All about the florist: Anna Smolinska-Wieczorkiewicz

    Anna Smolinska-Wieczorkiewicz runs a shop called Passja Flora in Lublin, Poland. Her specialty are wedding flowers.

    Is it peak time for weddings at the moment?

    “I’ve got a few weddings per week this month, especially outdoors, but June and August are the real top months for bridal flowers. I’m based in a fairly poor area, though. When there’s a wedding, most of the money is spent on food and drink, people tend not to spend an awful lot on flowers. But things are improving each year.”

    What’s the average budget for wedding flowers?

    “Typically, it doesn’t include more than a bridal bouquet for €150 or so. If there’s a €1,500 budget, which would include flowers for the church and the restaurant, I’m really excited. Flowers that are popular with Polish brides at the moment are peonies, hydrangea, garden roses, dahlia and carnations. For foliage, I often choose olive and eucalyptus. Common choices for the plant arrangements are echeveria lilacina, jasminum polyantum and ferns.”

    Where do you get your flowers?

    “I buy a lot of flowers through Dutch exporters’ web shops, such as Heemskerk Flowers. I also buy some flowers through Polish wholesalers and local growers, because their prices are lower. The quality of Dutch flowers is generally very good, but not always consistent. I’m sure that the quality is perfect when the flowers leave the Netherlands. But careless packing and loading, putting heavy flowers on top of very delicate ones for example, often causes problems. I recently purchased some Café au Lait dahlias for a wedding, but they arrived completely crushed. I couldn’t use them. I don’t normally complain about prices, I care more about the quality. But at the moment, I do find the flowers very expensive for the time of year.”

    SHOP Passja Flora
    LOCATION Lublin, Poland
    ASSORTMENT 80% flowers, 20% plants
    SPECIALTY Wedding flowers

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