FLOWER shop owners are hoping to see their businesses bloom in the next few months, ahead of their busiest time of year.

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, florists across the country have been forced to close their doors, moving to a delivery or click and collect service only.

Lucy Stones, who runs Margot Flowers on Chorley Old Road, is hoping she can open the store, named after her daughter, by the popular holiday – but is refusing to let the rules wilt her spirit.

She said: "I miss seeing my customers face to face, I have quite a lot of loyal shoppers and hopefully it won't be too long before I can see them again.

"Another thing I realised whilst I was able to open for Christmas is that a lot of people buy a little something to go along with their bouquet which you just don't get when people shop online.

"I've also had to move over to making a lot of 'florist's choice' arrangements with seasonal items – I've had to take quite a few things off the website because I just can't have a lot of stock in the shop at the moment without risking things going to waste.

"I know some florists who opened up between Christmas and New Year who had to throw out stock when they found out they couldn't open on Thursday."

The mum-of-one has been making deliveries across the area from Tuesdays to Saturdays, offering her clients seasonal arrangements.

Special requests can still be arranged, but need to be ordered in advance as she no longer buys stock for the store.

Miss Stones added: "I'm lucky that I can still do deliveries, which is a big part of the business.

"Now, I get most of my orders through Instagram and Facebook so that's my main focus at the moment, making sure that it's all up-to-date with the latest stock.

"Flowers have been quite a good thing because during lockdown, people who can't go and see their loved ones like to send flowers.

"Our subscription boxes have been really popular, and I've already had loads of orders to go out next week."