ROMANCE in the south-west is blooming. Thousands of roses are awaiting delivery and soon to be accompanied by declarations of love or admiration today for Valentine’s Day.
The Warrnambool Fresh Flower Market team has been working overtime in readiness for the increased demand that Valentine’s Day brings and it seems no one demographic leads the way when it comes to romancing loved ones.
From the shy young men wanting to impress their girlfriends to older gentlemen wanting to send roses to “their wife and best friend”, manager Dianne Gardner said it was a lovely time of year.
“You think, that’s nice isn’t it? You can be married for quite a few years and still say that,” she said.
Mrs Gardner said a range of people celebrated the day and purchased flowers, including women for their male counterparts and secret admirers who wanted to remain anonymous.
“There’s the ones who say I don’t want them to know who it’s from and we respect that. If they come in and ask we won’t tell them who the flowers are from,” she said.
More than 2000 roses, including 1500 red mid and long-stemmed roses and 500 coloured roses will be some of the most popular requests from romantics today, as the market team busily wrap and deliver to homes and workplaces.
At the Fresh Flower Market there is a sea of lilies, early blooming tulips and an array of brightly coloured gerberas, as well as a range of cut flowers ordered especially for the big day.
Most popular is a dozen long-stemmed roses in a box but there are plenty of other options.
“People love lilies, whether they’re Asiatic lilies which don’t have a perfume or your oriental lilies, they’re always really good sellers. They’re probably our best sellers.
“Another thing that’s really popular is our Phalaenopsis orchids,” she said.
“It’s a massive industry. (Husband and owner) Tom goes to the Melbourne Market and said it’s a hive of activity (this week). He loves going down to the market. He’s been down twice this week,” Mrs Gardner said.
Port Fairy Blooms owner and florist Anja Harley said she was surprised by the number of deliveries sent to men at work last year and expected this year to be similar.
“I had a lot of boys being delivered to in Port Fairy. It’s more boys buying for girls, but I did have a lot of girls buying for boys too,” she said.
Miss Harley said last year people in their 20s and 30s sent the most flowers, though older people embraced the day, too.
Wendy Rankin Flowers owner Lisa Kelson said fresh flowers were their best sellers for Valentine’s Day and it was their busiest day of the year.
“Red roses are a big hit and colours are becoming more popular these days,” she said.
Mrs Kelson said the most popular flower requests for Valentine’s Day last year were pink and red roses and lilies.