Friday, March 02, 2007

Alternatives to cut flowers.

It is that time of year when I begin to get a lot of phonecalls from people wanting to order flowers as gifts. The sun is shining, snowdrops and daffodils are in all the verges and people feel that I should be open again.

It is very flattering. It is great to know that people miss the business while we are closed. But it is just not possible to make up bouquets of flowers from my garden at this time of year.

Yes - I could probably grow early daffodils but it wouldn't be worth it - the early forms don't have a good vase life and they aren't bulky enough to make a good bouquet. Also, even when we have the glamorous, long lasting, beautifully scented narcissi at the van in April, people will not pay money for daffodils.

I sometimes despair of the way that what people expect has been formed by the cut flower industry. In the C19th cut flowers were not generally available from January-March and instead potted plants were used to decorate interiors. In fact, the C19th used a lot more potted plants -plants like primroses and harebells - in temporary flowery arrangements.

If I do ever extend my season to take in February and March it will be this example I will follow - trying to persuade people to order potted bulbs instead of flowers. In fact, I do continue to do this a bit all year and the photo is of a lovely sturdy aged zinc plante that I delivered today. It is full of the narcissi Soleil d'Or.

I continue to blog on the Country Living Site - very slow and bulky - entries can be read here


carolyn said...

Excellent idea, something potted makes a lovely gift after all there is no work involved, no having to find a vase etc.

weirdbunny said...

Oh just read some of your country living blog. It is your van, people will definately buy from you with that van, as it's like buying into your life style. Fantastic.

Cherry Menlove said...

I'm loving you van.....and your business cards. So beautifully designed.

Jane said...

Cherry - I wish that I had agreed a commission from the chap we bought the van from - I must have sent dozens of people his way. It is very special.
I can't take any credit for the designs of the cards - graphic design is something I am very bad at - Kate is thankfully very good.
Good luck with all your projects,

foxtail lily said...

Love reading your blog, with much interest. I also grow and arrange cut flowers . im trying to open a shop in my barn. Im finding red tape a pain. I love the van idea, good on you wish you loads of luck.We have all been totaly spoilt by the big boy supermarkets with out of season flowers lets hope people will start appreciating our seasonal bouquets with the same eagerness as fresh asparagus and peas!!

Jane said...

There is a local restaurant which I would love to do the flowers for (it is a very good restaurant - all cream and brown - and I would swap flowers for food no problem)

It has tropical flowers and chrysanths at the moment - the manager has done a very good job in arranging them but I sat eating there the other day thinking that it would have looked so much more stylish with tall plain earthenware vases of alder branches and some low zinc pots of white grape hyacinths or crocus.