This Valentine's Day, step away from that uninspired spray of red roses and consider something a little less traditional, like...the Japanese ranunculus. Ariel Dearie is the flower doyenne responsible for the arrangement up top, and she says the humble ranunculus—which is poisonous, by the way, so don't give them to anyone who eats floral centerpieces—is actually her favorite flower for Valentine's this year: "I just find them so exquisite; each petal looks hand-painted. I paired them with peonies and garden roses to give the whole arrangement a soft, feminine feeling."
If you're inclined to try and recreate Ariel's work at home:
What You'll Need to Make This Arrangement
♦ Japanese Ranunculi
♦ Garden Roses
♦ New Jersey Ranunculi
♦ Bay Leaves
♦ Bush Ivy
♦ Patience, Talent, and a Great Vase
Photo by Ariel Dearie.