It’s been a little while since I wrote to you all & I want to make updating the blog a regular thing on my to do list. So last week was Valentine’s Day one out of the busiest days of the year in the floriculture industry alongside Mother’s Day. So I thought I would give you a peek into what my day involved….
Wednesday 13th 6.00 am
I arrived at my flower wholesalers after dragging my tired self out of bed, I needed to get to the market particularly early on as I currently wear two work hats so had to leave enough time to collect the flowers before starting work at my other part-time job. When I got to the market it was crazy! The guys down there were all rushed off their feet and I have never seen the wholesalers packed with so many flowers of course the majority of these were red roses but the vast quantities overall was very impressive to see.
I arrive home and have just enough time to cut all the flowers and foliage at an angle (this allows them to absorb the water more easily) and put them in buckets of water until I arrive home from work later that day to work on them.
I have breakfast quickly and head out the door to start my day at work.
I arrive home from work already feeling exhausted wondering how an earth I am going to get all these bouquets finished in time for delivery tomorrow! However the thought of working with the beautiful flowers spurs me on to get started 🙂 I begin by conditioning each individual flower. The red grand prix roses that I was using all come with leaves and sharp thorns that need to be stripped way from the stems and yes I did manage to cut myself a few times on the thorns whilst in the process of doing this and lets just say… ouch! The main reasons for this needing to be done is because 1.) You can’t hold the stems of the flowers with sharp edges and leaves getting in your way means that you would not be able to create the bouquets 2.) Any leaves that are not taken off that sit below the water in an arrangement will cause the water to turn dirty quickly and hence the flowers won’t last as long 3.) The design won’t look as pretty with sharp thorns on the stems (arguably you could say it depends on the look you are going for but in this case I would say its best to remove them).
What all florists should have according to Steve – a toolbox!
Half way through the night the bulb in the room blew, luckily there were candles on hand so I could carry on working.
I am still conditioning the flowers…. 100 roses takes a while to do!
Smooth as velvet
I have now finished conditioning all the flowers and foliage and clear away the rubbish ready to start making. With the help of my glamorous assistant (my boyfriend Steve who really is an absolute star!) we begin doing the prep work for packaging each of the bouquets this involves cutting all the cellophane into metre squares (ready to make into aqua packs but more of that later) and lining all the gift bags with pretty tissue paper. It’s often all the prep work that can take up the most amount of time!
I made the first of our Valentine’s bouquets 🙂 this year I still went for the classic red roses and I only use grand prix roses as personally I think they are just exquisite, their deep red colour, velvet like texture and the petal shape are just stunning. As I try as much as possible to use flowers that are scented as for me this is one of the many reasons why you can’t beat natural fresh flowers and this year the scented flower was a beautiful deep red freesia, which had a slight pink tinge to it and it smelt divine! So the bouquets were a mix of beautiful red grand prix roses, freesia and a combination of foliage that included salah, eucalyptus and Pittosporum.
After I have created each hand tie a water bubble is then made using the cellophane squares that we had cut previously that evening. These are constructed by holding the bouquet in the centre and gathering each of the corners together followed by the other sections and tieing securely at the top to form a ‘bubble’ like shape. Other people might have different methods for doing this but this way works best for me, you then fill the bubble with water using a watering can each one was then passed onto my glamorous assistant to place in each of the bags.
Our St Valentine’s Jam Jar
This year as well as the gift bouquets we also had our St Valentine’s jam jar design, the one above was snapped just before it went out for delivery. Another design to add to the growing collection, click the link to find out more about our jam jars.
Thursday 14th 1.30 am
I am now half way through making up all the bouquets ( I got an extra last-minute order which I needed to get done as well) and I am so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open so I decided it is time to get some sleep and finish off the others in the morning.
Up bright and early again, I have breakfast and continue making up the rest of the bouquets in time for them to start being delivered.
I add the finishing touches this includes adding one of my business cards to each bouquet as well as writing out the lovely Valentine’s messages on our beautiful bouquet cards that we had ordered from the Signature Card Company but wait they still hadn’t arrived yet!! So I decided to get dressed and keep my fingers crossed that the post would arrive at any minute, apparently the random snow day that we had the week before had slowed things down at royal mail.
The cards finally arrive just in the nick of time and I head off to start my deliveries, where didn’t I go that day I think is the question! I had drop offs in central london, Kent and Surrey! I loved seeing the ladies faces though when I presented them with their Valentine’s flowers especially those who really weren’t expecting any, it was lovely!
All packaged up and ready to go…
I finally arrive home (although I did get stuck in traffic in Epsom which meant the journey took longer) with a now empty car feeling completely shattered but happy that this years Valentine’s day was fab! I spent the weekend catching up on much-needed sleep.
I am now preparing myself to do it all again in a few weeks for Mother’s Day 🙂
Thank you to all of you who purchased a Joanne Truby Floral Design Valentine’s bouquet I hope your loved ones were thrilled with it.