Monday, 21 August 2017

Flower Care

Prepare yourselves, for I am going to have a "little moan" ! :) 

As you all know, we get our flowers in on a daily basis; we are so lucky to be able to do so (I know many shops cannot) so this gives us a slight advantage over some competitors - never a bad thing :) The flowers are shipped over from the markets in Holland, to our wholesalers who make every effort to ensure they arrive with us in tip-top condition (often they come to us already in water). 

Every single flower that arrives in the shop is then conditioned by myself (or anyone else who may be here helping). That means any leaves which will be below the water line are removed (thorns also) their bottoms are then cut and they are placed into fresh water (no new flowers go into old water). Before a vase is filled it is scrubbed with bleach (and a loo brush - don't knock it, they get into the bottom and work well :) ) before being filled with tap water. No flower food (or any other kind of powder/liquid/coins! is added - only water). No flower is in the shop for longer than 48 hours to ensure we are always supplying the best quality and freshness we can (if it comes in Monday morning and it's not sold by Tuesday teatime it doesn't get sold - Tuesday morning/Wednesday teatime; so-on-and-so-forth).

Once they have left the shop though, it is up to you 'the recipient' to ensure you make every effort also, to keep your flowers looking as good as you possibly can, for as long as possible. Every single delivery that leaves the shop does so with a "care card" attached; these are not attached 'just-for-fun". 99.99% of the time if I get a complaint, it is because the care instructions have not been followed (I can't tell you how frustrating (and insulting) it is to us (the florist) when we have to face this issue - thankfully, not often). The amount of times, a week later, I have been told instructions "have been followed" on a hand-tied, only to find the flowers are still in the box they were delivered in - had the instructions actually been 'followed' those flowers would have been out of the box after 3/4 days.

Below, I'm going to show you an example of the difference it makes if you follow the instructions. 

Last Monday, I got in some beautiful blue hydrangea and some oxypetalum for one of our weekly account customers (having dealt with them for over 10 years it can get a bit difficult coming up with 'something different' and hydrangea were not something I had sent them before - purely because they are so expensive). Sadly, no matter how many times they are asked to make sure they 'top-up-the-water' they often come back to me the following week looking in a sorry state. That's when I got the idea for this blog; I knew I would be able to show you an example of how important caring for your flowers is. As I was only using half a bunch of each for the customer (and because I knew being so expensive I was unlikely to be able to sell the remainders) I bought the rest for myself. I made both the vase for the customer, and the one I was purchasing, as identical as was possible. Below is a photo of their vase before it was delivered.


Before any of you are wondering why I "bought" the remaining flowers and didn't just take them home, the answer is simple. Just because the shop is owned by me does not mean I have the right to take whatever I fancy. I've not paid for those flowers, the shop has, therefore if I was to take them, I would in effect be stealing from the business. I have a few friends who find it hard to understand that I pay for everything I take from the shop, but it's not my money that has purchased those flowers to begin with, it's the shop's money, so therefore I have no right to just take them.

Anyway, enough of that. Back to the vases. Knowing today, the one from this particular contract customer would be returning to the shop (they have fresh every Monday) I decided to do a comparison, so took photo's of the vase I have at home. Obviously I have cared for the ones I have at home and followed the instructions I send out with all the orders. I think you will agree there is a massive difference between the 2 vases (the photo's from my vase are on the left; the contract customers  are on the right.


I'm sure you'll all agree that the difference is quite noticeable.? I know it can be inconvenient to have to change the water in your vase every few days, and that you don't always feel like scrubbing the vase before you fill it back up, but I hope the example above shows you the difference your making that little bit of effort will make to how long your flowers last. Had a general customer received the vase last week and done nothing to their flowers I think it's safe-to-say I would be looking at a complaint this morning. Please remember, we don't put the care cards in your envelope (or attached to your bouquet) just for show - they are there for a reason. We want you to be able to enjoy your flowers for as long as it is possible. We also put a lot of thought and research into our care cards before we sat  down to write them - please don't make that effort go unrewarded (for either of us)  :)

iss



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