Q & A: Florist likes to mix and match, expects Valentine’s Day rush

It’s one of the busiest weekends of the year at Rena’s Fine Flowers and other flower shops in the Ca

Categories: Life & Arts

Purple petals and pink posies are in position at Rena Zeppetelli’s shop.

Red roses are ready. Blue buds are bustling.

It’s one of the busiest weekends of the year at Rena’s Fine Flowers and other flower shops in the Capital Region. Valentine’s Day means men and women will be sending roses and floral arrangements as messages of romance, passion and friendship.

Zeppetelli, who opened her Saratoga Springs store at Beekman and Ash streets in September 2007, said Valentine’s Day will be especially busy this year because it falls on a Monday. People have been in the market for flowers the whole weekend, so today also will be busy for men and women preparing blooms for delivery and pickup.

“I’m not normally open on Sundays, but I will be the day before Valentine’s Day,” Zeppetelli said. “You kind of have to be. There will be a lot of guys coming by to pick things up, a lot of last-minute things.”

Zeppetelli talked about Valentine’s Day business and also offered advice for the hearts-and-flowers set.

Q: Red roses are big for Valentine’s Day. Are there any creative alternatives men and women might consider?

A: Normally, I buy red roses because that’s the typical flower men think of. But I love to do mixed arrangements with hydrangea, maybe some roses in there, some orchids, a mix of different flowers with pinks, reds. The mixed arrangements are what my clients tend to love, it’s kind of what I’m known for.

Q: Are there meanings in color when we send flowers?

A: Sure, there’s always that. A yellow rose means friendship, a red rose means love. Any beautiful flower says something.

Q: How popular is pink for a Valentine’s Day color?

A: It’s pretty popular. It’s sort of loving, sweet, it’s really kind of a woman’s color.

Q: Are there any colors that should not be sent for Valentine’s Day? Obviously, black.

A: I was just going to say that. I probably wouldn’t send orange. It’s not a Valentine’s color. That’s for a nice fall arrangement.

Q: Are there any colors people send that are out of the ordinary?

A: Some people send flowers to their friends. I have an antique purple rose — light purple — purple hyacinth, purple freesia. That’s more of a friendship thing.

Q: What mistakes do men and women make when they’re ordering flowers?

A: I don’t think they’re making a mistake when they’re ordering flowers. I think they’re making a mistake if they don’t. My advice would be do something different and unusual, a mixed arrangement with a bunch of different and unusual flowers in it.

Q: With all the extra work Valentine’s Day brings, florists also have to worry about the weather, don’t they?

A: A few years ago there was a huge storm the day before and the day of Valentine’s Day. It really hurt all of our businesses quite a bit. I maybe got about half of the orders I normally would.

Q: When people get the flowers, what can they do to make them last?

A: Keep them full of water, keep them away from heat vents. My roses, I get them in just a few days before and get them over the course of a few different days, so they’re very fresh. They usually last a week to a week and a half.

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