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BellaOnline's Floral Design Editor

Buying That Perfect Valentine's Gift

It’s a good thing Valentine’s Day only comes once a year. This is one of the most anxiety-ridden holidays of all. People lose sleep trying to dream up a gift.

That probably explains why Valentine’s Day ranks number one when it comes to cut flower purchases. It is responsible for over 30% of holiday sales.

Overall most people spend between $80-$100 on Valentine’s gifts.

In a recent survey people were asked what they would like to receive for
Valentine’s Day. For the most part the women wanted flowers. Men said their first choice would be dinner and a card. At the bottom of their list were the traditional gifts, such as chocolates and flowers.

Unlike chocolates, flowers are guilt-free. We feel no qualms about enjoying them. There's a lot of talk about obesity, and chocolate only makes the matter worse. Flowers have no calories. No one can ever get too many.

Flowers are a calorie-free gift that brings so much pleasure to the recipient. This year you can even buy organic roses. A company called Organic Bouquet is marketing these products. The roses are raised organically in Ecuador. The flower farms are certified organic by a USDA-accredited organic certification organization.

This year the company is offering 20 varieties of roses. So far as price is concerned the organic ones usually don’t cost any more than the non-organic. Last year the company introduced its first organic bouquets. For the most part the flowers are grown in Oregon and California. But there are other growers in other countries to ensure that the flowers are available year-round.

In addition to roses and cut flower bouquets there are other choices for Valentine’s Day. Flowers are back in style as a fashion accessory. Corsages are a traditional way of wearing flowers, but there are other options. They can also be worn on a ribbon choker around the neck. Wearing flowers is an age-old custom. The Edwardians wore sprays of orchids in the early 20th century.

Once people even had special posy-holders or bouquetiers. These were actually miniature flower vases that were attached to a woman’s dress, worn on her finger, or held in her hand. These tiny vases contain a minute quantity of water to keep the flower fresh longer. Alas these posy-holders are no longer manufactured. They went out of style early in the last century. The Smithsonian has a collection of these that were donated to the organization.

Why not buy some nontraditional blooms like anthuriums or tulips, and create your own Valentine’s arrangement? Make a topiary using a bunch of tulips or roses. Or follow the color-illustrated, step-by-step instructions for other projects in Cole’s book. She has many inspiring examples that seem appropriate for the holidays. These include orchids in a copper bowl and tea roses in a silver bowl. Whatever the season she has appropriate examples of breath-taking projects.

Eventually the flowers you present to your loved one will fade, so why not include a lasting gift with that posie? Flower lovers would just love to receive stationary and note cards with floral themes. My favorite is 'Francine Barkan Bouquets,' part of the Galison Portfolio Notes series. The set of twelve notecards features four different unforgettable bouquets by this renowned artist.

Galison has also released an incredibly beautiful address book that is especially suitable for floral designers and gardeners. "An Alphabet of Flowers" begins with amaryllis and ends with Zenobia with gorgeous full-page botanical drawing of the featured blooms. The art is reproduced from historic works, such as Robert Sweet's "The British Flower Garden," published from 1831-1838.

Make this Valentine’s Day a memorable one with fresh flowers and plants.

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