Lest We Forget - Anzac - Rememberance - poppies on grass background

Making Arrangements for Anzac Day

With April well under way, by this time next week Anzac Day will have been and gone. With various services taking place all over the country and around the world, many Aussies will choose to attend one and may even wish to take along a floral tribute.

I guess I had assumed that everyone knew what a traditional Anzac Wreath looked like, but perhaps they don’t….. or perhaps like basically everything else in the world today, people are choosing to express themselves and do it their own way.

Still, when my husband returned from work a couple of days ago trying to clarify the details of a traditional arrangement, I was surprised. His employer, tasked him with making the wreaths for the organisation. Sure, he has worked in and around florists much of his adult life, but he isn’t a trained florist. But he is a bit of a stickler for tradition, so he was pretty set on getting it right.  The organisation on the other hand had more liberal ideas of what the wreath might look like.

Anzac Day laurel wreath
Anzac Day laurel wreath or chaplet featuring the Lest We Forget ribbon, red poppies and rosemary

Did you know that an Anzac Day wreath is usually teardrop shaped?

A traditional laurel wreath is made in the shape of a teardrop with the base entirely covered with flat laurel leaves. I have often seen these wreaths covered with alternative foliages such as camellia leaves or little gem magnolia. Laurel is symbolic as it has been used since ancient Roman times to crown victors and the brave as a mark of honour. The chaplet usually has a cluster of three red poppies in the bottom centre. Red poppies are a significant symbol of remembrance, always used for Remebrance day on November 11th, but have taken pride of place on Anzac Day wreaths. According to soldiers’ folklore, the poppy is said to have absorbed the blood of the fallen from the ground to achieve it’s vivid colour. Poppies are also one of the first flowers to bloom in the battlefields of the First World War in Belgium and the North of France.

The Lest We Forget ribbon should be placed high in the left corner, across the wreath, and finishing low in the right hand side to symbolise the sun rising in the East and setting in the west.

Lastly, rosemary is often added to the wreath as another symbol of remembrance.

Rosemary is a symbol of remembrance. People wear sprigs on their clothing and it can be used within floral arrangements as well.
Rosemary is often worn for remembrance, but can be used in fresh flower arrangements also

What I could see as my husband continued to relay the conversation to me, was that whilst the traditional laurel wreath is specific and symbolic, in general, people are basically happy with anything beautiful. It was only our industry knowledge and the assumption that they wanted a ‘traditional arrangement’ that was really complicating things.

Round floral wreaths are a traditional funereal arrangement
Floral tributes are a traditional funereal arrangement although often people choose to leave these beautiful fresh flower arrangements at Anzac Day services and commemorative monuments

Take a moment to look around if you attend a service this Anzac Day- through the sea of arrangements do you notice the laurel and the vivid red poppies, or do you see brightly coloured rounded floral wreath arrangements. Round wreath arrangements are a traditional funereal arrangement but there is certainly nothing wrong with choosing to design your own special tribute thiscAnzac Day.

What do you think? How important are traditions to you?

Fwf x

feature image via SBS

 

 

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Australia has some breathtakingly beautiful native flowers on offer

Growers and Florists Unhappy as Games Forget the Flowers

The 2018 Commonwealth Games, which started on April 4th is currently being held on Australia’s Gold Coast, and runs until April 15th. Just a few weeks ago, our blog post was on the growing popularity of native flora, which shone so brightly under the international spotlight back in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. So given that the Gold Coast has been playing host to the Commonwealth Games recently, it came as a bit of surprise to many I’m sure, that no bouquets of flowers were given to the medal winners.

a lovely combination of native flora including banksias, paper daisies, grevillea, Geraldton wax and more
Medallist Leisl Tesch with her beautiful native bouquet. Photo Credit: Sport the library/Ryan Gormly Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games Wheelchair Basketball

Traditionally , all medal winners at sporting events have been presented with a bouquet of unique native flora, and it provides a wonderful platform for local growers and businesses in the process.

It is estimated that Queensland growers alone have missed out on approximately $12 million worth of business opportunities after the Commonwealth Games organisers made the decision to cut the Australian flower gift bouquets. Instead, the medal winners were gifted a plush toy, a decision that has angered many within the flower industry, frustrated at the wasted opportunity to showcase what the State, and Country has on offer.

