Valentine’s Day is coming, and it’s a Sunday this year, folks: Will you be ready? At St. Louis Park’s Arts & Flowers Design Studio, a full-service flower shop serving customers (even forgetful ones) for 14 years, everyone’s ready. Front house manager Amy McTavish, owner/designer Steven Ward and a staff of full-time and freelance designers are at your service for Valentine’s Day and every other day of the year.
Except maybe Sundays. “We’re usually closed on Sundays, so we’re not sure what we’re going to do about Valentine’s Day yet,” says McTavish. “We’re dealing with men who have to buy flowers. They’re going to have to call ahead.” And if they remember (or are, perhaps, gently reminded) to call ahead, what can they expect from a Valentine’s Day order with Arts & Flowers?
Not ribbons, sparkles and balloons, says McTavish. Nor will they find cookie-cutter flower arrangements offered by price or recipe. “Our designers do unique arrangements every day.” If the shop has a signature look, says McTavish, it is variety—of color, flowers and arrangements. “Steve really likes to mix it up,” she adds. Arts & Flowers purchases flowers locally (from farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin), and around the world (from The Netherlands and South America).
Here are a few of their suggestions for lovers who are looking for innovative Valentine’s gifts this year.
Roses to Dry For
One unique idea, says McTavish, is “Roses to Dry For,” an arrangement in a ceramic, metallic or even sculptural vase rather than simple glass. It features roses and a variety of other flowers and greenery, all with their stems cut quite short. Why this unusual low-profile arrangement? “The flowers are chosen and arranged to dry in place,” says McTavish. “They look great fresh and also weeks later when the flowers have dried.” Examples of these and other arrangements can be found in the Gallery section of the Arts & Flowers website.
Mixing It Up
Were you thinking of a more traditional gift for your Valentine? “Many people want long-stemmed roses, and to keep it simple,” says McTavish. “We can certainly do that, but we’d encourage adding in a few other flowers, like tropicals, for example. They may cost slightly more per stem, but they often last longer.” Once the red roses fade, your sweetheart can still enjoy spiked anthurium, showy gingers, red, orange and yellow pincushions, and a near-limitless variety of orchids. Tulips make a nice complement to roses, too, says McTavish.
On a Budget
Is your budget on the low side? “We will certainly do single long-stemmed roses. And for $20 we can put together a nice vase with a pretty pop of color that includes at least one rose,” says McTavish.
The shop also has non-floral gifts. “We often have chocolates, and in the past we’ve offered cupcakes,” says McTavish. There are candles, wicker and metallic buckets, baskets, plant holders, ceramics, and even a section with stuffed animals. And on the long wooden counter you’ll always find colorful and fragrant ready-made arrangements, available most days for the planning-challenged.
But remember: Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday this year. Call ahead to see if the store will be open. And if it’s not, be ready. Be unique. Order!