Tuesday, June 26, 2007

When to cut flowers - daisy types

Today I had a meeting with a bride who is going to be getting married in Scotland in August but who lives in New York. She was wanting wild looking flowers for her wedding but was worried that they would droop and die within the day.

It turns out that she regularly buys flowers from a New York Farmers Market and they are all dead within a couple of days. She thinks it is the type of flower and inevitable.

This really shouldn't happen and that it does is a big problem for me.

My biggest problem in the business is getting people to trust that flowers picked from a garden will last. I guarantee that all but a few varieties (sweetpeas, lilac for example) will last more or less a week, many last longer.

Garden flowers won't last as long as an irradiated carnation but then again do you really want flowers hanging around so long that you have to dust them? They certainly do not die within a couple of days.

I think that part of the problem is that people remember their own clammy hand childhood attempts to pick flowers - the slightly bent bunch presented to Mums after a walk in the country.

It is also something not helped by the magazines - the recent feature in Country Living Magazine on the flowers sold by Wiggly Wigglers is an example.

Now Wiggly Wigglers is a reputable company - they will not be sending over-ripe flowers through the post but the photo shows them proudly displaying a bunch with cosmos flowers in it that have been pollinated and should be in the bin, not in a bouquet. The photo must have been a last minute set up.

Perhaps this seems petty - it is a very pretty photo but it gives people the wrong idea about when flowers should be cut for the house and they won't have good results. I don't think it is good for Wiggly Wigglers either as it presumably misrepresents their product, but then control of the photos after the shoot is very difficult.

Anyway I thought that I would put in a couple of photos of the chrysanthemum "Duro" a lovely small cerise flower that sees me through the early June gap.

The top photo is exactly right - the central boss is tight and flat with only the very outer edge of the yellow showing pollen.

The one at the bottom shows the fluffy pollinated bit halfway up the yellow - this is too far gone, the bees have been at it and all that flower want to do now is curl up and become a seedhead.

The top flower will last 7-10 days away from direct sunlight - the bottom one would do well to stagger through 2!


alice c said...

I didn't see anything on the WW website to tempt me. Now your arrangements are quite different - they make me want to move to Scotland. I think I would even put up with a short shelf life to have that trug of flowers on my table!

Fresh Floral Art said...

What a wonderful illustration of what to pick and more importantly what not to pick in the garden.

Gigibird said...

It’s very interesting how we are all so programmed about what we should expect from cut flowers – buy them from Tescos and expect them to last a week without thinking why? And not bothering with flowers from our own gardens because none of us know what to do with them…..then you come along and teach us flower ‘innocents’ what we need to know. Thank you:)

Jane said...

I think that it is great what Wiggly wigglers is trying to do with their cut flowers. Rosebie Moreton's Real Flower Company is also impressive (in summer only if you don't want imports) as long as you realise that scented roses have a limited life. I tend to recommend the Real Flower Company if people are looking for mail order
Neither of these businesses are organic (for pretty good reasons). If you are looking for organic flowers (though not all UK grown) there is a company called The Organic Flower Company (www.theorganicflowercompany.co.uk) based in Shropshire.

It is a difficult choice - almost impossible to get UK grown and organic and mail order!

If I ever get to a point where I have surplus flowers I shall begin experimenting with mail order packaging again.

Suffolkmum said...

I don't have a clue about any of this, and usually just blame myself for the fact that flowers I pick from the garden never last. Really interesting to hear more about it. I have recently become aware of how passionately I feel about 'proper' flowers as opposed to the bouquets in shops - wish I lived in Scotland too!

Nonnie said...

I would love to be able to buy garden flowers as I don't currently have my own garden, and would prefer them to the mass produced supermarket type. I read the article in CL and I have to say it didn't really make me want to buy their flowers. The idea of being able have those type of flowers delivered to me is appealing in a way but I don't like the thought of the petrol being used to transport them to me. I wish someone would start selling garden flowers in Kew!