The happiest part of Valentine's Day is giving pretty flowers to someone you appreciate (although I always like to receive chocolate, hint hint, LOL). This year I was in charge of flowers for 43 staff members at my children's school in addition to a dozen other gifts that my girls and I like to bring to friends who might not otherwise get flowers.
With no roses blooming in my garden for several more months, I had to make do with store-bought flowers, but our mild winter meant that the evergreen and semi-evergreen plants in my yard had greenery that looked good enough to use instead of buying filler.
Last year I crafted hearts from the stems of my dwarf Arctic willow shrub, and I did the same this year. I simply held two stems together, bent the tops around to create a heart, and wired them in place at the base of the heart.
Sprigs of wall germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) added texture to a background of larger 'Otto Luyken' laurel leaves and purple 'Hall's Purple' honeysuckle stems.
The greenery wasn't quite as fresh as it would have been in summer, but sometimes you have to settle for good enough, especially when you've already spent three times your budget!
Although I looked in stores and online, I couldn't find any vases for less than $2. Target had some glass cups on sale for $1 each, so I used those for most of the arrangements. The willow heart at back held the little arrangement upright despite the wider opening on the cups.
After making a dozen or two arrangements, I finally figured out that the best way to assemble them was to lay the heart down, set the greenery and rose on top, then lay the ribbon (tied onto a wire) on top of the pile. Finally I tied the stems together with a length of raffia, clipped the bottoms to even them out, and dropped the whole thing into the cup or vase. It made a Big Mess in my dining room.
The shape of these arrangements made it easy to balance them together in boxes to transport to the school. It was fun to see some of the smiles of the women teachers (the men just got bags of mixed popcorn). After my girls get home from school, we'll deliver the rest of the arrangements along with a hug. Happy Valentine's Day!