Today’s insightful installation is by Holly Chapple.
I have been hesitant to discuss the potential flower crisis that seems to be looming. All of my weddings this year have gone off perfectly but in truth I have been begging for product. Something is definitely happening in the flower industry. Just as I was beginning to receive new and unique offerings from markets abroad, it was as if a door was slammed in my face.
The Spring proved to be challenging and I was forced to beg for the glorious Peony and many of the other “in season superstars.” It was hard at the time to determine what was going on, it was easy to blame the shortages on volcanos, extreme heat, and the economy. As we trudged on through the drought of the Summer I looked towards cooler weather and a new season. The switch in seasons from Summer to Fall usually brings fresh and rejuvenated product. Product that has not had to struggle through the heat. This weekend is my first really big weekend of the fall. This new season will clearly not be any easier than the Spring. All day yesterday I pleaded for the blossoms that make my heart sing. I paid premium prices for flowers that are usually affordable and saw via Twitter that my fellow flower designers were struggling across the country. Basics like roses and carnations have been rocketing in price.
The economy has played a big part in what is happening and I understand that. My wholesalers have all reported that many of the largest flower farms have gone bankrupt this year. The loss of these farms has certainly helped to cause the flower shortage. The next big issue broke my heart, it seems the United States as a whole does not value the beauty of fresh flowers as much as other nations. I was told twice this week that most of the product is purchased by other countries like Russia because they are willing to pay higher prices for the crop. I was really shocked by this, as flowers certainly seem to be important to my customers, but the reality is this we as a country do not value the beauty, fragility, or the actual miracle of a flower. My hope and my prayer is that we as a country change the way we think about flowers and yes our floral designers. You know the old saying “you are gonna miss me when I am gone.” lets pray we don’t get there. To my flower friends in Colorado, Michigan, and California, hang in there, we are headed for some trying times.
Photograph taken by Abby Jiu