Approx­i­mately 196 million roses are grown every year for the express purpose of being used in Valentine’s Day bou­quets.

For florists, this is def­i­nitely the busiest day of the year.

“Valentine’s Day is my one big day,” Smith’s Flowers owner Jane Stewart said. “Mother’s day is pretty big, but that’s spread out through the week.”

Kathy Newell, owner of the Blossom Shop, has been in the floral industry for 19 years. Newell said she orders 1000 – 1300 roses for Valentine’s Day, and, even with that, they will run out.

When a cus­tomer comes into a flower shop, the first con­sid­er­ation is price. Beyond that, however, Stewart said there are plenty of choices — from dif­ferent types and colors of flowers to the greenery or the vase.

Cre­ating a bouquet isn’t simply a matter of throwing a bunch of flowers together. Rather, it takes careful con­sid­er­ation of color, texture, prices, and the purpose of the bouquet.

“Some­times people will bring in a pillow or a piece of fabric that they want to match, and we can even do that,” Newell said. “We use dif­ferent sizes of tex­tures, dif­ferent tex­tures, no more than three dif­ferent colors, or it gets dis­tracting to the eyes, and several dif­ferent types of greens.”

For Newell, the most important piece of advice she said she could give to flower buyers is not to buy online.

“If they know what they want, then they just tell us what they want,” Newell said. “If people go online and order some­thing, and three or four people want the same thing, then you don’t end up with some­thing unique. So we do suggest designers choices.”

Newell said you can also get a better deal in person because the florist can choose the flowers that are on sale.

“When you order online from sitting in a cubicle, you lose a lot of money because it goes through three or four steps to get to us. It’s the younger gen­er­ation that likes to just go online, but they’re not real­izing how much they’ve lost,” Newell said.

Even if the online company says they’re ordering from a local florist, the order can be shipped to a florist a couple of cities away. When online florists send boxes, Newell said they can drop the box any­where, even if you’re not home, which means the flowers could be dead by the time you get them.

For Valentine’s day in par­ticular, tulips are popular in addition to roses. Stewart said they also have lilies, daisies, and orchids, as well as many other types of flowers, for Valen­tines day.

“Besides roses, a lot of people will order car­na­tions because they last longer,” Stewart said.

Senior Alex Graham said the two people for whom he buys flowers are his mother and his girl­friend, junior Jacqueline Frenkel.

“Before going shopping, you must do some recon­nais­sance work to find out what kind of flowers the person likes,” Graham said. “You must find the healthy ones of that lot. If there are none, you must move on to another type. It’s not that romantic, really.”

“But you got the flowers that I like. You got my favorite flowers,” Frenkel added.

Graham said it was also nice to buy flowers like lilies with some buds and some flowers already blooming.

“A good feature of the lilies I pur­chased was that I got some buds in bloom and others not yet in bloom,” Graham said. “So there were some blossoms and some buds, which is special because then they bloom. Some fade out and the others bloom, and you get to have pretty flowers for longer.”

As for what Graham thinks of flowers and Valen­tines day:

“There’s some stinking rose genocide going on here.”