Spring blooms for prom

Apr. 20—ASHLAND — While prom season is a busy time for students, it's also a busy time for florists. It also can be a costly time.

Economist Jay L. Zagorsky created a price index to see how the costs of traditional prom items have changed over the years. He found prices have gone up, but not enough to keep up with inflation, he reported in The Conversation.

Many local florists who will tackle providing blooms for 28 proms in the Tri-State have seem prices of flowers go up.

Jeanie Hammond of Jeanie's Flowers and More in Flatwoods said her business begins preparing for prom season in early April; orders usually start arriving by the middle of the month.

Of course, the cost of bouquets, the most commonly purchased prom flowers, depends on the kinds of flowers used, but Hammond said prices have risen considerably in the last three or so years.

"We try to keep them as reasonable as possible," she said, noting specialty flowers like dahlias, roses and cala lilies bump the price up.

Employees of West End Floral and Gifts in Russell are about to experience their first prom season, but already have an idea what it's going to be like.

Raegan Flone of Ashland said before the business opened in January, she and her mother, who owns the shop, had made flowers for those attending winter formals.

"It's pretty busy," she said, noting she's already received quite a few orders for bouquets, which are the most popular prom item, as well as corsages and boutineers. Sunflowers, roses and eucalyptus are some of the more unusual flora requested recently. She said costs of flower are expected to rise around upcoming spring holidays and prom time.

Karen Hogsten, owner of Wild Paint Cut Flowers in Ashland, said she limits the number of orders for prom she takes because it's also wedding season for her one-woman operation.

Those orders started coming in during March, she said, noting she loves the prom season.

"The mothers are very involved, talking about the hair and dresses and flowers, and we just have the best time talking," Hogsten said, noting she's also involved, too, looking at photos and any information she can get to try to make the arrangement just like the customer wants.

She said the color of the year for flowers seems to be coral, but "a lot of girls like a little pop of blue in their flowers," she said, noting she designs and puts together the bouquet and Rhonella Chaffin makes bows for them.

The more popular flowers tend to include roses — not red, but any other color — and gerber daisies. However, Hogsten said, each year is different and trends change. She also noticed a change in price; she said prices have doubled since the onset of COVID-19.

Rob Fields of Fields Flower Shop in Ashland said he took a few prom orders in March, but as prom time approaches, the orders increase. It's easily one of his biggest seasons.

"Prom is more labor intensive," Fields said. "You have to talk to people longer to find out about what you're going to need to do. It takes longer than a simple bouquet."

He said his customers go for a wide range of flowers, many bringing in photos of what they want.

"A lot of the pictures come from the California flower market and a lot of those are excessively expensive," he said. "We usually have hydrangeas or something else to make it for less than $100. We're probably on the lower end, like $65 or $75."

He said if there is a new trend in prom flowers, he won't know until about halfway through taking orders and making requests.

Cost of flowers is up, Fields said. "Right around a month or two after the war in Ukraine stared, things that were $10 two years ago are now at $15. Other items are up by about $5."