I have not recently had any personal dealings with florists, so I can’t really comment on Singaporean florists first hand. But, I have to say that this is one place that the Chinese have done well. I never got (or sent) a bad set of flowers when I was living and working in China and, as a school head, I had to send flowers many times (I also received them a few times). Bad florists are those florists who do not pay attention to the little things in their craft. When you decide to send someone flowers, you want the best looking and most vibrant flowers you can find. Very often, that’s not what you get. What you see and what you get don’t always line up (as illustrated by the photos above).
I have often used a floral website that’s based in the United States because, most of the time, I send flowers to the United States; to family and friends that live there. This website (1800flowers.com) has consistently gotten more and more lackluster and unreliable. When I look at the photos on the website, the flowers are vibrant and full, but when they arrive at the homes of my family and friends, they are anything but. People tell me that I should switch to FTD because they are more consistent with the quality of their arrangements, but I haven’t tried it yet. I find that if you call the florist directly, or go on the individual florists’ websites, you get a better product…..but not always.
Like I said….it’s in the little things. Many florists do not pull the thorns off roses before they send them out for delivery. Why wouldn’t they do this? Thorns are dangerous and people can get hurt when they open the flowers. Also, many flowers are sent to mothers, and thorns can be deadly to a young child. Yet may florists just don’t bother. When I was living in China, there was never a thorn on any rose that I had delivered to someone or that was delivered to me. Maybe we just worked with a very good florist in China, but I was always very happy with the flowers. It pays to go to the individual, and not one of these giant conglomerates (unfortunately, living overseas, I’m often limited to only the conglomerates, with 24 hour helplines).
The reason I’m posting this today is because I was having a discussion with a colleague about flowers this morning. She has just celebrated an anniversary with her husband, and received flowers from him. Her favorite flowers are lilies, so he ordered them for her. Lilies have very large anthers (the part that creates pollen), and most florists pull them off before sending the flowers out for delivery. Apparently, the florist that sent the flowers to my colleague had failed to do that, and the brown pollen got all over her apartment when she opened the cellophane. If the florist had taken a few seconds to pluck the anthers off the flower, she wouldn’t have had to be cleaning up her kitchen on the night of her anniversary!
The florist is just another in a long line of artisans who are increasingly not showing pride in their work. They are just another service industry that has stopped caring about the little things and just want to get the job done. Please be aware that I am not talking about ALL florists (some are excellent – like that one in China), but many florists see the profession as a job and not a vocation. They don’t take pride in what they do and they let the little things slide. I’ve said it many times…it’s the little things that make the difference. It’s a decaying art-form because many people are in it for the money (flowers are a big business) and not for the love of the job. It’s depressing, really, rather than annoying. I think next time I will make a point to order directly from the florist and I will ask them if they remove thorns/anthers. It’s the only way to make sure you’re sending the best flowers you possibly can!