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A Florist's Thoughts on Valentine's Day

Updated on February 11, 2016
Kylyssa profile image

Kylyssa Shay worked as a florist for eighteen years and has created and taught an assortment of crafts to adults and children of all ages.

A simple heart wreath made of ivory roses
A simple heart wreath made of ivory roses | Source

What a Florist Thinks about Valentine's Day and Some Advice for Valentine's Day Flower Buyers

For almost 18 years of my life I was a professional floral designer. The single craziest day of the year in every last one of those years was February 14th, Valentine's Day.

Florists look at Valentine's Day with mixed emotions. Floral designers know they'll be getting more hours to make up for the dreadful slowness of January, but they also know that all those extra hours will come in one big clump. They know they'll have an opportunity to make more big, unusual arrangements for Valentine's Day than any other time of the year, but they also know that they'll have to make many more cliched, boring or unattractive arrangements for Valentine's Day than at any other time of the year. Florists know their business will be flush with customers for the entire week before, but they also know that the worst type of customers come out for Valentine's Day.

I'd like to explain to you more about Valentine's Day from a florist's perspective - why the prices are so high, the work so stressful, and why you should skip the red roses, among other things.

How Do You Feel About Red Roses as Valentine's Day Gifts?

Blooming red roses
Blooming red roses | Source

Red roses as Valentine's Day gifts are

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A hand-tied dozen red roses with limonium and premium foliage including aspidistra leaves in a glass vase
A hand-tied dozen red roses with limonium and premium foliage including aspidistra leaves in a glass vase | Source

Why You Should Skip the Roses on Valentine's Day

The problem with Valentine's Day red roses is that everyone wants them. That may not sound like such a bad thing but the problem is that there simply are not enough red roses to meet the demand on Valentine's Day. Now, the logical thing to do would be to grow as many red roses as possible timed to be at their peak in the first two weeks of February and to only sell those red roses.

But people want to make as much money as possible off of Valentine's Day shoppers. The growers cut red roses that are not ripe enough to open off the bush and include those in shipments. Also, they become far less picky about quality control and pass off red roses they would have normally discarded for quality issues as good enough for Valentine's Day.

On top of that, the flower wholesalers try to keep the red roses shipped from the growers the previous week (and sometimes the week previous to that one!) fresh until Valentine's Day. The wholesalers do this by cooling and slightly dehydrating them. This is a really dirty trick because the florist who buys these floral time bombs can't tell that there's anything wrong with them until they've been given a fresh cut and allowed to sit in nutrient solution overnight. Even that's not a sure test - they can look fine, even for a couple of days but once they are out of the floral cooler for a while and in a recipient's warm home they flop over like jellyfish.

The same quality problems apply to other flowers at Valentine's Day to a lesser extent so you may want to rethink the whole cut flower concept and get your sweetie something else.

On top of the quality issues, at many shops there is another issue with red roses. Arranging roses in a vase is one of the first things many assistants learn. Since shops on Valentine's Day are flush with more complex orders requiring the skills of experienced designers, an assistant, a temp, or a new hire will likely be arranging your flowers. If there's time, an experienced designer will check them over before they head out the door but that is not always the case. This may result in roses arranged differently than what you are used to seeing from the shop you buy them from.

Exclamation point made of coins
Exclamation point made of coins | Source

Why Flowers Cost So Much at Valentine's Day

Flower wholesalers want to get into the gold mine at Valentine's Day, too, so they jack up the price of the roses at Valentine's Day as much as three to five times as much as usual. They also increase prices similarly high for other flowers for Valentine's Day. That is more than retail! The flower wholesalers know the florists have no choice but to buy them.

So florists often make LESS per flower and LESS per arrangement that costs you MORE on Valentine's Day than it usually would! But, I assure you, the customers don't get angry at the flower wholesalers, they get angry at the florists over Valentine's Day flower prices.

What accentuates this problem is that growers and wholesalers are often passing off inferior product at Valentine's Day, resulting in far greater spoilage. Florists have to throw out a much higher percentage of flowers at Valentine's Day for quality control purposes so they pay even more per flower than the jacked up prices due to the high percentage of flowers that arrive in an unsaleable condition.

