Take two. I wrote this blog post in its entirety about 10 hours ago and Squarespace ate it with an error message.
As a florist, I am someone that you will likely speak to in the emotional moments of your life. Whether we're discussing flower needs for your upcoming wedding, putting together a bouquet to say "I'm sorry" or "Congratulations", or for funeral flowers, I'll be the one hearing about the vulnerable moments of your life. It's really important to me to connect with my clients over their feelings, and to be a calm person in the midst of it all.
When I'm hearing your thoughts about what it is that you need for the particular occasion, I'm wondering how I can give you the best ingredients for the recipe. I can do that for you because of other relationships that have been created specifically for this purpose: relationships with flower farmers within the region will give you the best flowers and foliage you can dream of.
My relationships with local flower farmers, and the relationships that the shop has with those farmers, enables us to give you fresh, in-season flowers.
I understand that for weddings, being so emotionally charged, it is easy to become very hung-up on what exact flowers will be in each exact container. But to quote my boss, nature does not come in Pantone colors to pick and choose from. Even if we are ordering flowers from a large wholesale flower distributor, there is still a chance that the lavender roses you so desperately need will not be the exact color to match your monogram on the wedding stationary and the ring bearer's bowtie.
That above sentence was me being snarky.
When we order wholesale flowers in from a distributor, I am always overjoyed to see the flowers. But then as I unpack them, the boxes begin to pile up. I notice all of the packing materials - bubble wrap abounds, cellophane wrappers are crinkled, and lots of waste is made. Then once all the flowers are in water to hydrate, I can only longingly look at them, because I remember that they've been treated with pesticides and fumigated repeatedly to make it through customs inspections. That's right - those flowers came all the way from Japan. Or the Netherlands. Or Colombia. Or Costa Rica. I'm not always certain. And I can't be completely certain about the conditions of the worker who planted, harvested, packaged, and shipped those flowers. I don't know how much they were paid, or what their working conditions might be like.
Now I should say that the shop that I work at does a lot to combat these issues. We do utilize local product at all possible opportunities, and we reuse, compost, or recycle anything that is able to be processed that way. For example, we reuse bubble wrap to package vases when they are ready to go to a wedding, and we save rubber bands to reuse when we need them. That kind of thing. And it does make a difference! We're also awesome at composting, which is a whole separate issue, but one that we are all passionate about as a business and personally.
Ever the over-achiever, I always wish that more could be done.
That is where you come in as the consumer. When you need flowers, demand to know the source. Ask for local flowers. They are truly the best flowers. When they are picked up or delivered from the farm, I know that they were grown nearby. I may have even spent an afternoon (or several) enjoying a walk through the field. I know the farmer, and that they put their heart into providing the most beautiful blooms for their florists and clients. For lack of a better way of putting it, I know that they are happy flowers.
You deserve better - ask for local flowers. I can hook you up.
The first four photos are a tribute to the nigella that I grew in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. The last photo is of an arrangement that I made today, which has some of that nigella, but also is comprised of almost only locally grown flowers, including the following: hydrangea, bachelor buttons, rudbeckia, cosmos, globe thistle, ageratum, hosta, and lisianthus.
If Squarespace hadn't ate my first attempt at this post this morning, the photo of the arrangement would not have been included - perhaps that was the reason for the failure.