Waratahs, billy buttons, grevillea, wax flower and other natives are combined to create eye catching and unique bouquets for the medallists.
Hundreds of these gorgeous bouquets were made to present to the medallists at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The unique combination of wonderfully wild flowers were mesmerising. Waratahs, kangaroo paw, grevillea, Billy Buttons, Geraldton wax and Eucalyptus were used to create warm, earthy bouquets which were unforgettable. Photo Credit: Geocities

This fight has been going on for the last two years, with Flower Association of Queensland executive officer Shane Holborn working tirelessly to get flowers presented at the Games. And unbelievably, the flower association even offered to provide the flowers for free. They were certain that the opportunity to turn the spotlight on our Native Flora and provide world wide exposure, would have had a profound long term affect on the industry.

“It was not about selling the flowers to them – we even offered the flowers to them for free,” Mr Holborn said.

“Media from all around the world would have seen what we have to offer,” Mr Holborn continued.

No flowers for Commonwealth games medallists in 2018
Gold medallist Isis Holt celebrates her win and poses with her Borobi plush mascot. Photo Credit AAP Dean Lewins

A spokesperson from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation said that the decision to given the plush toy rather than flowers was made so that the medallists could take the special memento home with them, something that could not be done with flowers for biosecurity reasons.

It certainly does seem a shame given that in the past a gift in addition to flowers has been presented like in Glasgow where medallists received a two handled drinking cup/bowl (a quaint) as well as an arrangement. In total 590 flower arrangements were created and presented.

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There is a large flower industry growing in Bundaberg, and many more growers sprinkled through the state of Queensland, so this would have presented a fantastic business opportunity and exposure. Certainly for any florist designing and creating arrangements for the Games would have been a fantastic experience also.

Whilst the challenges with biosecurity can be understood, the medallists go home with quite a magnificent memento as it is, and it seems a shame to miss such a stellar opportunity for an industry which so often does it really hard. For anyone who works in agriculture, or commercial growing of any kind, it is such a hard slog, and is so often affected by forces far beyond your control. It certainly would have been a much needed boost to an industry that has it’s fair share of challenges.

What do you think? Did you notice the absence of flower bouquets at the games like I did?

Fwf x

Feature image Credit: Backcreek Country

 

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Paper Flower Maker Makes Her Mark on the Industry

As a florist, it goes without saying that I find natural, fresh cut flowers absolutely beautiful. Nature creates the most exquisite intricacies in each flower petal, so that each bloom is stunningly unique. These are the details that we look to exploit when we put an arrangement together; we look at the minute differences and play around with the variations in colour and texture to build an arrangement that is eye catching and exquisite.

Often, our clients also have a vision when they walk through our doors. Perhaps they have a particular bloom in mind, or a specific colour. It is made all the more important when this detail is central to a theme for a party or event….so what is a florist to do if what the client wants is just not available?

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Cetti’s garden roses Picture Credit: The Green Vase

“There is a place for faux flowers today,” says Whitney Robinson, editor in chief of Elle Decor. “They are essentially copies of what you would buy fresh…not everyone has the time or budget to be able to buy fresh consistently. We are entering a new era in faux flowers as well, toward a new generation of paper flowers that takes the artistry to the next level.”

Coleus blooms and foliage are crafted from paper
Cetti creates individual Coleus pieces with gorgeous foliage Picture Credit; The Green Vase

It seems that with our busy lifestyles today, consumers are looking for a way to decorate their homes/offices or events without the maintenance that fresh flowers require. In the last few years many florists and homewares stores have begun stocking larger quantities of faux flowers to keep up with demand. With modern materials and more realistic production, these faux flowers are a very suitable alternative to the real deal. Sure, they do require some dusting and fluffing but they make sense for many spaces.

Some people will still turn their noses up….that is unavoidable, and sure, there are some blooms that look better and more realistic than others, the key is making the right choice for your space. And believe it or not, it is not only the humble working class that are embracing these no fuss, floral alternatives, faux flowers have got some real street cred.

