Flowers Have Universal Valentine’s Day Appeal

February 10, 2006

Costa Rica has that warm, tropical climate that spawns a passionate people, attracts passionate honeymooners from around the world and generates exotic flowers given as symbols of all this passion.

Though flowers are cultivated across Costa Rica, roses generally come from Cartago, east of San José.

“People always look for red roses,” said Jason Chinchilla of La Gardenia (234-2020) flower shop in the eastern suburb of San Pedro. For Valentine’s Day, a dozen of these symbolic blooms sells for ¢8,000 ($16). As an alternative, Chinchilla suggests the Costa Rican national flower: the purple, butterfly-shaped guaria morada orchid. A bouquet of these orchids goes for ¢15,000 ($30), he said. Delivery costs about the same as a taxi, and depends on where you’re sending them.

Mathilda Dobles, with Floristería Marvin (221-3068), on San José’s Paseo Colón, agreed, saying that “tulips and orchids are becoming more popular, but people always look for roses.” The shop offers a dozen roses for ¢10,000 ($20), and can send them across the country; delivery charges vary.

Flowers can also be sent across Costa Rica from anywhere in the world, through the Web-based company www.floresdelmundo.com. All it takes is a credit card.Many floral options are available; for price comparison, a dozen red roses starts at ¢18,500 ($37), including delivery.

María Elena Rodríguez, with Floristería Natura (221-0906), in San José, said about 20% of the shop’s clientele consists of women buying flowers for men, so they offer special macho bouquets.

“Popular colors for men are blue, yellow, orange and green,” she said, “with flowers such as birds of paradise, agapanthus, statice and irises.”

Natura offers roses, too; a dozen costs ¢10,000 ($20).

For a unique floral arrangement, the Floristería El Sol Naciente (289-8787), in the western suburb of Escazú, offers the materials to hand-make a Valentine’s gift.

“People take pride in making handmade presents,” said decorator Carlos Arias of El Sol Naciente. “We have all the materials, including dried or paper flowers, candles, miniature figurines, boxes and vases, and we have sample gifts people can use for inspiration. You can make unique gifts out of wood, ceramics or metal.”

“Women like these details,” he added.

Prices for gift supplies start at about ¢4,000 ($8).

 

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