Flowers for your Valentine at Bailstone Florist


While the rest of us were making our lists, checking them twice, Carol and her staff at Bailstone Florist, in East Moriches, was planning for Valentine’s Day.

To have enough inventory to meet the demand for arguably the most romantic day of the year, florists must decide by mid-January how many roses and other blooms to order to fulfill customer requests that will increase up to eight weeks later.

“It’s always a gamble,” she shared.  “Valentine’s Day is a one day or nothing event, and it can be the worst day for a florist.  People look at the cost of flowers and think we’re all prospering.  In fact, it’s a long lull before Valentine’s Day, followed by a long, quiet period after it.”

Demand for most commodities dictates cost and flowers are no different.  Unexpected weather events like snow or ice storms or extreme cold can delay grower deliveries that come from Holland, South America, California, and Florida. Florists must pay more for stock during periods of peak demand.

Nevertheless, it is Bailstone’s practice to try to meet its customers’ needs with something at every price point.  “We can’t control the weather,” Carol said, “but we try to keep costs down by offering arrangements that are less dependent on the most expensive blooms, like red roses.  We have affordable options for everyone.”

As one would expect, red roses are the most popular floral gift on Valentine’s Day, but pink, white, and yellow roses, as well as colorful Gerbera daisies are frequent choices as well.

Carol has some thoughtful suggestions for those looking for something different this year.

“Lilies, in an arrangement with soft pastel colors, especially in a Victorian design, are very romantic. But order ahead, preferably a week or more in advance, to make certain we have the floral stock on hand to accommodate your request,” she said.

For the procrastinators among us, she had some sweet alternatives.  The shop has anticipated last-minute purchases with some premade arrangements available for on-the-spot purchases.  It’s best to arrive before 3 p.m., however, or this option may no longer be available since most are gone by that time.

Many other choices can provide a personal, sweet gift for those uncertain or late to the decision. Bailstone Florist has an array of chocolates, orchids, personal-care products for gift baskets, soy candles, silver jewelry and stuffed animals, all displayed to help ignite a gift giver’s imagination. 

“We try to make everyone happy, whether you’re shopping for a special someone, a parent, neighbor or friend,” she said.

But, if you’re set on flowers after all, Carol’s advice is to treat your purchase well, so its color and appeal last. “Change the water daily and trim the stems after a few days to help extend the life of your arrangement,” she explained of the upkeep.

When asked about the most unusual order she’d had, Carol’s eyes twinkled.

“We had a small mannequin wearing a red dress outside the shop as part of our display.  A man came in and said he wanted to buy it, have flowers added to it, and then delivered to a local address. It wasn’t really for sale, but he was so insistent we honored his request, made up the order, and delivered it.  The woman who received it seemed very confused when it arrived. And we never saw the man again. It was quite a mystery,” she said.

Bailstone Florist, 345A Montauk Highway, East Moriches, N.Y. (631) 878-0359. 


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