Prepare for Valentine’s Day with Everts Flowers and Home Gifts

“Flowers speak words that are hard to express,” Vikki Elberry said.


Mikayla Alt

Flower bouquets on display at Everts Flowers and Home Gifts.

At Everts Flowers and Home Gifts, the owner Brian Smith, and a designer, Vikki Elberry, are busy working behind the scenes to fulfill every request for valentine’s flower bouquets.

To start off their workday, Smith will receive a call from their flower suppliers asking for the shop’s flower restock for the day. Smith may also decide to go to Des Moines to hand pick bunches of flowers to bring back to the shop as well.

“I pick out my own flowers because then I can pick out what I like,” Smith said, “what I think looks precious.”

Once the flowers are in the shop, Elberry will get to work taking the leaves off the flower stems and re-hydrating the flowers. Upon arrival, the flowers have been dehydrated for a couple days and need water to flourish once more.

Many people believe bouquets are arranged by machine, according to Elberry. However, the entire preparation process requires human hands to de-leaf and arrange each individual flower every step of the way.

“There is not a machine out there to put a bouquet together,” Elberry said. “It has to be a human. It’s very personal.”

Elberry said she doesn’t view her job as a job. She thoroughly enjoys going into work everyday to do the thing that she loves.

Smith is no different. He grew up on a farm and always loved nature. He said that it always interested him, and after he began working at Everts Flowers and Home Gifts, he never left.

After being rehydrated, the flowers are ready to be used. If they are not used immediately, they are stored in a large freezer until they are used in bouquets.

When bouquets are ordered, the customer can choose the main flowers that are in the bouquet or leave the choice up to the designers.

Customers have the ability to tell the designers a price range and the range of flowers they want. Then the customer can “leave it to the designer to make it pretty,” Smith said.

Every bouquet designer has their own unique style of arrangements. Designers have their own preferences of filler flowers or, if given the choice of colors, their favorite flowers.

“They’re all beautiful,” Elberry said. “The design is an art piece. There are no two alike.”

With hundreds of thousands of flower species, it might be hard to decide which flowers to buy for a partner or a friend.

Roses are a popular choice among the masses, but Smith argues against them.

“Roses may not last as long and are a little more expensive just because of the high demand,” Smith said. “Whereas with a mixed bouquet, you get more flowers, and they’re going to last longer because we’ll use flowers that have a longer longevity to them.”

A mixed assortment of flowers can allow for unique flowers, like the protea flowers. Protea are larger flowers that bloom in colors of light lavender and hot pink and look like dragon fruit when fully bloomed.

Smith tries to keep unique flowers, like the Protea, in his shop. He also procures other quirky flowers like the blazing star flower, hydrangea flowers and white snapdragon flowers.

“Flowers speak words that are hard to express,” Elberry said.

During Valentine’s Day, certain colors of flowers can help express different emotions.

Pink and red flowers are common during the holiday because they communicate feelings of love, passion and happiness. Meanwhile, yellow and orange can express joy, friendship and enthusiasm.

Everts Flowers and Home Gifts is located at 329 Main St. and offers flowers ranging from less than $40 to more than $75. Additional information can be found on their website.