It's Valentine's Day tomorrow, so the Chronicle checked out how romance was faring in the River City.

Some Whanganui people are likely to receive flowers from unknown admirers on Valentine's Day, Flower Room owner Nichola McMullen says.

"A lot of people still send anonymously. They will send the flowers, with a card, without saying who it's from."

When that happens the receivers sometimes ring her shop to ask who sent them.


"It's completely confidential. We can't tell them," she said.

Red roses are the traditional Valentine's Day gift. Wanganui Chronicle photograph by Bevan Conley
Red roses are the traditional Valentine's Day gift. Wanganui Chronicle photograph by Bevan Conley

Red roses are the most traditional gift of love. A single one, wrapped with greenery, costs $20 and a dozen cost $120. Also popular are "romantic bouquets" and posies in a gift bag.

The most unusual flower order Ms McMullen can remember was by someone who wanted a red rose for every year of marriage - for a 60th wedding anniversary.

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Valentine's Day is a busy time for the Whanganui store - almost as busy as Mothers' Day. Ms McMullen's partner could be out delivering as many as 100 bunches of flowers on February 14.

She encourages people to pre-order, but said some buyers made spontaneous last-minute decisions.

The buyers aren't always men either.

"Women buy flowers as well, because we can do them up with manly wrap and make them look masculine."

Giving or sending a card is another way people show their affection.

"You get your romantics that walk through the door and want to spoil the person that they care about," Paige's Book Gallery literary consultant Rochelle Handley said.

She'd like to video people as they choose cards, and show the videos to the objects of their affection.

"They care about what they're choosing, and they put thought into it. Romance hasn't died."

The buyers can be men or women of any age.

Valentine's Day cards are selling well at Whanganui's Paper Plus, manager Wendy Heibner said, also to all sorts of people.

"Right at the last minute men come in and panic and buy.There's a lot of older men that have been in and bought them."

Celebrating love this Valentine's Day with San Valentino by Lorenzo Buhne.