GROWERS and florists are urging people to support local businesses and farms this Valentine's Day.
Founder of flower delivery service Petal Post Zoe Lamont stressed the importance of supporting local growers after Australia imported 10.5 million red rose stems in the lead up to Valentine’s Day 2018.
Birkdale Flower Farm manager Sharon Sihota added that community support meant a lot to small local businesses.
“Generally supporting local businesses is the best,” Ms Sihota said.
“There aren't that many farms left (around here).”
Valentine's Day remained one of the busiest days of the year for Birkdale Flower Farm, Ms Sihota said, with the family-owned business serving a wide variety of customers from young to old.
“We get customers of all kinds around Valentine's Day,” manager Sharon Sihota said.
“We get school kids coming in who will buy single roses and chocolates, we get people declaring their love and people who have been together for a long time.”
Ms Sihota said that while the traditional gift of a dozen roses was still an extremely popular option for buyers, some people opted for arrangements in their partner's favourite colour or with flowers that had special meaning in their relationship.
“We had a man once who got one dozen red roses, but wanted one to be artificial,” she said.
“That way he could say he would love his partner until the last flower died.”
Ms Lamont said Valentine's Day was changing from being a day focussed on romance to a day celebrating love, gratitude and friendship.
“Valentine’s Day is no longer a day for men to buy the stereotypical red rose," Ms Lamont said.
“(It) is an occasion to show gratitude and love to your partner, a close friend, your Mum or even as a gift to yourself.”