It was Mother’s Day last Sunday, which is one of the biggest days in the year for florists in Canada too. Because it was quite an early spring this year, the demand for flowering plants started a little earlier than usual; this was noticeable in the demand for hibiscus, which was flowering in mid-April. The new varieties are early-flowering, and sales also seem to have moved forward. During the following weeks, we were shipping plants with opening buds and we also spend less time on picking ripe and full-blown flowers, which was a pleasure during packaging.
The sale of bromeliads is usually very even, with a revival in demand shortly after a holiday, but this year we experienced a shift. One of our regular customers has been going crazy in the past two weeks, and we have no idea why. It is not the custom to enquire, and if we do ask, our customers often remain silent; we normally don’t receive feedback.
Our experienced part-time employee was unable to work in the week before Mother’s Day because her daughter had been admitted to hospital. That was an unwelcome surprise, so we placed an advertisement in the newspaper with a total of zero responses. We were fortunate that one of our friends knew a student who worked part-time, and she was prepared to work every morning for us for a couple of weeks.
In the same week, a student who was looking for an internship came along. He is following an intermediate training as a horticultural technician and is studying subjects such as garden design, landscaping, maintenance and office planting. He is very interested in learning what is going on in the greenhouse.
Our temporary driver takes the orders to our customers, who live about an hour and a half from us in the Niagara district; we also drive to the auction in Mississauga twice a week, which is also an hour and a half drive to the Toronto area. That’s how all our plants find their way to the wholesale trade, who then take care of sales to the end-customer.
Angelle van Kleef
grower of potted plants