Don't get me wrong, florists still make good coin on Valentine's Day, it just that it's actually due to a huge volume of sales rather than the outrageous prices, prices they've simply passed on from the wholesalers and growers. Many florists make less per dozen red roses on Valentine's Day than on a dozen red roses sold at any other time. They just happen to sell 20 to 200 times as many during Valentine's Week as they would on a normal week.

Modern heart bridal bouquet created by the author for a Michigan design contest
Modern heart bridal bouquet created by the author for a Michigan design contest | Source

Why Florists Work Really Long Hours for Valentine's Day

To meet the incredibly increased demand for flower arrangements on Valentine's Day it seems like the thing to do would be to hire on a whole bunch of temp designers, right? Unfortunately, that's not really all that workable. There are some temps available for Valentine's Day but temp workers present certain problems.

Most flower shops have a style which is part of their image and it's hard to train someone in your style in a day or two. Failure to do so can upset longstanding clients if the arrangements sent out for Valentine's Day don't meet the image they expected.

For some things, temp designers are great - making rose bouquets, processing flowers, and performing simple but vital tasks to keep the flower shop running smoothly. But there are usually not enough well trained temp designers to cover a flower shop's extra Valentine's Day business.

Part of the reason for that is that temp floral designers are usually retired or semi-retired floral designers. They are super for big weddings, special events, and during Mother's Day week. But some of them know what Valentine's Day is like in a flower shop and want nothing to do with the madhouse. Another part of the reason quality temp designers are hard to find for Valentine's Day is that they have been snatched up by other flower shops and there aren't enough to meet the demand. Chances are, if someone is a trained floral designer and has the stamina to work Valentine's Day, they are already working in a flower shop.

So this lack of available, good floral designer temps means that regular floral designers will work long days. During Valentine's Day weeks I've worked days as long as 20 hours and come back for more less than six hours later to do it again. People think floral design is not a demanding job but they also don't usually realize that it's a standing job. Fatigue takes a harsh toll on creativity and after a few really long days in a row, floral designers tend to be a bit worse for wear.

How this impacts you, as a flower customer is this - if you put in your order late a tired, possibly cranky and bleary-eyed designer is going to make your design with whatever is left. So order early for Valentine's Day, at least a week ahead of time, more if possible. Valentines Day pre-orders get done first by designers that are fresh with the flowers that are best.

A man pretending to be angry
A man pretending to be angry | Source

Why Some Valentine's Day Customers Are the Pits

Of course the vast majority of Valentine's Day flower shop customers are perfectly normal and very often completely wonderful people. But then there are the ones that aren't. Let's say one in a hundred customers is rude, mean, or nasty - that means that you might have over a dozen on Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day seems to really bring bad customers out, though. I think it's because some of the customers for Valentine's Day are different from the customers who order flowers for other occasions. Many Valentine's Day customers never order or buy flowers except at Valentine's Day. They aren't familiar with flowers or various concepts regular flower customers are such as the fact that flowers with labor added cost more and sales clerks aren't the same as floral designers, female or not. And believe it or not, some of these once a year customers don't realize that flowers die, usually within a week. Many Valentine's Day customers also don't seem to want to be buying flowers but they feel as if they have to.

What compounds this grumpy customer phenomenon is the fact that temp workers, often teens, are hired on to work just for the Valentine's Day rush. The floral designers themselves often ring up sales on regular days but they have to be making, making, making flower arrangements for Valentine's Day. So the staff an average Valentine's Day customer encounters can be less than knowledgeable.

Here's why I say some Valentine's Day customers are the pits- no less than once and usually several times, each polite, innocent salesclerk will get a very rude customer. At least one customer on Valentine's Day will make a scene at the top of his lungs because flowers cost more than he thought or because the shop can't drop all of the orders people placed weeks before for Valentine's Day and re-route the delivery vehicles to make a delivery within the hour. It's just such a surprise to the young clerks to see some adult throw a full-on tantrum over Valentine's Day flowers that it disrupts everything and really hurts their feelings.

