Let roses say “I love you”

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By JOHN MITCHELL Each Fe­bru­ary 14, thou­sands of dol­lars ex­change hands around the coun­try, herald­ing the most pas­sion­ate day of the year – Valen­tine’s Day. From gin­gers, trop­i­cal blooms are un­mis­tak­ably the or­der of the day. At a time when blos­soms sell like hot cakes in Fiji, and de­spite the bril­liantly coloured beauty of trop­i­cal flow­ers from gin­gers and he­li­co­nias to den­dro­bium orchids and an­thuri­ums – roses reign supreme above them all. Fresh red roses sold in Fiji shops on the day are im­ported from farms in New Zealand in re­frig­er­ated con­tain­ers to pre­serve fresh­ness, colour and aroma well enough to tickle even the most un­ro­man­tic of cou­ples. A lo­cal florist cash­ing in on the Valen­tine’s Day hype this year is Mar­ica Ravutu, the owner of Gar­den of Eden florist in Suva. Ravutu, who ven­tured into the flower busi­ness three years ago, this year or­dered 100 red roses through Turn­ers and Grow­ers Fiji. “Valen­tine’s Day is in­com­plete with­out red roses. Or­ders are slowly pick­ing up but we should be busy on Valen­tine’s Day week,” Ravutu said. Red roses will ar­rive one or two day be­fore the four­teenth and the blooms are care­fully tended to re­main fresh through­out Valen­tines Day, when love and their scent will fill the air. Ravutu sells sin­gle red roses in spe­cial scar­let-themed boxes stuffed with choco­lates. “Some peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate the beauty and feel­ing that flow­ers ex­ude and gift­ing loved ones is their way of ex­press­ing what comes from the heart. Our or­ders have come from as far as China, In­dia, Italy and Dubai.” Based out of the Colo­nial War Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal (SOPD Ex­ten­sion), Gar­den of Eden Florist sells an at­trac­tive se­lec­tion of bouquets and ar­range­ments for spe­cial oc­ca­sions such as wed­dings, fu­ner­als, birth­days and par­ties, and a range of wreaths and cas­ket sprays for fu­ner­als. Other pop­u­lar Valen­tine’s Day gifts in­clude teddy bears, cards, wine and cham­pagne, choco­late – and of course, the roses that go with them.

Mar­ica Ravutu, owner of Gar­den of Eden Florist, Suva

A cus­tomer makes a flower or­der at Hop-Tiy, Suva.

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