Welcome To Wonderland
I’ve thought about this for a long time, there have been many conversations about trying to write a journal or an insight into how things go around here, about what actually happens in floristry, the dirt, the realness, hard work and relentless hours, that’s what people have always told me I should write about.
I’m not really sure why now feels like a time I might be able to commit to writing, maybe it’s because I feel the less committed to floristry than I have in ever done in the past nearly 14 years.
I shouldn’t be, it’s my season ! This strange time of year when the brightness of summer fades and the flowers get less attention seeking, there are fewer show offs, less peonies everywhere, less frills, less pink.
Luke text me at 4am the other Monday ( I was awake) to tell me the sweet peas had been burnt by the hot weather and that was it for this year, no more sweet peas. I feel relieved, i’ve been waiting for the weirdos to get here. I’ve been waiting for the flowers that the customers don’t know the names of. The flowers that just get pointed at in the shop and called ‘the orange ones’, ‘ the pink ones’ or if that fails, our beloved and faithful customers will call every flower a daisy or a ranunculus they know one flower name and they will use it, every flower they see before them shall now be a ranunculus or a daisy. I don’t know if they know that would be the same as going to a vegetable shop and calling every vegetable a carrot. I let it drift across me, there is much I don’t know that I am sure they do know, like excel spreadsheets and brand strategies, I am terrible at both of these things. The customers don’t know the names of the weirdos but that’s ok, I will refrain from correcting them. I celebrate the sanguisorbas the rudibeckias the geums of this world, I know they are the silent heroes.
The studio and shop are overflowing with Californian poppies that I can’t quite bring myself to sell, for fear that I miss the opening ceremony of a particularly well coloured or interesting one. I keep all gladiola on their last legs, taken as ‘treasure’ from ailing contract vases and displayed proudly until they reach their inevitable death, sprawled across the table in the studio window for all to see as they create a welcoming confetti of faded petals across the floor, that I refuse to sweep.
Around this time of year I start banging on to the girls about making sure they use texture and foliage to create more depth in their bunches, I warn about the consequences of falling to hard for the dahlias, I wait for the cooing from both the customers and the girls to stop as they realise the life span of a dahlia is about the same as a blue bottle fly and inevitably the love is short lived, some could argue that applies to many of the best things in life.
For years I have had a profound feeling that the industry needs to adapt to the future, this is where my commitment to flowers is faltering. Like everything we are over consuming flowers, instagram has glorified this once humble and hard trade and for many of us that has worked in our favour enormously, but where does it go from here. There is an abundance of wildly talented florist at every corner, do we need more flowers than ever before and how does that sustain it self for the future. I’m in a perpetual limbo, trying to remain a boss and a flower enthusiast hoping I won’t be derailed by trying to change.