Friday, May 16, 2014

" R.ethink O.rdering" -- an apt acronym for PRO

This "Good Flower, Bad Flower" post contains a stern warning:

If you prefer not to throw your finite resources to the wind while crossing your fingers, toes, and eyes for "success" -- this post is for you. You're spending real money on flowers and expect value in exchange, right? So DON'T GAMBLE. Spend wisely. There are bona-fide florists who are up to the job, and waiting for the opportunity to create magic for you.

Sadly, the true PROfessional FLOWER community watches in heart-wrenching horror, holiday after holiday, as hard-won customers get sucked into the hyped convenience of web-ordered flowers, boxed and delivered by FedEx with a 'free glass vase' (so Mom, Grandma, or Sweetheart can unpack, arrange their own flowers, and deal with the trash!) Oh, and a "free" box of chocolates, which is a fitting reward for their efforts!

Why are we such suckers as to fall for this? On a chronic basis?

This article in the U.K. Mail Online gives it up, and shows advertised images next to actual delivered goods. Read it HERE. (An image from the article is below).

DIY disaster: A Reddit user shared that he spent $170 on a vase arrangement of long-stem roses, but instead his wife received a much stubbier bouquet (right), which she then had to assemble herself
Left: Flowers on steroids, arranged in a hidden dish sitting on top of the vase, with the illusion of stems inside the glass. Notice they are only in the front half of the vase, so it looks like twice as many flowers as you'll actually receive. Fresh roses naturally arranged in a "gathering vase" such as this, do NOT present themselves horizontally like the flowers encircling the rim of the vase.

Right: Who pays $170 for short roses you have to arrange yourself. WT???!!! (Sorry, I don't like to swear, even with initials. It's uncomfortable for me.) At least they got the vase right, and maybe it's worth $10-15 retail. And how come the flower-arranger-fairy did not jump out of the box to fluff her flowers and make them more-better!) For that amount of bank, a flower-slave should be at your beckon-call.

Real florists weep crocodile tears over the sad aftermath of heinous floral crimes such as this. Our potential clients are buying an illusion, and we wish we could stop them before they enter their credit card info!

Additionally, are you "green" conscious? How would a huge box, packed in a warehouse, shipped on a plane, transferred to another warehouse, placed on a truck and brought to Grandma, with some flowers you could've bought a mile or two away, add to your carbon footprint? Seriously, that is one Inconvenient Truth!!

But there is HOPE. And a better idea for the future. Find out who the brick and mortar florist is in the recipient's community, and reach out to that business directly.

The beauty below, which would have cost about the same as the top right image, is by Laurie Garza of Fleurie Flowers by L. Garza. Visit her website here.

This gorgeous hand-tied bouquet below, presented in a beribboned tall square glass vase, is by Cathy Hillen-Rulloda of Avante Gardens, Anaheim, CA.
Roses Mi Amor
Here's one from Christina Zegrean of Bella Vita Event Productions in the Sonoma, CA Wine Country. It's a gorgeous statement of two dozen roses and lush foliage with curly willow. Definitely worth the price, and no doubt styled with a heart full of passion for the floral art.

A real professional florist can take those precious dollars you would've spent, and create beauty for your loved one -- something you'd be proud of -- for no more money than ProFlowers (and others like them) would charge you, after service fees and delivery. And you'll help save jobs in the local economy!

(Don't trust web-searches exclusively. There are even more "posers" out there, who want to divert your order to a warehouse fulfillment center and bypass the mom and pop flower shop and take a hefty commission. But "order gatherers" is another topic for another day.)

I feel better after adding these professional bouquet images. Who wouldn't!? They're amazing. And I was almost disgusted enough to ask my bartender son to fix me "sumpthin!" Well, maybe to celebrate the potential that SOMEONE will heed my warning. Please Rethink Ordering!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It has finally come to this...

The idea for this blog came to me four years ago, in a Christmas Tree lot.

My husband and I dutifully browsed all the trees, chose our favorite, got the attention of a sales-dude, and made our way to the li'l motor-home turned cashier's office. And there I saw "it." On the ledge of the pay window.

An "arrangement" of fir boughs in a green plastic dish, with a cheap made-in-China Santa skewered into the center, and THEN doused with fake snow spray. Even Santa was choking! And it was for sale! "Buy a tree, and increase your holiday cheer by bringing home this exile from the island of misfit toys. Someone must have stolen it off the Abominable Snowman's coffee table! PUT IT BACK!"

I didn't have the ability to take a photo at the time, but that festive travesty burned into the depths of my consciousness, and I vowed, one day, I would document this crime of nature, and others, for the world to know -- !! A REAL florist did not create this "THING!" It was smudged together in a cold, dark, warehouse someplace, using un-skilled seasonal labor, by a person whose highest and best use may only be drinking the last dregs of coffee and not brewing a new pot!

There is a DIFFERENCE between "schlock" and "design," between the clueless meshing-together of material, and the careful, meticulous creation of beauty.

There. I said it.

Schlock, BEWARE. We are onto you. And you just may not escape dissection by the professionals of the "Floral Crime Scene Investigators."