Breath of difference this Valentine’s

Say it with flowers: Lau and Seah putting the final touches to their bouquets at their shop in Jalan Burma, George Town.

GEORGE TOWN: Baby’s breath and hydrangeas are now in demand as the flowers to give during Valentine’s Day.

The blooms that are sprayed with special preservatives right after they are harvested are slowly gaining popularity among couples who want to celebrate the day.

Dried flowers, especially baby’s breath and hydrangeas, are more abundant in the market since they can last longer, said Eden Floral and Gift Centre co-owner Lau Yok Wan, 56.

For the dried baby’s breath, a small bouquet of the same colour costs RM180, while for the hydrangeas, the cost is from RM200 per colour per bunch.

“As both species are very delicate and fragile, they cannot last long in the hot weather here in Malaysia.

“Hydrangeas typically start withering within a few hours under the sweltering heat and baby’s breath die off rather quickly, usually within five days.

“Even with proper care and handling, the lifespan of these blooms cannot be lengthened much,” she said at her shop in Jalan Burma here.

However, with new technology available, these flowers can now be kept for up to five years since they are now preserved soon after they bloom.

“Our baby’s breath and hydrangeas are imported from Holland. They are sprayed with preservatives right after they are harvested.

“This is done to ensure the flowers retain their appearance.

“Some are also sprayed with artificial colours to enhance their look.

“We even have them in unique colours like black and orange,” Lau said.

Seah Chin Eng, 53, who owns the business, said while the two flowers are popular this year, the classic red roses are still in demand.

Seah said the roses cost between RM200 and RM500 depending on the size of the bouquets.

On dining, Choong Han Shi, the general manager at Markus Restaurant in Cantonment Road, said couples generally prefer the Western dining setting.

“Some also celebrate a day in advance as most places will be packed on the day itself,” he said.

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