With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here are a few tips for getting the freshest and most beautiful flowers from your local florist.

  1. TRUST..the floral designer to do what they are trained to do.  Let your designer be inspired to bring out the natural beauty in each flower. Encourage them to be creative and design a unique bouquet for you.  Some of the worst bouquets come from trying to make flowers that look like a photo.  Photo’s should be used as a general guide for style, but NOT used to make an exact duplicate of an arrangement.   Flowers are art..so let your designer be an artist.  It’s what they love doing!  Floral designers love giving flowers a voice!
  2. Give your floral designer your general guidelines, the color palette, your style preferences, and any favorite flowers of the recipient, and your budget.  Remember that delivery and tax are always added on after the flower price, so make sure you clarify the bottom line.
  3.  Always ask what is FRESH and IN SEASON this week.  Flowers are grown by farmers and farming is seasonal.  Farming is dependent on weather, supply & demand, transportation issues. Flowers are grown all around the world, and there is nothing that adds stress for a florist more than having their roses stuck in the airport on Valentines week, due to a winter storm somewhere in the country.  Be flexible, have patience, and plan on ordering extra early to make sure you have choices and options. Remember it’s winter, and many types of flowers are not available in the winter, unless you are willing to pay for the OUT OF SEASON price.  Most florists are happy to order out of season flowers in for you, but you need to plan ahead in order to have it available when you want it.  Allow at least 10 days for your florist to bring in your “out of season flowers” for you.

The  experienced and skilled floral professional is able to create the most beautiful displays  but  you do have to pay for their talent.

The answer to what you pay for is pretty straight forward.  The cost of flowers reflect the following,  supply v. demand, availability, overhead costs of suppliers, shipping, geography & seasonal availability, and rent. So many things factor into the cost!

If you want to save on flowers,  just try to find a floral designer who has the best design experience,  & someone who’s work you trust.  Ask them to buy what is best this week at the flower market. (this is  the place where world wide growers bring their goods to market, rather like a farmers market ).   But remember that if you just have to have that special flower, designed a special way, delivered tomorrow  then you may have to pay for the service of that level.

Give me a bit of notice, and a bit of flexibility, & I  may just be able to save you a bit of money!

Flowers Galore!

http://afreshbouquet.com/ The long awaited specialty flowers market, from the farmer to the florist is called Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

A group of Washington, Oregon & Alaska flower farmers will be offering quality, local grown cut flowers to florists.  The new wholesale market will be located at the Original Rainier Brewery Building, 5800 Airport Way S. in the heart of Georgetown.  The market will open on April 20th with a Grand Opening on Wednesday, May 18th.   Beginning April 20th, the market’s hours of operation will be Mondays 6 am to noon, Wednesday 6am to noon, and Fridays 6am to 2 pm

Welcome Welcome!  We are excited to have access to locally grown flowers.  It’s an exciting time for the flower business in Seattle! Customers want locally grown flowers and finally someone is listening. Can’t wait to go for a visit!

I was recently reminded of how much joy flowers can bring, when I read about an anonymous benefactor who is bringing joy to folks in their town by having flowers delivered to individuals for no apparent reason. I was so thrilled by this story! The only criteria is that the recipient must have done a good deed at sometime in their life.  The florist Dennis Nutley of the Green Cottage in Hudson Valley gets to create & deliver these gifts,  and he recently said  “he wished the person sending the flowers could see the joy that he sees when they are delivered”.  You can read about it here; http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2010/12/17/life/doc4d0a8d594f9c1596323966.txt

Another fellow florist in Scotland was reflecting upon how beautiful their flowers looked in photographs that were sent to them by a local photographer who was shooting an event they did locally.  Their flowers are really beautiful!  You can read their blog and see their flowers here;  http://planetflowers.blogspot.com

I was reminded while reading their blog, how little I really get to enjoy my flowers.  I am always so busy with the production aspect of installing for an event, or setting up a ballroom for a party or wedding, or just making beautiful flowers for clients who call daily and want us to send a little bit of joy to their loved ones, there is so little time for me to actually enjoy them.

If you ask our delivery drivers, they will certainly  tell you a whole different story. They get to experience the joy, the surprise, and the pleasure that a gift of flowers can bring to the recipient.  Delivering flowers is a hard job, but I’m pretty sure that they wouldn’t trade it for any other job in the world!  My driver always wants to know what the occasion is because he cares that much.  I always love it when he comes back to the  studio and tells me how much the recipient loved the flowers.  I realize that I need to stop taking flowers for granted!    Bringing JOY is what we do best!

The other thing that was a great reminder was when a customer recently sent me flowers.  She came into the studio, while I was at home sick. She asked if any one had sent me flowers?  Of course not, who would make them?  But our designer Tamara told the client she knew how picky I was & knew exactly what to send to me! I can’t tell you how it made me feel!  Maybe I was more shocked at the kindness of the customer, but I know that a big part of my joy was seeing the beauty of the flowers through different eyes.

I would love to get a little mystery flower trend going and send them to someone who deserves a little bit of joy back!  We all know that special someone who keeps giving but never expects anything in return.  What do you think? This could be like the Seattle wave~pass it on~let’s make it happen in our own little communities. Call your local florist, , give them a little joy, by asking them to send a gift of joy  to someone who deserves it! Just thank them for being the kind of person who gives to the community expecting nothing in return.

P.S. I just remembered the lady who came into the store, and asked if she could pay for the next person’s flowers~ When the next person came in, I rang up the sale and told them that they were already paid for, she just could not believe it!  She thought it was me that paid for it, but I told her it was paid for by a customer, who just wanted the next person to be blessed in the way she felt she had been blessed in her life.  I don’t know what led me on this path today, maybe it’s just the time of the year, but I too feel very blessed. The human spirit is truly amazing and I am reminded every day in this job that it’s not about shopping, it’s about a purpose!