outside in: valentine’s day


It is a truth universally acknowledged that florists never receive flowers for Valentine’s Day. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but we take it in stride.

Instead, we turn our focus to decorating your kitchen tables and helping people express love to you. I mean, I love you a lot, too. If you were mine, I’d cherish you. In that vein, we’re going to use a collection of vintage pink depression glasses to create a little Valentine’s Day tablescape. And if you’re a single florist like me, lets not even discuss the apt-ness of the term depression glass. — Amy Merrick

PS — If you live in New York, stop by my Valentine’s Day shop and say hello!

Read the full post after the jump!

Depression glass is a translucent glassware that was given out for free (or very cheaply) in the 1930s and beyond. Buy a box of cereal? Get a free glass! Today its increasing collectibility makes it more scarce, but I picked up each of these pieces for no more than $5 at flea markets and junk shops. It makes for a great collection of vases, and you can purchase pieces separately, gathering them over time. Plus, the slight color is a great foil for flowers. Depression glasses come in green, gold, yellow, blue and most often pink. eBay and Etsy are great places to start your search.

Some vases can hold a single variety of flowers, and some can hold a mix. In the southern states, blushing magnolia is budding, and it can be cut and forced inside. Japanese ranunculus, chocolate cosmos and lily of the valley round out a little arrangement that would soften even the most ardent flower-hater (they exist!).

Magnolia is slow to open and quick to brown. Sounds like a losing combo, no? But! It is the most exquisite branch around while open; the petals push all the way back while peaking, and those two days of perfection are worth more than a month with curly willow branches.

Of course, all I’d want for Valentine’s Day is a tiny bouquet of lily of the valley. Something short and sweet would do the trick just fine. A little gesture and a big heart; in the end, that’s all that matters.

  1. Alix says:

    Not only is this arrangement gorgeous, it’s a hundred times more creative and exciting than the ubiquitous bouquets of red roses, baby’s breath and cheap greenery most people will send today.

  2. Jenni says:

    I agree on the small bouquet of lily of the valley! Sometimes the smaller bouquet is all the more beautiful!

  3. This is such a lovely arrangement! The colors are so soft and muted, perfect for a depression glass; and thank you for teaching me what those glasses are called! Have a lovely valentines! xoxo

  4. allison says:

    love these photos!

  5. Natsumi says:

    I love the color of those glasses. Beautiful.

  6. julia says:

    my favorite is the lily of the valley. love the humor in this post!

  7. Marigold says:

    Another beautiful post, and so soothing to the eyes of this poor florist who has just spent the last 2 days handling more red roses than is good for her.
    Thanks Amy.

  8. Sigrid says:

    What a wonderful post. I love your arrangements so very much. It’s so inspiring, over and over again. But you are sooooo right about the tiny bouquet of Lily of the Valley (even though it’s the May 1. flower in France) ;))

  9. Oh, Amy, I’m absolutely with you on how ironic it is that we florists don’t get flowers on Valentine’s Day. My boyfriend actually said to me yesterday, “I don’t know what to get you for Valentine’s Day since clearly you don’t want flowers.” I just gave him a crocked smile and sighed.

    Btw, another favorite flowering branch to force this time of year is luscious flowering quince. :-)

  10. so beautiful…reminds me of my granny. There was so much depression glass in her house.there was a little jug almost identical to the one pictured.

  11. Becca says:

    Oh what a beautiful post! Amy, your writing and flower arrangements are inspiring- only wish I could have made it to Castor and Pollux to pick up one of your beautiful arrangements!!

  12. Wilma says:

    I absolutely love the colors of the glass. I wish I could find them here in the Netherlands!

  13. Yael Miller says:

    I used to pass by a big, amazing flower shop on the way home from work and would sometimes stop in and buy 3-4 stems of a single flower just because i couldn’t resist their individual beauty. They’d sit in a vase by themselves and I’d admire them for as long as they lasted.

  14. meg says:

    Oh Amy….I felt like only one single lonely gal florist to another can fully appreciate your post like I did. It is so true…florists NEVER get flowers!!

    Why oh why!!

    Beautiful work as always!

  15. Kay Perret says:

    I laughed out loud at this: “And if you’re a single florist like me, lets not even discuss the apt-ness of the term depression glass.” I’m still chuckling. You lifted me out of my winter funk with these beautiful flowers and that sentence. Lemons to lemonade, right?

  16. This is an absolutely beautiful post! I love the info on the depression glassware too -great job!

  17. Kitty says:

    Thanks you for such a beautiful post. Pink depression glass is one of my favourite things in the whole world and your flower arrangements are stunning.

    p.s. Pondering over how to send you flowers from here (Melbourne, Australia), Amy! He he.

  18. colleen says:

    Guh, the pale pink glass with the flowers is killing me just a little. And then the tiny bouquet! Too sweet.

  19. Michele says:

    Where can Lily of the Valley be found for Valentine’s Day??? This, too, is MY heart’s desire…but they’re available for such a short time and generally only in May…june if you’re lucky. Is there an online availability for them in Feb that I’ve never found? I’ll be so excited if there is!


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