OLD FORGE -- As Christians observe Holy Week, much of it may be spent preparing for Easter Sunday. Planning meals or picking the right Easter flowers.
But, folks in the flower business say, preparing for Easter is as unpredictable as the weather.
In the showroom at Tomlinson Floral and Gift in Old Forge, there's not much extra room this week. It's filled with the traditional Easter lilies, hydrangeas, and daisies. They'll get a few hundred more lilies before Easter Sunday.
But, overall, owner Linda Tomlinson said orders are down this year.
"They don't realize until the last minute, that, 'oh, it's Easter!' and then we're bombarded," Tomlinson said.
It's somethings she's come to expect after 20 years in the flower business. If the weather outside isn't spring-like, customers don't think about their flowers until Easter is almost here.
But, there is a sunny side to an earlier Easter season.
"It gives us enough time to prepare for Mother's Day, because usually they are so close together it's one holiday after the other, it's a little tough," added Tomlinson.
"At least we get to get through Easter and take a little breath and gear up for the next season. So we can get our game plan in order for that, and get ready for that," said Donna Jezorwski of Bloomin' Idiots Garden Canter in Old Forge.
The owners of the Bloomin' Idiots Garden Center said Easter in March is a blessing and a curse, and one of the reasons their Easter flowers cover the floor this week.
The owners said they would normally have more flowers outside. But, with a nor'easter predicted for the weekend before Easter, they just couldn't take a risk.
So, instead, they plan to receive three big shipments of Easter flowers this week and will be open on Easter Sunday.
"Easter is one of those holidays that, depending on when it falls, you have to make adjustments to your business plan. That's what you have to do," Jezorwski said.
And, if the weather stays on the chilly side, these gardeners say bulb plants like daffodils and tulips fare best.