Fingers are twitching and ears are burning all over the world as cupids “take aim” and deftly draw their iphones to order bouquets for their Valentines. While I don’t know many who would turn down these gorgeous standards (Eiffel Tower not included)…
I set out in search of romantic Valentine’s arrangements that are not your typical red roses. I stopped in at three of my favorite local flower shops to inquire about their unique takes on the basic Valentine’s bouquet.
First stop: Winston Flowers. Winston’s is relatively new to Greenwich but has been an institution in Boston for over 20 years. When I lived in the Back Bay I frequented the Winston’s store on Newbury Street and appreciated their beautiful blooms, inventive containers and knowledgeable staff. Here is one of their Valentine’s interpretations brimming with pink tulips and calla lilies, cymbidium orchids and an interesting leafy “boa” to spice things up a bit.
Next stop: Greenwich Orchids: Greenwich Orchids is a favorite for gorgeous, garden-style blooms, an impressive selection of plants and topiaries and an unexpected treasure trove of unique home goods. For Valentine’s Day they came up with a delicate arrangement of white anemone, pink ranunculus and pink sweet pea — among other romantic blooms.
These adorable little arrangements that Greenwich Orchids made for me this past summer could also be a super sweet Valentine’s gift for a little girl. The smaller of the two containers is only two inches tall and the perfect vessel for a dainty nosegay of pink spray roses.
Last stop: Terrain. Terrain -in Westport- is a true urban oasis with creative displays of seasonal blooms, funky housewares and a lovely cafe and restaurant. Spending time here is like escaping to a large-scale, super chic potting shed.
More heart shaped wreath options decked out with dried flowers…these can be custom made year round:
And, I love these woodsy vases with a carved heart and arrow:
Another close-up of the container:
These vases would be perfect for a rustic-chic rehearsal dinner or summer party. I would fill them with wild, bright dahlias, serve drinks in mason jars, hang strands of old-fashioned white lights and cover the tables in simple white or burlap table cloths. Let’s set a date!
I was thrilled with such “budding inspiration” from three fabulous local floral emporiums. The diverse range of interpretations got my mind wandering to some of my favorite florals in different parts of the world. Let’s call this: “Flower Power for the Jet Set!?!”
In Paris…one particularly memorable experience was holding tight to a dog-eared magazine while dragging my husband to Saint-Germain-des-Pres on a quest to find Odorantes — the curious little floral boutique featured in many a travel magazine. The smoky gray walls, ethereal flowers and menagerie of stuffed birds and animals make for a haunting and beautiful setting. Odorantes’ signature bouquets are wrapped in black paper and each one is accompanied by a poem. The client roster includes Catherine Deneuve, Sofia Coppola and the fashion houses of Chanel and Givenchy…oh, and moi!
The scene in this little jewel box of a shop is a living and breathing mood board for -what could be- one of the most spectacular dinner parties EVER.
And, how can we leave Paris without a little eye candy from the lobby of the Four Season’s George V? I dream of someday being an OVERNIGHT guest at this hotel!
In my home state of sunny California, I love the vibrant mix of fruit and flowers that can be found at the year round farmer’s markets. These bunches tend to look best casually “arranged” in simple containers:
Effortless and elegant flowers at a quintessential wine country wedding (courtesy of Pinterest):
Finally, back in NYC, one of my go-to florists is Belle Fleur for their feminine yet edgy arrangements like this “corset” masterpiece. I ordered several of these in pink (pink corset and pink flowers!) for a friend’s lingerie-themed bridal shower and they were a hit!
No matter what Cupid may or may not deliver to your doorstep on Thursday, be sure to treat yourself to some beautiful blooms in the near future. Scientific research has shown that -among other things- keeping fresh flowers in your home can improve mood, reduce anxiety and encourage higher levels of cooperation. And I ask: who are we to stand in the way of science?
Stock photos courtesy of George V, Odorantes and Belle Fleur.
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