An odd Valentine's day plush novelty
An odd Valentine's day plush novelty | Source

What Makes It All Worthwhile, Bad Flowers, Customer Tantrums and All

The thing that offsets the grumpy customers is that maybe one in fifty customers are above and beyond nice so floral shops get many more of them, too, for Valentine's Day. So there are at least twice as many super wonderful to deal with customers as icky customers on Valentine's Day and tons of pleasant customers, too.

One big plus of Valentine's Day, as far as I was always concerned, was getting to see so many customers just delighted when they picked up their Valentine's Day orders. It was also great to get the phone calls from tickled pink flower recipients and to see the steady stream of thank-you notes trickle in for the next few weeks after Valentine's Day.

Another high point for floral designers is getting to make big arrangements for Valentine's Day. Small arrangements are wonderful to make, too, but as a designer one is always trying to make the most impressive and beautiful thing she can - which is much easier when money isn't tight. There are also more "open orders" or "designer's choice" arrangements for Valentine's Day and the experienced designers get to do them. Those kind of orders are orders where the customer decides to leave the designing and flower choices up to the floral professionals. A typical "designer's choice" order might read something like - "I'd like to spend fifty dollars on the flowers and she likes yellow." These are so fun to do because the designer can make what he thinks is prettiest with the flowers he thinks are best.

A large arrangement sent as a Valentines day gift
A large arrangement sent as a Valentines day gift | Source

People Feel like They Have to Buy Flowers for Valentine's Day

Throughout the year, people send flowers to their loved ones. Florists get to see beautiful romantic gestures made with flowers every day. They write out customer messages on cards that are so tender and loving they'd make you cry. So much genuine love passes through a flower shop it's one of the reasons being a floral designer was my career.

Holidays are full of loving gestures, too. For Mother's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas people joyously send flowers to loved ones.

On Valentine's Day people feel obligated to give flowers. Some women expect and demand flowers for Valentine's Day and let me tell you, some of the guys don't like it one bit. Florists hear all about it.

Valentine's Day has been turned into an obligatory romance day, a day when people have to fake a spontaneous display of love or suffer social consequences. Don't get me wrong, it's sweet to get a token of love for your beloved on Valentine's Day, but it isn't spontaneous. And if you really aren't feeling like it and it's really just a token gesture made because you have to, well that's no fun at all!

Have You Ever Felt Pressured to Get a Valentine's Day Gift?

Have you ever felt you HAD to get a Valentine's Gift for someone?

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Kalanchoe blossoms on a live plant
Kalanchoe blossoms on a live plant | Source

My Advice for You on Valentine's Day

If you simply must send flowers, I strongly suggest sending a blooming plant as a Valentine's Day gift instead of cut flowers. The quality will just be better and it will last longer. Whatever you order, if you order from a flower shop for Valentine's Day, order at least a week ahead of time.

Write a love note. A large majority of Valentine's Day cards attached to flowers are just signed, "Love, Whatshisname" and nothing else.

Give a gift from the heart, not because you feel you have to because it's Valentine's Day.

Give your loved one something you think he or she will actually want, not what trends or traditions say you should get. A dozen red roses for Valentine's Day is the most tired cliche in the floral business and going by customers who purchase flowers for themselves, red roses aren't even a favorite of many women or men.

© 2010 Kylyssa Shay

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue - When you read this page did you learn something new?

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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub Kylyssa. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Valentine's Day roses and what you should get your valentine. This was really insightful for you to share. I once wanted to be a floral designer, but I didn't do so well with one of my classes and dropped out of college for it. Oh well. Hope you have a nice (and warm) Valentine's Day!

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 3 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      In my opinion, carnations are a much better choice, especially for Valentine's Day, as they last a lot longer and give off a wonderful fragrance.

    • Celebrates profile image

      Celebrates 3 years ago

      I like carnations much more than roses. I think they tend to have a much better fragrance in general than roses. Usually they are fresher and less expensive, especially on Valentine's Day. Great insights on the floral industry and excellent article.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      A very happy Valentine's Day Kylyssa. I hope it is wonderful.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      my birthday is on Valentines I get plenty of other gifts...although red roses usually are one of them...

