Thursday, May 6

Love in blossoms: Make your arrangements, Valentine’s Day is nearly here | Entertainment

The exclamation point after a gasp of “oh!” never gets old in the floral business.

It comes with the deeply red roses set off by baby’s breath and greenery that light a recipient’s face with surprise.

Who could have sent these?

Chuck Bonnet doesn’t know. He doesn’t read the cards. But he does know this: “Well, obviously, someone loves you.”

Valentine’s Day is always fun, said Bonnet and Judi Smith, who deliver flowers for Country Elegance Florist, 2494 Patterson Road.

When they show up with roses or Gerbera daisies or lilies and a special message from a special someone, nearly everyone is happy and grateful and some cry.

“It teaches the kids that Mom’s special,” Bonnet said. “And Dad knows he did something right.”

“It’s amazing how many men appreciate and enjoy flowers, You don’t hear that very often,” Smith said.

However, the days leading up to Valentine’s Day are always the busiest of the year for the shop, said Sandi Reynolds, owner of Country Elegance.

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday and all orders must be filled and delivered beforehand as the store will be closed that day, she said with a big “hint, hint” to any procrastinators out there.

And here’s another hint: Sign the card. Don’t assume, “oh, she’ll know,” said Reynolds, who has delivered many flowers herself in the more than 17 years since the store opened.

One Valentine’s Day, Reynolds even was asked to deliver an engagement ring with a bouquet. Now that was a pressure-filled delivery, she said.

But the more memorable flower deliveries are the ones that come with tears, said Tricia Bjornson, another of Country Elegance’s delivery drivers.

There are so many people who say, “I never get flowers,” who then burst into tears when a bouquet is for them, Bjornson said, recalling a school secretary who did just that.

“Flowers are a serendipity to a regular day,” Bonnet said.

He particularly likes delivering flowers to those who are elderly, such as a woman who celebrated her 100th birthday last summer — “She’s sharp, living at home … she’s amazing,” he said — and the man who marked his 90th birthday just recently.

“What’s your secret,” Bonnet asked the man.

“I just got really lucky, and God is good,” was the reply.

One of the deliveries Smith will never forget took place on a Valentine’s Day several years ago.

Smith went to a woman’s house, knocked on the door, and asked the woman’s name to verify she was delivering the large bouquet of carnations and roses to the right person.

The woman acknowledged her name, but then said, “You must have the wrong address,” Smith recalled.

So Smith checked the address and the name again. She was at the right place, but the woman insisted she never gets flowers.

“I’m 60 years old. I’ve never had flowers sent to me. Who are these from?” she asked Smith.

Of course, Smith didn’t know and suggested the woman open the card. When the woman did, “the tears started rolling,” Smith said.

“This is from my son. I haven’t heard from him in five years,” the woman told Smith.

The card said how much he loved her and that he was sorry, Smith said.

“May I hug you?” the woman asked. “I need to hug you because you brought me the flowers.”

“Of course,” Smith said.

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