Caught on Tape… Bad Flower Practices…

Bad Flower Practices always get me going! Add to that… poorly executed Flower Promotion…or what I call Social Flower Faux Paux…  it’s got me going… and on today’s J’s FLOWER STAND…I’m taking a stand!

It’s SO Important to our Great Flower Industry To represent FLOWERS and Our PROFESSIONAL CAREER of being a Florist or Flower Artist with Best Practices…

Best Practices aren’t HARD… nor are they time consuming… and the Result is Better, Longer Lasting Flowers…Everyone Wins…

In Turn Professional Flower Design is an Art… and a Career… and when someone makes fun of it… or treats it without respect… that makes me angry! Portraying our Great Flower Industry with Respect and Professionalism is Mandatory in my Book… and it HELPS Everyone Sell more Flowers to more People more often… No Matter WHAT!

I know there is an old adage: “ANY Publicity is good Publicity” but I’m afraid … in the case of these two Videos circulating on the web and throughout our industry… This Publicity doesn’t do the Flower Industry any Favors.

Here’s a shor List of BEST Practices according to J…  followed by list of Flower Social Faux Paux…

Photo of Rose "Gard" petals from Esmeralda Farms

1. There is no Need to remove the outer petals of Roses if they are not damaged… Doing so creates a wound that allows air to enter the flower… The “Gard” petals discovered by Professor Wm. Gardiner… are half leave/half flower and provide photosynthesis and aid in water uptake… they also support the stem… so Unless they are tragically damaged… Do NOT Remove Exterior Rose Petals!

Stems in Water... No Foliage!

2. NEVER allow Flowers or Foliage to be submersed in a Vase… or Fall below the water line… This creates Bacteria Quickly and Bacteria is the Number one Enemy of Fresh Cut Flowers. Remove all Foliage that falls below the water line… and never allow flower heads to fall into the water !

Don't Manhandle Flower Blooms!

3. Don’t MASH Flowers into the vase by their heads… Try NOT To touch the Flower Heads… or manipulate them from the BLOOM… that is what stems are for… Grabbing, Fondling, Mashing or Constant Touching of Blooms will Bruise them… Treat them with Respect and Care!

Leaves Allow Flowers to Take up Water...

4. Flowers need their leaves to transpire moisture and help take up water… removing all the leaves from a flower (especially roses) makes it difficult for the Flower to take up water and survive. Don’t Remove all the leaves from a Flower… only remove leaves that are damaged or fall  below the water line.

use "Flowers" Vs "Floral"

5. According to a Harvard Linguist Study… the term “FLORAL” is antiquated and does not evoke positive thoughts… rather “FLOWER” is considered more modern, youthful and positive. Examples… Flower Designer, Flower Shop, Flower Seller, Flower Studio… rather than Floral Shoppe! Use “FLOWER” rather than “FLORAL” to represent the FLOWER Industry in a More Positive/Modern light!

All Foliage Arrangement!

6. I love Foliage… it is not mandatory to use “Greens” in a bouquet to hold it together… and there are many types of Gorgeous Foliage that can actually become an Element or Focal area in the design… Imagine Aspidistra, or Monstera, Bear Grass… Galax, Even Leatherleaf… all amazing foliage! Don’t REDUCE Foliage to a Mechanic or FILLER in a flower arrangement… use it as an Element in your Flower Artistry to spark Interest!

Take Time to PRICE Correctly!

7. The Price of an arrangement is determined by adding up the Cost of Goods (COGS) and Labor/Time and Talent to create the arrangement… You cannot ‘eye ball’ a Flower arrangement and “GUESS” a price… The Price of an Arrangement is determined by the Price of the Flowers, Number of Flowers and Supplies used and labor time to create it. Never GUESS at pricing!

Now just a few helpful hints…. for the Flower Social “faux paux”… in my humble opinion…

A. Flowers To Wear… now more commonly called Flower Jewelry is fashionable Stylish and an Accessory to the Formal wear. Florists rarely create a Single Or Double Carnation Corsage with leather leaf and babies breath…  and most likely don’t create a Full Sized Carnation WRIST Corsage at all any more! Show the latest Trends and Styles… our Industry is changing constantly and as Flower Artists we follow fashion and emerging Trends.

B. Arranging Flowers is a form of Artistry… and there are Elements and Principles of Design that are Applied to this form of craftsmanship… like so many other professions… (Chefs, Fashion Designers, Interior Design) To Think the Flower Arranging  “SKILL” could be mastered in an hour or two discredits the artistry of the Professional Florist.

C. IF you’re going to feature a “Mass Market Bouquet”… Just go out and buy one… Don’t pretend by shoving a bunch of flowers into a sleeve and saying it’s a Grocery Store bouquet. There are Many Successful companies that employ Creative Flower Designers to create Attractive, Seasonal, Valuable, and Affordable Mass Market Bouquets… they are easy to find… and if you are going to feature one… just go buy one! You’re Not Fooling anyone…

D. Flowers are DIFFERENT and Unique…  Unusual Flowers Cost More. Massing Flowers together because they have buds… or are in like colors does not discount the fact that many flowers actually cost More Money… A Vase of Ranunculas, Anemones, Stock and Andromeda … is not a budget bouquet… Sorry… but it’s Not! There are 1000′s of Flowers to choose from … (especially in a Flower Market)… if you’re talking about BUDGET BLOOMS… choose Less Expensive Flowers!

E. Don’t Malign… either Men or Women when it comes to your customers… saying one is better than the other is “Retail Suicide”… Exceptional (and Difficult) Customers come in both sexes… When You are in Retail… two Rules Apply… 1. the Customer is always RIGHT… and 2. when the customer is WRONG…. refer to rule number 1.

F. Negative Statements, Phrases, Songs or Quotes… simply breed further negativity… “SEND ME NO FLOWERS”… is NOT a POSITIVE Way to present a Story about the Flower Industry…  “YOU DON’T BRING ME FLOWERS” is not a positive song to reference…Again… there are many of Sayings and Songs that portray Flowers Positively… Choose POSITIVE Statements whenever possible!

G. From a Professional (and Passionate) Flower Industry Standard… FLOWERS are Always Appropriate… no matter what the occasion… There are So many Different types of flowers with so many different meanings… the choices are nearly endless… As Flower Professionals… We SHOULD always suggest the PERFECT Flower for the Occasion because Flowers are Always in Style! When we relent… and suggest something other than Flowers… we give away a “little piece of our industry for everyone”… and the tiny pieces add up over time… Flower are ALWAYS the RIGHT CHOICE!

H. Given the opportunity to Present Flowers on National TV… or as a gift to a Celebrity… that will portray and promote the Flower Industry… KNOCK our SOCKS Off… Make it AWARD WINNING, AWESOME and above all “ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS”…  Anyone.. (and I mean Anyone) can make a dozen roses with Filler and Greenery… Is that really what you would send a Celebrity on National TV? I’m just sayin…

Now, here are  the LINKS to these two Videos…check them and see for yourself how many Bad Flower Practices are represented… and how many Social Flower Faux Paux occur!

Sara in the City: Send me No Flowers!

Carly of  FlourLA in the Bank of America Savings Experiment…Budget Blooms

The Society of American Florist offers the PFCI accreditation… for Professional Flower Communication… and SAF always offers tips on how to talk to the media and put our BEST Foot Forward with Promotion of Flowers on their website…

Perhaps Sara, Carly and their guests could benefit from PFCI and their Helpful Tips… That’s My Stand Flower Stand!