The Royal Wedding 2018

The Language of Flowers used in The Royal Wedding

I could hardly write this week’s blog on anything other than the Royal Wedding, mainly because I’m a florist and like every other florist in the world, I was waiting with bated breath to see what spectacular displays were created. Traditionally, after a wedding of this calibre, we tend to see an increase in interest from brides aiming to replicate the bouquet.

This time, I think it will be a bit of a challenge for Australian florists, but Meghan Markle’s simple bouquet seems to have captured many hearts, along with the rest of their love story.

The Duchess of Sussex's wedding bouquet was a gorgeous combination of royal traditions and subtlety incorporated the Victorian language of flowers

The now, Duchess of Sussex’s bouquet included sweet pea, forget-me-nots, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, astrantia and the royal tradition of myrtle flowers. Her bouquet includes strong messages from both a royal stand point, as well as from the Victorian language of flowers.

Many of the flowers included in the bouquet grow in the garden at their home at Kensington Palace which I thought was a lovely way to integrate what seems to me to be their down to earth nature as a couple.

According to the language of flowers Astilbe is a symbol of dedication and Lily of the Valley symbolises of love.

The bouquet also contained forget- me- nots which were Princess Diana’s favourite flowers. The bouquet also contained delicate sweet pea blossoms, and jasmine.

The wedding flower arrangements at the entrance of the chapel were later rearranged into bouquet that were given to hospices and women's refuges

Along with the bouquet, London based florist Phillipa Craddock, created a monumental floral gateway, which is said to have been made without floral foam. Perhaps for non-florists that doesn’t seem like some great feat, but to create such a large floral display without floral foam takes great skill, artistry and mechanical ingenuity.

The benefit of not using floral foam is that you can keep the stems long, allowing them to be transformed into something later, and that is exactly what transpired. This time though, they were not rearranged into something for the reception as is often the case, instead the flowers were bunched up into hand tied bouquets, and delivered to various hospices and women’s refuges.

The residents of St Joseph's Hospice were thrilled to receive flowers from the royal wedding.

Phillipa Craddock, the florist appointed by the couple for the Royal Wedding shared a photo via instagram detailing what would happen to the floral arrangements which decorated the entrances to St George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle. And later, a resident from St Joseph’s Hospice was pictured holding one of the bouquets with a touching thank you message, and the biggest grin from ear to ear.

The floral arrangements within the chapel were left there, for another couple to use who were marrying in the coming days.

Meghan Markle's bouquet contained secret menaings

Following in the tradition of leaving the royal bridal bouquet at the grave of a fallen soldier, Meghan Markle’s bouquet, was left at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, in Westminster Abbey.

This tradition was started by the Queen Mother at her marriage to King George VI in memory of her brother Fergus, who was killed in 1915 during the First World War.

It is back to business as usual for the couple, who have postponed their honeymoon, and are instead performing their Royal duties.

Did you watch the Royal Wedding?

Fwf x

 

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The tough business of flowers

Mentor Shines Spotlight on the Struggles of a small florist business

From the moment you can talk, basically everyone asks you what you want to do when you grow up. What do you want to be? Find something you are passionate about, they say. If you have passion, you will always go above and beyond what is expected and success will come.

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What they don’t tell you is that sometimes it can be a looooong, bumpy road to success, and if you checked out The Mentor on Channel 7 on Monday night you will know exactly what I mean.

Florist, Kim Key owns and runs a small business based in Cronulla in the South of Sydney. She is an extremely experienced florist, hard working, and you know what, even when her business was floundering, her passion was palpable. She still absolutely loved the flowers, and what she did.

Small business owners, just like Kim, and us, wear so many different hats
Photo Credit: Cronulla Florist

Like many passionate florists, she is not a trained business person. She simply wanted to turn her passion into a flourishing business. It is a situation that is pretty common in this industry actually. Whether you have learnt on the job whilst employed, or decided to jump in head first, many florists have no business or marketing background, but instead rely on their love of flowers to propel their business upwards.

