I Honestly Love You

Happy (belated) Valentines Day, a floral designers worst nightmare. The day when your own loved ones get no love! I made it though and am out on the other side!

Five years ago, the owner of the flower shop decided NOT to sell roses on Valentines Day.

                                     Just say No!

There had been a freeze in Ecuador where 99% of our roses come from, and the quality was not there. Actually I have seen the quality of roses at Valentines Day declining over the twenty years that I have been a florist. There is just too much demand for one day.

OMG, how would this work.

The first year was difficult. You would have a customer either call or come in to order a dozen red roses. Then you would have to go into your spiel. But by the end of it, they agreed (probably mostly to get away from you). But every year after that it was easier. Mostly the sender would rave on about how happy their wife/partner had been the previous year, and gave us the freedom to do whatever we wanted.

A few peoples wanted vases.

But, 99.9% of our customers were looking for a bouquet.

Whether romantic,

or vibrant,

My fav, all white and green,

tropical colours,


and soft pastel.

Another year, done and dusted!


50 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Edith Hope said,

    Dear D, Congratulations for coming through! Personally, I hate those nasty, tight budded, never to open, red roses. Personally, I should have been thrilled to receive any one of these superb arrangements that you have pictured. But, PERSONALLY, my favourite has to be, like yours, the green and white. Absolutely lovely.

    Welcome back again!

    • 2

      Thanks for the Welcome Edith! There are too many of those nasty roses being sold, consumers buy them and then have a bad experience, it puts them off buying any other flowers. I am glad that you have the good taste to pick my fav as your fav, how can you go wrong with a classic!

  2. 3

    Barbara said,

    I love all your bouquets, but especially the all-white one. That’s what I usually choose for birthday bouquets for my girlfriends. It’s a courageous and original decision for a florist not to do roses on Valentine’s Day! As far as roses go: did you see my post on Fairtrade roses for Valentine’s Day? I’d be interested to hear your take on that. I’ve had very good experiences with them. Also, I wanted to ask you if you’re also having trouble accessing Blotanical – I haven’t been able to access the website for 2 days now.

    • 4

      Barbara, the owner was a bit worried at the beginning, but it all worked out for her. I will come over and check out your post on the Fairtrade roses, I have heard a few things, but have no personal experience with them.
      I cannot get into Blotanical either!

  3. 5

    Barbara H. said,

    Beautiful, beautiful. Welcome back. Glad you made it through. I know your customers must have been very happy!

  4. 7

    Melissa said,

    All of these are GORGEOUS. Inspired choices, beautiful combinations. Like Edith, bunches of roses leave me cold most of the time. If I’m sticking to one flower alone, give me tulips any time, but I love your artistry. Nice to have you back, although I’m not sure what’s going on with Blotanical’s website today – I came to you directly.

    • 8

      Melissa, I love tulips as well. When we were first married (before I became a floral designer) my husband used to send me tulips for Valentines Day. We had them at our wedding, he is very sentimental.
      I hear that Stuart is changing the server on Blotanical, bit of a pain.

  5. 9

    Beautiful, classy arrangements, lots of creativity there. The tropical colors one was my favorite, closely followed by the romantic arrangement. (Those orchids are swoon-worthy!)

    Glad I could help you out with the information on Blotanical. I was a wee bit annoyed, myself; for a while this morning I fantasized that perhaps I’d been kicked out for some unrecorded infraction, and no one was going to say anything, LOL. When checking out another garden blog, I discovered the tweet.

    I don’t do twitter, myself. The mere idea is laughable since it was only in 2009 that I finally accepted to use a cell phone at all, and that for talking only! 😉

    Hope you get some rest after your V-day ordeal!

    • 10

      Thanks Meredith, the orchids are lovely are they not.
      A message on Blotanical for the past week about it going down, would have saved a lot of aggravation. I do not Twitter, I do not have that interesting a life!

  6. 11

    Red roses always mean funerals to me – don’t know why. Must admit that I’m loving the light pink roses my new hubby got me this year.
    Love the soft pastel bouquet.
    Hopefully you got some well deserved rest today on Family Day.

  7. 13

    I know you must be exhausted Deborah! The pressure to celebrate special ways of saying I love you or any holiday on just one day is quite insane in my opinion. Lovely lush bouquets! As for the way the floral industry mass produces roses for Va Day… well best not go there. I admire your shops original and daring step off that mad train.

  8. 15

    Yes to no roses on v-day!!! I finally told my husband flat out last valentines day not to give me roses anymore. There are just so many ways to be creative with cut flowers (or flowering plants). This year I got a lovely pot of calla lilies. Good boy! Thanks for showing what a bounty of creativity lies out there.

  9. 17

    Yes, please! I will take one of those romantic bouquets!

    They are all lovely. I have made it clear to hubby to find something besides roses if he is going to choose flowers as a gift. A thick bunch of white tulips will do it for me this time of year, really.

    Glad you made it through, Deborah! 🙂

    • 18

      I am glad that you like them Ms. S, we had white tulips at our wedding, and I used to get them when we were first married. Now that I am a floral designer, the only flowers I get are the ones that I bring home.

