Best flowers for your Valentine?

Here are our top picks, based on personality, style

By Marielle Gallagher / The Bulletin

Published Feb 11, 2014 at 12:11AM

Roses are red, violets are blue, and this Valentine’s Day we’re helping tap the inner florist in you.

Instead of grabbing a dozen red roses like seemingly everyone else, consider making your own bouquet, designed with your valentine’s personality in mind. Grocery stores offer a slew of cellophane-wrapped flowers from which to choose in order to create a custom bouquet. Using some of our tips provided here, we think you’ll be able to create a wow-worthy bouquet using grocery-store flowers.

When you arrive in the floral department, check out the bunches of single types of flowers rather than the prearranged bouquets. Look for freesia, tulips, roses or lilies. Then consider your valentine. Does your valentine like big punchy color or more muted tones? Does the gift recipient have a formal style or is this individual a bit more whimsical? Once you’ve established a color palette and aesthetic, you can get to work picking and choosing different types of flowers to create a bouquet that fits your valentine’s style. We’ve put together several vastly different looks to suit different types of valentines.

Once you’ve selected the flowers, the fun part begins. Take the flowers home and cut away all the cellophane wrapping because you’ll want to build your arrangement stem by stem. Prep your vase by adding the water and any flower food, which usually comes in a packet with your flowers. Just before you add flowers to the vase, use a sharp pair of scissors to snip off at least an inch of the stem. This will help the flowers stay fresh longer.

Chic

Where: Flowers in this bouquet are from Trader Joe’s

Total cost: $39.93

This look is understated, classic and clean. This bouquet is primarily a soft peach and white with just a few pops of color provided by the raspberry-colored tulips and the purple centers of the lilies. To make this bouquet, we picked up one bunch of white freesia, which is wonderful as a filler around the showy blooms. We also got three bunches of oriental lilies in both white and white with a purple center, one bouquet of raspberry-colored tulips, one peach-colored bunch of alstromeria and a group of five blooming branches in purple to add height.

We wanted to arrange this bouquet in an unconventional container, so we started with a silver wine bucket. Because this has a larger mouth than a typical vase, we made a grid across the top with tape to help the flowers stay centered and keep them from all falling to one side.

Once the grid was in place, we established the front of the vase and then began adding the freesia and the alstromeria to the left and then the right and then the back sides of the grid. Once those were in place, we added the lilies in the front half of the grid, alternating white and then white with the purple center. To finish, we added the tulips around the front and side of the bouquet and then placed three of the blooming branches in the middle and back half of the grid. The lily bouquets came with wonderful drapey grass, so the finishing touch was to add the grass throughout the bouquet for some additional height and texture. Lilies are long-lasting flowers and will bloom for about 10 days. The blooming branches will bloom out over the next few days and also offer long-lasting blooms.

Wild child

Where: Flowers in this bouquet are from Trader Joe’s

Total cost: $23.96

This bouquet evokes a spring day complete with the sunshine. The flower choices in this bouquet are less formal in order to create a wildflower look. It’s a combination of two stems of gerbera daisies in a pale orange, one stem of yellow day lilies, two bouquets of freesia, one in red-orange and another in yellow, one bouquet of raspberry-colored tulips and two stems of yellow chrysanthemums. We used a glass vase that we found at a local thrift store for a couple of dollars. The mouth was narrow enough that we could arrange without the help of a tape grid. We began the arrangement with the taller flowers — freesia and chrysanthemum. Freesia has a series of flower pods at the top of the stem and usually curves left or right, so we positioned the ones on the right to point out to the right and vice versa for the left side of the vase. We then added the tall gerbera daisies on either side of the vase and the yellow lilies front and center. To finish, we dropped in a few tulips to drape over the side of the vase in the front and finished with the tall grass that came in the cellophane with the lilies.

Easy-going

Where: Plants in this bouquet are from Cascade Garden Center Florist and Nursery in Bend.

Prices: Small tillandsia $2.95-$7.95, medium $8-$12 and large $17-$20

Total cost: $69.70, includes only the tillandsia

If your valentine would prefer something that will outlast cut flowers, we found tillandsia, also known as air plants, to be a fun twist on Valentine’s Day flowers. Tillandsia comes in a wide variety of looks, but we focused on the ones that were available in a blooming variety and in pink or frosty white colors. Tillandsia doesn’t have a root system and will live in a variety of locations, including on a piece of burl wood or a log, in some sand or in a glass bowl. To care for it, just mist it with water twice a week.

We found a large variety of tillandsia plants at Cascade Garden Center Florist and Nursery and put together a fun combination in a large fish bowl. The base of the bowl is filled with river rock. Willow branches snake around the side of the bowl and pink tillandsia balances on decorative lichen moss tucked in the willow. The main flower in the arrangement is a pink blooming tillandsia situated in the base of the bowl. For a simple elegant variation on this arrangement try placing one small pink tillandsia in a hanging glass ornament.

Simple and sweet

Where: Flowers in these bouquets are from Whole Foods

Total cost: $9.99 for the tulip and mason jar bouquet, $19 for the rose and thistle in a rectangular vase bouquet

Possibly the easiest bouquet to assemble in our round-up is this simple, spring-inspired bouquet of tulips in pink and white. This pre-arranged bouquet in a mason jar even comes complete with the raffia bow, so no arranging skills are necessary. A wider selection of tulip colors, both with frayed- and smooth-edges, are available for putting in any shape of vase. The frayed spring tulips from Washington are a unique twist on a traditional tulip.

Another similarly shaped bouquet was assembled using one bunch of orange spray roses in a rectangular vase. They were arranged in a pavé style, meaning the surface of the bouquet moves from bloom to bloom. To add a spunky edge to the look, Annie Alcorn, floral specialist at Whole Foods, added blue thistle along the rim of the vase. To finish, a white ribbon was tied in a bow around the neck of the vase.

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