It takes a special kind of person to be a florist: the kind of person that can listen to your ramblings and create something that ticks all the boxes that you didn’t know you had. It is someone who understands the ‘look’ you want to create, and how to achieve it sometimes without being able to show you exactly what that is beforehand.

Mark Bouris gives. Aluable advice to a small florist shop owner that we can all learn from
Photo Credit: The Mentor, Mark Bouris Twitter

Mark Bouris served up a fairly hefty dose of tough love, and although emotional, Kim was steadfast in her mission. This is a mother, wife, daughter and friend giving her everything, and sacrificing so much of her own life and happiness in an attempt to build her dream. It was hard to watch at times as Bouris used large online businesses to illustrate what she could do better.  In many ways, what a small business has on offer is the fact that it is so unlike a large faceless online business; the old fashioned experience of knowing the shop owner and talking to someone in person, and seeing what they have in store. BUT Bouris also illustrated just how hard the flower business is and how the margins on flowers alone, just aren’t large enough to have a successful business.

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The episode served as a great reminder for me on a couple of points:

  1. You don’t know if you don’t ask. Getting into the habit of asking each and every customer if they would like a vase, chocolates, balloons, toys etc, is not only good for business, but enhances the whole customer experience. Happy customers = A better business.
  2. If you don’t exist on Social Media, then you don’t exist. Social Media presence is ESSENTIAL in today’s marketplace. Invite your customers into your world and give them an insight into your everyday. Building loyalty these days looks different, but it is still based on the concept of connecting.

A big thank you to Kim for being so transparent and honest about her business and the struggles of all small business owners. Whilst I think many of our hearts broke with hers there were a lot of lessons in there for everyone. And as a side note Kim, I think having a friendly personality creates a relaxed and inviting shop environment, without that feeling people are less likely to come in 😉

With Mother’s Day coming up next weekend, remember to patronise your local small businesses, otherwise they will cease to exist 💔 You can check out what we have on offer this year here.

And if you missed the episode of The Mentor, and are interested, you can check it out here.

Fwf x

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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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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.

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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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Bandit By Name, Brilliant By Nature

With the new year fast approaching, many are probably putting pen to paper jotting down the aspirations they have for the year ahead. I must admit I stopped writing New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago…

I believe in living life the way that you want to live it every day, and if you do that, you don’t really need to have New Year’s Resolutions”

– Tom Ford

I stumbled across a story of a guerilla floral designer in New York attempting to do just that; living and creating the life he wants each and every day….and spreading his joy in the process. Like many of us in the wedding and event industries- we spend countless hours bringing a vision to life, to create what appears to be the perfect day. Most of the time, sadly, many of the flowers are left or discarded. In some ways I guess they have already served their purpose, but this floral designer decided he could spread the joy much, much further.

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Image; Lewis Miller Design

Lewis Miller and his team, now takes armfuls of fresh cut flowers that are largely left over from events to decorate garbage cans around the city of New York. Yep, you read that right….garbage bins. Why? Miller, despite having a successful, thriving business, was feeling unfulfilled. The idea behind these street art installations was that Miller and his team could create something more authentic and organic in nature, to spread the feeling of joy, and make everlasting memories for everyday city dwellers.

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Image; Lewis Miller Designs

Lewis Miller, owner of Lewis Miller Designs says “Gifting flowers to New Yorkers is a simple idea that I have been thinking about for years.”

Miller, dubbed the ‘Flower Bandit’ by Vogue, began his “Flower Flashes” in October 2016, and initially intended it to be just a one off event to reinvigorate himself artistically and reconnect with his craft. It evolved into a beautiful shared experience for countless New Yorkers, creating a positive emotional response from the floral installations.

“Who doesn’t love to get flowers? They are such a luxury, and New York City is a very gritty, fast-paced town. If we can bring nature—something wild and sumptuous—to New Yorkers and make them smile, the way people smile when they witness a random act of kindness, then that is a great thing. That is my goal. It’s a really simple vision but powerful, I think, to try to create an emotional response through flowers.”