Paper anenomes handmade by Livia Cetti
Handmade paper anenomes by Livia Cetti.
Hibiscus flowers are fragile, so these paper versions are a great alternative for arrangements
Gorgeous paper hibiscus created by Cetti. Michelle Obama used these in arrangements for a Korean State dinner at the White House. Picture Credit; The Green Vase

When Michelle Obama, the then First Lady had tables adorned with hibiscus envisioned for a Korean State dinner, artist Livia Cetti set upon designing exquisite handmade paper ones as the fresh version was far too fragile to be up for the task at the White House. In fact, paper flowers are moonlighting at some of the best addresses, and are being accepted by decorators, designers and influencers around the world. Cetti, once a stylist for Martha Stewart has now written two how-to books on paper flowers. She supplies her paper flowers to some of the high end shops in New York and sells them on her website, with prices starting from $35 per stem (some are priced at $200 a piece!) “People like the fact that paper flowers stay around for a while,” Cetti says. “My objective isn’t to be as realistic as possible; it’s to find the character and feeling of each flower and interpret that.”

Fwf x

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Chickens and rabbits symbolise fertility and new life, which has significance for Easter. Easter eggs were also a integral part of ancient pagan festivals

Eggs, Rabbits, Chicks and Flowers – Gift Ideas for Easter with Traditional Significance

Have you ever wondered why we paint eggs at Easter, or why there are bunny rabbits, chicks and flowers everywhere? Easter as we all know, is a Christian holiday, however many of the traditions and festivities  predate Christianity, and were central to the Eostre Festival (an ancient Spring festival).

The story goes that Pope Gregory sent a 40 strong team of monks from Rome to England with the mission to covert the pagans to Christianity. It was quite the colossal task given that the pagans held their rituals and celebrations so close, that Augustine, the mission leader was advised to allow the pagans to continue their with their rituals, and instead to teach them the Christian philosophy and to somehow intregrate Christian ceremonies. Many of the pagan customs that had been associated with the celebration of spring were eventually absorbed within Christianity, and accepted as symbols of the resurrection of Jesus.

Traditional symbols of Easter predate Christianity and were originally associated with pagan festivities symbolising fertility and new life.
Traditional symbols of Easter predate Christianity and were originally associated with pagan festivities symbolising fertility and new life. Photo credit

We know that Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection occurs around the time of Jewish Passover, which coincides with the Northern Hemisphere’s springtime. Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox, where the hours of the day begin increasing. The equinox is viewed as a time of fertility and new life. This is why fresh cut flowers are still a popular gift to take to people over the Easter period. In fact many of the symbols we see in today’s Easter celebration are steeped in the traditions of the Easter/ Eostre festival; rabbits for example are a symbol of fertility and new life, which also coincided with the North’s spring.

Easter daisies are a lovely traditional gift
Easter daisies are a lovely traditional gift. Photo credit Homelife

There are many fresh cut flowers that make wonderful gifts, however if you are looking for something traditional or symbolic you cannot look past the humble “Easter Daisy”. Easter daisies are a perennial Aster. While there are many varieties of daisies, the Easter Daisy is dainty and pretty, and surprisingly as a plant it is incredibly hardy so makes a fantastic choice for the garden. Generally they flower for 3-4 months and look their best, as their name suggests, around Easter.

As a cut flower they last only around 5 -7 days, but what I find is often people cut the stems down to size to match their vase, but overlook stripping off the excess foliage and debris which will fall beneath the water line. This will DRAMATICALLY effect your flowers vase -life. Look for a bunch that has about half the blooms open, with nice green foliage. Cut the stems to the required length for your vase, and ensure you remove any foliage/flowers which will sit below the water line.

November lilies, Easter lilies, Longiflorum
November lilies, or Lilium Longiflorum are also known as Easter lilies in some cultures. Photo credit YouTube Star telegram video

In the Northern Hemisphere, what we Aussies know as November lilies or Christmas lilies are referred to as Easter lilies. For that reason many Europeans will look for the white trumpet shaped lilies for a traditional Easter gift.

