Silvia Hamilton of Roses & Rainbows Flowers and Gifts adjusts an arrangement in the cooler.

The No. 1 flower for men to give women on Valentine’s Day is red roses.
However, Cambridge City florist Silvia Hamilton encourages givers to plan ahead and think outside the vase for this and future Valentine’s Day celebrations.
She said customers who select an arrangement of mixed flowers will get more for their money, and more longevity of the gift. She recommends flowers such as lilies, carnations, mini carnations and daisies to be mixed in with roses.
A dozen roses will usually fade at about the same time, but a mixture of flowers will decline at different times, giving the recipient a chance to remove them as needed.
Hamilton said red, white and pink flowers are double to triple their normal price around Valentine’s Day because of supply and demand.
Americans are seeking more fresh flowers at the worst time of year for a bargain because flowers must be flown in from South America, where they can be grown throughout the winter.
Valentine shoppers usually select fresh flowers instead of plants or gifts, although balloons have made a bit of a comeback for Valentine’s Day, and stuffed animals are also an option.
No matter what they choose, Hamilton said nearly all Valentine’s customers wait until the last minute to shop, and expect delivery on Feb. 14.
As of Friday, Hamilton had virtually no pre-orders, even though Valentine’s Day always falls on the same date each year.
Hamilton said customers will try to call to place an order on the holiday, but for a small business with only one phone line, it takes multiple calls to get through. Customers can get frustrated when they hear a busy signal, which no business wants to happen.
And, in Hamilton’s case, she is THE floral designer for Roses and Rainbows Flower & Gift Shop. She noted it’s hard to find extra designers in small towns to do temporary work for Valentine’s Day.
In order to have more time to make unique arrangements and get them delivered, Hamilton would like to encourage some customers to be open to Wednesday delivery so the recipient can enjoy the flowers that day as well as all day Thursday and beyond.
“We all have a limit on what we can produce,” she said of her fellow florists.

Read more of this story by Millicent Martin Emery in Wednesday’s print edition.

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