Today is Saturday, July 22, 2017

Florists' biz is blooming

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DALLUS WHITFIELD / The Wilson Post

Roses are red, violets are blue...if you want to show someone you love them, better order these - and soon.

Local florists say the week leading up to Valentine's Day is their busiest time of the year.

"We quadruple what we do on a typical day during the Valentine's holiday week, and that is not exaggerated. We started orders last Friday," said designer Scott Graham at Henderson's Flower Shop.

"Our busiest days will be Friday and of course, Saturday. People want to get in early and get the best products that we offer. It is a lot more organized when we get those early orders."

Sunshine Flowers owner Donna Belcher said she begins preparation for the influx of Valentine's Day orders in December. Although the actual number of roses ordered varies, pre-order for Sunshine Flowers was 1,600 roses.

According to Graham mixed bouquets, hydrangea plants and tulips are popular choices for friends and family, but the rose continues to be the official flower of romance. "The rose has always been the flower to show your love and affection," he said.

Red roses are a classic, but Henderson's also offers specialty roses such as the blueberry rose and the red intuition rose.

The price of roses does increase during the month of February, so customers should be prepared.

Belcher has pamphlets on-hand at the shop explaining the reasons for this increase. For one, winter months are the least favorable growing conditions for flowers with "shorter daylight hours and increased energy costs."

"The cycling time of roses to produce a bloom is 60-90 days. Roses must be sacrificed during this time by pinching off buds in order for the roses to deliver a high yielding crop for Valentine's week."

Labor cost increases, too. Flower suppliers must hire extra help to distribute roses to the florists.

The florist then typically hires extra help to arrange and deliver the flowers to the customer.

Graham said that Henderson's added guest designers to their design team for the occasion. The five-person team will include Graham, shop owner Donna Odum, Tom Williams, Jeff Highers and Bethany Gregg. Misha Meadows is the delivery coordinator.

While Graham doesn't recommend waiting until Saturday morning to place your order, walk-ins will be served on Valentine's Day at Henderson's. "It is hard on Valentine's Day to take orders over the phone because it is just so busy. Every person has a job," he said.

AJ'S Flowers and Gifts owner Tracy Underwood said working on Valentine's Day is certainly busy but that she loves the rush.

"We have our bows and vases ready and extra delivery," she said. "This is the biggest day that men show their love, and it is nice to get to make everybody smile."

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at sgarrett@wilsonpost.com.

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