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Image; Lewis Miller Designs

In addition to the beautiful blooming bins filled with spectacular bouquets of flowers, Miller and his team have also  decorated statues, sculptures and other public works of art. By adding fresh flowers, these landmarks have been transformed into colourful and eye catching displays.

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Image; Lewis Miller Design

 

“My team and I work really fast and very early in the a.m. Our call time for these flashes is 5:45 a.m., and we try to finish them before sunrise. We always recycle flowers from events when possible.”

“I don’t see us stopping anytime soon. These flashes are so gratifying and rewarding on many levels.”

Florist with Flowers would like to wish you all a very happy New Year, go forth into 2018 with the courage and conviction to be the change in the world that you wish to see.

Fwf x

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YES! Same Sex Weddings on the Horizon

“Yes, Yes, Yes!

“What a fabulous day to be an Australian, because in this survey the Australian people have declared overwhelmingly Australia is ready for marriage equality.”

Bill Shorten

Well, if yesterday’s result is anything to go by, as florists, life is about to get a little bit more exciting! For anyone in the wedding industry potentially there are going to be new clients. Servicing any wedding is an honour that we should appreciate. Being chosen to be part of any couple’s BIG DAY is the highest compliment….and the highest level of pressure. Getting it right matters. Exceeding expectations matters.

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Image; Mr Cook Florist

Yesterday, it was revealed that 61.6% of Australians who participated in the $122 million voluntary postal vote for same-sex marriage. Almost 13 million responses were counted.

At this stage, the Australian public has showed their support for same-sex marriage, however it is not legalised as yet.

“I feel for young people who had their relationships questioned in a way which I wouldn’t have thought we would see ever again, but nonetheless what this marriage survey shows is that unconditional love always has the last word.” Bill Shorten said.  He believes that same-sex marriage should be legalised as quickly as possible. “Today we celebrate, tomorrow we legislate,” he said.

Malcolm Turnbull has committed to getting the bill passed through the senate so that same-sex marriage will actually be legalised by Christmas.  “They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love. And now it is up to us here in the parliament of Australia to get on with it, to get on with the job the Australian people have tasked us to do and get this done this year before Christmas,” Mr Turnbull said.

There are still some hurdles to overcome, still some issues to iron out with the bill….whichever bill that is they decide to go with, or amend. Some believe that the bill should include religious protections that allow cake bakers, or even us florists to deny our services for a wedding if it is against our own convictions. Liberal MP Kevin Andrews also believes that a gay baker should be free to deny making a cake for a heterosexual wedding, or a Jewish baker objecting to make a cake for an Islamic wedding and vice versa.  This is ‘compromise’ suggested to keep everyone happy, and if that is what it takes to work.

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Image; Sophie Monk Instagram

“There is a sense that, whether one agrees with it or not, this is a reasonable thing to do and that is reflected by the result,”

-MP Kevin Andrews.

So I wonder what the first high profile same sex marriages in Australia are going to look like? Are they going to be a kaleidoscope of rainbow colours, celebrating gay pride with no apologies? Are they going to be demure and romantic, using soft colour palettes and being quiet in their celebration?

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Our talented designers can make every wedding wish come true with inspired ideas and creative concepts. If you are after a general price guide and pretty pictures to look at head on over to check out our wedding work here.

We must remember the vote was by no means unanimous,not everyone is happy. However it is important to remember that we all had the opportunity to cast our vote and have our say….

The crowd has spoken…now we just have to get on with it, showing each other respect along the way.

Fwf x

 

 

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Summer Rain

You’d have to be blind not to see that something is going on with the weather…. And not just this year, for years things have been changing. This winter has been one of the driest on record, and if you have a look around you, you could be forgiven for thinking that grass was supposed to be brown. I mean, it’s the norm now right?

So whilst we have all been praying for rain for the last few months, experts believe our wish is about to be granted….in a much bigger way perhaps than we had intended. At this stage BoM suggests there is approximately a 50% chance of this weather event becoming a reality, however this is DOUBLE the normal risk.

What weather event am I referring to?

