Well, where did the summer go ? It seems like yesterday we were thinking that the long hot summer lay ahead, but alas it came and went like a high speed train in Tokyo!
I was fortunate enough to have been invited to a collection of weddings and events throughout the summer and at those events the standard of floral design has been nothing short of fabulous. Having been in the floral industry for many years, and feeling so lucky to be doing something I love, during those years I have seen some floral work that resembles a dog’s dinner and that’s being quite complimentary. However, the three or four weddings I went to had such an amazing floral element that it really left me stuck for words, and that doesn’t happen very often !
Gorgeous centerpieces with beautiful garden roses, whites, creams and peach examples of these relatively new stars of the wedding industry, by new I mean five or six years ago a garden rose in an arrangement was a rare sight. Thanks to a couple of first class growers in Colombia and of course David Austin who is to the rose industry what Stephen Hawking is the world of Quantum Physics there are now roughly thirty commercially grown “garden rose” varieties available in the market place. Almost all of them are stunning, some are a little funky but with designers pushing the envelope with cutting edge designs becoming more common even the funky ones are sought after.
Along with the garden roses other varieties are going strong too, take Ranunculus for example, 10 years ago we were lucky to get five or six colors of this relative of the buttercup but over the years we have seen new and exciting colors introduced and now we have the most amazing two-tone varieties like Cappuccino for example that has a gorgeous yellow head with brown and burgundy splashes of colour and now there are ranunculus varieties that look like they are on steroids, huge heads with vibrant tones with an amazing shelf life. Hypericum is another one, loads of new varieties and great shades, we have come a long way since the days of only having the burgundy Excellent Flair and Dolly Parton varieties to choose from.
This time of year we are so lucky to have all the local produce from New Jersey, upstate New York, and Long Island now has some cool organic farms such as The Garden Of Eve farm in Riverhead. A bounty of Zinnias, cockscomb, Nigella, Strawflowers, Yarrow, Ageratum, Cornflowers, Asters, Molucella, Black Eyed Suzy, Lavender and the list goes on, not to mention the amazing sunflowers that come from several farms in the “garden” state. It’s an impressive list by any standard. I remember seeing some Nigella from a New Jersey grower years ago and it blew my mind, love in the mist as it is sometimes known as is not one of the most widely used flowers in the design world but it certainly would be if more people produced the quality that I saw all those years ago.
All of us in the flower world should embrace the fantastic flowers available in the local market place while it lasts, it won’t be that long before we are shovelling snow again. It really is a pleasure to be in the flower business and this time of year is always a reminder to me of just how lucky we are to be involved in this line of work. Surrounded by all this beauty and all these wonderful colours and fabulous characters, sure it’s challenging sometimes but that’s just the way it is, as we begin to prepare for the busy times ahead it’s reassuring that the industry is in a good place right now and we can all continue to do our bit by promoting our industry that makes so many people smile everyday of the year.