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      The only good thing about valentines day in a shop is the paycheck at the end.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      On the 1 February 2012, I blessed this lens, I still think it is one of the best Valentine Lens, as it comes from the bottom of your heart with true meaning. Why I am commenting because of a quest we are doing now, still stand by it as a great lens. All the best for 2013.

    • oxfordian profile image

      oxfordian 6 years ago

      I much prefer year-long romance to the forced effort placed on a single day when everyone is doing it.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Blessed! Happy Valentine's Day!

    • TripleTK LM profile image

      TripleTK LM 6 years ago

      Great personalized lens! I don't like cliché gifts or holidays so no red roses for me!

    • Stacy Birch profile image

      Stacy Birch 6 years ago

      Very good information.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      Wow, it really painted such a vivid 'insider' image! Yes, I did learn a lot. I have to say, I never thought about Valentine's day flower-giving custom, because I never expect anything on Valentine's day. You see, I grew up in Greece and Valentine's day was a literally "imported" celebration -- when I was a young girl, we didn't have a clue about the said saint. So, the day doesn't mean that much to me, it is not part of the traditions I grew up with.Btw, I despise getting cut flowers as a gift, I always prefer live ones.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 6 years ago

      Wow, it really painted such a vivid 'insider' image! Yes, I did learn a lot. I have to say, I never thought about Valentine's day flower-giving custom, because I never expect anything on Valentine's day. You see, I grew up in Greece and Valentine's day was a literally "imported" celebration -- when I was a young girl, we didn't have a clue about the said saint. So, the day doesn't mean that much to me, it is not part of the traditions I grew up with.Btw, I despise getting cut flowers as a gift, I always prefer live ones.

    • Nspired2 profile image

      Nspired2 6 years ago

      Nice lens...& yes I did learn something new, but i am still partial to red roses on VD :-D! Congrats on LoTD!

    • Nspired2 profile image

      Nspired2 6 years ago

      Nice lens...& yes I did learn something new, but i am still partial to red roses on VD :-D! Congrats on LoTD!

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 6 years ago

      That is a unique perspective. I can imagine it would be difficult to be blamed for those high process. And I can think of multiple reasons a pot of flowers would indeed be better.

    • dwnovacek profile image

      dwnovacek 6 years ago

      Wonderfully presented and so informational. Angel Blessings!

    • curious0927 profile image

      curious0927 6 years ago

      I'm not a florist, however, I totally agree that Roses are not the best flower for VD. I've never liked roses, they die so fast. Usually, as you said, they are not even the prettiest when received. In my teens, my boyfriend brought me flower's every Friday when he picked me up. I asked him not to buy Roses, they die to fast. He then bought be daisies or carnations. They lined my long windowsill for weeks! Great lens, blessed! Congrat's on front page for quite some time!

    • JanetG LM profile image

      JanetG LM 6 years ago

      Hi Kylyssa, I'm a retired florist too, so I completely understand this lens. You hit all the points I would make too, except we always trimmed off rose thorns and wired each rose, so no bent necks. The roses stayed fresh looking longer. I always dreaded the day after to hear how many roses did not open. sigh...I felt bad for the delivery people because being from the North country, it never failed to be a snowy or freezing day for deliveries. Oh, but we went through tons of wrapping paper to keep the delicate blooms protected. You're right. We, the florists, take the flack for the high prices, but no one realizes how much the wholesalers increase the prices to us. BTW, Have a Happy Valentine's Day!!

    • profile image

      dellgirl 6 years ago

      This is a great lens, its very informative! Thank you for sharing, I learned something new here. Congratulations on making Popular Pages featured Lenses.