  10. 19

    GloriaBonde said,

    Lovely, lovely, lovely

  11. 21

    gardeningasylum said,

    Agree with everyone above – those bouquets are so much more alive than a bunch of red hybrid teas – beautiful!

  12. 23

    Teza said,

    And leave it to you to woo me with any [although like the concensus of respodants, I prefer the grren and white] of these wonderful bouquets, but, just not on Valentine’s Day! $14B just to remember to say ‘I Love You,’ on one specifically designated day of the year, I just don’t see the reasoning…. but then in your line of work, that would be akin to biting the hand that feeds! They are all stunning works of artistic and creative talent. Gorgeous!

  13. 25

    Rosie said,

    spectacular masterpieces of art there Deborah. Hopefully you’ll now have caught up on your sleep. I am so glad that you don’t do those roses – so many other beautiful flowers to choose from – personally I think a bunch of roses is quite boring while in one of those bouquets of yours there’s so much more to look at.

  14. 27

    Wow, the white and green is my favorite too, it’s beautiful! What a bold move to not sell roses, I’m glad it’s getting easier. I somehow missed this post, being without Blotanical has left me a little confused lol. Hope all is well with you! 🙂 Rebecca

  15. 29

    Wow! Those are the most beautiful flower bouquets I’ve seen yet! (Not a fan of roses – shhh). It’s like walking into a garden in full bloom. Thank you for sharing.

  16. 31

    Hi Deborah, I’m glad you made it through Valentines Day! I love the flower arrangements you show! Put me down for the romantic or soft pastel, should my hubby ever come in and ask! I have been working 12 hour shifts the last few days and just now found out what was going on with Blotanical. I was worried! Thanks for visiting my site and commenting on my Japanese maples. They are my favorite trees ( I suppose you already know that!). I hope the ones you planted do well.

    • 32

      Thanks Deborah. I have marked the ones you like in my mind, get your husband to call me, I’ll hook you up. Isn’t it a shame about Blotanical, hopefully it will be back on-line soon.
      I have my fingers crossed for the J maples.

  17. 33

    Laurrie said,

    Amy Stewart’s book Flower Confidential was an eye opener to me about the conditions and economics under which third world countries grow cut roses for us. Fascinating reading. I got red roses for Valentine’s Day and was pretty conflicted: loved the sentiment, despaired knowing how and where they were grown, and wished for something more creative. A lot like love itself — a big mess!

  18. 35

    patandhenry said,

    I have a rose garden and I’m happy to have roses in season. When I read Amy Stewart’s book I became very aware of the environmental problems that can come with commercial flowers. Now I try to g row more flowers in the garden for cutting so that I can have them for gift bouquets, or for church. Of course, in New England that is no help come Valentine’s Day. Your photos are gorgeous. Good ideas for next summer. Thanks.
    So says the commonweeder. I can in under the ‘wrong’ account.

  19. 37

    Anna said,

    Hope that you have recovered! I would be happy with any of them apart from tropical colours. No flowers for me this year – a bottle of wine instead 😦 Will have to drop more hints next time round.

  20. 39

    miss m said,

    Hurray ! You survived another Valentine’s Day !
    Fabulous work, Deborah. The bouquets are superb !

  21. 41

    Joy said,

    Deborah my absolute favorite is the white and green only, bouquet .. I will never forget the one given to me in Holland by our Dutch neighbors .. it was the most stunning I have ever seen yet .. just gorgeous.
    I think it is wonderful to have the “other” flowers for Valentine’s Day .. I think women would choose differently if actually asked instead of the guys thinking it has to be red roses blah blah blah ?
    I’ll make sure you see pictures of my hunky landscapers girl ? LOL

  22. 43

    Liisa said,

    I’m glad you made it through the madness. 😉 These arrangements are absolutely beautiful, and I don’t think I could narrow it down to one favorite. I hope you were able to enjoy Valentine’s Day, despite being so busy!

  23. 45

    How gorgeous those arrangements are! I really need to show these to my husband, who (even after I asked him LAST YEAR to please NOT give me cut roses) DID IT ANYWAY again this year!! But he meant well, I know that;-) I have read so much about the conditions under which they are grown and picked, etc…and if we can’t get them ‘locally’ grown not to get them at all. Well, my fave out of all of those must be the…oh, I would be thrilled to receive any one of them. Too gorgeous to choose (and I’m too tired to bother!!)….

  24. 47

    Brian said,

    Beautiful fresh arrangements…very like ours at my shop. We also encourage using ANYTHING but roses on Valentine’s day, a few tucked in, but we sent people to the grocery store when that’s all they want. Here’s to an early Spring!

    • 48

      Brian, the quality of the roses at Valentines Day, and for a couple of weeks after, are just not great. As you know, there are so many amazing flowers out there, who wouldn’t want them instead of the same old roses.
      Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment, I hope that I will see you again soon.

  25. 49

    gardenmad said,

    I loved looking at all your beautiful bouquets. To me, (also a florist) they’re just so much more lush and lovely than all rose arrangements. Well done!

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