“Hugs,” “Kisses,” “Be Mine” and “I Love You” were among the phrases written on the teddy bears, ornaments and gift baskets that decorated Blossoms Flower Shop this week.

They were there in preparation for Valentine’s Day on Monday.

Shop manager Daphnie Stoutt said this weekend will bring “crazy days.”  Then, on Monday, hundreds of gifts will be delivered to customers.

“We usually cannot handle everything, and we have to outsource the services of Inland Messenger,” Ms. Stoutt said.

For Valentine’s Day, most people shop for presents at the last minute, the manager added.

“Ladies would usually buy edible fruit arrangements, perfumes,” Ms. Stoutt said. Males, however, tend to buy exotic toys, lingerie and chocolates for their companions.

Overall, however, roses are the most popular gift during the season, she said.

A surprise

Nearby, at The Unique Flower Shop, a customer purchasing flowers declined to give his name because he didn’t want to ruin a surprise: a bouquet of flowers he was ordering for his wife.

“How would you like the flowers?” shop owner Linda Hodge asked, prompting him to make a selection of roses, lilies and orchids.

The customer said a dinner out was usually the norm for he and his wife on Valentine’s Day, but they now have a baby and may not follow this tradition.

“I’m probably going to cook some romantic candlelight dinner,” he said, “and we will shut the door to the nursery.”

At Bobby’s Flower Shop, Jose Fernandez was making a gift basket with a bottle of apple cider, two wine glasses, chocolates and other items he said were chosen for a male recipient.

At another table, shop manager Alice Maestre was making bows with ribbons.  

“This weekend is going to be busy,” the manager said, adding that the work is well worth it. “When I see the smiles and satisfaction on the faces of the people, I feel happy.”

Valentine’s Day is not all for grown-ups, according the florist. “I see children come to get teddy bears and gifts for their teachers and friends, too,” Ms. Maestre said.

Flower shops are not alone. Many clothing shops are advertising red and white items for sale, and restaurants are offering special menus.

At Unique Fashion Store yesterday, Joann Bazar and another staff member were sorting jeans to be displayed on mannequins. Most of them were red and white. “We are starting to get a little busy,” Ms. Bazar said.

For Valentine’s Day, “Ladies go all out,” she said. “They buy shoes, dresses, panties, but a guy would just come get something simple for his partner.”

Even the horse races scheduled for this weekend are incorporating a Valentine’s Day theme for the names of individual races.


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