Florist with flowers always stock a gorgeous variety of Phale orchids

Don’t want to give cut flowers? A house plant is always a great gift idea. Phaeleonopsis orchids are a stunning flowering plant which will give you months of pleasure. They do require some level of care and can be a touch fussy, particularly when they are too wet or too dry. The Spathiphyllum, or peace lily is an elegant house plant that is also incredibly forgiving for those who are not blessed with a green thumb. If you forget to water the lily plant, it will appear wilted and look miserable, but if you give it a soak overnight, they generally perk right up again.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our lovely loyal customers for making it such a great start to the new year. If you are celebrating this weekend we wish you a very Happy Easter.

Fwf x

 

 

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Celebrity Florist Predicts Floral Trends For 2018

Every florist secretly fantasises about achieving a certain level of success. To reach that level where their work so revered, their reputation for artistry is so reknowned, that celebrities are literally beating down their door to work with them. Few florists will reach this pinnacle, and make it to the elite level that commands this degree of attention and admiration. They are the florists that have the freedom and the budget to create those jaw dropping installations that many of us merely dream of, the ones who created the pictures that we so often have brought in as inspiration at our own floral concept consultations. One florist who has made his way to the top is Jeff Leatham.

I tend to find that when you design too far ahead, you lose the inspiration.

-Jeff Leatham

Using one flower en masse is a way to create drama whilst keeping your fresh flowers simple and chic.
Legendary florist Jeff Leatham was originally a model before landing a job in the florist within the Four Seasons Hotel. Photo credit Four Seasons

His story is quite an interesting one, as becoming a florist was really never in his plan. Leatham was enjoying a career in the modelling industry and had returned from jobs in Milan and Paris looking for some work. Coincidentally, a job was going at a flower shop in the Four Seasons Hotel, and voila, Jeff Leatham took his first steps toward becoming a forward thinking, boundary pushing, exciting and  successful florist.

When Leatham began, he entered the industry making garden bouquets and arrangement much like any florist. Sure, they were beautiful he says, but he wanted to create something different. Speaking to Teen Vogue, Leatham says “…we were creating something, this new style that I created 15 years ago, it was innovative and changed the way people think about flowers. I know that sounds strange, but before I started with flowers, flowers were just pretty garden bouquets and different things. I remember the way I did flowers before, just kind of mixing flowers together and doing just mixed bouquets. It was beautiful, but it wasn’t clean and simple. Then [we started] creating things that are very simple and all one flower in a vase. This whole idea of all one flower in the vase and keeping things really simple and clean and chic. Doing flowers in different ways, wrapped around a vase and bent around like this.”

Use the natural line of a bunch of flowers to create movement in your floral arrangements.
Leatham’ signature style is unmistakeable. He creatively anchors groups of flowers in a variety of cases. Phot credit Popsugar

Leatham’s signature style was exactly that. He followed the rule of 3; never using more than three colour tones (where possible keeping it monocramatic), and never using more than three types of flowers. Leatham’ strongly grouped bundles of flowers, the same flower en masse, were uniquely anchored in vases, creating strong lineal movement, and stunning blocks of colour.

Dramatic blocked colours makes arrangements stand out
Jeff Leatham created eye catching and dramatic colour blocked displays. Photo credit Sperr

Jeff predicts that the trends of 2018 will see a decline in the popular flower wall. He says, “It used to be really cool, and sometimes its still pretty, but I think its just been overdone. Everyone wants a flower wall and no one realizes how expensive they really are.” That is certainly something that we find to be true in retail floristry; budget never quite matches the vision and expectation. Instead, he believes 2018 is going to see flowers dripping from ceilings. This look has started gaining popularity recently, and if his Instagram pics are anything to go by, this trend will continue to gather momentum as the year pushes on.

“Most trends — things that are really popular and what people love — usually happen on accident. It’s either something falls over or I change my mind the last minute. I’m like, “No, take that down and move that over there.” That’s usually how our trends start. It’s just very last-minute. That’s really the way I design. I tend to find that when you design too far ahead, you lose the inspiration.”

Fwf x

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Image of yellow flowers for Mother's Day

A Good Look at the Advantages of Buying Flowers in Sydney Online

Are you looking to purchase and make arrangements for flower delivery in Australia? Flowers are undoubtedly at the top of the list when it comes to gift items, and we love giving or receiving them. Flowers help us express our feelings whether it is professing one’s love, sending well wishes or even extending an apology.

