Valentine's Day is time to go for the roses

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Lori Romney, owner of Candlelight Floral in Craig, spent the day Thursday cutting stems and removing thorns from the 600 roses that had just arrived at her shop at 508 Yampa Avenue.

It's just part of the business preparation for Valentine's Day.

"Our order had to be in by January," Romney said. "Valentine's Day is the busiest day of the year for florists, with Mother's Day close behind."

Romney will have three people working on arrangements and one working the front of the shop Tuesday.

At the Flower Mine, 410 W. Victory Way, Shirley Balleck will bring in about a dozen helpers for Tuesday's expected rush, including sons, friends and nephews.

"Order early" was her tip to flower buyers. "Tell guys that girls like other colors besides red, too," she said.

Although red roses are the biggest sellers on Valentine's Day, both shops offer a variety of other items, including stuffed teddy bears and potted plants and flowers.

"We have stuffed toys, lipstick plants, even a book titled "1001 Ways to be Romantic," Balleck said.

Romney also has non-floral options for the romantically inclined.

"Big sellers also include our hand-dipped chocolates, stuffed Berrington bears, and Willow Tree angels," Romney said. "Besides red roses, we also have light, medium, and dark pink roses, along with peach and white ones."

Candlelight Floral will remain open until orders stop coming in, about 5 or 6 p.m., she said. "Most people ordered early, although we usually have a few desperadoes running in at four o'clock."

The Flower Mine will close "when we get tired," Balleck said. "It's like hunting season for Cashway," she said. "We'll have guys in tuxedos and western outfits delivering flowers all day, including out to the mines and up to Baggs, Wyo."

Workers at Candlelight Floral spent time during the weekend "waking up" the flowers. "They come in a dormant state," Romney explained. "You have to hydrate them to wake them up."

Prices range from single digits, to "as much as you want to pay" at both shops. Candlelight Floral can set buyers up with a small arrangement of flowers for about $10, and the Flower Mine has a single rose for $6.

Safeway and City Market also have roses in their floral departments for about $20 a dozen.

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 208, or dolsen@craigdailypress.com.

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