Welcome to the Super Bowl for florists.
Mother’s Day is the busiest time of the year for most local floral shops, surpassing even Valentine’s Day as their biggest day. But unlike the holiday for lovers, this celebration offers more colorful, diverse ways to send love to moms everywhere.
“Everybody has a mom, not everyone has girlfriend or wife,” said Sara Rahebi who owns Modesto’s Exotic Flowers on north McHenry Avenue with her husband, George.
On Valentine’s Day where a simple bouquet of red roses may suffice, shoppers tend to spare no expense for their floral arrangements for mom. As a spring holiday, more in-season flowers are also available. Typical shoppers can spend anywhere from $60 to $100 — and much more to say it with flowers.
“Well, would you scrimp on your mom? You might do that on your sweetheart, but not on your mom,” said Country Shelf Floral & Gifts employee Mary Matthews, who has worked as extra holiday help at the north Oakdale Road shop for two decades.
Most area shops staff up for Mother’s Day. Hart Floral, at the corner of McHenry and Roseburg avenues, brings in 10 drivers and rents extra vans, where they normally only have two employees working deliveries. The business has served the Central Valley for more than 70 years, said owner Chris Downing, and the holiday brings a month’s worth of work into a single week. And like several other Modesto-area florists, he will keep his shop open on Sunday for procrastinating or forgetful shoppers to pop in and grab something to give their mothers.
“That’s very common for people to come in Sundays. The internet has made everyone think they can come in at the last minute,” Downing said. “But we’ll be here for them.”
Popular mother’s day items include spring flower bouquets and also potted plants. People tend to want unique arrangements.
“People want more unusual textural pieces, not so much the traditional roses. That’s kind of fun, at least for us,” said Twigs and Stems owner Reg Merritt, whose shop sits on lower McHenry Avenue. “There’s a lot of fun, artistic stuff we can get away with.”
And for those befuddled daughters and sons who still don’t know what kind of flowers to get mom, florists offer this helpful hint.
“Most people usually know what their mom’s favorite color is, right? So we ask what their mom’s favorite flower or color is, and we go from there,” Matthews said. “That makes it very easy for us.”