'Tis the season for love and flowers, and three area floral shops have the latter aspect covered for Valentine's Day. Even though the day of love is at the end of the week, the local flower shops and florists are busy taking orders and preparing flowers now.
Three flower shops up to their ears in petals and stems are Artistic Ambiance, Country Meadows Floral and the Flower Box.
According to Diane Knaup, head designer at Artistic Ambiance, Valentine's Day is the number one floral holiday and the Christmas for florists and floral shops. "We do more in one day than other holidays," she added. Artistic Ambiance has two locations, one in Minot located at 417 E. Burdick Expressway, and the other in Velva.
This display of flowers and balloons occupies the center of the commercial area of the Flower Box in Minot.
Preparation for Valentine's Day at Artistic Ambiance has been taking place since Christmas, Knaup said, and flowers started coming in last week. "We have had five shipments come in since last week, when ordinarily we get one or two shipments a week," she added. All of the flowers are prepared in special solution, are hydrated and placed in storage solution, Knaup said.
For Valentine's Day, Knaup said Artistic Ambiance has extra drivers delivering flowers on the day before and on Valentine's Day. "Most people want flowers delivered on the day," she added. Red roses are the flower of choice for Valentine's Day, Knaup continued, but the younger generation likes other flowers such as lilies, hydrangea or other unique varieties.
Country Meadows Floral, located at 2910-7th St. SW, is also extremely busy this week, according to owner Barb Dockter. "This is probably our busiest time of the year and probably close to or the same as Mother's Day."
Getting the flowers ready for Valentine's Day takes a significant amount of preparation time, so people will work extra hours, Dockter said. Extra help is also hired and they hire extra help for deliveries, she added. Country Meadows Floral will have five drivers on Valentine's Day.
Dockter said they prepare for Valentine's Day a month ahead and order flowers for it a month in advance, sometimes ordering in December. "We want to make sure we get the flowers that people want."
For customers looking to stray from the popular red roses, Dockter said pink roses, Gerbera daisies and tulips have been popular choices for Valentine's Day.
They also have balloons that say "Happy Valentine's Day" and "I love you" balloons available. "And if it's windy, (the balloons) make it interesting for the drivers," Dockter added.
Over at Flower Box, owner Nancy Larson said they usually have people lined up outside the door for Valentine's Day. They typically have between 400 and 500 deliveries on Valentine's Day, she continued, and it's probably their busiest day of the year. However, their busy aspect also depends on what day of the week that Valentine's Day falls on, Larson said. If it falls on a weekend, the husband will typically take the wife out for dinner, she said, but if Valentine's Day is early in the week, then the husband will send flowers.
There will be six, possibly seven vans used to make flower deliveries, Larson said. Usually, they have just two vans for deliveries.
Preparation for Valentine's Day begins weeks in advance, Larson said. They received flowers on Saturday and will be receiving more every day this week, she continued, and will try to fill orders each day. "It's day by day," she added. "Mother Nature decides a lot about this holiday. We'll have runners with the drivers who will call ahead (to the delivery place) so there can be someone at the door to get the flowers so they don't freeze."