Don't take a rolling pin to your loved one if he or she failed to come across with the Valentine flowers you expected. At least not yet.
Last week's blizzard caused massive delays in the delivery of flowers throughout the area, meaning thousands for whom flowers were ordered will not get them until later this week.
The delay in deliveries because of snow also means a big drop in profits for florists, who traditionally rely on Valentine's Day as one of the year's biggest days for flower sales.
Local florists were unable to make scheduled deliveries of Valentine flowers over the weekend, and the backlog was so great that many merchants were unable to fill new orders placed yesterday.
"We're swamped," said Josephine Murray, bookkeeper for Palace Florist on Connecticut Avenue at Dupont Circle. "We just can't make any more deliveries. There's no one else who can take the orders, either."
Bob Beavers, manager of Conklyn's Florist in Alexandria, said his firm has 300 orders to fill. "We're asking people to bear with us," he said. "We've got five trucks out there working off this backlog."
A florist industry spokesman said the industry has retail sales of $110 million each Valentine's Day out of $5 billion yearly sales, but he could not estimate the damage the snows have done to business this year.
To help remedy the problem, industry officials over the weekend persuaded Maryland Gov. Harry Hughes and Virginia Gov. Charles Robb to declare this week Valentine's Week in light of all the snow. Officials in North Carolina, Massachusetts, New York City and Philadelphia have also made that declaration.