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5 Flowery Ways to Say ‘I Love You’ (& Support Farmers, Artisans and Creatives)

by Sabrina Smelko

Floret_Valentines

Valentine’s Day usually conjures up visions of red roses (okay, and chocolate), and while gifting roses is a lovely gesture, it’s also a tired one. Today, there are so many better floral options that not only deliver on variety, but encourage more sustainable practices and support local flower farmers in your area. Giving you enough time to call in your pre-orders, we’re welcoming back Erin Benzakein of (who joined us recently to share a series of business tips), an expert on all things floral, to shed some light and impart her insight on the topic.

Whether you’re buying for a loved one, for yourself, or simply looking to spruce up the vase on your dining table this weekend, Erin has put together a blossoming source list of pop-up shops, subscription services, and workshops across all of North America to consider, as well as recommendations for unique gift ideas for your flower-loving Valentine(s). Enjoy!

Looking for a special way to show your affection to the flower-lover in your life? Ditch the boring red roses and shower your sweetheart with a seasonal and sustainable gift that supports hardworking flower farmers, seasonal floral designers, artisans and creatives who bring so much beauty to our communities and our lives.

Here are a few ideas with heart:

Give a bouquet subscription from a local flower farm: There are many names to describe this service including flower share, bouquet CSA, and flower subscription, but the concept is basically the same. Similar to the popular produce CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), a bouquet CSA involves making an upfront investment in a flower farm’s harvest for the season. As a subscriber, you receive a weekly, biweekly or monthly bouquet featuring the best of what is blooming and in season.  Most bouquet subscriptions are available for pick-up, but some flower farms also offer delivery. Few flower farms have blooms this time of year, but many offer this option as a gift certificate for Valentine’s Day. A bouquet share is a great way to support local flower farms and shower someone you love with locally-grown blooms all season long.

For a fun, floral twist on this theme, check out “Hero Subscription” of six bouquets of their locally-grown flowers: one for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas and one “just because” date of your choosing. A brilliant idea!

Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post for a listing of bouquet subscriptions available from great flower farms from across the country.

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Visit a floral “Pop-Up” shop: Around Valentine’s Day, these temporary little flower stalls will be popping up all over the country. Whether these short-term shops occupy previously vacant retail stores, the corner of a coffee shop or simply sidewalk space, you won’t want to miss out on all of the beautiful things these creatives have put together. A growing number of studio floral designers (those without brick-and-mortar storefronts) are teaming up with other small businesses including cafes, restaurants, chocolate shops, spas, bakeries and even poets to offer unusual, handcrafted gift packages with lovely, unconventional bouquets. Keep an eye out for these pop-ups in your area, and be sure to pre-order, because their offerings usually sell out fast. A few that caught my eye are listed below.

Support “Slow Flowers” Florists: On the heels of the Slow Food and “locavore” movement, consumers and floral designers are hungry for locally-grown blooms. Whether it is based on concern for the carbon footprint of flowers imported from faraway lands, or the simple fact that (like tomatoes in August) flowers are freshest when grown locally, consumers are making a conscientious effort to seek out U.S.-grown flowers. Thanks to the , you can find designers and U.S. flower farmers and purveyors dedicated to providing sustainable, domestically grown blooms.

Give the gift of future flowers — seeds:  Nothing says “I love you” like an envelope full of potential and future beauty. Flower seeds in pretty packaging are a sure to warm any gardener or flower lover’s heart this season. The packets combine beautifully with other gifts or tuck easily into your Valentine’s card. My quick picks for Valentine’s Day:

  • Sweet Peas: These romantic, old-fashioned favorites are easy to grow and smell heavenly. And with names like as “” and “,” what’s not to love?
  • Chocolate Lace Flower: Continue this sweet theme by pairing some fair-trade chocolate with a packet of seeds, a frilly flower that designers are fighting to get their hands on.
  • Larkspur “Earl Gray”: Consider combining a packet of with a box of specialty tea with the same name.

