WRITTEN BY Rachael Medina
Rachael Medina is the staff writer and content manager for California.com. She was born and raised just outside the Mojave Desert in Southern California and moved to the redwood forests of Humboldt C…See full bio
Between planning a romantic night out and ordering flowers for Valentine’s Day, there’s a lot of pressure to get February’s biggest holiday right. But in the new decade, preparing doesn’t have to be so stressful. Thanks to the Golden State’s endless opportunities, it’s easier than ever to cook a seasonal meal at home, visit eateries that won’t break the bank, make your own gifts, and pick up a unique bouquet from the local florist to show your partner how you really feel.
While Valentine’s Day roses are seen as the tried-and-true choice, California’s seasonal blooms are actually the best flowers for Valentine’s Day—roses are so last year. Along with allowing for more customized Valentine’s Day flower arrangements, local flowers tend to last longer because they have a much shorter travel time—which also means they’re more eco-friendly than traditional bouquets.
February welcomes dozens of seasonal blooms throughout the Golden State, allowing you to choose your ideal Valentine’s flowers. If you’re looking for cheaper alternatives to roses, San Francisco Flower Mart is home to hundreds of seasonal flowers that are sure to complete your ideal Valentine’s bouquet. This flower market is particularly noteworthy for being one of only five grower-owned wholesale markets in the country. Visit one of the 60-plus booths and skip out on the 100-percent markups on roses by choosing between calendulas, daffodils, carnations, hydrangeas, sweet peas, tulips, and dozens of other bold blooms.
In addition to being beautiful and in season, these blooms come with specific flower meanings, so you can personalize the message to your sweetie even further. Discover the best Valentine’s flowers, and let your date know exactly how you feel.
Channel your inner Victoria Jones, from The Language of Flowers, and share your feelings with intentionally picked, meaningful flowers. Each bloom represents something different, so combining specific varieties can drastically alter the message you send. Make your bouquet count with these seasonal selects.
A bouquet of freesias and irises is the perfect way to celebrate friendship. Freesias acknowledge lasting friendship and thoughtfulness, while irises represent hope and convey that your friendship means a lot. While a friend-zone flower arrangement might not have been on your to-do list, Valentine’s Day is a great time to share some love—even if it’s platonic.
A vibrant spring bouquet evokes the essence of new love; it’s fun, exciting, and unexpected. Combine poppies, ranunculus, and sweet peas to make the most of California’s brilliant blooms. Sweet peas say, “thanks for a lovely time”; scarlet poppies represent fantastic extravagance; yellow poppies symbolize wealth and success; and ranunculus express generosity, cheerfulness, and dazzling charm. Your new partner is sure to be delighted with this bespoke combo.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to express your feelings, so if that special person is still on your mind, consider sending him or her an arrangement of daffodils, statice, and strawflowers. Daffodils represent unrequited love, new beginnings, and faith—along with honesty—so they’re sure to say “you’re the only one” to the one who got away. Pair the flowers with statice, which means “I miss you”, and strawflower for never-ending remembrance.
Once you’ve found the one you can’t live without, express your devotion by treating him or her to an extra-special bouquet around Valentine’s Day. Blend the constancy and affection of calendulas, pure love of carnations, devotion and perseverance of hydrangeas, and happy years of tulips to show how hopelessly in love you really are.
Share your favorite Valentine’s flowers with us in the comments below.
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