Local floral industry feels the impacts of Mother’s Day


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Flowers and Mother’s Day just go together.

The Pantry at Avenue N in East Providence posted on social media they would be selling local flower bouquets made at Petals Farm, and the word certainly got out.

Within only moments of opening Saturday morning they had already sold at least six bouquets.

For Jessica D’Allesandro, Mother’s Day weekend is all about time spent with her family.

Starting off with brunch with her 12-year-old daughter Bella, who says she usually makes mom a gift or gets her flowers.

“I just like spending time with her though,” she said. “That really counts.”

Bella knows if she gets mom flowers they have to be ones she can plant, so they carry with them the memory of the day.

“I have lots of plants that I can look back on and say, ‘oh, my tulips are coming up, I got those two years ago. Mother’s Day.’ Or, my roses. Those were a Mother’s Day gift a long time ago. The gift that keeps giving,” Jessica said.

It’s the busiest holiday for Semia Dunne, a local floral designer and wholesale florist.

“Last year’s Mother’s Day was also huge,” Semia said. “We were all shut in, people were sending each other flowers left and right, so it was a massive holiday in the floral industry.”

“However, it’s even bigger this year,” she added. “I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that everyone fell in love with flowers again last year, and it’s not going away.”

She said customers are willing to pay higher prices, due to supply and demand this week.

There is also the fact freight prices are higher this year for flowers coming from other parts of the country and world, Semia added.

“When you’re talking about COVID and farms across the globe, they have less workers, less ability to get florals shipped here,” she said.

Semia said a saving grace for them has been their reliance on local flower farms.

Farmers, like Weatherlow Farm in Westport, say they’re extremely busy with freshly cut orders for bouquets on Mother’s Day and looking ahead to a very busy wedding season.

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