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Valentine’s Day!

This is an interesting Valentine's Day for the floral industry. On one hand, supplies are tight because of the freezes in California. Many field-grown crops were damaged and simply won't be salvageable in time. Greenhouse crops suffered too. Growers had to decide whether to turn up their heat, which would raise costs so much that they wouldn't make a profit on the flowers, or to leave the heat at some lower level during the freeze, knowing that cooler temperatures in the greenhouse would slow down the plants so much that they might not bloom in time for the big day. Harvesting a beautiful rose crop on February 15 won't do them much good. And even though the U.S. produces only about 12 percent of all flowers purchased in this country, it's an important 12 percent. Some florists really prefer California roses.

So — supplies are tight. On the other hand, Valentine's Day falls on a Wednesday, and florists know that sales peak when the holiday happens later in the week. People are at work, they're reminded that the holiday is approaching, and it's easy to pick up the phone and order flowers. When the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, people make other plans and sales drop off. According to the calendar, this will be a busy day.

If you haven't ordered yet, make the call. And if you're looking for something different this year, try tulips or lilies. They're beautiful, they come in almost any color you can imagine, and they'll open gracefully all week long. She — or he — will love you for them.

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Amy Stewart is the award-winning author of seven books, including the bestsellers The Drunken Botanist and Wicked Plants. Girl Waits with Gun is her new novel. She and her husband live in Eureka, California, where they own a bookstore called Eureka Books.

Books mentioned in this post

Amy Stewart is the author of Wicked Plants: A Book of Botanical Atrocities

One Response to "Valentine’s Day!"

    KyleRanger February 14th, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Saw your editorial in today's New York Times. What would NYC be without those streetcorners overflowing with flowers?

    As in so many other forms of retail (bookselling included), personal relationships create loyal customers. When I lived in Colorado, I always went to the same florist, not because they made nice bouquets but rather because they knew that I liked to roam around in the walk-in and pick my own batch. They'd leave me alone to do that, and then when I did need them (for a bit of advice or whatnot) they were always helpful. I don't have a similar connection in Portland, and consequently I wind up buying flowers less often; and when I do, it's rarely from an actual florist -- Zupan's and Pastaworks are closest by.

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