Saturday, 17 March 2012

It's a shocking industry

I am shocked by the florist industry. My son sent me an ironic/research gesture of some mail order flowers - I always say I never get flowers. For £26.90 - reduced from £36.90 - iflorist sent me a box containing a "bouquet" of four roses, 2 lily heads, 3 pieces of something I don't know about, possibly ruscus ,and two stems (not even sprigs) of eucalyptus. A message card had been omitted.

I suppose they probably will last for weeks looking no better and no worse.

I haven't got any pictures of the ones I sent out for £35 or £45 as I was too busy sending them out but they were similar style to the one below with hyacinths or more tulips or ranunculus substituted for hellebores which I don't send. And I included a posy of 10 bright cheery anemones. And a handwritten message card. And the flowers are home grown. For £25 people have collected from me bunches like the one below.

I am really shocked by the appalling value for money of the ones I was sent. I spoke to a wholesaler who reckoned the whole cost of flowers in that bunch would have been no more than £3.00 and probably considerably less. Which made me think it's no wonder British growers can't compete, and it's no wonder people often think that flowers are overpriced.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Another month passes

I can't believe it's a month since I wrote anything on the blog, it has just been hectic even though it hasn 't been a very flowery month! I have to try to get  everything fairly sorted before the season begins in earnest and suddenly it's cultivating time, sowing time, Mothering Sunday and markets beginning.....

One of the reasons for added chaos has been building projects, both sorting out in the house and outside, which has meant my head has been even more distracted than usual as I run around getting building materials and sorting things out, plus trying to get outside sorted so things settle down before my daughter's wedding which is now only a month away and it still doesn't look much like a wedding site. (Or anything like a wedding site).But tulips are now coming up in the field and I have just stripped the tunnel for Mothering Sunday flowers. I had some tunnel grown tulips, ranunculus and a patch of anemones that I had imagined would be about right for Rowan and Dan's wedding as they wanted some bright and cheery colours along with spring bulbs and flowers. But even though the timing was wrong for that it was happily right for this weekend. I mixed the flowers with evergreen foliage, a bit of eucalyptus and lots of pussy willows and narcissi which are now capering in scented masses. Now there is only about one ranunculus left flowering in the tunnel but I'm hoping all the new ones may be flowering for the wedding. Fingers crossed.

The new packing and working shed is almost finished, hurrah. The builders were great but I was not as organised as they might have hoped for and seemed to spend rather a long time driving round the place to get things. The windows came unseen from eBay and are great except they have no catches or anything at the moment but all will eventually be well. And the old working shed is getting fully insulated and boarded so may even be vaguely easy for the first volunteers in a month, and will definitely be ready for use as the evening bar for the wedding.

Tulips are beginning to bloom. I shall take some photos next week. For now, just a picture of my recent obsession which probably doesn't look very exciting to anyone else but I'm very pleased, it's about 40 foot long and fully insulated so the idea is that it will double as a flower fridge as it faces north and is tucked under a hedge. It also has fab views.   And the next construction will be lots of mini tunnels on the ground to get annuals going.
I've still got roses to plant, and trees arriving next week along with more shrubs, and a load of herb plugs as I've grown quite a lot from seed but not enough so need a bit more speed. I'm also putting in quite a number of different hydrangeas and clematis now I have created a climbing area in the top gardens. Oh my goodness there's such a lot to do here, and a wedding to help organise. I'm really hoping for a dry month although I know i should be hoping for rain rather than drought.