Valentine's Day - where to buy your flowers
Independent florists in both Edinburgh and Glasgow advise thinking beyond roses
‘Red roses are absolutely the worst thing you can buy at Valentine’s time,’ says Esther Kuck, the florist behind The Wild Flower Shop in Portobello. ‘You can spend £70 on a dozen red roses, which is just mad. They probably won’t be good quality, and they are definitely not good value at this time of year.’ Instead, Kuck sources flowers that are grown naturally, without greenhouses. Just as shoppers have become more aware of their ‘food miles’, and are more likely to know when asparagus or rhubarb is in season, Kuck has noticed that customers are now paying attention to how they buy flowers too. Like the chefs who alter their menus to include local and seasonal produce, she’ll tweak her bouquets to include the best seasonal blooms.
‘At this time of year I can get hold of beautiful British narcissus from the Scilly Isles, anemones and ranunculus from Italy, maybe organic tulips from Holland – if there are any ready early in the season – and I then add local Scottish greenery. I work with a forager who usually looks for mushrooms and herbs, but I ask him to find me moss, blueberry twigs, ivy vines and bits of hay that I can shape into love hearts.’
Like Kuck, Lotte Lawson of Lotte and Bloom has a strict ‘Absolutely No Red Roses’ policy at this time of year. She takes it further and tries to avoid the colour red altogether. ‘I just think it’s so cheesy. I’d rather use pale pinks, or these daffodils I get with a white, almost peachy shade to them. Putting orange and pink together can look really pretty, and it’s a bit less obvious than the red rose thing.’ Lawson will be spending Valentine’s Day delivering her surprise bouquets to offices and flats around Glasgow, but for those on a tight budget, she recommends offering a hand-made planter instead. ‘It’s more thoughtful that you’ve designed it yourself. You can use an old, unusual biscuit tin, or a basket, then add ferns, ivy, moss and a few bulbs to create something that will last a lot longer too.’
The Wild Flower Shop, at Earthy, Windsor Place, Edinburgh, is normally closed Mon and Tue, but will be open on Valentine’s Day. Posies start from £4.90, and bouquets and table displays are also available. See estherkuck.com or earthy.co.uk for info.
Lotte and Bloom, Clarkston Road, Glasgow is running a Valentine’s Day Shop, selling £40 or £60 bouquets with a handwritten message, plus a free tote bag with every bouquet. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07875 654247 to place an order. See lotteandbloom.co.uk for info.