WATSONVILLE — For a blast of bright colors, dazzling blooms and a cheerful smile look no further than the Ruvalcaba Nursery flower stand at the Watsonville Certified Farmer’s Market. Ana Ruvalcaba, who runs the popular stand, said she has been selling flowers there since the inception of the Friday market more than 20 years ago.

“I’ve always liked selling here,” she said. “I’m local and I enjoy meeting all the people. There are so many now that have become my regular customers and my friends.”

Ruvalcaba Nursery, located in Royal Oaks on San Miguel Canyon Road, has grown about 250 varieties of flowers over the course of the years. Ruvalcaba typically features about 20 flowers and numerous bouquet garnishes, like eucalyptus and baby’s breath, each Friday when the market starts up at 2 p.m. on Peck and Union streets.

“We come here every Friday and buy several bunches of flowers from Ana,” said Soshi Yamashita of Watsonville. “She is very helpful and generous and always sends me home with beautiful flowers. I like to bring my friends to her as well. I’ve been a regular with her from the start. In fact, if I don’t show up with my friends she worries about us — that’s how well Ana knows us.”

Last Friday the Ruvalcaba Nursery booth bounded over with sunflowers, daisies, marigolds, fuchsias, gerbera daisies, ranunculus, lilies, amaranthus, zennias and snap dragons. Ruvalcaba added that her flower selection is largely determined by the season.

“This is what I live for,” Ruvalcaba, 65, said. “This market is incredible; we have a melting pot here; there are Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Mexicans, Croatians, Italians and on and on. It’s a wonderful mix of cultures all coming together for a common need. For me, I love to share and to be a part of these cultures.”

Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, Ruvalcaba said she has been in the Watsonville area since the 1970s.

She said one of the toughest parts of her work is dealing with cold and stormy weather.

“People stay home and they don’t come out and buy flowers when it’s wet and cold,” she said. “But we’re out here anyway. This is my community and I love what I do.”

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