With Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, local florists are inundated with orders, and the most popular request at is the traditional dozen roses. While red is the number one choice, the shop offers roses in colors from lavender to variegated orange.
Across the center, at on Waterfield Rd., owner Jennifer Collins said she has plenty of orders for roses, and is happy to fill them, but many of her customers request something different.
“They come to the shop to get more unique floral arrangements,” Collins said. “We make everything custom. It’s all kind of depending on the quality of uniqueness of the flowers.”
On Saturday, her shop was full of flowers just in from the wholesaler. Through Tuesday, she and two other floral designers will work on cleaning the roses, carefully removing all the prickers, and arranging them in vases. Collins also has fresh stock imported from Holland, where she said “the flowers can be off the charts in terms of the tulips and the unusual flowers.”
She’s been getting lots of requests for spring-like arrangements recently, which she attributes in part to the mild weather this year. Her shop also carries orchids, both potted and cut, and a variety of dried flower arrangements.
In the run up to Valentine’s Day, the floor of Stems is covered in buckets of flowers. Collins arranges vases on a large wooden table against one wall, and the process of putting together the arrangements becomes a combination of assembly line process and artistic eye as she surveys the flowers and puts together each individual arrangement.
Collins said men involved in new romances tend to order roses for their girlfriends, and at the last possible minute. They’ll ask to have roses rushed right over, and Collins will have to explain they’ll be delivered, but it may take some time with the Valentine’s Day backup. Despite that, she said with a smile, as soon as five minutes later, the new boyfriends will call again. “They call and ask, ‘Did she get it? Did she get it?’”
Last week, Collins stood in her quiet shop and said it was the calm before the storm, which she expected to pick up over the weekend. While Mother’s Day is an even busier time of the year, Valentine’s Day is a great boon to business.
“It’s kind of a one-hit wonder. It comes in February, which is usually slow. It gets crazy, but I like that. It’s fun. It’s like a little window,” she said.
Back at Pondview Florist, Valentine’s Day business was just starting to pick up. Coming in second to roses in popularity were orders for mixed arrangements, including lilies, tulips, irises, tropical flowers, and roses. Another frequent request is gerbera daisies.
Owner Diane DeSimone has a lot of repeat business from customers who order the same arrangements for their significant others every year. Because Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday this year, many orders are going to workplaces rather than homes.
“It’s nice to send them to work. Women love to get them at the office,” she said.
Most Valentine’s Day business tends to come from men ordering flowers for their wives and girlfriends, but DeSimone is seeing more flowers sent to male partners these days. “I think that should be encouraged,” she said, adding men like flowers. “There should not be a stigma or anything attached to it.”
DeSimone’s funniest Valentine’s Day moment happened a number of years ago when a man rushed into the shop asking for an arrangement. There was one arrangement left in the shop, and he and another customer started a bidding war for it.
DeSimone laughed recalling the story, saying of course she could make up another arrangement for anyone. While her store officially closes at 5:00 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, she said, she’ll stay at the shop until every customer has the flowers they need.