PANICKED romantics across west Wiltshire left things to the last minute this year, as florists across the county reported a last-minute rush before Valentine’s Day.

Reports suggest many of the old clichés are still true, with mainly men waiting until Wednesday, or even Thursday morning to buy a present for their loved ones.

Gemma Hill, owner of Blooms in Weymouth Street, Warminster, said: “We have been really busy as you would expect all week. The busiest times were on Wednesday afternoon and Valentine’s Day, with those who had forgotten making a late dash after work at around 5pm.”

Bradford on Avon’s Neston Flowers saw a slow but steady start to the week, with traditional roses being shunned for other flower arrangements.

Owner Jacqui Mehrez said: “The prices of flowers in Holland have gone up and it is tough to compete with offers, especially on red roses. We wanted to create something unique for women and give men the best value – mixed bouquets and boxed displays do this.” Linda Scott, who works at Hallmark Thorntons, in The Shires, said chocolate is as popular as ever as a gift.

She said: “We were busy in the build-up to Valentine’s Day, but we’ve noticed it get busier once half-term started.”

Many restaurants across the county have also been busy. Marco Pierre White’s Pear Tree Inn in Whitley has been fully booked for three weeks, while the Shaw Country Hotel has laid on an extra day’s celebration on Saturday, with bookings for a romantic three-course meal followed by a night of music and dancing.