Tiger Garden prepares for Valentine’s Day

Floral shop Tiger Garden is preparing for Valentine’s Day by bringing in more staff and ordering more flowers than last year.
Tiger Garden is located inside the Agriculture Building. With less than a week until Valentine's Day, Tiger Garden has been busy preparing for its busiest day of the year.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and Tiger Garden is preparing for its busiest week of the year.

Since August 2005, when the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources started the floral shop, Tiger Garden has served students and the community alike in meeting their botanical needs. The shop offers fresh arrangements, house plants, poinsettias, balloons, fish and gifts, as well as providing special arrangements for formal university events and weddings.

With Cupid’s arrow pulled tight in its bow waiting for Tuesday, the hottest items right now are the fresh arrangements. Featured flowers for the holiday include roses, gerber daisies, lilies, daffodils and tulips.

Sophomore Ehren Schleicher is one of the many young men that took advantage of this on-campus option to purchase a gift for his sweetheart.

“I heard about it from a friend because we were talking about Valentine’s Day and she has classes in the building,” Schleicher said. “It was cute. They had good options, although I think they need a broader selection of flowers. It was nice, and it wasn’t overpriced.”

According to Tiger Garden’s website, the shop’s mission is to “expand the educational process by combing traditional textbook learning with the hands-on small business experience in an entrepreneurial environment.”

Tiger Garden, located in 2-34 in the Agriculture Building, employs students, giving them the opportunity to learn about both the plant and business aspects of the industry.

One of the students currently benefiting from this opportunity is April Kiehl, a senior who has been with Tiger Garden for two years and is currently a student manager.

“I’ve taken classes, and I have a plant science minor,” Kiehl said. “Working here has helped me learn more about design, business skills and customer service, whether from taking orders or making deliveries.”

Kiehl, like the rest of the Tiger Garden staff, is anticipating the shop’s busiest week of the calendar year. Kiehl said the shop will take orders both Monday and Tuesday for those last-minute shoppers. If students order by Friday, deliveries on Monday will be free.

“We’re expecting about 500 orders between Monday and Tuesday,” Kiehl said.

She said between 10 and 20 percent of Tiger Garden’s revenue comes from Valentine’s Day. On a normal day, the shop will do between three and 10 deliveries a day. On February 14, this number increases to approximately 200.

The increased demand for flowers will necessitate the help of other staff. Students from the Division of Plant Sciences will help, as well as staff from MU’s greenhouse, where the shop grows about half of its plants.

“Some people will come in Tuesday, so we’ll make things for them until we run out of flowers,” Kiehl said of those students who leave things until the last minute. “We ran out of everything last year, but we ordered more for this year.”

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