Some romantic gestures are classic for good reason (looking at you, jewelry), while others can feel a little stale. For example, when you think of the typical Valentine's Day floral ideas, a certain bloom probably comes to mind — for better or worse. Listen, there's absolutely nothing wrong with roses, but if this year you want to switch things up with some less predictable stems, whether for yourself or someone else to whom you're showing your appreciation and love, it's good to know you've got options.
Arguably, all flowers are stunning in their own unique way, and if you're a floral aficionado, you'd probably be happy with a bouquet filled with whatever. But according to industry experts, there are a few standouts when it comes to blooms that give the romantic sensibility of roses without feeling as cliché. And whether you're doing some simple arranging DIY-style or you're leaving it up to the pros, you might benefit from their advice when it comes to creating an arrangement that's gorgeously out-of-the-box.
That said, who better to consult than Christina Stembel, founder and CEO of Farmgirl Flowers if you're selecting buds for the occasion? Ahead, find five flowers that just might sway you from getting roses again this year. Now the candles and chocolate? Those can stay.
"When they’re in season (and even when they’re not) just about everyone loves peonies," explains Stembel. "But for something a little more evergreen, ranunculus (or what we call the peony’s little sister) is a great Plan B! Ranunculus boast the same high petal count as peonies and come in just about every color under the sun so there’s a little something for everyone. We love a handful of them styled all on their own, heights staggered, in a simple glass vase."
"There are a few flowers that we know are guaranteed showstoppers: Peonies (of course), ranunculus, and anemones," the floral expert says. "With their delicate, paper-like petals and the deep, blue-black centers our favorite varieties sport, these stunners are a go-to when we want to make a statement."
"When most people think tulips they think of the incredibly bright, run-of-the-mill varieties you see bucketed and wrapped in plastic at your local grocery store," Stembel says. "But tulips can be so much more! Look for 'fancy' varieties — like double, fringed or peony — and prepare to be wowed! These extra special types sport double, triple, or quadruple the petal count of standard stems and frilly, textured edges are anything but ordinary!"
"Orchids aren’t just for your grandmother’s greenhouse anymore," says Stembel. "Cymbidium orchids are one of our favorite varieties to style solo in a vase. Their tall, slender stalks come stacked with blooms. A few stems in a vase is a classic and beautiful change of pace from a dozen roses."
According to Stembel, roses aren't the only option if you're looking to create an intoxicatingly fragrant bouquet. "If you're looking for something sweet smelling for the holiday, opt for a handful for hyacinths," she offers. "Each stalk comes absolutely overflowing with tiny, star-shaped blooms that can fill any room with their incredible scent."