Even the traditions of Mother Day are changing. Gone are the days when the only choice for a bouquet was red roses—now, Mother's Day bouquets include pink and lavender roses, perrennials...even fruit. Whatever mom wants, mom gets.
According to Steve Black, owner of Gray's Florist on Route 22 in Watchung, customers in recent years have been leaning towards bouquets with more assortment, too.
"A lot of people are really looking for items that are multi-purpose," Black said. "Things like vase arrangements, where they can replant or move some of the flowers to other rooms are popular."
He added a lot of people are choosing potted plants this year, also, forgoing the traditional bouquet for a gift that will dress up the patio area or outside garden.
Gray's has been helping with Mother's Day gifts for almost as long as there's been a Mother's Day—the modern holiday was launched by Anna Jarvis to memorialize her own mother in 1908 (a Mother's Day holiday was observed in some cities in the 1870s and 1880s, but didn't quite catch on). Gray's opened its Watchung location 91 years ago, just as the Mother's Day holiday was catching on across the country.
For decades, the only acceptable choices were red roses...and red roses, but in recent years the options have expanded for those looking for roses.
"Pink is popular this year, but we also carry lavender," Black said. "I keep some different colors on hand."
He added, however, there was a line of men picking up the traditonal red rose bouquets Friday morning.
But overall, customers are trending towards arrangements and plants that offer more value, or are something different. The shop does brisk business with its gourmet and fruit arrangements, also, Black said.
Obviously, this is an important weekend for the floral business—Black wouldn't venture a guess at how many roses the two Gray's Florist stores might sell (there's also a shop in Bridgewater)—and his delivery services will be pressed to keep up. He said the stores are prepared to work with customers up to the last minute.
"We deliver the same day and we're open seven days a week," Black said.
Check Gray's Florist website for details on special offers and services.