entertainingFood & Drinkoutdoorweeders digest

weeder’s digest: a note from your local florist

by Grace Bonney

Hello! Are you prepared for the nuclear winter that might blow through your household on February 15th? Survive and prosper! Consider preventative options:

1. Box of chocolates? As in I don’t really know what you like, so here’s an assortment? There is a map on the back of the lid! You can pick the ones you like, but save me the maple creams.

2. Lingerie? You have to be very very very very careful with this option. One word: Sizing.

3. Dinner out? Oh, perhaps at Chez Jardin de Olive? NEXT!

4. Teddy Bear? As in OH HELL NO. Girls don’t want teddy bears, unless it’s dressed like snoop dog and stuffed with cash and diamonds. And, oh, maybe you squeeze it and it plays “Gin and Juice.” I’d take that bear actually…

5. Flowers? [Jumping up and down fingers pointing, 21 gun salute, fireworks exploding in the sky] Proven to be your best option, in part because getting flowers says :
– you, unlike lots of men, DID NOT dismiss the fact that every girl LOVES TO GET FLOWERS. EVERY. GIRL.
– you braved it all the way out to Red Hook to stand in a studio full of girls listening to Ace of Base
– you navigated what may have been perhaps an uncomfortable conversation about something very beautiful and delicate. {awww, like you…}

God Speed, and Good Luck –Sarah

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  • What a fun a post. Sarah is the coolest – I love her writing style. The floral images today are so gorgeous – make me feel like spring, for sure!
    Happy Valentines Grace and Sarah!

  • I think I might be the only girl who actually doesn’t like to get flowers—I’m more of a spiky and/or carnivorous plant kind of girl. A succulent valentine would be pretty cool though.

  • How does one subtly educate one’s husband about WHICH flowers to get? I think I’ve managed to communicate that I’m not a fan of those dyed blue daisies, but beyond that, I don’t know what else to do. :)

    Anyway, these are gorgeous.

  • was just having this conversation with my husband last night about how all girls want valentines day stuff, even though we pretend like we don’t. i’m just going to forward him this post. so thank you for that. yes please on the gin + juice bear. (i would also take a t.i. whatever you like bear.)

  • Thank you for #4! Who told men that women want teddy bears or stuffed animals in general? I’ll take flowers any day- especially yours, beautiful!

  • I second Sasha’s K’s question. Also, I love all the flowers you show but don’t know many of the names, doubling the difficulty.

    Considering that my long-distance boy asked me my suite number yesterday and told me I better be in my office today, I’m feeling pretty lucky. Now let’s just see what he’s selected…

  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting flowers, having flowers, growing plants, touching plants, watering plants, smelling flowers. LOVE IT! And love the arrangements too!

  • Who ever invented the teddy bear thing anyway? Some thirteen year old girl?

    I have to tell you about my younger brother and flowers. He has 3 older sisters. When he was 15 he sent flowers to his girlfriend, during her slumber party because he knew women liked to have audience of girlfriends when they get flowers. He’s 35 now, but I’m still pretty proud of how well we educated him!

  • i’m actually one of the girls who really truly does not want stuff for valentine’s day. flowers, however, i’ll take any day. of course i once told my husband, at the beginning of our relationship, that him coming home with a dozen red rozes was grounds for divorce.

  • not all girls want valentine’s day things — i don’t understand this holiday?

    i do love flowers — perhaps i will buy some today to encourage me to clean the house :)

  • LOL! Some guys are just so clueless on Valentines Day. I agree, all girls (no matter how feminist or unconventional) LOVE flowers.

  • I just love the writing style of this post ;) just the right amount of snarkiness. Thanks for making me smile!

  • Not too crazy about flowers, esp. for Valentine’s, but a cuddly teddy bear makes me smile no matter what day it is!

    And yes, I am a full grown adult. =)

  • Good gravy–you can promote flowers without making ridiculous generalizations about women!

    I like this site for the emphasis on design, but this week’s emphasis on hetero-normativity and gender stereotypes has been trying my patience.

