Show your love with local flowers
Depending on your relationship, you’ve either been dropping floral hints or receiving them in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. And you are not alone: according to a 2017 report in Men’s Health magazine, 41 percent of women in a relationship dread Valentine’s Day more than any other holiday, in part due to unrealistic expectations from both partners.
My advice? Show your love with local and American-grown flowers. If you know who is behind the flowers you give your sweetheart, not to mention where those blooms were grown, you’re able to tell a story, making a personal connection between the flowers and your sentiments of love. Choosing local flowers with a sustainable narrative shows you’ve put thought into the romantic gift — and let’s face it, that might make things a lot easier for Cupid come Feb. 14.
Across the country, there are more than 700 members in the Slowflowers.com network who grow and design with local flowers. California is one of the most abundant sources of beautiful blooms, thanks to the state’s vibrant floral agriculture scene. San Diego’s flowers and plants are among the best. Here are some of my favorite local and statewide sources for keeping it local at Valentine’s Day:
Protea bouquets: Based in Fallbrook, Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers produces a dazzling selection of proteas and other plants in the exotic Protaceae family. In the past, only florists could purchase their gorgeous crops, but now the company has a consumer site called The Protea Store. Bouquets and gift-boxes begin at $40 plus shipping, including my favorite choice: “Love at First Bloom.” And what about a protea wreath for your beloved? I adore the “Fuschia Fire Wreath” for $150 — an unexpected alternative to a vase of flowers. P.S., cut proteas last a lot longer than cut roses, just sayin’!
Succulent bouquets: Marialuisa Kaprielian is a San Diego floral designer who specializes in all things succulent — from bridal bouquets and floral crowns to planted succulent gifts. Her site, Urban Succulents, will change the way you see this ubiquitous Southern California plant. Check out the perfect Valentine’s Day offerings, from one-of-a-kind, heart-shaped wreaths to succulent-filled heart planters to a full bouquet of succulents, with prices ranging from $20.50 to $200. But don’t wait until the last minute, because each piece is custom made to order.
California-grown ranunculuses: Producing multiple layers of petals in a huge palette of spring colors, the ranunculus flower is another awesome alternative to imported roses at Valentine’s Day. Since it’s a little too early to visit The Flower Fields in Carlsbad (the ranunculus display there opens on March 1), order California-grown ranunculuses from Fabulous Florals, an online seller based in Carpinteria. Prices range from $25.50 to $70, depending on variety and quantity.
The tulip is the new rose: I’m convinced that tulips are eclipsing the predictable rose bouquet for Valentine’s Day, and one reliable source for California-grown tulips is reinforcing my hunch. Stargazer Barn offers just-picked tulips from its Humboldt County fields and greenhouses. There’s an option of pairing two dozen tulips with a vase, chocolates and a bottle of Stargazer wine (sounds perfect for a romantic evening) — $89 plus shipping. A new offering: The farm’s tulip-of-the-month club ($65 per month, available in three-, six- or 12-month options), which ensures that your lover will receive California tulips all year long.
USA-Grown Bouquet from Farmgirl Flowers: This year, the hipster San Francisco-based e-commerce florist is promoting America’s flower farmers with an exclusive “Grown in the USA” bouquet. It includes 20 to 25 stems of gorgeous, domestically grown blooms paired with fun foliage and finished with Farmgirl’s original up-cycled, biodegradable coffee bag wrap — the bags are donated by local coffee roasters. Price: $75 plus shipping with the option of adding a coordinating vase.
Sending flowers outside San Diego? Check out slowflowers.com to search for farms and florists by city, state or ZIP.
Prinzing is the Seattle-based author of 10 books, including “Slow Flowers” and “The 50-Mile Bouquet.” Her website, slowflowers.com, is a directory of American flower farms and florists and shops that source domestic and local blooms.
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