    • queenofduvetcover profile image

      queenofduvetcover 6 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading this lens! And yes, I did learn something new =)

    • profile image

      gravityx9 6 years ago

      Great looking lens! 'LIKED' and shared with my friends @ G+

    • profile image

      DebMartin 6 years ago


    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 6 years ago from Florida

      Great perspective! Very interesting! Blessed & liked.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I was pleasantly surprised to read some of the comments here. I too don't want a gift or have to give a gift on a certain day. Especially flowers. Some people don't grow any thiing that they can't eat, but growing flowers in the summer has always been a part of my life ... forever. A hand-picked bouquet from my husband gives me as much, or more pleasure than one purchased. I feel that my efforts are appreciated and although I agree that arranging flowers is an art, what flower when in a bouquet doesn't look beautiful.This lens was very interesting, I learned a lot, and deserves LotD!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      Happy early Valentine's Day ... and congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image

      PollyFreakingAnna 6 years ago

      Now that I've seen the florist's point of view, it makes me want to order a "go for it" bouquet for someone where I can let the florist use their talents - but NOT on Valentine's Day.My grandmother loves them, but receiving flowers has always seemed like such a waste to me. There's such a sad disappointment when they die. I'd rather recive something practical that would remind me of the gift-giver when I used it. And I'd rather receive that on some random Tuesday in the middle of the year! :P Great lens!

    • karMALZEKE profile image

      karMALZEKE 6 years ago

      Very nice perspective.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I agree with what Anthony said treat your partner as though every day is a special moment

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is a unique lens with a florist's perspective on Valentine's Day. Nice read and great idea for a lens. I'm not a big fan of one day celebration events. Why wait until a special day to give flowers to someone you love. I say embrace it as a lifestyle and do it throughout the year, plus it will add an element of surprise. Congrats on LOTD...blessed! :)

    • designsbyharriet profile image

      Harriet 6 years ago from Indiana

      This is a great lens. Learned a lot about flowers and about customers and about selling. Fantastic is a mild word for this lens.

    • Fran Tollett profile image

      Fran Tollett 6 years ago

      Wow! I LOVE flowers. I LOVE plants. Great lens with great ideas.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Having owned a florist shop I can vouch for your take on Valentine's Day. It's a big money spend up where flowers are concerned and the hours worked by florists is long and hard. Congrats on LOTD. Blessed and featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012 and also on Squidoo LOTD Lenses 2. Hugs

    • profile image

      ptnjust007 6 years ago

      at present, I'm single :-( ...

    • Mortira profile image

      Mortira 6 years ago

      Fantastic advice! I have always preferred flowers picked from the side of the road - they're spontaneous and I know where they came from. I do like the idea of buying plants as gifts, especially if they are locally grown indigenous plants.

    • goldenecho profile image

      Gale 6 years ago from Texas

      Great lens...I did learn things new. I've worked in a nursery where they sold flowers but only in summer. :-) Never had to do the Valentines blitz. "Valentine's Day has been turned into an obligatory romance day, a day when people have to fake a spontaneous display of love or suffer social consequences." AMEN. My husband and I finally admitted to each other that we didn't like valentines for this very felt like having to be romantic on cue, without any of the deep meaning and memories that came during anniversaries. Plus, it's hard to do something romantic at the same time that everyone else babysitters, restaurants are crazy, and...well, you hit on the flower issue. We finally found a tradition we like for Valentines though. We buy a cheesecake (my favorite dessert) for this "Sweet and Cheesy Holiday."

    • goldenecho profile image

      Gale 6 years ago from Texas

      Great lens...I did learn things new. I've worked in a nursery where they sold flowers but only in summer. :-) Never had to do the Valentines blitz. "Valentine's Day has been turned into an obligatory romance day, a day when people have to fake a spontaneous display of love or suffer social consequences." AMEN. My husband and I finally admitted to each other that we didn't like valentines for this very felt like having to be romantic on cue, without any of the deep meaning and memories that came during anniversaries. Plus, it's hard to do something romantic at the same time that everyone else babysitters, restaurants are crazy, and...well, you hit on the flower issue. We finally found a tradition we like for Valentines though. We buy a cheesecake (my favorite dessert) for this "Sweet and Cheesy Holiday."

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Congrats on LotD! Appreciated the perspective gained here. My guys have always been very practical about the Valentine's day flowers. They took your advice and gave me something that would last (and of high quality). Here's a big thank you to all you florists out there.

