Ilene and Dave Olson got some help from daughter Crystal Pote and grandson Gavin Pote in preparation for Valentine's Day at Panorama Gardens. The Olsons, who have been in business in Panora 40 years, say it's their second biggest holiday of the year, following Mother's Day. They were preparing arrangements Tuesday night and glad they'll have nice weather for deliveries Wednesday.

‘Cupid still has his arrows’

Panorama Gardens delivers love on Valentine’s Day

Flowers are known to be one of the most common ways to show love on Valentine’s Day and Panorama Gardens in Panora was prepared to share love again this year on Feb. 14.

Dave and Ilene Olson have been in business for 40 years, the couple will actually celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary on Feb. 17, and the owners say besides Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day is their second busiest holiday. 

They prepared high volumes of orders again this year, and while working Tuesday evening on arrangements, were gearing up for last minute local shoppers. 

“I can’t tell you how many deliveries we have for Valentine’s Day because it’s not Valentine’s Day yet,” Ilene Olson said. 

The couple say they usually get two or three orders a week before Valentine’s Day, but everyone else orders the day before or the day of. The last couple of years orders have trickled in a few days after the holiday, too. 

“Year in and year out, Valentine’s Day stays strong,” Dave said. “Cupid still has his arrows.” 

They say the rose is still “King” of the flowers on Valentine’s Day, oftentimes paired with greens and baby’s breath. There have been years, despite planning ahead, they have run out of roses. 

“We’re all out of pink this year,” Ilene said. 

Tie-dyed roses have been popular with the younger generations, said Dave, who himself favors the orchids. 

In addition to roses, the Olsons, who got some help from daughter Crystal Pote and grandson Gavin, also put together vases with lilies, carnations and tulips. There’s even one going out in a high-heeled shoe. 

They had deliveries scheduled at both Panorama and ACGC schools Wednesday and in both communities, as well as trips to Bagley and Yale. 

“We don’t take as many to the schools as we used to,” Dave said. “There was a time we peaked out right at 100 to the schools.” 

The Olsons say most of their orders this year are from men sending something to their sweethearts. 

“In the early 2000’s, young ladies were buying a lot for young men, but right now, we don’t have hardly any young ladies buying for young men,” Dave said. “This is mostly men buying them for their sweethearts, with a few exceptions to that.” 

They made up 50 of their famous “Luv Specials” this year where shoppers pay cash and carry out. 

“I must say the guys have gotten better, used to be they would stand there and stare,” Dave said. “They really like the grab-and-go things.” 

Dave believes Valentine’s Day, with the way it touches people’s emotions and hearts, brings some sunshine in the middle of winter. 

“It’s one of those whimsical holidays,” he said. “You are in the middle of winter and you just need a break.” 

The Olsons say they usually deliver until about 3:00 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, but never hurry home. 

“We’ll have some guys wheeling in around 5-6, right after work, last year it was about 7, but we had two or three of the happiest guys in the world, when we were still here,” Dave said. 

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Guthrie Center, IA 50115
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Panora, IA 50216
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