Valentine’s Day is coming and Brooklyn is teeming with flowers. You’ll find daffodils and tulips on the sidewalk, crowding outside of your cornerstone deli. But, if you want something special for the occasion, we have some suggestions.
There’s an enchanting world of whimsical, lovingly curated flower shops all over Brooklyn, rewarding those patient enough to seek them out with unusual blooms and custom arrangements. While they range in price points, all of the shops on this list are owned by thoughtful, creative individuals who treat floristry like an art.
406 Marcus Garvey Boulevard between Halsey and Macon Streets.
Bed-Stuy’s Bohaus is a hybrid coffee shop-florist concept started in 2016 by close friends Laura Bonnie-Greene and Jenny Hauser, who met while running Martha Stewart’s first coffee shop before it shuttered. With a full coffee menu, customers can sip great espresso while they browse plants and flowers.
Hauser and Bonnie-Greene offer a selection of bouquets and arrangements through their website, all of which can be delivered to Bed-Stuy and surrounding neighborhoods for a flat fee of $15, more for addresses further away. Their most popular item, Hauser said, is the bouquet – a bundle of seasonal flowers that Hauser and Bonnie-Greene custom-pick. They try to make every arrangement unique, playing with texture and design to create something “loose,” “wild,” and “rustic.”
While they do a limited number of parties and large events, Hauser explained, they fill plenty of orders for courthouse weddings – people come to them for bouquets and boutonnieres. And, though Hauser and Bonnie-Greene maintain creative control over every arrangement, they do provide a box on their online order form for customers to specify what message they want the order to convey – sympathy, perhaps, or congratulations.
Custom arrangements cost about $75 on average, but Hauser and Bonnie-Greene take special care to keep their prices down in recognition of the Bed-Stuy community. They feature a selection of “grab-and-go” bouquets that cost $15, and vases of flowers from $15 to $18. When they opened the shop, Hauser said, “I wanted everyone who walked in to leave with something.”
433 Nostrand Avenue between Jefferson Avenue and Hancock Street.
Fashion school graduate LaParis Phillips manifested her Bed-Stuy shop Brooklyn Blooms through a Kickstarter campaign in 2017. Since then, she and a small, but talented staff of freelancers and interns, have made bespoke floral creations for the community, specializing in handmade flower crowns and flower crown workshops.
Phillips, a St. Louis transplant who came to New York in search of a job in fashion, found a place in the city through flowers after she repeatedly tried and failed to break into the corporate fashion world.
“Me, as a Black woman 10 years ago, it was not happening. There was no Black girl magic or inclusion teams, none of that type of stuff,” Phillips said. While flowers had always been Phillips’ side hustle — she’s worked in flower shops all around the city, as well as back home in Missouri — they became the thing that kept her here. “I was like, ‘I’m not going home,'” she said.
Since she opened, Phillips has brought life and color to the Bed-Stuy populace. She tends to combine flowers the way she dresses herself, she said — full of texture and color, highlighting more overlooked flowers like the oft-maligned blue carnation.
While Phillips does plenty of events, customers can stop in any time for a custom bouquet or arrangement. One budget-friendly bouquet option costs $20, and individual stems are priced between $2 and $8. Orders for delivery start at $55, and while Brooklyn Blooms delivers mainly to Bed-Stuy and surrounding neighborhoods for a flat fee of $10, customers can enter their zip code when ordering online to check if they live within range. For Valentine’s Day, customers are welcome to show up day-of, though she prefers that people preorder.
96 Knickerbocker Avenue between Thames Street and Grattan Street.
At Stems, your bouquet is just as likely to be fair trade and sustainable as it is to be beautiful. Owner Suzanna Cameron tries to work with what’s in season, making sure to order from local farms, or at least domestic or international fair trade certified growers. One of the primary local farms she works with is the queer-owned Rock Steady Farm & Flowers in upstate NY.
At Stems, Cameron said, people can expect to pick up something “a little funky, a little unusual, off the beaten path.” They don’t do red roses on Valentines Day, choosing instead to offer the m0re unusual ranunculus and phineas.
Cameron prefers that customers place special orders as early in advance as possible. Customers can order bouquets or arrangements online, choosing from two color palates: “cool and moody” and “warm and funky.” They’re also encouraged to visit the store in person and consult with staff at the “flower bar,” who can help assemble bouquets from individual stems. The hand-tied bouquet costs between $35 and $100, while arrangements available online range from $50 to $200. Stems also caters to events like weddings and bachelorette parties.
The store is open to walk-ins on Valentines’ Day, though customers should expect to wait a while. Delivery options are available up until the day before Valentines’ Day, or whenever the list fills up.
