Fresh is Best

An African Dilemma !!

Now a traditional British summer has finally arrived and the haze of all those May & June events have faded into memories, an article caught my eye carried by the Florist & Wholesale Buyer  from the Kenya Business Daily.

George Omondi writes about the concerns that Kenyan flower exporters have regarding the ever increasing cost of air transport in getting their produce to Europe, US & Asia.
It is reported that ‘specialised equipment’ has been invested in to facilitate the switch to sea transport….. I wonder what that can be, gene engineering or chemical suspension, the latter being rather unpalatable .
With Kenya’s Sh 70 billion a year export trade and the switch to sea transport estimated to cut cargo costs by 60% there is plenty of incentives to make this work.
But do we the end users want this ?
I do not intend  to get drawn into the economic or humanitarian arguments  concerning the ethics of exporting  fresh produce to the rest of the world, but concentrate on the issue of having a ‘Fresh Product’ that would be over two weeks old !! Also how long before Dutch, South American or Asian growers start to see the benefits of the above and start treating their flowers this way. Sooner or later we could have flowers that are up to a month old in our vases.
But may I suggest a cheaper alternative: Silk or Artificial flowers that last for years & all you have to do is dust them !!!! (lol)
For me the beauty of fresh flowers is in their short vase life, as they then fade into a memory……..I always say Fresh is Best.
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Forgotten just how good this is

The Best things in life are Free !!

Last weekend I  decided it was time to get out of the house and away from the all  those consuming gardening chores. I packed the dog into the car and drove a short distance down a tiny track to some woods I know.

On arriving I was greeted by a never ending carpet of these delightful little blue flowers stretching as far as the eye could see. I just stood there….half marvelling at what was before me, but also remembering years gone past & eventually coming back to my childhood. I got the same feeling then as i did now , one of purity & beauty !   Letting the dog off the lead,I sauntered along the track listening to the backdrop of bird calls and the scampering of the hound, but deep in thought. As I finished my walk , it struck me that I had forgotten just how good this experience was, and some of the best things in life are…….Free !!

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Spring Madness

Don't pick the Flowers !!

Spring has finally arrived….the bees are humming, the birds are singing and the spring flowers are starting to bloom !  But all beware we are now entering a change of season which brings with it odd human behaviour. Remember from your history lessons  ‘Beware of the Ides of March’ which unfortunately Julius Caesar choose to ignore.

 Well looking at how human behaviour changes once the seasons change, makes me despair & wonder…… it really does!!

Trawling through recent events I came across many articles with the theme of spring, flowers, police and rioting…..what a mind boggling combination of opposing contrasts. An article from the blogger Angela Epstein of the Manchester Evening Post caught my eye, by proclaiming  ‘Daffodil thieves are as bad as London rioters’. For those of you that followed this hugely blown up story from the media, can only shake their heads in despair when a so called ‘reasonable journalist’ tries to link little girls picking daffodils in a park to Anarchists smashing up businesses in central London. Whatever your views on the actions of the little girls picking flowers in a municipal parkand being cautioned by the Police,  there is no way reasonable people should try to link the two……..just to fill up a page in a local paper !! May I suggest to Angela Epstein that instead of sitting in her office trying to cobble together a non story as this,  she should be reporting directly from the next Anarchists riot and maybe a real story might come from her.

On a lighter note,  a very quintessential British story about the election of a Grouville student becoming Jersey’s Miss Battle of Flowers 2011, a post that was created in 1902 as a celebration of the coronation of Edward VII. Ahhhhh don’t stories like this just make you feel good and that in this country we are all as Mad as a March Hare !!

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Mothering Sunday….Don’t Panic !!

Mothers Day…It need not be like this !!

With Mothering Sunday just around the corner, I am starting to hear ‘OMG what do I get her this year’  For those of you who are still unaware of this years dates it is on the 3rd of April, so you now have no excuse that you forgot

So we have got this far as making a mental note of the dates, now the hard part…….what to buy her !!
I am taking for granted that most of you will know your Mums quite well……..I hope, and so this process should be a little easier. For those of you with should I say the slightly trickier Mums, this process is quite a tightrope to walk. Will she like it, is it her colour,fragrance, style etc etc etc ………it is enough to give you a nervous breakdown.
For me , I fall into the above category and over the years I have found out that it’s not the amount of money you spend, its how you spend it  !
So now you have to do some investigating on likes and dislikes until you come up with exactly what your Mum likes……It’s not difficult !
For my mother it’s flowers every time, just two varieties from her favorite local florist and a card I have written and posted to her.
So what ever you are going to give your mother on the 3rd April this year, two things above all are important, being one that you remembered her and  two you showed you cared !
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Government & Councils


Having seen the cutbacks made by the corporate sector in 2008/2009 , a wry smile came across my face when I read an article from the Oxford Times. Their headline cried out‘ Floral displays go as council cuts £2.7m’ expecting the readers to think that their council spent that much on flowers & plants !

But seriously the flower trade in general has had it`s first real recession, where both corporate & retail  sectors have seen their trade shrink  as both companies and the public reign back spending. However much the press & especially the florist trade press try to convince us that volumes of fresh flowers are increasing into the UK all I hear from retailers & wholesalers alike is that volumes are well down since the peak of 2008. I know it does not help in the fact that the major multiples have made severe inroads into the florist trade traditional  market, but their is one thing that they are unable to do which if they ever acheive will be the final nail in the trades coffin……provide a service !! While they may be able to sell flowers or get flowers delivered by post(Usually half dead)they cannot provide that bespoke service that the independent florist can, because it does not fit into their productivity costings verses sales. If they ever are able to work that one out then I am afraid the florists will go the way of the high streets other dinosaurs the greengrocer, butchers & fishmonger.


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Picking up the Pieces

Now Its Over !!

Now  we have had the time to recover from Valentines Day I  was interested to see what wacky stories had emerged (as they do every year!!) .

Celery !!…… Well according to the Toronto Sun, reserchers at North Carolina State Unviversityhave extended the life of a rose by inserting the gene from Celery, that will make the bloom last up to 19 days.
My monies on the fact that the rose will out live the Valentines relationship by weeks !!
Then I came across an  American website that I can only call a FLORISTS NIGHTMARE  being ` The Consumerist annual Valentine’s Day Garden of Discontent`. You must take a look at some of the examples that American online Flower Relay companies  try to get away with……Frightening !!
Perhaps we should have a website that exposes the wonderful floral offerings that some UK florists dare to send out !!
And finally I came across this  little gem…….on a website SOP  where the blogger  Robert Reyes and I quote`Dudes: Your wife or girlfriend may want a diamond ring and a mink coat for Valentine`s Day, but don`t forget to give her candy and roses`.
Ohhh please get a life as it’s all about Romance…isn’t it !”!
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New Carrington Brown Flowers Blog

The new custom blog for Carrington Brown Flowers is ready!

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