I am actually pretty rude, so I make no apology for what follows…..
I arrived to install the flowers for a completely delightful couple’s wedding to find the wedding from the night before packing up and leaving. Fine – it’s summer, it’s a lovely venue (it’s actually a really lovely venue) so one in, one out. The night before had been a big do, they looked really happy and they took some of the flowers with them as they left. But of course there are only so many circlets of evenly spaced flowers a newly-wed can accommodate in their flat as they pack for their honeymoon so lots were left over. Lots and lots.
It felt so terribly wasteful.
This sense of waste was compounded by the depressing arrangements themselves which were just so unimaginative. Some stonking roses had been grown, flowers had been bought and arrangements had been bashed out in a way that just did not honour the flowers, or speak to the setting. Did anyone enjoy making those, I wonder?
For the couple, the flowers were to mark the occasion and to wow guests at the wedding so they will have served their purpose, but as a business I think we can do better than that. Certainly in terms of design and care but also in our approach to sustainability.
There are certainly more profitable things to do so the values of this business are really important to me. I can get some local things and enjoy working seasonally, I can use groovy techniques where I can. I can appreciate the awe-inspiring skills of Dutch and Ecuadorian growers. I can support other local businesses and traders, I can enjoy the brilliant work of other florists, learning from them, embracing competition and collaboration. I can compost the waste, and reuse things and take the left overs and spread the love.
There is so much more joy to be squeezed out of those flowers once the company party or the wedding or the funeral is over. The flowers can be broken down and distributed in little posies and appreciated all the more. That’s not the bride’s job – she should be relaxing and reliving the memories. But I do see it as my job and a really important part of what I can offer. So nursing homes and hospitals and refuges watch out… you’re gonna be hearing from me.
So, back to the discarded gross arrangements from this weekend… I took them down and made some pretty, took the rest to the compost and kept three useful hanging things. Score!
With thanks to Lauren from Thinking Flowers for sharing her ideas and experience so generously and getting me thinking. And for putting me on to Marie-Anne, who also wants to work in a generous and positive way.
Yes, the pot has a leg missing and falls over annoyingly, but at least it’s got some bloody character.