*This article includes mentions of merchants or brands who are partners of DoorDash, and DoorDash may receive a commission if you choose to make a purchase from these merchants or brands.
Roses are a dime a dozen on Valentine’s Day — and by “dime” we mean at least $80. Roses are beautiful and timeless, sure, but they’re also expected. Want to impress someone you love on V-Day (or any random Tuesday)? Time to get creative. A beautiful, custom bouquet doesn’t have to be incredibly expensive or complicated to make. All you have to do is chat with a florist about your preferences (or write thorough order notes online). Be sure to give them a price point, any flowers or colors you like, and let them have fun.
When I chatted with two LA-based florists at Colibri Garden Floral Design Shop, they both encouraged customization. “We love it when we’re given the freedom to have fun as florists and make something special and out of the ordinary. Something memorable,” said co-owner Jona Mendoza.
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t fret! I got some great ideas for fun, unconventional bouquets from Mendoza, his co-owner Myo Chung, and Chung’s mom — who also works at the shop and who made me a custom basket of pastries and pink flowers (more on that below!).
The best part? Colibri flowers are available for delivery on DoorDash. If you want one of these special bouquets (or have an idea of your own!), just write a thorough comment or give them a ring before ordering. Blooms away!
1. A surprisingly show-stopping carnation arrangement
Roses and peonies are “overdone,” according to Mendoza. For something different — and budget-friendly to boot — he’d opt for a dozen carnations. Mixing and matching the many colors of this versatile bloom can be a fun way to capture the vibe of the person you’re getting the bouquet for, though the monochrome look is also beautiful. (More monochrome ideas below!)
2. A single flower with main character energy
In a “go big or go home” setup, Mendoza recommends using one eye-catching flower: Here, it's a spray-painted rose. Another favorite is the King Protea, the largest type of protea, which comes in vibrant colors like burgundy, fuschia, deep red, and pink. The flower head is white and resembles an artichoke (its relative!) that unfurls more and more as it fully blooms — 5 to 12 inches in diameter! The King Protea can be surrounded by other flowers for a simple bouquet, but it’s such a powerful and stunning flower that it would impress anyone on its own. On the flip side, a few tiny blooms surrounding one big, beautiful flower can also be an impactful — and low-cost — gift.
3. A dealer’s choice monochrome bouquet
Monochrome bouquets are striking. You can go for an ombré look by choosing a single type of flower with a light-to-dark color palette, or you can choose different blooms as close to the same color as possible. Mendoza and Chung made me a pink bouquet with Hermosa roses, Oriental lilies, ginestra, jasmine, and Gerbera daisies.
4. Dried — and optionally scented! — baby bouquets
Dried flower bouquets have an ethereal beauty — and the added benefit of lasting considerably longer than fresh blooms. “Almost any flower can be dried if you hang it upside-down and let nature do the work for a few weeks,” said Mendoza. Keeping them out of direct sunlight will help retain the color, and hanging them prevents the blooms from drooping. They can also be dried sitting in an empty vase.
You can dry as many flowers as you want, but to quicken the process, choose something on the smaller side. It’s possible to buy flowers pre-dried, of course. Misty Blue, a small flower with a blue-gray-purple color, is one of the Colibri team’s favorites to dry and sell as baby bouquets. Fragrant with essential oils like lavender, they can hang in your car or sit in a small vase in the bathroom. The team also loves to spray-paint dried baby’s breath, which keeps the petals together longer.
5. Not your average edible arrangement
You can add fruit or liquor (shown here) or other consumable delights to an already made bouquet, or try your hand at making it on your own. Use flower foam with paper sticks or wire to hold up heavier edibles like pomegranates, oranges, and strawberries: Myo’s mom made a version using pastries! She suggests wrapping edibles in cellophane, as it’s more hygienic and less messy. The sticks are inserted into the flower foam and surrounded by your choice of flowers, so you can have whatever kind of food-to-flower ratio you want. It’s fun (and delicious) to go crazy mixing and matching different colors. You can also add some aromatic stems like lavender, penny eucalyptus, or rosemary to the mix.
6. A pretty plant for people who aren't "plant people"
If the person you’re gifting to claims they have the opposite of a green thumb, gift them some bamboo. This plant barely needs to be watered and symbolizes prosperity and luck, which will (hopefully) give them good fortune in not killing their new gift. Mendoza and Chung also recommend pussy willow and ZZ plants, both of which are easy to maintain a long-term relationship with.
Photos: Stan Lee
Styling: Colibri Garden Floral Design Shop