Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Ides Of October

Come October, with every moment of darkness, every drop of rain, every gust of wind, our work load increases.

Multitudes of weddings, baby showers, bridal showers and the dreaded homecoming dances.

What do other countries have to equal these?

The shop is filled with 9th graders, faces painted in their school colors, wearing clothes in the same shades, ordering boutonnieres while texting madly away. We had two different schools this week, so sometimes they were red, sometimes blue. Hats to match.

Mothers come to discuss in great detail the tie their son is wearing and the exact color of the date's dress.  Pics are shot of the different colored sweet heart roses, ribbon samples are poured over and apparently painful decisions are made.

Then on Saturday they come to pick up their masterpieces.  In droves.  Each piece of work is inspected with great care, freshness of the flowers is discussed in excruciating detail, and occasionally they are rejected. 

And my coworker Alicia, fingers covered with tiny cuts from twisting hundreds of pieces of wire, begins again, changing a ribbon color here, an entire new corsage there.

I do all the other work.

And then we stagger home, the cut, sometimes bleeding, often bruised floral warriors.

And what makes it better?  Flowers of course.

I brought home 3 new friends.


High and Orange.

And Mathilda, GG's new best friend.

The roses went into a vase, I went into a bath, a pizza was ordered and a salad tossed.

Peace reigns, at least for the next two days.


  1. Interesting. Maybe there could be a Pantone color-match surcharge.

  2. I can imagine the frustration all over a $10.00 item. I did once reject a corsage I was picking up for my son to give his date. It looked several days old. I actually wasn't keen on his date for graduation and was tempted just to take it home, wilted and brown as it was.

  3. I'm here, across the cultural divide, wondering what a homecoming dance is? Who is coming home? And surely they should make their own corsages, if ever they are to go on in life to write their own blog?

  4. Steve, excellent idea, the mothers would love it.

    Razmataz, Oh how the times have changed. Corsages are now 30.00 or 35.00 dollars each, depending on the flowers used. So, IF the flowers were dead there would be a cause for high anxiety. You did the right thing.

    Mise, I have inserted a link to explain the origins of said tradition.
    When they do make their they end up in the shop anyway with a heap of smashed flowers and tears.

  5. What sweet consolation. I am not sure anyone with a soul liked their prom/homecoming much in my day. One can only hope, as they say, that it gets better.

  6. Dress color unseen, I was asked to make a yellow corsage. This was ordered by a woman who worked close by but lived an hour away. I learned the hard way that yellow is probably the most subjective color in the wheel.
    My Saturday was pretty quiet compared to yours! Goin' to the gym today? Or will you enjoy a reprieve?

  7. I wish I had those flowers to take home with me because they are just beautiful.

    Take care and ignore negativbe people!


  8. Dear Jane,

    Although tiring it must be very rewarding working as a florist! To be constantly surrounded by flowers and have all sorts of people in your shop. I would love it!

    In Holland we do not really have any special events in October. Off course we do have weddings and baby showers, but nothing really special. December is the month for us, with Sinterklaas and Christmas!

    Happy new week,

    Madelief x

  9. Those roses are extraordinary. I can practically taste them if you know what I mean. That corsage business would drive me nuts. I would be swearing at customers, which would be bad for business.

  10. I love the orange rose!

  11. Lovely flowers, Jane. Hopefully they make up for the people.....

  12. The roses look like sherbet - raspberry and orange. Never saw such saturated color in roses. I want to eat them. Rest those hands! xoxo

  13. Oh I have to admit...I had not given enough credit for the painstaking care that goes into the homecoming flowers for high schoolers...I will never again look at a boutonniere or corsage without thinking of you! And I mean that in the nicest way possible...the flowers you brought home are gorgeous and I love the vessel they are in...I have never ever seen a heart shaped rose! thank goodness for baths, wine and pizza being delivered!

  14. I like the idea about a Pantone color match surcharge! LOL

  15. A very tough week all round Jane, what with the trainer and then all the mothers. And of course the customer is always right, so that must be hellish when they reject a corsage - heaven forbid, who would do that!!?
    You so deserve these beautiful flowers!
    Hope you've had a lovely weekend. X

  16. I hear you! and what about the mothers that come in and ask what the other kids in their 'circle' have ordered...because now theirs need to be a little bigger or have another rose. Or ask how much someone else is floors me everytime.
    I was at the shop alone last Sat. and had to make a last minute corsage with no more pink sweethearts and had to use a small pink carnation - oh no,that did not fly!

    Hope this week is slower for you. Just stay close to the bathtub. :)

  17. Oh I know about those bleeding fingers! If I am not doing flowers, I am sanding furniture. I made a garland from dried chillies the other day and my hands were on fire by the end if it! Your customers sound awfully fussy! Glad you had a little time off though. Love Linda x

  18. nothing makes me happier than big beautiful fresh flowers.
    thanks for the close up view.
    i can almost smell these beauties.

  19. Hi Jane, many thanks for your comments. I thought the matching bowls and pumpkin were lovely too! Have a great week, love Linda x

  20. I've only ever made corsages and boutonnieres for weddings, so I can only imagine the scrutiny and hand cramping over homecoming flowers. Goodness.

    On the other hand, it's nice to have the business, no? My friend has a flower shop in San Francisco and reports that more than half have closed in this recession.