103 Hoyt Street between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue.
Boerum Hill’s GRDN is not your typical garden store. Owner Susanne Kongoy goes to the flower market every week, with an eye out for the most unusual blooms she can get her hands on.
If she finds the wild-looking nigella flower, for example, or the puffy, chocolate-scented purple allium, she’ll bring them back and incorporate them into an arrangement with more everyday species, like anemones, roses, and eucalyptus. And, while she’s a fan of bright colors, she tends to focus on pastels, which usually appeal to more customers.
While the cost of delivery arrangements starts at $65, customers can pick up a bouquet for as low as $20. And, while Suzanne rarely takes on weddings, she’ll do special arrangements based on inquiry — it depends on how busy the shop is that day. She’ll also let customers put a credit card on file so they can order flowers every week. Customers can also select stems for their own bouquet — the staff likes to encourage creativity, though they’ll happily offer guidance if asked. Individual stems vary from $2 to $29 depending on size and variety.
The staff prefers to take orders over the phone, but they’ll also accept them via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
1995 Flatbush Avenue, near Flatlands Avenue.
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At over 121 years old, Marine Florists is still as fresh as ever. First opened in 1898 and purchased by the Tzentzelis brothers in 1987, the 14,000-square-foot store has supplied generations of customers with flowers from all over the world — like roses from South America and tulips from the Netherlands.
The seller-customer relationship has changed in the flower industry since the internet became peoples’ go-to shopping medium, but, as co-owner George Tsentzelis said, it hasn’t been bad for business. While they don’t see as many customers face-to-face, the relationship itself hasn’t changed: they’re still the go-to florist for a large number of devoted locals.
“People do come back,” Tsentzelis said. “That’s the most important thing.” They’ve even done the flowers for weddings of three different generations in a single family.
These customers might come to pick up fine dendrobium, cymbidium, or phalaenopsis orchids, which retail for as much as $50 a stem. People might also put something together from the store’s cooler of over 600 flowers. Single stems range from $2 to $50 (orchids are on the higher end of the scale), bouquets are $20 to $50, and arrangements for $20 to $300. Customers should ideally order a few days in advance for Valentine’s Day, and at least a week in advance for most custom orders. The store also does events like weddings.
381A Graham Avenue, between Jackson Street and Skillman Avenue.
Rosehip Social in Williamsburg is a plant and flower shop that describes itself as “modern botanical,” “stylish,” and “casually chic.” Featured in magazines like Time Out and New York Magazine’s The Cut, Rosehip Social places a special focus on events like weddings and photoshoots, but they’ll happily sell you something as humble as a single stem.
Sam, an employee at the shop, says that the staff favors “fluffy and textured blooms” in their arrangements, and that they tend to go for a more layered look. These days, she said, they’re using lots of anthuriums, peonies, ranunculus, and proteas.
Prices for bouquets and arrangements on the website range from $15 for an impossibly cute “baby bouquet,” to a bunch of five dozen roses for $300.
The shop can generally accommodate same-day delivery for orders, depending on the address, but require a few days’ notice for more customized orders. For larger events like weddings, the staff might begin working with clients as early as a year in advance.
Rosehip Social delivers to Williamsburg and Greenpoint, as well as Bed-Stuy, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Central and South Brooklyn. Other areas might also be available for delivery – just call.
59 Grand Street between Kent Avenue and Wythe Avenue.
Sprout Home, an offshoot of the Chicago-born company of the same name, is a sprawling, airy plant and flower shop near Williamsburg’s waterfront with a dedicated staff of floral designers.
The staff focus on making garden-style arrangements, head florist Lilly Arsenault explained. That means contrasting textures, as well as plenty of foliage. Arsenault will pick up whatever catches her eye at the flower market — her current favorites for the winter season are hellebores, sweetpeas, and tulips.
While customers often drop in to pick up a few stems or a bouquet, custom arrangements comprise a large part of the flower department’s daily operations. Customers should call ahead to let the store know what color palate they’re going for, as well as how much they’d prefer to pay, and staff will create an arrangement based on those specifications. They’ll also cater to almost any event – from corporate dinners, to weddings, to bar or bat mitzvahs.
Custom orders must start at $60 to be eligible for delivery, but anyone walking in off the street is welcome to spend as much or as little as they like, Arsenault said. While they accept same-day orders, customers should order as far in advance as possible – a few days to a week ahead of time is ideal. The store is still taking orders for Valentine’s Day, and will notify customers via their Instagram when orders close.
For even more blooms, check out our Park Slope flower guide and our Ditmas Park flower guide. And if you still need to make a dinner reservation or find a singles’ party, you can check out our Valentine’s Day round-up here.
This article was originally posted on February 10, 2020.