Want something edgier to demonstrate your love on Feb. 14? Here, four Los Angeles florists explain how they're putting an unconventional twist on a Valentine's Day bouquet that conveys romance and all the feels in ways that might sway even the most die-hard red rose traditionalists.
Bold violet orchids
"Pantone's 2018 color of the year, Ultraviolet, has always been a personal favorite," says Sophie Sikora of Arts District Florals, "bold, unapologetic, yet utterly feminine. I set out to create a design that was both striking and sophisticated, and a total wild card for Valentine's Day." Sikora, who works out of a private studio outside downtown L.A., pairs what she calls "audacious violet Vanda orchids with ethereal" yellow Oncidium orchids for a combo that eschews convention without sacrificing eye-candy appeal. Arrangements start at $75, artsdistrictflorals.com. (818) 422-1175. See more of her work on Instagram: @ArtsDistrictFlorals
A favorite among the food and chef set for her seasonal, local approach to floral design — as well as years having worked in the restaurant industry herself — Clover Chadwick of Dandelion Ranch in Mid-City sees symbolism in offbeat arrangements, such as garden screens. "Garden screens flourish and grow like a great love relationship. They're full of surprises and new perspectives. I also love the romantic way they both hide and reveal at the same time. They also dry nicely," Chadwick says. Suggested flowers and elements include quince, ranunculus, anemones and other delicate blooms that flourish this time of year. Arrangements start at $250, dandelionranch.com. (323) 640-1590. By appointment only or by phone order. 3510 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-City. @dandelionranch
Citrus, camellia and flowering shrubs
"We're noticing the trend of not doing red roses at all," observes Holly Vesecky, co-owner of Mid-City floral shop and home goods boutique Hollyflora. She and business partner Rebecca Uchtman express a broad interpretation of Valentine's Day florals, this year working with materials that include succulents and tropicals. She's particularly fond of wild blooming shrubs mixed with "citrus and camellia, which is very Californa-centric." She also makes use of kumquats as well as grapefruits, oranges and lemons harvested from her Ojai ranch. Arrangements start at $150, hollyflora.com. (323) 591-1120. 4300 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 5, Mid-City. @hollyflorala
'Ball + Chain' suspended arrangement
With a fashion and fine art background, Nelson Pitts brings a particularly edgy vision to florals. The Koreatown studio and shop that he opened last fall — the Other Half — showcases his sweeping large-scale sculptural installations, in addition to cut flowers and plants. Come Valentine's Day, Pitts dramatically flips the conventional script: "This piece is about breaking away from the traditional tabletop arrangement," he says. "It's an exploration in textures and features one of our fave elements — anthurium." Pitts' "Ball + Chain" is the rare holiday floral creation that may require power tools after delivery too. Arrangements start at $500, theotherhalfla.com. (213) 908-5270. 3019 W. 6th St., Koreatown. @theotherhalfLA