Shop Local: The Happy Hour Flowers

No green thumb? This Arlington start-up sells pretty flowers with DIY growing tips. The floral-inspired cocktail recipes are a freebie.
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Mary Shaffer, co-founder of The Happy Hour Flowers, runs the “dirt department” from her home in Arlington’s Westover neighborhood. (Photo by Richard Crawford)

“Everybody can grow things,” says Mary Shaffer, one half of the duo behind The Happy Hour Flowers.

The floral venture, which Shaffer quietly launched in 2020 and cultivated with colleague Miranda Karr (both work at The Studio Tysons salon), was an outgrowth of her own nascent adventures in gardening. “I found that I just needed to be in the dirt, with wine in my hand and the sky above,” she says. 


A fresh bouquet with a fresh cocktail recipe to match (Photo by Richard Crawford)

Shaffer runs the “dirt department,” growing plants in her Westover yard, while Karr, who lives in Ballston, handles graphic design, promotions and business operations, as well as floral arrangements.

For those who want to grow their own anemones, tulips, ranunculus and dahlias—blooms that tend to thrive in Northern Virginia’s climate—they also sell bulbs and corms (rooted stems) online ($10-$25 per clump or group of 10).

Catering to novice gardeners, the pair provides growing advice, along with floral-inspired drink recipes, via instruction cards and care tips on social media. 


A summer bouquet (Photo by Richard Crawford )

“As a beginner, you can grow dahlias with the very simple instructions that we include,” Shaffer says. “Can you have superior or prolific dahlias with nine months of research and hours in the garden every day? Of course. But growing good tulips or dahlias is something that literally anybody can do. It’s like magic that comes out of this little bulb that already has everything it needs to grow within it.”

Don’t have space for a flower garden? The Happy Hour Flowers also sells fresh-cut bouquets ($25) at The Studio Tysons and Westover Market in Arlington, and stages make-your-own “flower bars” at events ranging from bridal parties to PTA meetings, where attendees can pick and choose stems to create their own beautiful arrangements.

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Categories: Style