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) are currently on La Nina watch. La Nina, or “the little girl” is the positive phase of the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) and occurs less often than El Nino’s or “the little boy”. It brings about heavy rainfall in Northern and Eastern Australia, and cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.  El Nino’s effect, on the other hand, is that Australia’s weather conditions become drier than normal.

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Photo: AFP/Queensland Police Service

For all us lucky ones who live on the East coast, La Nina threatens to wash out our summer; bringing heavy rainfall, flooding, and even the possibility of cyclones.

Over the last couple of weeks, Queensland regions have already suffered through some torrential rain, severe thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes and flooding. The Authorities from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are still assessing the situation, however it is set to spill into millions of dollars worth of damage. Some areas are still cut off due to flood waters. Dr Watkins, manager of climate prediction service at BoM told Fairfax Media that La Nina’s were usually evident from autumn or winter, unlike this year: “It’s quite unusual to be so late in the year.”

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On the upside all this talk of rain is easing the threat of a potentially devastating bushfire season but it is important not to become complacent. After an incredibly dry winter,  there is plenty of fire fuel, the soil is dry, and any rain that we have, quickly evaporates with the soaring temperatures. “With continuing high temperatures, dry soils and drying out vegetation, the fire risk is still quite high. We will need to assess that as we go through the event.” Dr Watkins continued.

What does this all mean for the flower industry? Well…we all know that we need rain for things to grow, but believe it or not, too much rain can spoil all the beauties in the garden. As we are now in peak wedding season, heavy rainfall threatens to damage any varieties that are grown outside such as many garden variety roses. However rainfall can damage sheltered stock when the flowers begin to form mildew. This is most obvious on the outer petals, but unfortunately the whole bloom can begin to rot from within. Garden roses like David Austin roses can often show the effect of rainfall.

In the past whole crops have been known to be destroyed by heavy rainfall or hail. Obviously this will influence prices in the marketplace- as the supply declines, but the demand remains the same, prices will soar.

High temperatures also influence the vase life of flowers. Be sure to keep vases of fresh cut flowers away from direct sunlight and draughts. Clean the vase and change the water regularly. Remove spent flowers as ethylene emitted from deteriorating flowers  will cause new blooms to age more quickly.

Throughout the warmer months choose your cut flowers wisely. For longevity Native and Tropical blooms are best- they are made for this weather.  English garden flowers will struggle to last in the hot and humid conditions, so be mindful that as gorgeous as they are, they will only be enjoyed for short periods.

Choose wisely flower lovers 🌱🌼🌹🌷🌺🌻 😍

Fwf x

 

 

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It’s Never Too Late To CREATE!

“Creativity is intelligence having fun”Albert Einstein

Some people are street smart, others are book smart, and some other people are smart in a way that many are envious of…they are creative. Creative people have a unique way of looking at the world, and at looking at problems….coming up with solutions that others could not contemplate.

A 91 year old Czech woman has spent the last 30 odd years beautifying a small village, turning it into her own art gallery by hand painting flowers over the facade of the houses. It looks like Louka, a small town of only about 70 people in the Czech Republic, is set to become the next village famous simply for being charming and beautiful. Anežka (Agnes) Kašpárková, paints the window and door frames of the houses throughout spring and summer, slowly covering her hometown in her ultramarine designs. After working for years in agriculture, cultivating plants to support her family,  Agnes turned to painting about 30 years ago having being mentored by Manakova, a local women. When she passed away Agnes decided to continue her work. She uses bright blue paints which contrast the white walls of the Moravian homes. Creating intricate designs free hand, without drafting, her inspiration is from the traditional Southern Czech (Moravian) artworks. The chapel enjoys an annual touch up each May, when the artist spends 10 days decorating the freshly whitewashed chapel walls.

Why does she do it? “I am an Artist. I just enjoy it and I want to help.” Agnes says. “I’m just doing what I like,” she adds, humbly. “I try to help decorate the world a bit.”

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Image by Obec Louka via Bored Panda
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Image by Obec Louka via Bored Panda. Agnes seen here painstakingly painting the floral motifs
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Image by Obec Louka via Bored Panda. “I am an Artist. I just enjoy it and I want to help.”

