seasonal and sustainable gift that supports hardworking flower farmers, seasonal floral designers, artisans and creatives who bring so much beauty to our communities and our lives.
Here are a few ideas with heart:
Give a bouquet subscription from a local flower farm: There are many names to describe this service including flower share, bouquet CSA, and flower subscription, but the concept is basically the same. Similar to the popular produce CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), a bouquet CSA involves making an upfront investment in a flower farm’s harvest for the season. As a subscriber, you receive a weekly, biweekly or monthly bouquet featuring the best of what is blooming and in season. Most bouquet subscriptions are available for pick-up, but some flower farms also offer delivery. Few flower farms have blooms this time of year, but many offer this option as a gift certificate for Valentine’s Day. A bouquet share is a great way to support local flower farms and shower someone you love with locally-grown blooms all season long.
For a fun, floral twist on this theme, check out Stow Greenhouse’s “Hero Subscription” of six bouquets of their locally-grown flowers: one for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas and one “just because” date of your choosing. A brilliant idea!
Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for a listing of bouquet subscriptions available from great flower farms from across the country.
Visit a floral “Pop-Up” shop: Around Valentine’s Day, these temporary little flower stalls will be popping up all over the country. Whether these short-term shops occupy previously vacant retail stores, the corner of a coffee shop or simply sidewalk space, you won’t want to miss out on all of the beautiful things these creatives have put together. A growing number of studio floral designers (those without brick-and-mortar storefronts) are teaming up with other small businesses including cafes, restaurants, chocolate shops, spas, bakeries and even poets to offer unusual, handcrafted gift packages with lovely, unconventional bouquets. Keep an eye out for these pop-ups in your area, and be sure to pre-order, because their offerings usually sell out fast. A few that caught my eye are listed below.
Support “Slow Flowers” Florists: On the heels of the Slow Food and “locavore” movement, consumers and floral designers are hungry for locally-grown blooms. Whether it is based on concern for the carbon footprint of flowers imported from faraway lands, or the simple fact that (like tomatoes in August) flowers are freshest when grown locally, consumers are making a conscientious effort to seek out U.S.-grown flowers. Thanks to the Slow Flowers website, you can find designers and U.S. flower farmers and purveyors dedicated to providing sustainable, domestically grown blooms.
Give the gift of future flowers — seeds: Nothing says “I love you” like an envelope full of potential and future beauty. Flower seeds in pretty packaging are a sure to warm any gardener or flower lover’s heart this season. The packets combine beautifully with other gifts or tuck easily into your Valentine’s card. My quick picks for Valentine’s Day:
- Chocolate Lace Flower: Continue this sweet theme by pairing some fair-trade chocolate with a packet of chocolate queen anne’s lace seeds, a frilly flower that designers are fighting to get their hands on.
- Larkspur “Earl Gray”: Consider combining a packet of this easy-to-grow, cool-season flower with a box of specialty tea with the same name.
Give the gift of learning: a ticket to a floral design workshop: There’s something deeply satisfying about making something with your own two hands. These days, it seems we’re all hungry for hands-on, screen-free opportunities to learn a craft, whether it’s knitting, cooking or brewing your own craft beer. Let me just say that these are NOT your vocational school floral design classes from decades ago. Ranging from ultra-luxe events set in 5-star resorts to small-scale gatherings in cutting gardens, floral design workshops continue to be super popular (all seven of our 3-day workshops sold out within a week) and a great opportunity to learn through a full sensory immersion.
Some designers offer creative combinations of bouquets and bubbly (or brews!), which can make the perfect Valentine — or Gal-entine — gift! A selection of flower workshops is listed below, ranging from laid-back local gatherings to luxe destination experiences.
Sinclair and Moore, Seattle, WA
Flower Wild, various locations
Little Flower School, various locations
Team Flower, Asheville, NC
Ariella Chezar, various locations
Bloom Floral Design, Northern Michigan
Bows and Arrows, various locations
Ponderosa & Thyme, various locations
Hope Flower Farm, Waterford, VA
Tulipina, various locations
Francoise Weeks, various locations
Short sessions or farm-focused affairs:
Farmhouse Blooms at Fodor Tree Farm Poland, OH
Bloom Florist Collective Ann Arbor, MI
Eddy Farm, Newington, CT
Flirty Fleurs, Seattle, WA
Buckeye Blooms, Lima, OH
Local Color Flowers, Baltimore, MD
Love’ n’ Fresh Flowers, Philadelphia, PA
Chicory Florals, Philadelphia, PA
The Pollen Mill, Vacaville, CA
Pepper Harrow Farm, Madison County, IA
Sunny Meadows Flower Farm, Columbus, OH
The London Plane, Seattle, WA
Botanique, Seattle, WA
Triple Wren Farms, Bellingham, WA
Sachi Rose, NYC and Los Angeles
Flower farms that offer a Flower Share, Bouquet CSA, or other subscription option:
Chicory Blue Flowers
Some of our flower friends in Canada including Floralora, My Luscious Backyard, BackCountry Blooms, Harris Flower Farm, Prairie Tough Farms Dahlia May Flower Farm and many others offer similar bouquet subscriptions. It is an exciting trend that is just one of several creative sales outlets for flower farmers that make up this vibrant, seasonal flower movement.
A selection of pop-ups from across the continent:
Pick up wine, chocolate and flowers from The Moss and Rose in Blacksburg, VA.
Flowers by Semia + Nava are teaming up in Providence, RI to offer florals plus unique jewelry and home decor.
In Salt Lake City, find floral wraps by Sarah Winward at local jewelry shop, Magpie and Rye.
In Winter Park, FL, Farm Gal flowers is teaming up with Pure Blends Organic Spa & Apothecary to offer flowers, pound cake, and spa gift card.
The Pollen Mill will offer fresh florals at a pop-up at Patina Home & Garden in Fairfield, CA.
In Bend, OR, Heirloom Floral Design will be popping up in two locations across town.
Clara’s Garden is teaming up with local clothing store, Original Cyn’s, to offer fresh florals in Burlington, IA.
Becca Blue will have a pop-up inside The Dose Market in Chicago, IL.
Farmhouse Blooms Pop-Up Flower shop will be happening at Stone Fruit Coffee in Canfield, OH.
In Marietta, OH, Passiflora Studio is teaming up with Teri Ann’s and Putnam Chocolates to offer fresh flowers and sweets.
In Sioux City, IA, Honeysuckle Hollow will have their monthly pop-up sale.
Two Little Buds in Cincinnati, OH will be popping up at Anthropologie.
Pick up coffee and flowers in Pittsburgh, PA at Constellation Coffee.
In St. Louis, The Alice Blue Collective is popping up in several places across the city.
In Detroit, MI, Wild Blume will be setting up shop at Wild Joe’s Coffee House.
In Troy, NY, check out Buds + Brews with Flower Scout where you can make your own bouquet while sipping a beer (to get your creative juices flowing)!
Everbloom Design will have a Pop-Up shop at City and State in Memphis, TN.
The Floradelphia is hosting a weekend pop-up shop in their studio (in Philadelphia, PA, of course).
Wild Rabbit Flowers will be offering flowers at The Blue Moose Coffee House in Ottawa.
Blossom and Vine will have a Valentine’s pop-up shop at Brick & Mortar Living in New Westminster BC.
In Calgary, Fern & Frond will have a pop-up within West Elm.
Know of a workshop, bouquet share, or pop-up shop that is not on this list? Be sure to include it in a comment below. Thanks for sharing the local flower love!