Flowers

December's Flower Market Report

Written by NCGM
December 01, 2011

"I’ve got a feeling this year’s for me and you …I can see a better time, when all our dreams come true"

If there’s one song guaranteed to get me feeling Christmassy, it’s the Pogues’ epic Fairytale of New York. I thought of fairytales while visiting the market this week – there’s reminders everywhere.

Playing card love-heart picks for Alice in Wonderland;

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twinkling trees for The Ice Queen;

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Narnia’s frost-covered branches; Snow White’s waxed red apples (and every other colour too);

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Lara’s giant polar bears; Santa’s tiny reindeer.

Here’s a handsome hero for our tale – D&G’s new blue-green foliage, Ilex "Blue Prince" (I bet he has a smart uniform too.)

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Although part of the holly family, this one feels more like a light spanking from a feather duster, than being whipped with chains. If you see what I mean.

Also at D&G, the gorgeous toffee-brown rose "Coffee Break".

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If you’re looking for Leonidas, try it out. It’s got the same deep fake-tan colour, but without any reddishness.

Tall and tanned and young and germini, "Robin Hood" - a fairytale of sorts – on B.A.D. Flowers.

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I interrupted B (or was it D?) in the midst of bouquet bunching. These bloom-n-berry beauties are destined for Nando’s restaurants.

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Who knew they were so upmarket? Apparently they’d even asked for more flower choice. D (or was it B?) replied "you offer something other than chicken, and I’ll offer something other than blooms"…!

Southern Hemisphere sunshine is everywhere, as they’re revelling in summer (well most are; Sydney seems to be drowning in rainstorms lately). Leucospermums, proteas (including D&G’s splendid red-breasted "Robijn"),

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and peonies - mostly from Chile, like Hardcastle’s, in five colours.

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It seems so wrong, as they are such a symbol of summer; and yet so right, as everyone loves them so much. Eric from John Austin cautions that while these Antipodean beauties were £1/stem last winter, they are more like £1.75/stem this year, due to rocketing fuel, freight and shipping charges.

Jeff on Boomerang tells me pre-made wreaths and seasonal tchotchkes are going very well.

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Now I’ve heard of a tasty American cocktail called a Poinsettia, so I was hoping for a pre-breakfast snifter, but no joy - this can’s a growing kit in novelty packaging. Better for the liver. If you need ready-grown poinsettias, there’s plenty of those, of course.

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Talking of novelty, all kinds of shiny baubles, twinkly lights, and glitzy things on sticks are here.

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Strictly Come Dancing would be right at home; even the walkways are dusted in glitter.

A big shout out to Dave’s Wife, who must have spent several hours swaying in a cherry picker, to produce this impressive ceiling display over the GB Foliage stand.

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Dave’s not one for artificial sparkles, as we know, but this certainly gets you in a party mood. As does the vibrant rose "Yazoo", like a rasher of streaky bacon. (For younger readers: Yazoo were a two-piece pop combo of the early 80s. Ask your mum.)

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There’s Christmas pine trees in hairnets, ready for contracts – and for the public.

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After all, central London is pretty low on forestry plantations and garden nurseries, so where else do residents go for their annual tree? Pratley’s man-in-the-know tells me these Danish non-drops are the best price.

If you just want this Christmas palaver to be over, spring’s in! Italian anemones (£20/wrap now, less later on); early ranunculus; hyacinths; tulips all kinds – including the tall French ones; and pussy willow - like this giant, with Eric.

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Try and hold out a little while though; it doesn’t do to wish your life away. Enjoy the shiny sparkly colour of Christmas while you can.

RIP Jane Packer 1959-2011.

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