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Festive florist surprises Balla locals with hidden bouquets

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SURPRISE PACKAGEDylan Cooke is pictured with one of the Irish Lonely Bouquets from a Balla florist, found by his mother Lorraine.

Ciara Galvin


A FESTIVE florist started spreading Christmas cheer early this year by hiding bouquets of flowers around the town of Balla.
Judi Roche of Balla Florists was out early last Monday hiding seven bouquets of flowers around the town to put a smile on people’s faces.
She explained to The Mayo News that her antics were part of an initiative Irish Lonely Bouqets undertaken by a network of Irish florists to highlight the services they provide in towns and villages around the country.
“I went out in my car last Monday with the bouquets so people wouldn’t follow the van. I attached a little poem to them and then shared a picture of the locations on social media. It was comical seeing people driving around looking for them,” said Judi.
Judi said she cannot get over how quickly word spread, with the social-media post receiving 60,000 views on Facebook.
“We just wanted to brighten up people’s day. We [florists] can get criticised for being expensive compared to supermarkets, but we’re independent, and we sponsor local initiatives … We know everyone and we’re there through all the emotional times, whether it’s a funeral, a new baby or a wedding,” she said.
She added that it wasn’t just the seven flower-finders who got cheered up by the surprise bouquets.
“Not only did we brighten someone’s day – I also gave myself a huge lift also as we face into a busy few weeks ahead.”
All seven recipients contacted the florist to thank Judi, who has been in business in the town for 14 years.
Coincidentally, sisters Lorraine Cooke and Michelle Touhill both found bouquets – a nice bit of serendipity that the lucky local siblings did not discover until later that evening.

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