    • cattyinqueens

      you can buy flowers, make lightbulbs, cook mini cakes and decorate a valentine’s themed room for same sex couple. valentine’s day, and our coverage of it, isn’t a hetero-exclusive activity, nor are any of the project we’ve listed here.

      i understand taking issue with the ideas that sarah is joking about here, but to lump it all into a “hetero” issue seems inaccurate.


  • Have forwarded accordingly, thank you :]

    Love those arrangements and colors, especially the second. [got that, honey?]

  • I love flowers, houseplants and thoughtful gifts in general. Teddy bears only if they’re given with thought. Like the time I had a migraine and boyfriend left work, bought me a teddy and brought it home for me to snuggle in lieu of him. Sweet! But my real question is regarding the fourth picture. Where did that squid come from and how do I get one?! :D

  • Great post! How do men not know that women like flowers? I’ve been HEAVILY hinting that flowers are a MUST on Valentines day to my boyfriend. Let’s see if he figures it out ;)

  • eco-friendly girls can have cut-flowers, too. it’s possible to find flowers that are local if you look around and make a few calls. find a local source and make sure you stick to what’s grown in your general area. i understand not wanting orchids flown in from japan, but not every flower comes with a huge carbon footprint.

  • I don’t think this response needs to be posted or anything–the comment section is hardly a place for discussion of what constitutes heteronormativity–but I did just want to note that you seem to be reading my response as an accusation of homophobia, but that’s not what heteronormativity is. Heteronormativity isn’t really just about promoting “straight” couples. I agree with you that much of the valentine stuff that appeared this week can be for couples of all sexual orientations. As explained on Wikipedia, a heteronormative view is “one that promotes alignment of biological sex, gender identity, and gender roles to the gender binary.” Along with this view is the idea that couplehood is the norm or ideal. I think the post about what women want is precisely heternormative, and the others border on that by omission. If there were any same-sex couples or any *non-couples* assumed in the posts, I probably wouldn’t have had the same reaction.
    That said, I will continue to appreciate the site’s investment in design and aesthetics, and it’s true that the site doesn’t have responsibility for representing all lifestyles. So I apologize for criticizing so broadly. On the other, I’ll just limit my comment to say that I’m disappointed that this one post reduces women to wanting gifts, and particular gifts, and men to being the suppliers of said gifts.

    • cattyinqueens

      i don’t disagree with your about your issue with assuming that women want certain things in this particular post.

      but i do disagree that our other valentine’s content borders on heteronormativity “by omission”. i don’t think anything about flowers, craft projects or cooking assumes that someone has a partner or that that partner is of any gender or gender construction. you can easily cook, arrange flowers and build something for yourself.

      i looked at the same wikipedia page you did and have cut and paste the definition below:

      Heteronormativity is a term for a set of lifestyle norms that indicate or imply that (1) people fall into only one of two distinct and complementary sexes (male and female) with each having certain natural roles in life, and that (2) heterosexuality is the only normal sexual orientation, thus making sexual and marital relations appropriate only between members of the opposite sex

      as i said before, i agree with your assertion that this particular post is (albeit playfully) talking about what women “want”, but do take issue with the idea that any of these posts would assume that a heterosexual relationship is the only normal way to be. that’s part of the definition of the word and i assumed you meant the full meaning, not only a part of it- especially since you were applying it to a range of posts and not just this one.


  • This has to be one of your most beautiful posts and I love the tongue in cheek sense of humor that accompanied it…god knows a holiday involving the sometimes touchy subject of “Love” needs a little humor ;P

  • Okay, maybe I will be another voice of dissent, but I am a girl and I don’t like to get flowers (if I want some for the house I will cut them but I think they’re a lousy gift) or want a Valentine gift even though I pretend I don’t (who does that—how mean).

    And um, yeah, a florist is totally (unnecessarily) going to try to sell the flower aspect of V-day. But some of us girls/women aren’t into that. Even straight ones! So I am disagreeing with the author’s assertion that “EVERY. GIRL.” does.

  • at least once every new Design Sponge post something catches my heart and my imagination. Something about these flowers: almost made me cry.

    ps. I like flowers!!!!