It's a message that every florist in Hawke's Bay wants to pass on for Valentine's Day - "don't leave it last minute".

Well, the last minute has arrived and flower sales are blooming across the region as florists fight to keep up with demand.

Flowers by Tanya senior florist Emma McIlroy said the team had been working around the clock in preparation for one "hectic" day.

With chalked hearts decorating the pavement outside along with dainty bunches of $10 posies, the staff were ready to go.


They worked late into the night and started "very early" on Thursday morning to get everything prepared.

"We've hired extra staff to serve customers and help with the deliveries.

"We're hoping to get everything out in the morning. All our flowers are New Zealand grown as you get a lot of others who order their flowers from overseas. You get Colombian roses and others which really don't last as long as New Zealand grown ones."

McIlroy said they had hundreds of pre-orders for Valentine's Day, but were also preparing for plenty of last minute walk-ins.

"Roses are the particular favourite this year, but we're doing a lot of mixed bouquets as well. We do a bouquet with just one red rose so you're not paying that really extravagant price but you're still getting something really nice."

 Havelock North's Pippa Marffy is one of many ready for a busy Valentine's Day. Photo / File
Havelock North's Pippa Marffy is one of many ready for a busy Valentine's Day. Photo / File

Pippa Marffy has been sitting roadside between Havelock North and Hastings during the past few weeks brightening up people's lives with sunflower sales, but says she'll also be starting early for the momentous occasion.

She used to sell the flowers to pay for her university education, but now continues to do so for a summer job.

"I planted 4000 seeds in November and sit out on Havelock Rd most afternoons selling the flowers, they've been really popular and I've sold out pretty much every day but I know Valentine's Day will be busy."

"I picked sunflowers because they're just really easy to grow, they're pretty eye catching and they last a long time. Once you've got them they last a week, if not two weeks."

Meanwhile in Napier, The Flower Barrow staff were also preparing for a manic day as they readied a stack of pre-ordered bouquets for delivery.

Owners Tracey McWilliam and Sheryll Harkness said they had also hired extra staff for deliveries as well as helping in the shop.

"We're trying to encourage people to move away from roses this year or just include them so it's more affordable for people."