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The Best Non-Traditional Mother's Day Bouquets, From Thongs to Salami

Dried flowers, underwear, sausages, Carhartt tees—there are some decidedly unique alternatives to grocery-store roses out there these days.
New York, US
April 26, 2021, 7:48pm
Mothers Day Bouquets of meat and thongs
Photo: Composite by VICE Staff

Mother is bored, darling [takes Parliament drag]. It’s always year in and year out of the Same Old sedated grocery store tulips or roses and baby’s breath, which is fine for a casual Wednesday purchase but… this year? This year, Mommy just might punt them out of your hands if she gets another sad, wilt-in-a-day bouquet. After everything we’ve been through since last year’s Mother’s Day, this year’s obligatory floral arrangement deserves a little more pizazz.

If it’s flowers you seek, they’d better bring her a lot of personality and drama, or not even be "flowers" at all. Lest we should forget: We live in a world where a bouquet of crayfish is just a click away. So why would ye settle for anything less than an under-the-sea fantasy? 

This Mother’s Day, the goal is simply to strike a balance between the delightful, the edible, and the unforgettable. Gather daisies by the railroad tracks, and do a jig. Give her some tingly ASMR gifts, like a skull-clutching scalp massager. Whatever you do, make it compensate for last year’s lack of a normal Mother’s Day for your mom, or the mom-esque figures in your life. Even if you’re not within traveling distance of dear Mother, there are plenty of clever bouquet crafters online hawking Stevie Nicks-worthy pampas bouquets, forever felt flowers (for the crafty mother), and meat medleys for food lovers. In the words of one charcoochie purveyor, “Flowers start to wilt after a couple of days, but salami’s meaty goodness just keeps on going.” It brings a tear to our eyes. 

This bouquet of pure serotonin

Urban Stems

Photo: Urban Stems

Bless the elves who brought together these billy balls, broom blooms, and hydrangea for a dried bouquet that will really hold on to its color with time. Even comes with a vase, so all you have to do is smash that order button and include a corny sun aphorism. 

The Honeycomb, $80 at Urban Stems

Oprah’s favorite snausages


Photo: Olympia Provisions

How simpler things were, in the pre-Instagram shopping years. It was the era of Pimp My Ride, the Next bus, Cameron Diaz starring in things, and Oprah dutifully telling us which candles to huff via her “Favorite Things”—the ultimate starter pack before starter packs! This meat medley was actually on HRH’s Favorite Things round-up recently, but the bouquet of Olympia Provisions' Chorizo Rioja, Saucisson Sec, and Nola salamis transitions beautifully into Mother Season, because charcuterie instantly elevates any activity, and these schlongs were crafted “from all natural Northwest pork using old world techniques that have all but gone extinct.”Extinct! How worldly, and high drama. How mama. 

Salami Bouquet by Olympia Provisions, $59 at Goldbelly 

Flesh out that meat bouquet with some jerky

Exotic Meats Grand

Photo: Man Crates

Want to plate up an even meatier meat bouquet? Here’s a next-level option from Man Crates (LOL) that brings together three of their prima salamis with four accenting jerky sticks designed to take your mother’s mouth on a culinary adventure where elk, buffalo, venison, and boar roam.

Exotic Meats Grand Bouquet, $79.99 at Man Crates

The workwear mom

Carhartt bouquet t-shirts mother's day

Photo: Carhartt

Carhartt’s ‘Made for Moms, Not Mother’s Day’ campaign honors all the hardworking women who rolled up their sleeves to overcome the challenges of the last year and underscores the importance of giving Mom a day off. Carhartt created a gift that’s as strong as her: a limited-run of “Carhartt Bouquets” built to look like your typical floral bouquet—but, when unraveled after Mother’s Day, actually offers mom some functional gear she can use for years to come.

Carhartt Bouquet, $51 at Carhartt

Nothing says “mother” like a bouquet of thongs

Hanky Panky

Photo: Hanky Panky

It is a righteous and deeply appreciated move to improve your loved ones’ underwear collection. Also, most people don’t know that May is the ripest time for the thong harvest! So if you’re married/partnered with a mom or someone who has a butt, go for this classic Hanky Panky underwear bouquet. It includes six long-stem, lingerie roses that were consciously grown to maturity by the sweet sounds of Sisqó (deep cuts only).

Low Rise Thongs Bouquet, $150 at Hanky Panky

Pamper her


Photo: Bloomist

Here’s an idea: Buy a gorgeous, single Sun Palm and fan your mother for 15 minutes. 

Sun Palm, $35 at Bloomist 

These women-felted flowers

Felted Flowers

Photo: Food52

Big Kindred Sisterhood energy for these, which were felted by women artisans in Nepal. They don’t just come in one pre-arranged set (which would be cool enough); You can pick and choose from dozens of options (felt sunflowers, tea roses, peonies, alliums, lotus, and more) for your forever bouquet. And remember: She can’t kill them, because they were never alive! 

Global Goods Partners Handmade Felt Flower & Eucalyptus Bouquets, $99 at Food52

Your cradle was a walnut and your mother is a hedgehog

Oyster Mushroom Log Kit

Photo: Uncommon Goods

The glories of the goblincore lifestyle know no age, and no bounds, and all the logs. “Grow sweet, velvety oyster mushrooms with Howard Berk and Todd Pittard’s organic mushroom growing logs,” sing the slingers of this DIY log shroom situation. We dunno Howard nor Todd but sure, why not. 

Oyster Mushroom Log Kit, $30 at Uncommon Goods

Your mother is a witch

Dried flowers

Photo: Urban Stems

Essentially, the contents of a Pagan cauldron have been stood upright for this dried bouquet, which includes a mix of lowkey, earthy goodness of thistle and eucalyptus with pops of color and texture from mini pampas and honey-hued billy balls. It would be exhausting, if it didn’t all come together so effortlessly. Bonus points for whomstever branded this arrangement “The Catskill.” Send it to your East Coast mother with a Grey Gardens-adjacent book

The Catskill, $75 at Urban Stems

You come from a long line of mimes


Photo: Lovepop

Because sending mother what is basically a pop-up book of paper flowers is very charming and more price-accessible that a breathing bouquet, but it *is* medium to high-key mime behavior. There are a bunch of paper bouquets on Lovepop (yes, even tulips and delightful white daisies), but the wildflowers somehow feel like the perfect relaxed choice.

Wildflower Bouquet, $24 at Lovepop

Eat the whole family

Bouquet of crawfish

Photo: Flower Butterfly

We might just order this bouquet to see if it’s real. The arrangement has been splayed with all meticulous aplomb of a serial killer, enigmatically named “Delicious No. 703,” and given an ingredients breakdown in Russian. Send it to mom just to break the Matrix.  

Bouquet Of Crayfish, Lemon, Peppers And Tomatoes "Delicious No.703," $126 at Flower Butterfly

Whatever you do, or don’t (please report back on the crawfish??): Don’t forget to call. 

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