Plan Early For Valentine's Day

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Next Wednesday is Feb. 14 -- Valentine's Day.

It is a significant date on the calendar to rose farmers, and the consumer who buys the rich-hued, sweet-smelling, long-stemmed beauties.

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"I enjoy creating (with flowers) and making someone happy," said June Dudley, owner of Flowers by June, as she arranges a bouquet. In addition to Safeway, Bashas' and Wal-Mart, there are three independent florists in Payson to help you find the perfect Valentine's bouquet: Flowers by June (928) 474-3434, Payson Florist, (928) 474-0710 and Finishing Touch Flowers and Gifts, (928) 474-8736.

"Order early for the holiday, because it makes it easier to get exactly the floral arrangement you want," said Jane Dudley, owner of Flowers by June.

Roses come in several sizes.

There are small sweetheart roses, spray roses and the regular-sized ones often ordered by the dozen.

"Sterling silver (lavender) roses have the best scent," Dudley said. "Yellow roses also have a nice fragrance."

A dozen red roses represent love, but flowers show your affection, no matter the variety.

"And, not only do you get more value for your money by adding other flowers to your arrangement it is more fun for the designer," Dudley said.

She also has balloons, gift baskets, candles and plants to make your gift a success.

Since the Rose Bowl, rose growers have steadily increased prices. Dudley said she does not look for those prices to decrease anytime soon with Mother's Day and prom on the event horizon.

"Prom is the busiest season," Dudley said she has noticed in her eight years of business.

Gift combinations for that special love are available in Payson.

Flowers by June, Gladys Moreno of Garden of Eden and Majestic Mountain Inn have put together a package that includes flowers, a massage and a night in one of the inn's Jacuzzi-enhanced rooms.

Payson Parks and Recreation in partnership with Best Western Payson Inn will host a romantic evening for couples on Saturday, Feb. 10.

The memorable evening will be filled with dinner, dancing, photographs and flowers.

Doors open at 5 p.m.

At 6 p.m., there will be an Italian dinner buffet catered by Cucina Paradiso.

Couples can dance to the music of John Carpino and the Hot Cappuccinos.

Tickets are $50 per couple and include free childcare.

Profits from the event go back into Parks and Recreation programs.

Tickets are available at the Parks and Recreation Office at Green Valley Park. Call (928) 474-5242 ext. 7 for more information.

Flower Care Tips:

  • Order flowers early for any holiday.
  • Variety of flowers, rather than just roses will save money.
  • Pull the pollen out of lily stems to make them last longer.
  • How long flowers last depends on how well you care for them.
  • Flowers need to drink, so cut the stems on a bias every two days -- especially Gerber daisies.
  • Use room temperature water.
  • Change the water and add a little more preservative every two days.

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