Are you feeling romantic and want to woo your special someone with some flowers? Maybe you have had an argument with your significant other that only the sweet scent of fresh-cut blossoms will smooth over.
Now that Hanal Pixán is over and done with, and the spirits have returned to their world, February 14 is coming and the selection of flowers has returned to a distinctly more romantic selection, with an emphasis on roses. Red is the most popular color and the thing is to pre-order them and usually in an arrangement, known here as an Arreglo. So you will “encargar un arreglo.”
Where, you ask? Well, the city of Mérida has a larger selection of flower-purchasing locales than you might suspect. Options range from the cut and dry selection at Costco and the wholesaler Chiltepec on Montejo (for massive amounts of flowers if you really have someone to impress or are starting your own flower shop) to regular-style flower shops sprinkled liberally throughout the city. Note that these are almost always on avenues and streets in an independent setting, and hardly ever in a shopping mall or Plaza.
Typically, in a north Mérida upscale flower shop operation customers are very particular on what to buy for certain special occasions. While Mother’s Day sees roses of every color (except red) in arrangements that go from small (also known as “un detalle”) to medium, Valentine’s or 14 de Febrero sees inordinate amounts of exclusively red roses fly out the door. Here, “the bigger the better” is the modus operandi.
Costs can vary from $25 pesos for a single flower to several thousand pesos if you are of the blow-your-sweetheart’s-mind crowd. And, thanks to the pandemic, ordering your flowers online is easier than ever. Once you have designed and paid for your flower selection, the online option has curbside pickup or delivery to get your fragrant expression of love to its destination, complete with a card.
In small, outlying town markets (think Muna, Umán, and even Progreso) arrangements can be had for between $600 and $1,000 pesos for up to 24 roses. Here, delivery is less of an option. They tend to have arrangements already made and waiting so you can pop in and pick up what’s there. That means you don’t get to deal with the artistic and potentially diva-esque folks in a more upscale shop.
Finally, when you remember last-minute that you didn’t get your love anything, you can resort to picking up something on a street corner. I mean a flower arrangement! For those important dates, resellers will set up at traffic lights and circles to fulfill demand.
Remember that the color of roses is important. Red is love and romance, yellow is for friendship and caring, perfect for that special someone in the hospital. Pink is also friendly and caring. White roses can symbolize everlasting love or a new beginning (hint hint: post-argument tip).
Thanks to Angie Estrada at the amazing Cuarto de Rosas for her help in researching this article: www.cuartoderosas.com
See also Maatubzcen (“Forget me not” in Maya), one of Mérida’s oldest flower shops:
And Chiltepec’s website is here: www.chiltepec.com
Editorial by Ralf Hollmann
A Yucatecan born in Germany and raised in Canada, with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Ralf has experience in leisure tourism, journalism, research, editing, writing, and creative writing. He’s also a musician.
Photography by Ralf Hollmann, Greta Garrett, and Nora Garrett for use in Yucatán Today.
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