    • SquidooMBA profile image

      SquidooMBA 6 years ago

      Great tips. Thankfully my wife isn't really into Valentines Day (or I would be in big trouble)! Congrats on being Lens of the Day!

    • profile image

      cleanyoucar 6 years ago

      Thanks for the insights on flowers. Great lens

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 6 years ago

      Something told me that being a florist around Valentine's Day would not be a good idea. I'm glad I chose the easier job of working at the Post Office. There, all I hadda' do was lift lift, carry, haul, deliver an' keep a happy face handy, just in case. Waaaaay easier.Congratulations on getting LOTD. It's obvious why this page was chosen.

    • MarilynThompson profile image

      Marilyn Thompson 6 years ago from Washington State

      My favorite Valentines arrangement was an assortment of flowers personally selected by my husband and did not include roses, they were gorgeous and even lasted longer than the roses might have. Check out my lens on his special surprise.

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      quicpost 6 years ago

      Thanks for a very helpful article.

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 6 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      also forgot to mention adding this in the featured lenses on valentine lens

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 6 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      I think people need to get a brain & be a little more creative when it coes to any valentine gifts instead of red roses get some pinks one etc Depending on how early into the relationship you are, red might be giving the wrong impression. (see my Valentine lens for why I say this! I'd be happy with one rose Preferably the 'black magic' vaiety (that blood colored one) or a 'Bat Flower' or a BRIGHT multicolored bouquet (it doesn't have to be roses, it can just be daisys)

    • Akitajitsu profile image

      Jen 6 years ago from California

      Kind of nice to see it all from the other side! Congrats on LOTD!!

    • jodijoyous profile image

      jodijoyous 6 years ago from New York

      I had no idea what really went on behind the scenes at the florist. Congratulations on LOTD!

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 6 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Did not realize the facts about red roses, Valentines Day and supply and demand - good to know! Interesting lens!

    • profile image

      totalhealth 6 years ago

      valentines day in a different perspective. red roses are romantic but there's surely lots of different kinds of beautiful flowers for valentines.

    • profile image

      atulpatel2006 6 years ago

      beautiful roses, i like rose.Wallpaper

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 6 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens, great to read your thought's on valentine day from a florist view.Myself I do not require a valentine gift, as everyday is valentine day, if your love one cares about you. I am lucky. We are farmers, my husband giving me a four leaf clover, is making my day special any time. Thanks for sharing. Blessed.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 6 years ago from USA

      Thanks for setting some of the record straight. Sorry you had to deal with some of this over the years.

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 6 years ago

      Oh wow, I can just imagine that Valentine's Day is a tough one on the florists as it is busy and an extra amount of grumpy, hurried customers. Its nice to know that for some florists, its worth it though. Congratulations on LOTD and getting on the front page. =)

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      faye durham 6 years ago

      I enjoyed reading your lens. Good info and well organized.

    • profile image

      ifuturz 6 years ago

      I really liked this lens

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 6 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Boy am I glad that yellow roses are my favorite! This is a great lens -- a real eyeopener. Well done.

    • Violin-Student profile image

      Violin-Student 6 years ago

      I owned a florist for 4 years. My (least) favorite story... I really wanted to convince an individual (well to do owner of a local business) to become a regular customer, switching to my shop from one of the other two florists in town. He ordered flowers for Valentine's Day (that's good), but he wanted them delivered at a specific time (that's horrible!). It's the busiest delivery day of the year, but I went to the house to surprise his wife as she arrived home from work. I was there at the specified time. Nobody home. I waited ten minutes. This was long before cell phones became common, so I decided to go back to the shop and contact the customer. I couldn't just leave the delivery at the door, it was below freezing. I went back to the shop and called the customer. "My wife had to stay late at work. She'll be leaving some time in the next hour or so, but I'm not sure when. Just go to the house and be there when she gets home. I really want this to be a surprise." I offered to go to the business. He said that wouldn't do. I decided that I wouldn't spend up to an hour sitting still, and politely told him so. He canceled the order. I pulled the card off the arrangement and put the flowers in the display cooler. Somebody bought them within thirty minutes. That would be fine, but I had lost forty minutes on the busiest day of the year. The guy told people in town how uncooperative I was and that they shouldn't do business with me. In a town of under 10,000 people in VERY competitive situation that is DEVASTATING. But not being able to make 6 other deliveries because I was waiting for his wife would have been at least as bad! I miss the fun and artistic part of floral design...but I'm so glad I sold that shop!I buy flowers for Valentine's Day, but I order them ahead of time and pick them up at the shop.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 6 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      really fun read. I worked Retail gift stores so I know about some of the things you mentioned.Congrats on LOTD!

