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Valentine’s Day tropical flower arrangements

Roses are the go-to Valentine's day flower, but I think nothing says Valentine's Day like Hawaiian anthuriums. For starters, anthuriums are heart shape. They also come in an array of beautiful colors from vibrant red, to pink, to white, to apple green. They have a sensual quality. Go ahead, look at them again. When I was little my mom called them "little boy flowers." I think I was 16-years old before I figured out why she called them that.

Hawaiian flowers

When I was a kid growing up in Honolulu, we lived in the rainforest in the mountains above Waikiki. On the side of our house we had this amazing patch of anthuriums of all shapes, sizes and colors. Some were neat little red heart shapes and others were big elephant ear shapes colored pink, white and green. It was one of those things that I took for granted, and only fully appreciate now as an adult, living away from the islands. Fortunately I have a Southern California source for these amazing flowers. Island Florals is run by a sweet woman named Florence, who also grew up on Oahu. She will ship flowers and leis on request in the right season.

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What you need

  • 3 stemless wine glasses
  • 1 block of standard floral oasis
  • 3 variegated tea leaves

  • 15 anthuriums of various color

Instructions

Fill a sink with cold water and hold down the block of oasis until all the air bubbles have escaped. Let the oasis soak for about 15 minutes. Using a butter knife, cut the oasis into three pieces. Carve the corners of each of the pieces of oasis, shaping each piece into a cylinder that fits into the stemless wine glass. Run your fingers up and down the stem of the tea leaves to break down the stem and increase the flexibility of the stem. Cut out about 4" of the most inflexible part of the stem. Wrap the tea leaf around the cylinder of oasis starting with the cut end and ending with the tip of the tea leaf. Drop the tea leaf-wrapped cylinder into the wine glass and fill with water up to about 1" below the top of the glass. Using your hands, tear a circle of supermoss that is slightly larger than the top of the wine glass. Place the supermoss on top of the glass. Using a chopstick , poke holes through the moss and into the oasis to create a space for the anthuriums. Cut the anthurium stems at various lengths, ranging from about 5" to 8." Slip the anthurium stems into the holes you made with the chopstick. Arrange the anthuriums so that there is a little airspace between each flower. The goal is to have three arrangements for your dining table that are low enough so that your dinner guests can see each other without being obstructed by the flowers.

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