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Give the gift of learning: a ticket to a floral design workshop: There’s something deeply satisfying about making something with your own two hands. These days, it seems we’re all hungry for hands-on, screen-free opportunities to learn a craft, whether it’s knitting, cooking or brewing your own craft beer. Let me just say that these are NOT your vocational school floral design classes from decades ago. Ranging from ultra-luxe events set in 5-star resorts to small-scale gatherings in cutting gardens, floral design workshops continue to be super popular (all seven of our 3-day workshops sold out within a week) and a great opportunity to learn through a full sensory immersion.

Some designers offer creative combinations of bouquets and bubbly (or brews!), which can make the perfect Valentine — or Gal-entine — gift! A selection of flower workshops is listed below, ranging from laid-back local gatherings to luxe destination experiences.

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WORKSHOPS

Luxe offerings:

, Seattle, WA

, various locations

, various locations

, Asheville, NC

, various locations

, Northern Michigan

, various locations

, various locations

, Waterford, VA

, various locations

, various locations

Short sessions or farm-focused affairs:

Poland, OH

Ann Arbor, MI

, Newington, CT

, Seattle, WA

, Lima, OH

, Baltimore, MD

, Philadelphia, PA

, Philadelphia, PA

, Vacaville, CA

, Madison County, IA

, Columbus, OH

, Seattle, WA

, Seattle, WA

, Bellingham, WA

, NYC and Los Angeles

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Flower farms that offer a Flower Share, Bouquet CSA, or other subscription option:  

Alaska

Arizona

California

Illinois

Iowa

Maine

Massachussetts

Michigan

Nebraska

New Hampshire

New York

Chicory Blue Flowers

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Texas

.

Tennessee

Virginia

Washington

Wisconsin

Some of our flower friends in Canada including , , , , and many others offer similar bouquet subscriptions. It is an exciting trend that is just one of several creative sales outlets for flower farmers that make up this vibrant, seasonal flower movement.

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A selection of pop-ups from across the continent:

U.S.

Pick up wine, chocolate and flowers from  in Blacksburg, VA.

Flowers by are teaming up in Providence, RI to offer florals unique jewelry and home décor.

In Salt Lake City, find floral wraps by Sarah Winward at local jewelry shop, .

In Winter Park, FL, is teaming up with Pure Blends Organic Spa & Apothecary to offer flowers, pound cake, and spa gift card.

will offer fresh florals at a pop-up at Patina Home & Garden in Fairfield, CA.

In Bend, OR, will be popping up in two locations across town.

Clara’s Garden is teaming up with local clothing store, , to offer fresh florals in Burlington, IA.

Becca Blue will have a pop-up inside in Chicago, IL.

will be happening at Stone Fruit Coffee in Canfield, OH.

In Marietta, OH, is teaming up with Teri Ann’s and Putnam Chocolates to offer fresh flowers and sweets.

In Sioux City, IA, will have their monthly pop-up sale.

in Cincinnati, OH will be popping up at Anthropologie.

Pick up coffee and flowers in Pittsburgh, PA at .

In St. Louis, is popping up in several places across the city.

In Raleigh, NC there are at least two pop-ups: will be on Blounte Street and will be at .

In Detroit, MI, Wild Blume will be setting up shop at

In Troy, NY, check out Buds + Brews with  where you can make your own bouquet while sipping a beer (to get your creative juices flowing)!

will have a Pop-Up shop at City and State in Memphis, TN.

 is hosting a weekend pop-up shop in their studio (in Philadelphia, PA, of course).

Canada

will be offering flowers at The Blue Moose Coffee House in Hope, British Columbia.

Blossom and Vine will have a Valentine’s pop-up shop at in New Westminster BC.

In Calgary, will have a pop-up within West Elm.


 

Know of a workshop, bouquet share, or pop-up shop that is not on this list? Be sure to include it in a comment below. Thanks for sharing the local flower love!   

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Comments

  • Love it! I also own Pine State Flowers in Durham, NC — the first flower shop in the state to source exclusively from local flower farmers. Looks like lots of opportunities in NC for local flowers!

  • Thanks so much for this information and feature! I noticed that the link to my business, Chloris Floral isn’t correct, can you fix it when you have a chance? Thanks much!

