Romance in the air of Vancouver (2)

20:05, February 14, 2011      

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Heart-shaped chocolate presents are on display at the hall way in a shopping mall in Vancouver, Canada, Feb. 13, 2011, a day ahead of the Valentine's day. (Xinhua/Liang Sen)

At the display for the Vancouver-based Dutch Girl Chocolates, the offerings were a selection of enticing flavors in vodka peppercorn truffle, jasmine green tea and chili pepper with kaffir lime truffle, among others. There were also dark chocolate slabs adorned with ancients engaged in some sexual positions.

Across town on the west side of Vancouver at Earthrise Garden Store, proprietor Michael Luco was busy arranging flowers to keep up with an anticipated last-minute rush for Monday's Valentine's Day.

With flower prices increased 30 to 50 percent for such holiday occasions when demand is high, the landscape designer said regardless of the price, it is good to have flowers at home all the time just for the sake of beauty.

"I'm lucky because I have a business that sells flowers, so my house is always filled with flowers. And it's an easy way to have a little bit of beauty. And people need beauty in their lives," he said.

With most of the flowers in his shop from such far-off places as Israel and South America, Luco said imports from China were also starting to show up in Canada.

"Just before Christmas they started to bring in some roses from China and they were just starting to develop that. I tried them a couple of times. I'm not sure how long they had been in transit, as they didn't hold up as well as the stuff from South America. But that's just a developing industry for sure," he said.

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