Flower shops across the Scenic City have spent the previous weeks painstakingly planning and perfecting the prettiest bouquets for Valentine's Day. For all the brainstorming, most floral designers already know what flower they will have to buy in bulk this year - roses ... again.
According to designer and wedding manager Julianna Chapman at Humphrey's Flowers on East Main Street, the shop brings in several thousand roses to fill the orders that flood in each February.
There are various types of roses that can be bought for valentine's day that deviate ever so slightly from the norm.
Floral designer Julianna Chapman says to consider buying sweetheart roses, which are smaller than the average rose but bloom and open with a garden-rose flair. At the Paper Pimpernel, Darcee Nevin creates both life-like and spiral paper roses for a fun and one-of-a- kind twist.
Now, no one's saying that a dozen roses aren't a fine option for your valentine. They are classy and sophisticated and may be the perfect thing to make your lady swoon. However, if the bouquet you are planning to order will be the fifth dozen roses you've bought in the last five years, it's time for some positive change.
"If you want something really beautiful, come in and tell the designer about the personality of your girl," says Chapman. "That's my favorite way to do Valentine's Day orders." In the realm of fresh flowers, Chapman suggests peonies, hydrangeas and protea. "King proteas will win her heart for sure," she says.
If cut flowers don't do the trick, think of a floral gift that is more reflective of the relationship ("long lasting" is the phrase we are looking for here). I'm not talking about going to the local craft store and buying silk flowers. Lasting flower arrangements can be made that are both beautiful and alive. At Humphrey's, for example, Chapman says the designers can add succulents to an arrangement that can later be rooted and kept alive long after the flowers wilt. The shop also carries bulbs that can be planted, including tulips and daffodils.
According to Paper Pimpernel owner Darcee Nevin, the best flowers come from trees. Nevin creates sometimes quirky and always lovely arrangements of paper flowers that don't wilt, droop or fade away. "I've always loved paper - it's my favorite medium," says Nevin. "And flowers are an amazing part of our world; they make people smile."
Red Love, desire and passion
Pink Playful interest, grace and joy
Orange Excitement, enthusiasm and vitality
Yellow Warmth, friendship and happiness
White Purity and innocence
Nevin says she appreciates the fact that, with paper, she can create flowers in patterns that would never be found in nature, such as argyle, old maps of the world or even newsprint. Visitors to her studio can pick from dozens of loose flowers or pre-made arrangements. If personalization is key, she says customers can bring in different unique sheets of their own paper to create the perfect bouquet for the perfect valentine.
"For a lot of guys flowers and chocolate are the default," explains Nevin. "If they can do that but step it up a little bit, they get kudos."