Photo gallery: Tiger Garden spreads Valentine’s Day spirit with distinctive bouquets

From Mizzou prints to locally made candles and a variety of flower arrangements, Tiger Garden has everything you’d need to gift this Valentine’s Day.

Feb. 7, 2024
Contact: Courtney Perrett, 573-882-6217,

Tiger Garden, a thriving floral business tucked away on the ground floor of the University of Missouri’s Agriculture Building, was founded almost 20 years ago. Created to foster hands-on learning opportunities for students interested in the floral industry, the shop has expanded from a modest enterprise to a fully functional business run exclusively by students, including plant sciences majors and non-majors. The business, which employs around 20 student florists supervised by floral instructor Lesleighan Cravens, supplies flowers for about 300 events – including 40 weddings – every year in Missouri and surrounding states.

Now, with Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, floriculturists at Tiger Garden have their hands full putting the final touches on floral arrangements for the holiday.

Junior Sofia Guerrero (left) and sophomore Natalie Kempel (right) work to arrange a variety of cut flowers and foliage to fill new orders.
Tiger Garden’s student floriculturists learn a range of industry skills, including how to operate a retail business, place orders for floral products, market products, curate displays and conduct visual merchandizing.
Since the founding of Tiger Garden, MU has built a successful Floral Design program, which focuses on teaching skills related to growing and designing with cut flowers. This program provides students with essential skills to start successful floral businesses.
During her freshman year, nursing student Natalie Kempel received a bouquet of flowers from Tiger Garden as a gift for her sorority’s bid day. Soon after, she joined the shop’s staff where she now enjoys curating thoughtful arrangements to brighten other people’s days.
Tiger Garden sources its flowers from a number of local farmers throughout Missouri and beyond. For instance, classic spring-blooming flowers like tulips, ranunculus and roses are brought in from Europe. Specialty flowers are only available seasonally in the shop.
Guerrero places a complete arrangement in the cooler to keep the petals crisp and fresh for pick up. “By this spring, I would’ve spent several semesters working at Tiger Garden,” Guerrero said. “I enjoy designing signature bouquets and getting to work with plants and flowers every day.”
“During my undergrad, I fell in love with agriculture education, so when I got the opportunity to be a teaching assistant in Tiger Garden, it was a no-brainer,” said Alexandra Gast, a first-year graduate student studying plant sciences. “I’m a people person, so Tiger Garden provides the perfect place to talk to customers and connect with them about flowers.”
Biochemistry and pre-medicine major Nathan Haines said he walks by Tiger Garden every day. “I thought I’d stop in and get something nice for my girlfriend,” he said. “It’s a neat experience to choose different cut flowers and stand back while your arrangement is created right in front of you.”
Tiger Garden is currently accepting pre-orders for Valentine’s Day. Order by Feb. 8 for a free personalized card. See the full Valentine’s Day selection here.
Buy flowers, support MU Children’s Hospital

Tiger Garden is partnering with MizzouThon to donate $5 for every in person order over $25 at Tiger Garden to the new MU Children’s Hospital. Print this flyer to bring in with your order to participate.

*Flyer must be printed to participate, digital versions of the flyer will not be accepted. In person orders only.


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