Local businesses prep for Valentine's Day

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Staff at Hilly Fields Florist and Gift Shop will be working late on February 13 and early on Valentine's Day to complete orders. "It is sort of like being hit by the love bug".

As Valentine's Day approaches, a florist's schedule can be wrapped up in one word, used multiple times. After 35 years in the flower business, Hirst said she doesn't look forward to Valentine's Day. "Christmas is a big deal, but it stretches out over a month".

"Every day there's something exciting in the florist world". Amazon has 12 roses for $44.35, with guaranteed, free shipping for Valentine's Day, via the KaBloom company.

"Most of the time it brings smiles to people's faces", said Dustin, a delivery person.

UPS said it expects to transport more than 8 million pounds of flowers - and a total of 88 million blossoms - to destinations in the United States, which the integrator said was equivalent to 64 filled 767 aircraft. "But we've had a lot of practice". Mother's day is a close second.

"Last year we had people in from 6.30-7am on the day".

And it requires a carefully choreographed routine designed by Garner over the past 35 years.

If you receive a Valentine's Day bouquet, there are some tips to keep your flowers blooming for days. In exchange for the almost three dozen volunteers, Garner makes a contribution to those three groups.

Kammi Good removes the stem ends from the bundles of roses before placing them in water and flower food which is a mixture of sugar, acid and bleach. "We've got it down pretty well". But due to recent safety changes all flowers and gifts must be delivered to Goodhue Hall first. Then, the ZIP codes are divided into neighborhoods.

The shop ordered approximately 7,000 red and multi-colored roses for the occasion and hired an additional 20 drivers to help with their 700 local deliveries. "If we wait too long, they're sold out".

"It gets pretty insane in here in the days leading up", said Garner. "What's available, and you're going to get someone who gets something in more recently, and you're going to get full value".

It appears Valentine's Day participation tapers off the older Aussies get. "Flowers are global products, and few flowers are grown in this country".

Wednesday, ICYMI, is right around the corner.

All businesses delivered the bouquets on time, during businesses hours on the fourth day. Once shipments arrive at UPS facilities at MIA, they are rushed to a refrigerated warehouse cooler the size of about five basketball courts and US Customs and Border Protection agents inspect and sort the boxes for fast clearance.

In Kenya and other countries, chemicals such as methyl bromide and others that are banned in countries like the U.S. are regularly imported in significant quantities by flower growers for pest control.

"Plus, we buy some local", said Garner.

"We're doing our gift baskets".

They're most popular arrangement has heart-shaped pineapples.

Boulton said that his business has worked through many Valentine's Days. So that has to be the No. 1 priority. Make the day personal because you want to make the day special, not because you have to.

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