“A stylish, modern alternative to the traditional dozen-rose arrangement for Valentine’s Day and beyond.”

From the creative “flower-noir” mind of John Regan, M .F. A ., Ph.D., owner of Twisted Stem Floral Design in Crystal Lake, Ill., comes this sophisticated topiary-inspired arrangement for Valentine’s Day – a quick- and easy-to-design alternative to the traditional dozen-rose arrangement. Great for production-line assembly utilizing less-skilled flower arrangers, this design is also space efficient and delivery friendly.

Gather enough black plastic drinking straws to fill the interior of a straight sided container.

Place the straws, in an unsecured bundle, into the container. The bundle of straws should be somewhat loose at this point to accommodate the insertion of the rose stems  but also dense and tight enough to stand vertically in the container. Fill the container with flower food solution.

Arrange the rose stems into the center of the straw bundle, spreading the straws slightly as needed to accommodate the rose stems. Make sure the rose stems go all the way through the straw bundle so that the stem ends reach the bottom of the container. Tightly tie the bundle of straws, midsection, with narrow velvet ribbon, to secure the bundle and keep the straws and rose stems in place.

As is often the case with fashion design, the styling of this “haute-couture” composition fuses architectural interest with romantic expression. In addition, the distinctive hue of Suntory Flowers’ ‘Applause’ roses, paired with free-flowing pink jasmine – which adds dimension to the otherwise vertical design – bring color, fragrance and a more youthful vitality to this modern take on the classic valentine.

Beyond Valentine’s Day, this minimalist design idea is applicable for occasions year-round, from party centerpiece to home and office décor – even get well and sympathy, and can feature myriad other flower types.