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Valentine’s Day flowers are making their annual appearance in Harris Teeter as the big day approaches. Allison Haver | Watauga Democrat.

Originally published: 2013-02-11 12:19:46
Last modified: 2013-02-11 12:19:46

Valentine's rush keeps florists busy

For more than half a century, Jack Raby has spent the month of February preparing for one of the busiest days of his year.

With Valentine’s Day just days away, local florist shops and other flower sellers are preparing now for Thursday.

Raby, owner of Bouquet Florist and Gift Shop, is no different. Although he’s been in the flower business for 55 years, he says he still gets excited about the Valentine’s Day rush — even knowing that this time of year includes a lot of hard work and long hours.


A rose by any other name?

About 1,500 Valentine’s Day floral orders at his shop will be for roses, Raby said, although this year may be slightly different. Not different in quantity, but in quality: The selection of roses his shop received this year are “the prettiest I’ve ever had,” he said.

Raby said that many of the flowers he received this year were cut later in their development, allowing them to establish more petals and stronger stems.

Still, while red roses make up the majority of the Valentine’s Day orders, customers who are looking for alternative options to the traditional red rose are increasingly requesting growing plants, Raby said. “The plants add color to their house during Boone’s cold winter months,” he said.

Other florists agree.

Tiffany Presnell, office manager at Log House Florist, said she also gets the bulk of her requests for roses but makes a large number of mixed arrangements.


To deliver, or not

But whether its roses or other floral arrangements, it takes an army to deliver them on Valentine’s Day.

Presnell will use six delivery drivers to shuttle arrangements throughout town, she said.

And for those who tend to be last-minute shoppers —and miss out on a delivery option —myriad stores in Watauga County will offer a prepackaged solution, if you get there in time.

Most of her flowers ran out by Valentine’s Day night last year, said Rita Hutton, floral manager of Harris Teeter.

To help avoid that problem this year, the store has ordered about 30,000 flowers — mainly roses and tulips — to meet demand, she said.


As for price?

It’s no secret that all flowers — roses or other arrangements — cost more near and on Valentine’s Day.

Floral arrangements are pricey this time of year, Raby said, because of the work involved to fill the need for this one day.

Higher prices are due to growers charging more during the Valentine’s Day season because they need additional staffing to meet the high demand for flowers, he said.

Suppliers aren’t alone.

Raby says he also has to boost his staff size during this time to ensure service for every customer.