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Roses Remain Timeless Classic, Say Local Florists

Despite online orders, diverse inventories, local flower shops say the big hit on Valentine's Day is still a dozen roses.

With hours counting down until many couples exchange gifts for Valentine's Day, local florists have found that over the years, though the ways people buy flowers may be changing - Teleflora, 1-800-Flowers, for example - the staple of a dozen roses has remained timeless.

"I think people just assume it's a romantic flower," said Jeanne Scott, owner of in Northville. "It's like sunflowers are fun and kind of summer-y. Spring, you think of daffodils and tulips. I guess people just assimilate it with romance."

According to Scott, close to 80 percent of her Valentine's Day business has been roses. But unlike 35 years ago, she said, when she opened up the Sound Avenue shop, the means through which orders are made are changing the personal feel of doing business. While about 10 years ago, Scott said, close to 20 percent of her business was done through online orders, today, it's closer to 50 percent.

"It's a different feel now," she said. "Before, people used to come in, you'd know their name and ask how they are. Today we have three delivery trucks on the road. The deliveries are lined up and they go."

Catherine Crook, floral designer at downtown's , said on Monday that most of her shop's business is roses as well, and the presence of "wire services" has changed the industry.

Like Landscape Adventure, Riverhead Flower Shop extends beyond flowers.

Crook pointed to handmade jewelry, home decor, and scarves that one might pick up to go along with some flowers. Scott not-so-jokingly said she's thinking about making her shop a holiday store to go with the seasons, as she finds most people shop for holidays and not so much in between.

For both shops - and Forte's Wading River Florist in Route 25A - Valentine's Day has typically been found to be a holiday where purchases are made at the last minute. Crook said her shop will be open until 8 p.m. on Valentine's Day and Scott - "until people stop coming in, which typically isn't too late since most people don't want to be out running that late to get flowers."

Adam Intravina, a downtown Riverhead resident, found himself in Riverhead Flower Shop Monday afternoon, picking up some hydrangeas and jewelry for his significant other. He said he likes the friendly and helpful staff, and since he thought Valentine's Day was on Wednesday, found himself taking Monday off work so he could find enough time to make Valentine's Day special.

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