Of course, it is not always possible for people to go out of their way and visit a flower shop to make the necessary arrangements. Even then, your local florist may not have what you need in stock which can be disappointing especially if you are looking for something specific such as the traditional Mother’s Day flower in Australia –Chrysanthemum.

The good news is that you need not necessarily have to deal with any of these problems and you can just buy what you need as well as make delivery arrangements online. Thanks to the advancements in information technology, it is now possible to purchase just about anything online, and flowers are no exception.

Image of Bouquet of fresh pink spring flowers

Purchasing and booking a flower delivery service from an online florist undoubtedly has its advantages which include the following:

  • Convenience

Reputable florists online make it easier than ever to buy and send flowers to your loved ones for any occasion. You can purchase your flowers from anywhere and place your orders at any time of the day as long as you are connected to the Internet.

  • Saves time

Buying flowers over the Internet obviously spares you the commute and wait times that you otherwise would have to deal with. Hence you no longer have to drop everything and wait for your florist to finish the bouquet you ordered nor sign off on anything. Just place your orders online then go about your day and leave the rest to your florist.

  • Access to better selections

Not one florist will have all the flowers you need on display. Many reputable florists on the internet put up images of the flowers they have for sale. You can just choose one and wait for your florist to fulfil your order.

  • Compare prices easily and order in advance

Most florist online put up descriptions and price information on the flowers they have for sale on their website. Hence you can just compare prices quickly and choose which one gives the best value for money across some different florists on the Internet. You can also Place your orders in advance without having to see an actual florist which spares you from having to add one more item to your task list.

  • Access to better prices

Perhaps the best thing about buying just about anything online is that you are in an excellent position to skip the middleman and avoid overhead expenses. Running an online business is almost always cheaper than running a physical store. Hence an online florist is able to offer customers better discounts as opposed to an actual flower shop.

 

Looking for a reputable florist online who offers same-day flower delivery service? You can expect no less out of “Florist with Flowers.” Purchase your selection of fresh flowers online, and you can count on us to have them delivered to your loved ones on time. Phone on 02 9871 1666 today to place an order or if you have any questions.

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Image for the Tradition of Gifting Mother's Day Flowers

The Story Behind the Tradition of Gifting Mother’s Day Flowers

Every second Sunday of May, Australians take the time to honour their mums in celebration of one special occasion — Mother’s Day! Florists in Sydney (or wherever in Australia) engage with customers in one of the busiest times of the year. If you are reading this though, you might be curious about how it all began.

In this post, we look at a bit of history behind Mother’s Day as a tradition and how it came to be. Moreover, we take a look at the flower that has become a symbol of the occasion here in Australia — Chrysanthemum! Such information ought to enable people to appreciate the event better than just merely arranging for flower delivery and pickup for Mother’s Day just because it is the norm.

Where did the tradition of giving Mother’s Day flowers in Australia start?

Mother’s Day and the honoured tradition of giving out flowers and other gifts to one’s mum has its roots in the United States where the practice began in the early 19th century. A woman named Anna Jarvis led a campaign to recognise Mother’s Day as an acknowledged holiday in honour of her Mother — Ann Reeves Jarvis. Her intentions were straightforward – to honour her mother and encourage others to do the same and recognise the fact that there is no one else on this earth who has done as much for us as our mums.

Over time, Mother’s Day was eventually recognised by countries around the world many of whom had deep-rooted traditions about motherhood. Australia in particular, follows the observance of the occasion with countries like the United Kingdom and the United States. One notable figure that has advocated the tradition in Australia is a woman named Janet Heyden who launched a campaign in 1924 sending gifts and honouring mothers struggling with loneliness and old age to recognise their plight.

Image of Greeting Card with the bouquet Pink chrysanthemum flowers

What is the recognised Mother’s Day flower in Australia?

The honour belongs to the Chrysanthemum — a flower that is in season during the Autumn month of May which perhaps helped cement its place as the Mother’s Day flower of choice for most Australians. Many also believe that having the familiar term “mum” in its name also earned it the distinction. In any case, you can never go wrong sending a bouquet of Chrysanthemum to honour your mum on Mother’s Day. There is a wide variety and colours to choose from thanks to widespread adoption and hybridisation over the years.

