During the weeks and months we spent organizing, writing, and taking photos for our new book, A Year in Flowers, we knew a key factor in sharing its message about seasonal flowers was timing. So right from the start, we intentionally set our schedule for a release date just before Valentine’s Day.
It’s one of the most flower-focused giving holidays of the year, but the reality is that few U.S. flower farms have blooms this time of year unless they have heated greenhouses. Most are just starting to sow seeds for the season ahead.
A quick Google search for “Valentine’s Day imported flowers” tells the story of where most holiday bouquets (some reports say 90%) come from. During the month before Valentine’s, the number of weekly cargo jets arriving in Miami from flower farms in Colombia and Ecuador climbs to the hundreds.
From Miami, millions of red roses and other flowers are shipped to warehouses across the country. In every truck and plane, from the time they leave South American farms, the flowers must be kept in refrigeration, which takes even more fuel.
There are other concerns, including the heavy use of plastic packaging. But we have to face the fact that the shipping alone, for this one holiday, creates a huge carbon footprint. The Environmental Protection Agency names transportation as the largest source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
We need an alternative to the tradition of red roses.
Our hearts go out to florists across the country, who struggle with this complicated situation, and we want to help. We believe that only the exposure to the beautiful alternative of local, seasonal flowers will change consumer taste and shift this industry for the better.
A Year in Flowers shows what’s possible using local flowers in season. My goal for this book has been to promote the seasonal flower movement far and wide, and that means encouraging people to think outside the box when it comes to gift-giving for this winter holiday.
For Valentine’s Day, we offer some of our favorite gift ideas that support the shift to local, seasonal flowers.
A Year in Flowers
Copies that are pre-ordered come with a bonus: a special 2-part video series, with a printable ingredient and supply list. In the videos, I take you into Floret’s fields to harvest flowers and then demonstrate how to make a beautiful hand-tied gift bouquet.
Even more importantly, your pre-order signals the significance of the seasonal flower movement. If this book becomes a bestseller, it will send a powerful message to the media, booksellers, and consumers that local flowers and the people who grow them matter.
There are many great bookseller options, including IndieBound.org, Barnes & Noble, and others. Please consider pre-ordering from booksellers beyond Amazon. You can think of your order as a gift to flower lovers everywhere.
Of course, if the flower lover in your life doesn’t already have a copy of our first book, Cut Flower Garden, that’s a great place to start. It’s a guide that provides everything you need to grow, harvest, and arrange seasonal blooms.
Local flowers (in season)
Shower someone you love with locally grown blooms by supporting a local flower farm. To find flower farms in your region, check out Floret’s Farmer-Florist Collective. Many flower farms offer bouquet subscriptions, classes, and gift certificates. Some may have dried flowers, their earliest ranunculus, or in-season crops such as pussy willow for Valentine’s Day.
Make a gift of future flowers with seeds. Floret’s seed collections are selected for color and form, and once the flowers bloom, they are guaranteed to produce abundant material for bouquets all season long. Each collection is packed in a lovely gift tin. You can also keep it simple by combining individual seed packets with other gifts or tucking them into your Valentine’s Day cards with notes.
Sweet peas can be sown indoors right around Valentine’s Day for later planting in the garden. And you can’t go wrong with a packet of cosmos, which can be direct-sown in the garden when the weather warms up to produce armloads of flowers all summer.
Floret’s handmade leather tool belts were custom-designed for us by Wheeler Munroe of Wheeler Munroe Leather Co. in North Carolina. They come in several colors and both right- and left-handed versions.
These keepsake-quality belts have been a game-changer for us, keeping essential tools within reach without adding any extra weight or strain on the back. They have room for heavy-duty pruners and flower snips or scissors, a cell phone, a pen and pencil, and a rose stripper or hand towel.
A few of my favorite paper goods we’ve created with our publisher are the Cut Flower Garden Notebook Collection, the Garden Journal, and our Postcard Set. If you’re looking for a beautiful place to land your garden sketches, or you want to send a lovely flower greeting, these are a great place to start.
I would love to hear your ideas for locally inspired Valentine’s Day gifts. What do you plan to give the flower lover in your life for this off-season holiday? Are there products you’d like to see offered that would support the shift toward seasonal flowers?
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Lastly, if you find this information helpful, I would love it if you would share it with your friends.