"Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose."
Well, Dorothy Parker may have been disappointed (or unrealistic!); but there’s plenty of choice for those of us who are looking for "one perfect rose".
They’ve been selling well right through January, and now roses really hit their stride as the classic Feb 14th gift.
Valentine’s Day falls on Monday this year, far better for trade than a weekend date :) which means you’ll probably be working Sunday to prep your orders, especially if you’ve got contract work to do on Monday :(
(Don’t forget to have healthy snacks and plenty of water on hand to get you through the day. And plasters.)
For those of you feeling the strain, may I suggest this love-lies-bleeding, from Bloomfield – a possible gift to an unrequited love?
All the wholesalers I spoke to were leaving their Valentine’s rose orders as late as possible to be sure of getting freshest stock and lowest prices.
There’ll be Grand Prix, Red Naomi, Passion and the usual candidates.
Lee at John Austin recommends the Ecuadorian Freedom rose as a good red alternative, being "better value and really holding up well". (Except you’re going to be singing that Wham song for the rest of the day.)
There’s hot pink roses for extrovert ladies;
soft pink roses for bashful ladies; sooo pretty Majolika roses for girly ladies;
garden-style Piano roses for romantic ladies;
and lilac-grey Little Silver roses for space-age ladies.
Spotted on several stands was a gorgeous pink-peach-apricot rose – just don’t tell your customers what it’s called. "Miss Piggy" isn’t the most flattering name for a love token!
On Deanos stand, this delicious raspberry ripple picotee rose, Advanced Sweetness (which sounds more like an ad for Splenda);
and the impressively tall and weighty Marabou rose. "Like the stork?" I asked. "Like the drink" Dean said. I think he means Malibu…
Deanos is an oasis for those looking for out-of-season products – he’s got Kenyan sunflowers "as good as Dutch" (although we agreed they probably are Dutch, essentially, what with all the investment over there);
Israeli peonies replacing last month’s Kenyan ones; and summer stocks, for goodness sake. If you want it, the Market’s got it.
If you prefer something a little more seasonally representative, here’s what else is about:
Ranunculus, anemones, and English narcissi are going great guns;
fluffy golden mimosa has appeared –
by the way, if you’re ever up Sloane Street check out the most impressive mimosa tree there – and genista (broom) is at its peak, with its spicy scent.
There’s all kinds of flowering plants, including these charming china-blue muscari.
Forsythia is blooming;
pink blossom is in bud; and furry pussy willows are here - both a pet and a plant, they come in plain white, green-white, and this lovely soft pink on J H Hart.
The tallest I saw were at SR Allen – bigger than a man! (Well, this man anyway.)
Bryan at Porters suggests felty magnolia buds as an interesting foliage, available for February only,
and flowering camellias – glossy green leaves and pouty pink buds. Coco Chanel’s favourite flower, doncha know.
Amaryllis have been popular lately, especially for events and parties.
Tulips abound, of course; this moody maroon one is Matrix, for Keanu fans;
and there are these fringed beauties from SR Allen called "Queensland". Slightly dearer than plain tulips, but so worth it.
Incidentally, my contacts in Australia tell me Queensland’s growing areas were some of the worst hit by the recent floods, and many growers have lost everything, so please spare them a thought.
Don’t forget that it’s Chinese New Year on 3rd February; the year of the rabbit (or cat, if you’re Cat Stevens.)
The market has many mini citrus, lemons, and kumquats to celebrate; tradition has it that their orange-yellow colour and round shape, reminiscent of gold coins, bring wealth and abundance for the year ahead.
And which of us couldn’t do with more of that?
Have you say
What are you looking forward to working with this month?
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