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Clanton florists preparing for Valentine’s Day

By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith/ Community Columnist

If you have visited a local florist shop in the last week, you know that floral arranging isn’t for the weak of heart during Valentine’s Day.

According to Ipsos Advertising Research Tracking, 250 million roses are produced every year for Valentine’s Day. Although California produces 60% of the roses that are sold in the U.S. every year, most of the roses sold during February are imported from South America. The U.S. buys over one billion roses from Columbia every year, in order to fill the country’s demand during Valentine’s Day.

Using roses for Valentine’s dates back to the 19th century when Victorians used flowers to convey a message to love interests. The system called floriography, could relay the level of seriousness and confirm the kind of relationship depending on the color and variety of flower — the red rose symbolizing romance.

Last week, florists around Chilton County have been busy preparing and arranging for their busiest holiday of the year.

“We prepare our orders for the day and then afterward we make up different sizes of arrangements: single, half-dozen, a dozen for the people that come in,” Country Paradise owner Patricia Nelson said.

Pinedale Gardens owner, Becky Patterson, has ordered 5,000 roses in preparation for Valentine’s week. However, florists have expanded their gift selection since the time of the Victorians.

“We also have bears, snack baskets, plants and candy baskets,” said Patterson.

Everyday Flowers recently relocated to beside Winn-Dixie shopping center. However, moving has not affected his sales. In order to fulfill his customer’s needs, Everyday Flowers plans to be open Saturday and Sunday (Valentine’s Day) until they sell-out of roses.

“We have many people that are picking their order up via ‘curbside’,” Everyday Flowers floral artist Brandy Hubbard said. “People are missing their loved ones during COVID, and instead of visiting them, they have us deliver flowers. It is nice to bring a smile to someone’s face when delivering.”

Everyday Flowers also provides additional gifts besides roses, including candy bouquets, fruit baskets, cocoa bombs, cakes, cupcakes and chocolate dipped strawberries are available to customers. Strawberries must be ordered one-day in advance for freshness.

“No two arrangements are exactly alike,” said Hubbard. “Every floral artist has unique creative talents. Flower arranging is a creative outlet for us. Every arrangement is unique for the customer.”