When the only thing taking up space are buckets of bright flowers, it’s hard to say the JH Flower Boutique basement looks messy.

But Monica Grimberg, who owns the business with her husband Dmitriy, insists her floor is typically clear as she picks up freshly made arrangements of pink and yellow lilies and roses to bring upstairs.

The chaos, detectable only to the florists’ eye, is highly organized.

“For 10 years,” Grimberg said, “I’ve been perfecting the system.”

That “system” is the logistical flow of filling hundreds of orders, making novel arrangements, manning the phones and front desk, and delivering orders on the second-busiest day of the year.

Sure, Grimberg said, Valentine’s Day pushes out more stems, but those are almost entirely roses.

Mothers require a more diverse, coordinated flow of flowers.

When Grimberg describes the challenges of this year, it seems like a miracle she has flowers at all.

Just as snow showers continue to dot the Jackson Hole forecast, spring across the West has been particularly cold. The typical spring warmth, and its typical blooms, are three weeks to a month behind schedule.

In Utah drought forced some growers to cut off their water last September, Grimberg said, and some California growers are replacing their flowers with more lucrative buds, turning to the hottest cash crop: weed.

But high fuel prices, labor shortages, freak weather and a changing economy are no excuses for a low-inventory weekend at the family-owned business.

The shop is prepared for an onslaught of occasions the first week of May.

There are teachers and secretaries to be appreciated, corsages and boutonnieres to be promenaded, senior athletes to be sent off at home games.

So the Grimbergs order flowers from as far away as Colombia, Ecuador and South Africa to fill their showroom and every other surface.

As soon as the flowers land in Jackson the Grimbergs have 48 hours to declare any damage before they eat the cost of a tattered, travel-worn flower.

If shipments arrive late, like they did Monday before Mother’s Day, that means the lights at JH Flower Boutique stay on well into the night.

Customers will often wander in, Monica said, and surrounded by a floral rainbow, expound on how wonderful it would be to work in a flower shop.

Monica and Dmitriy used to be two of those daydreamers.

Ten years ago they were dining out late, around 9 p.m., when Dmitriy suggested they take a look at the former Char-ral Floral shop on Center Street. They signed a lease for the space the next morning. The space has been a flower shop since 1965.

As a fourth-generation Romanian florist, Monica thought if she wasn’t going to use her European law degree in the United States, she could at least start a career with childhood memories of family farmers markets.

But just as quickly, Monica and Dmitriy are sure to say that most of the hard work going into the business is hidden from the eyes and noses of the untrained customer. Working in roses isn’t all sunshine and butterflies.

Days are filled with lugging five-gallon water buckets, cleaning and recleaning glass vases, and responding to customers — especially the finicky ones — with grace and creativity.

But when asked if it’s ever overwhelming, Monica immediately shook her head.

“No,” she said. “I’m good,” and gestures at her employees moving smoothly around each other, gluing boutonnieres and answering phones. “We’re literally like a family.”

The JH Flower Boutique family is prepared for even the clueless, last-minute buyer who can walk in, name their price and walk out with a world-class arrangement made with worldwide flowers in minutes.

That goes for every occasion, Dmitriy said, “We’re creating a happy space.”

Contact Sophia Boyd-Fliegel at county@jhnewsandguide or 307-732-7063.

Sophia covers county politics, housing, and workforce issues. A Pacific Coast devotee, she grew up in Washington, studied in California and has worked in Oregon and Alaska.

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