It is not the first time something like this has been done….do you remember the little Polish village that is also adorned with flowers?

Zalipie, in Poland was just an isolated small town; bleak and somewhat forgotten. The smoke blackened huts of the village provided the local housewives with the appropriate inspiration. Initially, the women began painting the houses to disguise the black and sooty scars left by the smoke filtering out from the stoves. The women would hide the spots of soot within the intricate flower designs; a unique floral motif designed for each house, therein transforming the village into a kaleidoscope of colour and creativity. Gradually the designs began to make their way onto the outside of the houses, allowing the world to see the colour and intricacies. The quaint village has now become one of southern Poland’s best kept treasures, bringing visitors to the once quiet town.

As modern cooking methods improved, the need for these designs was lost however the town has kept them and continued to adorn any structure they can with the colourful designs; houses, bridges, chicken coop….there are no limits.

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Zalipie, Poland- a quaint village adorned with unique floral motifs designed and executed by the town’s housewives
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Image; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland
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Intricate designs. Just look at the detail in each of the flowers and leaves. Image ; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland

Beautifying the world around you brings a sense of calm and contentment. But more than that, Agnes reminds us that it is never too late to do something that you love, and be guided by the creativity within.

Not everyone has the option of painting a whole village, but a vaseful of fresh cut flowers or a lush indoor plant can beautify your little world. Check out what we have online via the links, or come in store to say ‘Hi’.

Fwf x

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Good Enough to Eat

Traditionally wedding flowers were a unique combination of blooms put together to convey the hopes and dreams for the soon to be married couple’s future.  A red chrysanthemum to say ‘I love you’, orange blossom to show purity, innocence and chastity, an arum lily would convey patience.

Then, wedding bouquets favoured classic blooms, such as the rose, lilies, lisanthus or stephanotis in pure and simple whites. They were often elaborate designs, long and trailing, using delicate feminine blooms.

Fast forward to today and just about anything goes. You can create a theme in pretty much anyway you choose.

Beach wedding? Short wedding dress ✔️  Sandals/thongs/barefoot  ✔️ Macrame backdrop ✔️  Gorgeous fresh tropical blooms.

Winter wedding? Fur bolero ✔️ Moody lighting ✔️ Rich colour tones ✔️ Lots of textured fresh flowers and foliage ✔️ Woodland setting ✔️

Vintage theme? Lace wedding gown ✔️ Muted, antique colour palette ✔️  Gathered bouquet of garden fresh flowers ✔️

But what about if you want to have something truly different? Like wedding bouquets that contain NO FRESH FLOWERS at all!!?? Now, I’m not talking about artificial wedding flower bouquets. I’m talking about doughnut bouquets. Yep. You heard right.

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Image;BBC via Paige Burgess

Seriously though, this week 23 year old Bride Paige Burgess from Sydney, surprised her 3 bridesmaids with bouquets of doughnuts created by Sydney-based company, Dessert Boxes.  It was certainly a diversion from tradition, and apparently a real talking point at the wedding, but what I find most amazing about this story after going to such an effort to do something so unique…..THE DONUTS WERE LEFT UNEATEN 😭

After getting through the ceremony and reception, with all the gorgeous treats on offer to eat, Burgess told the BBC: “We had plenty of goodies beforehand so we were too full too eat them.”

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Image; BBC via Paige Burgess
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Image; SBS via Dessert Boxes
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Image; SBS via Dessert Boxes

 

Weddings are entirely individual, and many ‘traditions’ that were once seen as essential to a beautiful wedding, are now quite easily substituted to better suit the pair who are aiming to create a memorable day. “We wanted the wedding to be a bit different and really reflect who we are as a couple,” Paige Burgess said of choosing her doughnut bouquets.  Her groom Steve even wore doughnut cuff-links! Dessert Boxes owner,  Samantha Khater says that it was all started as a social media based competition, where Paige was one of thousands of comments. Khater rang a few of the entrants before speaking with Paige and knowing she was the right girl for them. People’s response to the doughnut bouquets has been HUGE with brides-to-be inquiring about the doughnut bouquets which are currently not part of Dessert Boxes standard range.

