Mary Bouchard holds a synthetic perfect rose Friday at The Flower Mine, 410 W. Victory Way. Bouchard has worked at the floral shop for more than a year. She said she enjoys the job because of the customers she encounters.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

Mary Bouchard holds a synthetic perfect rose Friday at The Flower Mine, 410 W. Victory Way. Bouchard has worked at the floral shop for more than a year. She said she enjoys the job because of the customers she encounters.

Mary Bouchard: Saying it with flowers

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I’ve lived here for 10 years. I came here from Steamboat, and I lived in the upper peninsula of Michigan. That’s where I grew up.

I just came in here shopping one day a year and a half ago, and I needed a job, and Shirley Balleck, the owner, hired me.

I like the customers and dealing with people. I enjoy the shop more than I do the flowers. I’m not as good with the flowers as everyone else is, but I like taking care of the customers and the store and that kind of thing.

White roses are probably my favorite. I also like teddy bear sunflowers. I’m not a sunflower person, but the teddy bear ones are really pretty. They just look softer than a regular sunflower does.

It’s been very busy here the last few days. The flowers that Shirley gets are long-lasting, and they’re always worth taking a look at.

What with Valentine’s Day, we’ve had most people going for roses with different colors. Our specials have made it easier for people coming in because they want the arrangements that we can do. One of them is ‘Hugs and Kisses,’ another one is called ‘Pink Love,’ and another one is ‘Razzle Dazzle.’ They each have their own design with either one color, or you can mix the colors up. They use flowers like roses, daisies, baby’s breath and carnations. They also have different kinds of price ranges. The ‘Razzle Dazzle’ seems to be the most popular so far.

I can do the arrangements myself, but I’m not as good with the flowers. I’m kind of the background person here, and I can do the flowers if I have to, but I like taking care of customers and making sure that everyone has what they need. Like if they have cards they need filled out or things like that. Just seeing who needs what when. That’s my favorite thing.

Valentine’s Day, prom and Mother’s Day are our big three. It’s fun when people call up and they say, ‘I’m not sure what I want,’ and we like to try figure out what they’re looking for and make suggestions. Especially for the guys because sometimes they just don’t know.

It’s just really a lot of fun to see what people want to put together. Having their own ideas and knowing what they like and putting all that together is just a lot of fun.

For my own arrangement, I think I’d like the fire and ice roses. They’re pink with red, and they’re really pretty.

I’ve been married for about 39 years. My husband, Rick, comes in, but he doesn’t really get a discount. If I buy them, then I’ll get a discount. Last year, for Valentine’s Day, he came in and got me a white rose bud vase, and it was just perfect.

— Interview by Andy Bockelman.

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