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Love's in bloom

Sometimes for Valentine's Day, area florists get exotic requests, but roses are a tradition. A dozen will cost between $30 and $

Sometimes for Valentine's Day, area florists get exotic requests, but roses are a tradition. A dozen will cost between $30 and $

February 07, 2003|by ASHLEY GORDON

Roses are a traditional Valentine's Day gift, but Tri-State area florists say those placing orders for their sweethearts sometimes put their own spin on romance.

Carol Wiebel, business manager of West Side Floral Inc. in Hagertown, said she once was asked to fill a Valentine's Day request for a dozen black roses. Since black roses don't exist in nature, the order was filled by spraying regular roses with paint, she said.

Dianne Fusting, owner of Fusting Florist and Greenhouses in Chambersburg, Pa., said her store once was asked to deliver a diamond ring with a card and a flower arrangement on Valentine's Day.

That wasn't the most unusual request, however.

"The weirdest thing that someone asked for on Valentine's Day was to send a nightgown inside a balloon," Fusting said.

Charlie Spalding, manager of Bells and Bows Florist in Martinsburg, W.Va., said he has filled orders that included marriage proposals.

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Meeting the demands of Valentine's Day makes some requests difficult to fill, one florist said.

Dennis Dodson, owner of Dennis L. Dodson Designs in Martinsburg, said he was asked to do flowers for a wedding on Valentine's Day, but refused.

"It is too demanding. I would shut down the shop on Valentine's Day if I could," Dodson said.

Rose buyers in the Tri-State area can expect to spend between $30 and $85 for the long-stemmed beauties on Valentine's Day, according to a check of some Tri-State area flower shops.

Cheryl Cannon, manager of Charles A. Gibney Florist in Hagerstown, said the most popular Valentine's Day request is a dozen red roses, which carry a $65 price tag at her shop.

"Valentine's Day and the day before are a hectic couple of days and we're extremely busy," said Cannon. She suggested that customers place orders at least one week in advance.

Todd Gossert, owner of T.G. Designs Florist in Hagerstown, said he charges $49.99 for a dozen roses, and predicted he'll sell more than 6,000 roses for Valentine's Day.

Wiebel said West Side Floral charges $65 per dozen roses, and is expecting a lot of business.

"It'll be really crazy if it snows," said Wiebel, because people usually ask for last-minute deliveries when the weather is bad and the store is kept busy trying to deliver them all.

Spalding said a dozen red roses at Bells and Bows Florist will cost $85 on Valentine's Day. He said he expects to sell more than 1,500 for Valentine's Day.

Dodson said Dennis L. Dodson Designs charges $85 for a dozen roses, but his shop usually sells specialty designed arrangements.

Fusting said her Chambersburg shop charges between $30 and $65 for a dozen arranged roses on Valentine's Day. She expects at least 1,000 to be sold for the day.

National florists deliver flowers anywhere in the country. Flowers Sent Today Florist offers a dozen roses at $79.99, and half a dozen for $59.99, and National Flora offers a dozen roses at the same price.

Lou Krbec, employee of the national chain called A World Class Florist, said a dozen roses cost $69.95.

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