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      resabi 6 years ago

      Thanks for the insights and a picture of the inner working of the floral industry. Valentine's day has never been a focal point for me. But my problem is that my mom's birthday is the day AFTER Valentine's day. Try getting good flowers then... Blessed.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I love your lens. It gives an insider's view on flowers for V Day. I love the pictures too.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Fascinating view. Blessed.

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      Ruthi 6 years ago

      Congratulations on Lens of the Day! I appreciate a florist's point of view of the day of love. Now if all customers would remember that Valentine's Day is a love day then maybe they wouldn't be so grumpy!

    • cdevries profile image

      cdevries 6 years ago

      Fascinating to see the insiders' view of this holiday. Thanks!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Yes, it was interesting to see this from the florist's point of view. I love flowers, love designing container gardens, and growing specialty plants like scented geraniums, & have always considered florist's work as something I would like to do. Worked in greenhouses for several seasons, & we, too, had some pretty grumpy customers, but our most overwhelming day was the day before Mother's day. Congrats on LOtD! Best wishes.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      It's a shame that there are so many grumpy people ordering last-minute flowers on Valentine's Day, but I guess it's all in a day's work when you get right down to it. As much as I love roses, I'd actually prefer a growing plant, even a rose bush, since it will last longer. Congratulations on your Lens of the Day!

    • profile image

      Tamara14 6 years ago

      I really love red roses and flowers in general, but as a gift it should come from the gift giver's heart and not as a result of some feeling of obligation. Your advices and tips are very good and this LOTD so well deserved. Squid Angel blessings too :)

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 6 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! I agree with everything you said. I worked at Hallmark and dreaded Valentine's Day. People always seemed to remember they were supposed to buy something on the actual day and then they were frantic and grumpy. Great advice on flowers.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 6 years ago

      I did notice that red roses I got on Valentine's day usually didn't last long. I don't see anything wrong with not getting roses on Valentine's day - our local Harris Teeter always offers a great variety of flower arrangements to choose from :) Congrats on LOTD - well done :)

    • sherridan profile image

      sherridan 6 years ago

      Brilliant to hear the other side of the story. At least on Valentinne's you are dealing with people in a positive mindset rather than at low ebb as must be the case with the bereaved.

    • sidther lm profile image

      sidther lm 6 years ago

      This was so interesting ! I love it when my husband brings home flowers but neither of us has ever liked the idea of roses on Valentine's day itself- not really sure why. Thank you so much for explaining about how some of the wholesalers cool and slightly dehydrate the roses- I had been wondering why the last 2 bouquets Hubby brought home looked perfect and just flopped over within 12 hours (and the color still looks great, no crunchy or brown spots around the petals, they just look flopped over and a bit odd) and I think that might be it.I love getting to hear about Valentine's Day from a Floral Designer's point of view. Congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image

      arunadavis 6 years ago

      What an informative lens! Would be sharing it with my friends as the countdown has begun. Happy February and congrats on LOTD!

    • Scotties-Rock profile image

      Clairissa 6 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Great lens and congrats on LOTD. I own two restaurants and it is a crazy day!!! So I totally understand where you are coming from. We would never go out to eat on any holiday. Let alone Valentines Day. (and it is our anniversary) However, we usually have to work these days anyway. :(

    • iMANDY profile image

      iMANDY 6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Very informative lens, I enjoyed reading it! Congrats on LOTD!! :)

    • profile image

      JennySui 6 years ago

      Congratulations on LOtD!