It is not the first time that we have seen couples play around with traditional wedding details to suit their personalities and tastes. Over the years, many have shunned the traditional wedding (fruit) cake in favour of other popular cake choices. Or the cake has been omitted altogether in favour of a what has been dubbed a “Cheese- Cake”; not the New York baked variety, but instead a tiered display of delicious gourmet cheeses, adorned with fresh and dried fruits. And for several years now we have been able to send chocolate bouquets as gifts.

As a flower lover, I saw fresh flowers as an essential ingredient in my wedding day, but I know that everyone is different, and details I see as important may be insignificant to you. Would you consider edible bouquets for your wedding day?

Fwf x

 

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FLORIST COVER

Life of a Florist; A life of Danger

Many people think floristry is the dream job. The idea of being in a small shop and playing with flowers appeals to many people. I have always joked that people don’t understand just how ‘dangerous’ life as a florist can be, and how it can quite literally be risky business!

You think about it, many florist businesses are small owner operator set ups, where you usually find someone is working alone the vast majority of the time. What does that mean? Well, you are opening and closing up a shop, each and every day where the work is laborious; heavy, hard, repetitive and back breaking. Add to that the fact that florists are usually at work long before anyone else is awake, starting the market run around 4 am and they are still around once the other businesses have closed their doors. This leaves them in the most vulnerable position; at risk to armed robbery, fatigue, OH&S incidents/accidents and more.

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Image; Jonny Weeks for the Guardian

Just last week a small florist business at busy Sydney Central Station was the scene of a very sad, and disturbing series of events that unfortunately saw a 30 year old man shot dead. NSW Police were called to the Eddy Avenue Florist at approximately 6:45pm on Wednesday 26th July following reports of an armed robbery.

The florist, who was working alone at the time has said that he was attacked by a man wielding a broken bottle however that the man did NOT attempt to rob the store at any time. Instead, Emmanuel Theoharas explained that he was attacked from behind, and threatened with the bottle before the man demanded that he call the police.

From many reports it seems that the man, since identified at 30 Year old Danukul Mokmool, may have been a drug user with some mental health issues and it is a sad end to his story. But my heart goes out to poor Emmanuel Theoharas who has been running the florist for some 46 years. I’m sure that this was not what he thought his day was going to look like, but he turned up to open the store again Thursday morning and will do each and every day that follows. That would have been some scary stuff and I’m not so sure that everyone could bounce back so quickly.

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For operations that are bigger, yes there will be others there to share the workload and have your back, but maybe you will work off site in an unfamiliar situation. You may be up a ladder hanging things from a ceiling, or lifting large pieces up into the centre of a a table, repetitively straingin your lower back. Long hours, particularly in event work will see you existing as if you are constantly jet lagged, making your response time slower. And remember we work with scissors and knives all day every day (with the occasional hammer, saw, pliers and power tools thrown in too)- sounds like a recipe for success doesn’t it?

The retail world has changed dramatically over the past decade. As a whole, we are a society that relies less on cash, and more on credit.  In years gone by, a florist basically survived on cash transactions, but like any legitimate business, as time has passed, technological advances and society’s demand for conveniences has seen us adapt. In some ways it probably lured us into a false sense of security. I mean, anyone who works within our industry knows, it wouldn’t be worth the risk to rob what cash you would find in the till these days! In some ways we probably don’t feel as though we need to be as wary or hyper vigilant as we once did, and I guess in some ways, because there is less cash, the risk has lessened.

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But back in those days, the cash florist was selling posies and box arrangements…..These days we are in the business of construction with no formal certification; creating huge wall hanging arrangements, working through the night on little or no sleep, a concoction of caffeine, chocolate, lollies or cigarettes (depending on your preference).

Let’s think about that for a second….a Jet lagged Construction worker, operating machinery at heights while wielding scissors or a knife…..

Told you floristry was a dangerous job!

Fwf x

 

 

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