Collectively as Florists, we can't say that we have been faced anything like this in our industry before. The availability of flowers and in particular, the variety of flowers at the flower market has become obviously sparse in recent weeks.
Initially I welcomed this change and openly embraced the challenge. In recent years I have consciously applied the promotion of buying seasonal products and pride myself on the knowledge I have gained through exercising this. I thought this event would allow my fellow Florists the opportunity to educate clients into buying seasonal as well as our newly emerging Florists entering the industry to become aware of just how amazing our Australian grown products are.
Imports have played a huge roll in the industry I grew up in and I heard of the damage it had done to our flower growers here in Australia. I never gave it much thought until recent years when I decided to open my own business and I started to evaluate the values I wanted in Picottee. Buy seasonal and buy local, where possible. Until we can educate clients on seasonal availability and our growers re-establish, we will still see imports.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to imports! I am opposed to unethical treatment of workers and the use of health damaging chemicals and pesticides.
So the reason for the blog was to share with my clients just what we are seeing available for Mother’s Day in 2020.
We have reached the end of our rose season here in NSW, which is going to be a huge adjustment for me personally. When I think Mother’s Day, I envision roses. An abundance of lush, fluffy, soft coloured roses.
The fact that we import roses is not unknown here is Australia. How else could we ensure these premium roses during our cold months as roses are a summer bloom. We import from Kenya, Ecuador and Columbia (which is a whole other issue I will elaborate on in future posts) and with international travel restrictions in place, we just can’t guarantee roses this year.
We do have some dedicated rose growers, mainly based in Victoria that use heated green houses, but it is at this time of the year that we see a noticeable absence of these roses as they fire up their heaters in the green house and they start producing their winter blooms.
Another popular import we see arriving from Malaysia most of the year. Lucky for us, chrysanthemums are naturally blooming in Late Summer/Autumn which means they are in abundance here in Australia this time of year. We have been fortunate enough to secure some locally grown Chrysies from a farm only 30 minutes from our studio!
On further reflection there are plenty of beautiful flowers available to use this year! Mother’s Day isn’t only Roses and Chrysies, it’s also the gracefully tall Gladioli - a more traditional flower but it exudes strength and beauty when arranged en masse.
It's the show stopping Lily with unfolding petals that seem to change shape right before your eyes. It’s also perfectly fragrant Stocks, it's the cheeky mini Gerberas, it’s the wild and tangled Tulips and it’s the robust and enduring Australian/South African Natives.
I encourage this open conversation with all my clients. I am rewarded with the satisfcation of opening my customers eyes as I offer them a glance into this amazingly beautiful world I am lucky enough to be apart of.
When we buy seasonal, we are rewarded with happy flowers. And it’s the happy flowers that last the longest.