DIY: Winter Romance in a Silver Brunia Bouquet
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Recently, while browsing around my favorite florist shop, I noticed a clump of rare blooms dusted in a wintry heather gray. I picked one up. "Silver brunia," the floral expert informed. "Aren't they lovely?" "Yes," I agreed as I reached for a blushing hydrangea nearby. "And what about this unusual cocoa-pink Queen Anne's Lace?' "It's called 'Chocolate,'" she said. I smiled, and thus my Valentine's Day bouquet was born. Photographs by Justine Hand . Above: Taking advantage of the wide selection of unusual plants at Winston Flowers in Boston, I selected wintry hues and textures for my "homage to winter" Valentine's bouquet—adding just a touch of pink, of course. Above: Though it reminds me of a snow-covered evergreen forest, Silver Brunia Nodiflora is actually native to South Africa. Available for purchase online at McMinnville Wholesale Flowers; $14.95. Above: Creamy David Austen roses (which have an intoxicating smell) and false cypress also embodied the feel of the winter woods. Above: To soften the spikier aspects of my arrangement and to add a bit of Victorian-era romance, I chose the soft, snowflake forms of pink hydrangeas and chocolate Queen Anne's Lace. Above: Brunia does not require any special treatment, but as with all woody stemmed flowers, a long diagonal cut will allow it to draw more water. (This is also recommended for the hydrangeas and roses.) Above: So as not to obscure the dynamic forms of the flowers—and to capture something of a wild feel—I left my winter romance bouquet loose and a little unruly. Above: The heathered tint and ball-like structure of the silver brunia lend an enticing texture and contrast to the bouquet. Above: A bit of hanging cypress and a reindeer antler found by my stepfather on the Alaskan tundra complete my wintry scene. Above: With fresh water everyday, my bouquet should see me through to Valentine's Day. N.B. Want something more classic for Valentine's Day? Lindsey's find, the Bouqs Company's Roses , are among the best I've ever seen. Or if my winter romance arrangement is too traditional, try Janet's look featured in The Un-Pink Bouquet.