Of course, you are not limited only to Chrysanthemum, and you can opt for other kinds of flowers such as roses, tulips and carnations especially when you know that it is your mum’s favourite.

 

Looking to purchase flowers online and arrange for delivery on Mother’s Day? Place your orders today and avoid the holiday rush with some of the most reputable florists in the country. Call “Florist with Flowers” today on 02 9871 1666 or check out our beautiful selection of Mother’s Day flowers online.

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Image of a child giving flowers on Mother's Day Flowers

A Good Look at the Traditional Choices for Mother’s Day Flowers

Are you looking to buy Mother’s Day flowers and gifts online but have no idea which ones to get? What flowers should you buy? With Mother’s Day fast approaching and Autumn just around the corner, it is a question well worth considering. If you are reading this then you are probably wondering about the same thing.

In this post, we go over some of the most popular options and why they are an excellent choice for sending Mother’s Day flowers online. Such information ought to prove valuable if only to make sure that you select the kind of flowers that are most appropriate for the occasion.

Image of Chrysanthemums pink flower

Chrysanthemum – the flower of autumn and Mother’s Day Flower in Australia

If you are to go by tradition, then you can never go wrong with Chrysanthemums. Mother’s Day in Australia occurs every second Sunday of May — the middle of Autumn and the time of the year when Chrysanthemum is most abundant.

While it is not known for sure how Chrysanthemum came to be known as the Mother’s Day flower of Australia, many believe that it was due to the namesake “mum” which is a favourite term of endearment for Mothers all over the country.

Other options for traditional Mother’s Day flowers in Australia

Image of Beautiful carnation flowers

Carnations

The flower was chosen by the founder of Mother’s Day in the United States – Anna Jarvis. In 1907, she gave out white carnations during the first Mother’s Day memorial service. The flower was also her mother’s favourite and widely regarded as a symbol of beauty and eternity — two words that you can use to describe a mother’s love for her child.

Image of Red roses for mothers day on a modern gray stone plate

Roses

No other flower is as deeply rooted in tradition as roses which makes an excellent choice of flowers for Mother’s Day. After all, roses are fragrant and exhibit timeless elegance which is why it has been symbolically connected with Motherhood for generations. In the Christian religion, the rose is a symbol of the Virgin Mary. Ancient civilisations also regarded the rose as a sacred symbol to their goddesses like Aphrodite (Goddess of Love) and Isis (Egyptian goddess of fertility and Motherhood).

 

Are you looking to get started with one of the most reputable florists in the country and arrange for delivery of any of the flowers mentioned above for Mother’s Day? We at “Florist with Flowers” would be happy to help! Choose from our beautiful selection of Mother’s Day flowers online or phone us today on 02 9871 1666 for answers to any questions or concerns.

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Gorgeous native bouquet by florist flower

People Going WILD For Wildflowers

Trends come and go, and what is deemed ‘current’ will invariably influence the way people create the aesthetic for their wedding day. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, native flower growers are currently struggling to keep up with demand, as the population favours wildflowers for both wedding flowers and for their homes.

It is a far cry from five years ago, when many of these growers were struggling to just keep afloat. Many native flower businesses relied heavily on the sale of dried native bunches, but as China began to produce artificial flowers (a.k.a silk flowers) the interest in dried flowers, well, basically dried up.

Australian natives were given centre stage at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, with all bouquets designed to have a strong Australiana feel, featuring some of our beautiful flora. At that time, Australian native production was at its peak. Then, after a tough drought, and a period where the Australian dollar was weak and unstable, production fell dramatically and never quite recovered. The few growers who were left were expected to pick up the slack, which was near impossible.

The current trends for fresh flowers includes a clear market for Australian native flowers, and so called ‘wildflowers’. They provide an interesting variety of textures and colours to work with, and a mixture of often long lasting, large focal blooms and small filler flowers. Florist with Flowers offers a variety of fresh flower arrangements available for Sydney delivery such as our native box arrangement and native bouquet, or alternatively you can speak to one of our wonderfully creative staff about what you can put together yourself.