    Best,

    Betany with Chloris Floral

    . com

  • Tanglebloom Flower Farm in southern Vermont offers Flower CSA Shares. Choose from a weekly or bi-weekly bounty of fresh picked flowers. Bouquet or bucket option, share with a friend or for businesses too! Members invited to the farm to roam the field for a pick-your-own flowers event this summer.

  • I was very excited to see that one of the pop up shops will be in Ottawa! Unfortunately, looks as though Wild Rabbit Flowers and the Blue Moose Coffee House are located in BC. Might want to double check that one.

  • In Saint Louis: City House Country Mouse will also be at Zee Bee Market Fri 5-8p and Sat 11a-2p. Thank you for mentioning Alice Blue too – she is great! Thanks for the post.

  • Dragonfly Floral School in Healdsburg has wonderful classes all year long, a 6 month Apprenticeship Program, a trip to Holland this Spring and so much more! All this at a 6-acre organic flower farm in the heart of Healdsburg, (Sonoma County) CA. Our farm is open to the public 7 days a week for strolling, picnicking and frolicking with our chickens & ducks. Come see our slice of paradise for yourself!

  • Offering workshops catered to the DIY bride and DIY events/nonprofits

    Amazing list! Teary eyed here too – I wish I had sent you my info last week!

  • These are fabulous ideas! Thank you!!

    For the past four year years, my husband buys dahlia tubers to give to me on Valentine’s Day instead of the typical roses or carnations. This is another way to support flower farmers.

  • René van Rems AIFD has floral workshops throughout the year in the San Diego, CA area. He specializes in the “business of design” and his next workshop is in Apr. See the link below for the flyer:

  • Thankyou for spreading the word about buying from local growers. While we were not mentioned I appreciate the article and hope it inspires lots of folks to go out and support their local provider of locally grown blooms .

  • This post is incredible. So thoughtful to actually think about sending flowers, caring where they come from and also providing a learning experience for flower lovers as well! Florists are rarely praised at this time of year…there’s a lot of passion and hard work that goes into this design gig!

  • Red Daisy Farm offering a 6 week- 14 week Flower Share. Pick up at the farm or delivery within a 20 mile radius, Brighton, Colorado! . Also find us on Instagram under Red Daisy Farm!
    Thanks so much!
    Meg

  • Hidden Hive Flowers offers a seasonal flower share CSA and more for folks in the Chicagoland area!

    We’re a family flower farm and design studio specializing in growing beautiful, unique and heirloom flowers for weddings, special events, farmers markets, CSA and wholesale/retail.

    Come check us out at , on Instagram and Facebook.

    Thanks for supporting your local flower farmer!

  • Seattle Wholesale Growers Market! Debra Prinzing Slow Flowers has written and podcasted about this co operative. Seattle Wholesale Growers Market (the flower farmers and staff) is a shinning example of creativity, vision, hard work and beauty. It is open to the public on Fridays. Consider supporting the florists that support the SWGM. Lisa Waud of the Flower House was just there for a workshop and lecture. More great stuff to come.
    The farmers who belong to the co op grow the most beautiful flowers around and they are politically active in their “spare time” trying to improve the lives of small business people and American farmers. Their story is a fascinating one focusing on community by helping all members to excel.

  • Bouquets by Mary is offering a floral pop up shop in Bird on a Wire Creations on Feb 13 and 14 in Vancouver, Canada.

  • Thank You for this Awesome list and ideas!!! It looks like I need to add a flower CSA to The Never Ending Flower Farm! We are looking forward to serving Western NC with our local grown flowers!

  • It’s great to see Wild Blume on your list. However, they are located in Bozeman, Montana as is Wild Joe’s where the pop up will be not in Detroit, MI.

  • Don’t forget Twig and Vine designs, who’s supplying the flowers for our CSA this year! What could be better than fresh local food, and a fresh bouquet of flowers during the summer!!!

  • Floriculture Micro Farm, serving Southern PA and Northern MD, offers seasonal, Bouquet Subscriptions, wedding designs and we participate in local markets/events selling fresh, local, bunches of love. floriculturemicrofarm.com

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