Flowers, flowers everywhere: Valentine’s Day passes at hectic pace

  • Herb Wheeler, owner of Flowerland florist at 501 Main St., Athol, at work arranging a vase of fresh, red roses for delivery on Valentine’s Day. ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • Steve Younger of Athol, left, holds a lovely Valentine’s Day flower arrangement intended for his wife, on Tuesday afternoon. At right, MacMannis Florist owner Robin Brooks double checks a list of orders against the rows of arrangements waiting to be delivered. ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • Workers at the MacMannis Florist, 2108 Main St., Athol, tackle a pile of arrangement orders for Valentine’s Day. Left to right — Hannah Kakitis, Beth Jaillet, Tillie Nutter, and owner Robin Brooks. ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

  • A Valentine’s Day-themed flower box outside MacMannis Florist in Athol. ATHOL DAILY NEWS/Deborrah Porter

Staff Writer
Thursday, February 15, 2018

ATHOL — Love was definitely in the air at the two popular flower shops in town this week. The shops scrambled to fill dozens of orders in time for Valentine’s Day.

At Flowerland at 501 Main St. in the heart of downtown, owners Herb and Coco Wheeler were up to their elbows in beautiful, fragrant arrangements to go out first thing Wednesday morning. On special holidays like these, they said they hire extra drivers and a person to cover the front counter to greet customers.

“We hire the same seniors every year,” said Herb. “They know the area and enjoy delivering the arrangements.”

The last order taken for delivery Wednesday was “before dark” according to Coco Wheeler.

Herb Wheeler said the best-selling flowers sent on this day expressing love, by far, are red roses. He said there is little time to take a breath after the Valentine holiday, because it is quickly followed by Daffodil Days, St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day — with the River Rat Race thrown into the mix.

“Spring is coming,” he said, adding that he can’t wait to get his hands in dirt.

A mile uptown at MacMannis Florist, 2108 Main St., owner Robin Brooks and his small army of flower designers — Beth Jaillet, Tillie Nutter and Hannah Kakitis — worked like a well-oiled machine, building one striking arrangement after another. Brooks said there, too, the flower of the day was red roses, even though he sells 10 different colored roses. Tulips are also popular, he said.

The women worked at a large, long table laden with pails filled with a colorful kaleidoscope of flowers and greens. Stacks of orders were piled between the stations where arrangements were created. A chilled room to the rear opened to long shelves of arrangements waiting to be delivered to loved ones all around the area.

Steve Younger of Athol dashed in to collect a beautiful arrangement of white and pink roses nestled in a deep red-colored vase among soft greens and baby’s breath, festooned with bright red ribbons stamped with white hearts.

“I’m hoping to make brownie points with my wife, Malisa,” he said with a wide smile.

Meanwhile, the phone rang nonstop, and a queue of thoughtful males lined up at the counter.

Brooks, too, admitted there is little time to rest. With spring around the corner, he said his mind has turned toward getting the greenhouse ready.

“Mother’s Day, our biggest holiday, is right around the corner,” he said. “Everybody has a mother.”

Flowerland can be reached at 978-249-3057; MacMannis at 978-249-3595.

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