WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Extended hours, a riot of roses and lots of late nights are keeping Westchester County florists busy these final days leading up to Sunday, Feb. 14, though many said this year, with Valentine's Day on the Sunday of President's Week, sales may be sluggish.
"Sunday is traditionally the worst day for Valentine's Day," said Nancy White of The Flower Bar in Larchmont. Because it can be a bit of a showy holiday, people like to buy flower arrangements they can send to wives or girlfriends at work, but with this Feb. 14 falling on President's Week, many people are out of town -- and out of the office.
Gillian Gable of Flowers by Carole in Dobbs Ferry has already done a bunch of deliveries early, before the weekend, to accommodate those headed out of town.
"Last year was a good, not exceptional Valentine's and I expect this year to be the same," she said.
Still, she and her staff are working around the clock, often till 3 a.m., to make sure they are prepared. Her shop, she said, is always open Valentine's Day, no matter what day it falls on. This year, they will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
White, who normally isn't open on Sunday, will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. as will many others.
As for what's selling, Joseph Lodovico, owner of Harrison Flower Mart in Harrison, said "red is king."
Red roses, while the traditional choice, are not the only flowers Westchesterites gravitate towards. Both White and Gable said many of their clientele like something a little different, with arrangements that may include a roses but not have them as the star. Gable said rainbow roses are big at her shop, as are anthuriums, orchids and tulips.
Men are still the biggest purchasers though shop owners say more and more women are also avid Valentine buyers.
Perhaps Lodovico put it best. "I've been in this racket for 40-plus years and what will sell and how many we'll sell is anyone's guess."