One well known floral clearinghouse has been running ads saying "why use your local florist when we can ship directly from the growers to your home? We will even include a free vase!" Let's think about this for a minute. I live in New England, the land of snow, ice and below freezing temperatures. Who is my local grower? What the ad does not say is that many times these flowers are shipped directly to you from the fields located in South America!!! They are packaged and put on a plane, then a Fed Ex truck where they are delivered right to your door. However if you are at work and don't get home until 5-6pm and your flowers were delivered at 8-9a.m., That means your poor flowers have been sitting in a box, possibly on a snow bank, waiting for you to get home!
I have been a floral designer for over 10 years now and I have a few insights I would like to share with you. First when we get our flowers in from the wholesaler they are immediately processed. What that means is that they are inspected, given a fresh cut and then placed in a floral food solution with lukewarm water. Once they are hydrated they are again inspected to make sure they are up to our freshness standards. We then begin to design our arrangements. Before the customer walks out of the door the item is again given a fresh cut and water if necessary.
The drivers call the customer before they take the arrangement out of the cooler and arrange a delivery time. If customer cannot be reached or does not answer the phone the arrangement does not leave the shop. (You won't come home to a bouquet that is frozen!) Occasionally things happen that are beyond our control, ie, a particular variety of flower that does not last as long as it should. In that case all you have to do is call the florist to voice your dissatisfaction. Usually we will send a replacement but we also take back the one that was rejected. The reason a florist will do this is so we can monitor if there is a problem with the flower, the wholesaler that sold it to us or is it that particular grower. If you go through an online clearing house how will you get your replacement and when will that be? Do you really want to come home from work and arrange your own flowers?
We all could use some bright flowers to cheer us up and get us through the rest of this winter whether it's Valentines' Day or not. I am just so fed up with this ad (ProFlowers, there I said it!) it appears so negative against the local florists that I felt a little prospective on what a florist job entails was in order.