Courtesy of BLOOM

Next Wednesday is Valentine’s Day, which means lucky Yalies and New Haveners all across the city will be looking to buy flowers for their significant others.

From red roses to tulips, lilies to orchids and carnations to gerbera daisies, demand for local flowers will soar as Yalies and New Haven residents look to local florists to meet their needs. A few of these florists shared details about how they source and sell flowers during this peak season, and a local collective of flower farmers shared some insights as to how flower farming is nourished throughout the state.

BLOOM, a local multi-purpose retail space that participates in floristry, prioritizes supporting local farmers and sustainable agriculture in their business model. Focusing on the freshest and most vibrant flowers from local suppliers, BLOOM selects for quality, color and fragrance before arranging them into bouquets that are given as gifts throughout the city.

“BLOOM carefully selects the freshest and most vibrant flowers from trusted farmers and suppliers,” Alisha Crutchfield, owner of BLOOM, wrote to the News. “I believe in supporting local communities and sustainable agriculture.”

In addition to setting high standards for its flowers, BLOOM, which is located on Edgewood Ave. in Westville, prioritizes sustainability in its production process. According to Crutchfield, BLOOM strives to minimize waste and ensure eco-friendly practices are followed, including using biodegradable materials for packaging and sourcing flowers from sustainable farms. 

Mae Flower and Gift Shop, another local florist situated in Dixwell, spoke more about the strategic aspects of meeting the high demand during the Valentine’s Day season.

“Mae flower sources flowers for Valentine’s Day by collaborating with multiple suppliers, flower farms and distributors to meet the increased demand,” Nethia Joyner of Mae Flower wrote to the News. “We also engage in advance planning, secure contracts and maintain strategic partnerships to ensure an ample supply of fresh flowers during peak seasons.”

Winters in New Haven are bitter and dark, though, so flower farming isn’t easy in the months leading up to Valentine’s Day.

The CT Flower Collective, a group of flower farmers across the state established in 2019 to promote local sourcing, said that they do not grow flowers for much of the winter season.

“We are closed for the season from December-March, but offer dried flowers throughout the year which are usually popular to stock up on in the fall to use for the winter season holidays,” Jill Shea, the manager of CT Flower Collective, or CTFC, wrote to the News. “Our earliest big flower holiday to provide local flowers for is Mother’s Day.”

During the warmer months, the CTFC sells flowers to the public on Thursdays and Fridays and holds several community building and appreciation events throughout the season. They also promote unity amongst their member farms through a community message board, social media and design tutorials.

Because it is difficult to meet the Valentine’s Day flower needs in New Haven with only local farmers, florists have to do what they can to ensure wider product access, Crutchfield of BLOOM said.

“In addition to local farms, I also partner with international suppliers who provide unique and exotic flowers that add a touch of extraordinary beauty to our arrangements,” Crutchfield wrote to the News. “I take pride in offering a wide variety of flowers, from classic favorites to rare and exotic blooms, ensuring that there is something special for every customer.”

Crutchfield also highlighted the personalized level of detail that goes into BLOOM’s bouquets, adding that BLOOM tailors flowers, colors and blends to fit each customer’s preferences. 

Valentine’s Day is next Wednesday, Feb. 14.