    • GabStar profile image

      GabStar 6 years ago

      Great lens, congrats on LOTD

    • kislanyk profile image

      Marika 6 years ago from Cyprus

      Beautiful lens, congrats! Blessed.

    • MagpieNest profile image

      MagpieNest 6 years ago

      A very interesting read as always. Yet another reason not to celebrate Valentine's day. Restaurants are at their worst on Valentine's day too for similar reasons.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Amazing ideas, thanks for taking time to share this lease agreement

    • mowug1776 profile image

      mowug1776 6 years ago

      yah i did learn that if i want to buy flowers then I had better buy them the day before. Congratulations for getting LotD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      As you already know, I love this masterpiece of yours and am returning to congratulate you on LotD, I couldn't be more pleased!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Congrats on LOTD! I will always remember to send a blooming plant. Thanks for the tips!

    • relish interiors profile image

      relish interiors 6 years ago

      Yes, I did. Thanks for the insight. It's always good to see things from someone else's perspective.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      Yes, I learned a lot. Thanks for sharing.

    • tracy-arizmendi profile image

      Tracy Arizmendi 6 years ago from Northern Virginia

      Wow!!! I had no idea the reason prices were so high was due to the chain of events you described! As for the roses my hubby never buys them. He always buys me Calla lilys because they are my favorite.

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 6 years ago

      Oooh, I loved this behind the scenes look! I am one of those women that does not like to receive cut flowers as between allergies and tastes, there are very few flowers that I actually like (I don't like roses). My boyfriend did recently get me a beautiful spring bouquet of tulips which I loved! Great lens and written very well. Thank you.

    • dexter yarbroug1 profile image

      dexter yarbroug1 6 years ago

      Great lens! I really enjoyed reading it! I learned quite a bit!

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 6 years ago

      Great lens filled with a lot of valuable "secrets". thank you!

    • Wendy Leanne profile image

      Wendy Leanne 6 years ago from Texas

      My mom was a florist. When I was a teen, I used to help her in the shop for Valentine's and Mother's Day. The two days before both events, we'd work at the flower shop until 2:00 in the morning just to get all the orders filled, and her flower shop was in a small town with a population of only 1,800! It was a lot of work.

    • hirephp lm profile image

      hirephp lm 6 years ago

      nice lens Kylyssa

    • profile image

      macsquared 6 years ago

      It made me miss my days as a florist!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 6 years ago

      I too, was a professional floral designer for many years and what you say is true. It's a tough holiday for designers. Please don't get married on Valentine's Day either unless you order silk flowers. They can be done way ahead of time when the designers are not under such intense pressure and have time to give your wedding the care it deserves.

    • FalconFan LM profile image

      FalconFan LM 6 years ago

      Awesome lens! What an interesting read - very good to know!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I know the pressure on most men as flowers are the easiest gift to think of but am sorry to hear it is at the expense of some florists.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I know the pressure on most men as flowers are the easiest gift to think of but am sorry to hear it is at the expense of some florists.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

      It's true, people blame florists for what looks to be a small fortune that they make at this time of year. Very enlightening to hear the other side of the story. Now I feel sorry for florists, squeezed in the middle. You also confirmed something I suspected was true -- many men resent the emotional blackmail that obliges them to buy flowers. How much nicer to just give flowers as and when throughout the year, and to have it really mean something. Blessed (and much enjoyed).

    • SoniaCarew profile image

      SoniaCarew 6 years ago

      Great lens. Interesting.

    • profile image

      Edutopia 6 years ago

      Great lens, interesting read and great advice.

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I usually try to order flowers in enough time, but this lens will definitely make me order even more in advance. I enjoy flowers as a gift, but I never want to be someone who expects or demands them. They're a lovely surprise. Great lens getting to see a florist's side of Valentine's day.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 6 years ago

      I think flowers are one of the standard gifts next to chocolate on Valentine's Day, which is why everyone goes for that and especially roses. I'd go for tulips or violets as alternatives.

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 6 years ago from McLaughlin

      My brother in law is a florist and he talks about all the points you make in this article. Thanks for this view!


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