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Pictures | Tue Feb 14, 2012 | 6:05pm IST

Voyage of the roses

<p>A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador, February 8, 2012. 

REUTERS/Guillermo Granja</p>

A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador, February 8, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador, February 8, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

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<p>An aerial view of the Rio Roses farm where workers are preparing roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. Ninety percent of the flowers Americans will give to their sweethearts on Valentine's Day are imported, and nearly all of those imports originate in Colombia and Ecuador. 

 REUTERS/Guillermo Granja </p>

An aerial view of the Rio Roses farm where workers are preparing roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. Ninety percent of the flowers Americans will give to their sweethearts on Valentine's Day are...more

An aerial view of the Rio Roses farm where workers are preparing roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. Ninety percent of the flowers Americans will give to their sweethearts on Valentine's Day are imported, and nearly all of those imports originate in Colombia and Ecuador. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

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<p>A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. 

REUTERS/Guillermo Granja </p>

A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

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<p>Roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day are seen at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. 

REUTERS/Guillermo Granja </p>

Roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day are seen at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

Roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day are seen at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

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<p>A worker carries gerbera daisies for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa, Colombia, February 6, 2012. 

REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez </p>

A worker carries gerbera daisies for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa, Colombia, February 6, 2012. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

A worker carries gerbera daisies for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa, Colombia, February 6, 2012. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

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<p>A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012.

REUTERS/Guillermo Granja </p>

A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

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<p>Workers prepare roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. 

REUTERS/Guillermo Granja </p>

Workers prepare roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

Workers prepare roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Rio Roses greenhouse in Cayambe, Ecuador February 8, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

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<p>A customs inspector X-rays boxes of flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes to check for drugs before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012. 
REUTERS/Guillermo Granja </p>

A customs inspector X-rays boxes of flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes to check for drugs before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012....more

A customs inspector X-rays boxes of flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes to check for drugs before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

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<p>Airport workers pile up boxes of flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Guillermo Granja </p>

Airport workers pile up boxes of flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

Airport workers pile up boxes of flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

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<p>An Ecuadorean police dog named Simon sniffs for drugs in boxes of flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Guillermo Granja </p>

An Ecuadorean police dog named Simon sniffs for drugs in boxes of flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012....more

An Ecuadorean police dog named Simon sniffs for drugs in boxes of flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

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<p>An Ecuadorean police dog named Simon sniffs for drugs in flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes, before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012.
REUTERS/Guillermo Granja </p>

An Ecuadorean police dog named Simon sniffs for drugs in flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes, before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10,...more

An Ecuadorean police dog named Simon sniffs for drugs in flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes, before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

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<p>An Ecuadorean police dog named Simon sniffs for drugs in flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012. 
REUTERS/Guillermo Granja </p>

An Ecuadorean police dog named Simon sniffs for drugs in flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012....more

An Ecuadorean police dog named Simon sniffs for drugs in flowers packed for export and ready to be loaded onto cargo planes before the upcoming Valentine's Day at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Ecuador, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja

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<p>A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa, Colombia, February 7, 2012. 
REUTERS/John Vizcaino </p>

A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa, Colombia, February 7, 2012. REUTERS/John Vizcaino

A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa, Colombia, February 7, 2012. REUTERS/John Vizcaino

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<p>A worker prepares flowers for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa, Colombia, February 7, 2012. 

REUTERS/John Vizcaino </p>

A worker prepares flowers for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa, Colombia, February 7, 2012. REUTERS/John Vizcaino

A worker prepares flowers for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa, Colombia, February 7, 2012. REUTERS/John Vizcaino

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<p>A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa, Colombia, February 6, 2012. 

REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez </p>

A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa, Colombia, February 6, 2012. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa, Colombia, February 6, 2012. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

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<p>A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa February 6, 2012. 

REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez </p>

A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa February 6, 2012. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

A worker prepares roses for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa February 6, 2012. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

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<p>A worker prepares flowers for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa February 6, 2012. 
REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez </p>

A worker prepares flowers for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa February 6, 2012. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

A worker prepares flowers for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa February 6, 2012. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

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<p>A worker prepares flowers for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa February 7, 2012. 
REUTERS/John Vizcaino </p>

A worker prepares flowers for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa February 7, 2012. REUTERS/John Vizcaino

A worker prepares flowers for export before the upcoming Valentine's Day, at Elite greenhouse in Facatativa February 7, 2012. REUTERS/John Vizcaino

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<p>A workman unloads roses from Ecuador outside the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. 
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

A workman unloads roses from Ecuador outside the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A workman unloads roses from Ecuador outside the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>Workmen wheel roses into the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

Workmen wheel roses into the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Workmen wheel roses into the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>Roses are seen at a florist's shop ahead of Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

Roses are seen at a florist's shop ahead of Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Roses are seen at a florist's shop ahead of Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>Bunches of roses from Ecuador are stacked for delivery at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles, February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

Bunches of roses from Ecuador are stacked for delivery at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Bunches of roses from Ecuador are stacked for delivery at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>Celeste Roldan, 28, attaches water vials to roses from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles, February 10, 2012.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

Celeste Roldan, 28, attaches water vials to roses from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Celeste Roldan, 28, attaches water vials to roses from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>Celeste Roldan, 28, attaches water vials to roses from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles, February 10, 2012.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

Celeste Roldan, 28, attaches water vials to roses from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Celeste Roldan, 28, attaches water vials to roses from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officers look for pests in boxes of imported roses at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at Miami International Airport in Miami, February 10, 2012. 

 REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity</p>

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officers look for pests in boxes of imported roses at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at Miami International Airport in Miami, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity more

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officers look for pests in boxes of imported roses at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at Miami International Airport in Miami, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

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<p>Justin Vitello, (R) a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officer, examines a pest that was dislodged during his inspection of a box of imported roses at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at Miami International Airport in Miami, February 10, 2012. 
 REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity </p>

Justin Vitello, (R) a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officer, examines a pest that was dislodged during his inspection of a box of imported roses at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at Miami International...more

Justin Vitello, (R) a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officer, examines a pest that was dislodged during his inspection of a box of imported roses at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at Miami International Airport in Miami, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

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<p>Celeste Roldan, 28, ties bunches of roses from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles, February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>

Celeste Roldan, 28, ties bunches of roses from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Celeste Roldan, 28, ties bunches of roses from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officers inspect imported flowers for pests at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at Miami International Airport in Miami, February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity </p>

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officers inspect imported flowers for pests at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at Miami International Airport in Miami, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officers inspect imported flowers for pests at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at Miami International Airport in Miami, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

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<p>A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officer looks for pests in imported flowers at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at Miami International Airport in Miami, February 10, 2012. 
REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity </p>

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officer looks for pests in imported flowers at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at Miami International Airport in Miami, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officer looks for pests in imported flowers at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at Miami International Airport in Miami, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

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<p>Justin Vitello, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officer, uses a magnifying glass to look for pests as he inspects imported roses at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at the Miami International Airport in Miami, February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity </p>

Justin Vitello, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officer, uses a magnifying glass to look for pests as he inspects imported roses at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at the Miami International Airport in...more

Justin Vitello, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Inspection officer, uses a magnifying glass to look for pests as he inspects imported roses at United Parcel Service (UPS)'s shipping facility at the Miami International Airport in Miami, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

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<p>A man packages rose petals from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

A man packages rose petals from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A man packages rose petals from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>Celeste Roldan, 28, stands on discarded roses as she packages roses from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. 
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

Celeste Roldan, 28, stands on discarded roses as she packages roses from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Celeste Roldan, 28, stands on discarded roses as she packages roses from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>A man packages rose petals from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

A man packages rose petals from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A man packages rose petals from Ecuador at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>Florist Trinidad Rojas, 36, prepares roses for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

Florist Trinidad Rojas, 36, prepares roses for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Florist Trinidad Rojas, 36, prepares roses for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>Florist Trinidad Rojas, 36, prepares roses for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. 
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

Florist Trinidad Rojas, 36, prepares roses for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Florist Trinidad Rojas, 36, prepares roses for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>Roses are seen at a flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>

Roses are seen at a flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Roses are seen at a flower market in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>A man sweeps the sidewalk outside a florist shop decked with roses in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

A man sweeps the sidewalk outside a florist shop decked with roses in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A man sweeps the sidewalk outside a florist shop decked with roses in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>A teddy bear made from flowers sits outside a florist store in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

A teddy bear made from flowers sits outside a florist store in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A teddy bear made from flowers sits outside a florist store in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>A woman buys flowers from a florist ahead of Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. 

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

A woman buys flowers from a florist ahead of Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A woman buys flowers from a florist ahead of Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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<p>A florist arranges flowers in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. 
REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson </p>

A florist arranges flowers in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A florist arranges flowers in preparation for Valentine's Day in Los Angeles February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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