Roses to these occasions - Valentine's Day just one of them
NO MATTER what you have to say on Valentine's Day today or Chinese New Year at the weekend, you can probably say it best with flowers.
Both days, in their different ways, symbolise hope and both are celebrated with masses of flowers, red ones in particular.
And this year, the two big days of hope and expectation occur only three days apart.
Mary St florist Jan Jones has no idea what effect Saturday's lunar new year will have on her business, but she knows all about Valentine's Day.
It is flat out and has been for a week.
There is only one bigger day of the year, she says (and mothers may be glad to know it has something to do with them).
"Sleep is over-rated anyway,” she said as she and helpers bustled around in her tiny, flower-packed and richly rose-perfumed shop.
"Extra stock? Yes, absolutely,” she said.
"I drove down to Brisbane
at 3am yesterday picking up roses.
"They have markets there and you have to put in your order, but you go down there to hand pick to maintain quality.
"I hand select all our premier roses.”
And roses are still the big seller, although she says people in recent years have become increasingly aware of the value and beauty of other flowers.
"Like sunflowers,” she said. "They are bright and have happy colours and they are really popular at the moment.”
Ms Jones admits that, as a Valentine's Day professional, she is privy to some romantic messages.
"We hand-write all the cards ourselves,” she said.
"I've seen marriage proposals, and a lot of cards that are really romantic and sometimes funny.”
We ask: "What's the most romantic message you've seen?” and she looks slightly embarrassed.
"That's a professional secret,” she said.
For those who forget these things, there are plenty of flowers left for last-minute buyers today.