Notes from a Flower Farm: DIY Valentine's Day Posies and Arrangements
How to make posies and small bouquets for Valentine's Day.
This how-to guide first ran on our site in 2011, but is so great, we wanted to bring it to your attention again this year!
It’s so easy to be cynical about Valentine’s Day, but really, who doesn’t love a little love? As much as some of us may resent the pressure to deliver a gift on this particular mid-winter day, I prefer to see February 14th as a great excuse to do something lovely for the people I adore.
Maybe it’s because I have a 5-year-old daughter lost in a world of unicorns and pastels, or maybe it’s because I’m craving sweetness and light during a wet and gray Seattle winter: either way, this year my head is filled with visions of pink cotton candy clouds and lacy paper valentines. This year is also my first Valentine’s Day with a flower shop, which as you might imagine, is THE DAY for florists. Or at least we hope it will be. And while my shop, Marigold and Mint, will happily provide extravagant arrangements for those who want them, I am excited about translating my spun-sugar visions into flower gifts that are sensual, yet delicate and sweet.
Two easy ideas for Valentine's Day are a posy of flowers in a paper cone and mini-bouquets in vintage glassware. I've included all of the instructions on how-to DIY in this slide show.
Marigold and Mint is an organic farm, a retail shop and a studio. The farm is situated along the Snoqualmie River, about 30 miles east of Seattle and the shop is located in the Melrose Market on Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 2008 by owner Katherine Anderson, Marigold and Mint reflects her lifetime love of flowers and landscapes. Trained as a landscape architect, she brings her affection for both clean and clear design and intricate patterns to Marigold and Mint.
I collect little vintage vessels whenever I find them, and for this project I’ve gathered amber glasses from the 1920s, silver-rimmed cups, mercury glass, and slim, frosted, pink, lady-like glasses that I found at an antique store. Of course, inexpensive clear juice glasses from a kitchen store would work just fine, too.
I want flowers with fragrance for my posies, and creamy double heirloom daffodils fit the bill. Their perfume is heavy like a gardenia's and adds a sensuousness that is just right for Valentine’s Day.
Right now, I prefer these mini-bouquets to be all one flower, but often in the shop we will have three to five different flowers and herbs in a posy. In any case, pale green snowball viburnum and deep pink garden roses also capture the frothy elegance that I am after for Valentine’s Day.
It seems almost silly to instruct anyone on how to arrange flowers in a little glass, but there are a few things that are important: clean glassware, cool water, and fresh cuts on your flowers.
You can put in just a few stems, or pack it with blooms. Just keep the proportions right: in a delicate glass, the flowers shouldn’t be too tall for both aesthetic and practical reasons. Be sure to put enough water in the glass so that the flowers don’t tip it over.
If you're giving the arrangements away, try making these sweet paper cones as posy holders. I chose Italian wrapping paper, but you could use any sturdy paper.
Once you’ve cut out the circle, cut out one quarter of it. This allows for a double-thickness of paper when you roll up the cone, though you could get away with using just half a circle.
You can fill the cone with one large flower or a handful tied together.
If you're putting in more than one flower, it helps to tie the stems with a bit of twine to keep them together in the cone. If you won’t be delivering your valentine immediately, I would recommend sliding the stems into a floral water tube and then into the cone. And you really want just the flowers to show—no gangly stems growing out of the cone—so that the blooms look like a powder puff or an ice cream scoop of flowers and fragrance atop a cone.
In the Northwest, daffodils bloom as early as February. They are a bit of brightness in the winter gloom—even the yellow ones, which can be tiresome later on—and a sign of the coming spring, just like Valentine’s Day is a bit of color in the cold. Have fun with Valentine's Day, as I have in my choice of fragrant double narcissuses (I like using ‘Erlicheer’ and ‘Bridal Crown’).
The narcissuses are almost a bit too much, with their heavy perfume and their messy, overflowing blooms, but unquestionably, they are some of the most sensual flowers. They are almost overwhelming, but, to counteract their lush abundance, the bouquets are sweet and small. Just what I want to give to everyone I adore.