Australian’s have become accustomed to a huge influx of imported fresh flower products, altered and dyed to be any and every colour in the rainbow….or the entire rainbow in some cases! In their pursuit to create something unique, the result has actually become somewhat predictable. Fresh native flower growers have focussed their energies on growing varieties of flowers that no-one else grows, creating their own niche markets. They have reinvented themselves into boutique businesses with products of real value and quality.

Brides come into floral meetings using descriptive words such as; natural, rustic, raw, quaint, earthy, organic, relaxed, textured…. and native blooms can fulfil their design brief with ease. With the increase in interest in native flora, there is consequently an increase in pressure to produce, and the ABC reports that our suppliers are not keeping up.

Craig Scott, from East Coast Wildflowers, is one such grower. He says that many of the industry head straight to his stall at The Sydney Flower Markets at opening time to see what fresh, new and interesting material he has on offer. He has increased production over the years and has a wide variety of stock on offer at any one time. As florists it is incredibly important to stay inspired and interested. Whether the piece has an unusual texture, or spectacular colour, or has an awesome line; these small differences in material can be the difference between creating something average or awesome.

Craig Scott has also run workshops interstate, and found there is a demand for his product there too. Unfortunately he is unable to get it there, but perhaps this just shows there is a gap in the market, and therefore an opportunity for someone else.

I have always been a fan of various Natives….how about you?

Fwf x

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Small Business = Big Love

This week a story has emerged that details alleged abuse of former employees by a heavyweight in the floristry industry. The former employees allege that they were subjected to constant bullying and intimidation, and were not able to stand up for themselves for fear of losing their jobs. The story suggests that workplace safety was depriortised to increase productivity, pressuring staff (largely foreign nationals) to work in an unsafe environment simply to get the quantity of work done that was required.

What this story highlighted most for me was the strengths in a small business like Florist With Flowers. Whether we like it or not, small florist businesses like ours, need to compete with bigger businesses, and what the supermarkets have on offer.  There is certainly no comparison in terms of quality and artistry, however we will forever be subjected to comparisons in price, and that’s just business.

Small business BIG dreams
Florist with Flowers is a small business with BIG dreams

What you need to know when comparing supermarket flowers to you local florist’s bouquets:

  • The reason the prices are so low is because they are made to a ‘recipe’. There is no freedom in being inspired to create, and no freedom to add to an arrangement even when necessary.
  • Shortcuts. Flowers are not conditioned adequately to save time. Foliage may not be stripped carefully, thorns are mechanically smashed, however not completely removed from the stem.
  • Gift wrapping is basic, and incomplete. It is easy to spot a supermarket bunch a mile off right? The stems of the bouquets are always left unwrapped, although you are given the option on a bag to attach. It lacks the finish and finesse of a florist bought bouquet.
  • Flowers are delivered infrequently (usually weekly) with little or no care between deliveries. Older bouquets are usually discounted or disposed of at the end of the week.

What will your local florist offer you?

  • Your local florist will take time to listen to what you want, who the gift is for and will lovingly create the fresh flower arrangement for you.
  • The materials for your fresh flower bouquet will be carefully prepared (stripped, dethroned, worked if required) and then constructed. You will have the option to add a little more if you like, or to add another colour.
  • Your florist can package your bouquet ready for travel if it will be out of water for a length of time, or may suggest creating a self contained arrangement if more appropriate.
  • Your flowers will be fresher. The local florist will be replenished with fresh flowers regularly and the vases and buckets will be washed and filled with fresh water.
Florist with Flowers has amazing staff
Facebook post by Richard Branson March 27, 2014.

In a local florist, staff matter- your staff look after your customers when you can not be there. Looking after them, ensures they look after you and your business. Richard Branson advocates for looking after staff, acknowledging that although businesses differ it is vitally important to look after the staff you have and show them how valuable their efforts are to you.

If reading stories like this one in the news bothers you, the decision is yours. Rather than being just another number to a big business, support a small business. Every bouquet you buy, every bunch of flowers you take home, means that this little family business gets to keep our dream alive, and for that, we will be forever thankful.

Fwf x

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