Before buying your beloved a bouquet that will not only wither and wilt, but also pollute the planet and people, opt for handmade blooms instead. More than 60% of cut flowers in the U.S. come from Colombia, where fields are sprayed with highly toxic chemicals not subject to U.S. regulations. Here are our favorite alternative floral finds from the online craft site Etsy.
1. Flores Del Sol is run by a floral designer who makes moss “comfort gardens” in wooden holders ($65) and vivid preserved bouquets with woodsy-looking finds like yellow billy buttons and green fiddleheads ($45). www.etsy.com/shop/floresdelsol
2. Murdock Design features retro-colored orange, purple and fuchsia wool yarn pompom flowers ($4 each) perched atop bendable wire. www.etsy.com/shop/murdockdesign
3. Paper flowers from The Crimson Poppy (run by artist Jenny Jafek-Jones) are made with hand-veined leaves and curving crepe-paper petals. The flowers, from roses ($25/music sheet rose) to hydrangeas to poppies, are incredibly realistic. www.thecrimsonpoppy.com
4. From the Philippine shop Yanni Creations come miniature roses and sunflowers made from birch wood shavings that have been shaped and dyed in brilliant hues ($3/set of four). www.yannicreations.etsy.com