Florist, flowers, wine merchant

The Florist and the Wine merchant

NO, it’s not what you think there’s no gossip here!  You might have seen me regularly popping in and out of the shop next door, but honestly I’m not having an illicit affair with anyone at Hennings Wine!!

But wait, read on…

Given that there are no village shenanigans going on involving the florist, you are probably wondering what Flowers and Wine have in common (apart from me and my obvious love of both). Well…they have much more in common than you may think, more than a good nose and an attractive ‘bouquet’.

The reasons why you might visit a Wine Merchant instead of popping to the supermarket, are similar to why you would visit a Florist.

Getting expert advice and a personal service. Together these will ensure you get something that suits the occasion perfectly, whatever your taste, but this is just the start, when you go to a specialist, whether it be for wine or flowers you can expect a QUALITY product.

Flowers like wine have full-bodied varieties.

Cup size is important.

Slip a stem between two fingers and feel the weight of a good quality flower in your hand. Choose a rose and notice how much of your hand is filled by it’s head. Imagine holding a large glass of Shiraz or a Brandy Balloon, let the weight drop into your hand and take a deep sniff.

Girth and length count.

Cheap flowers are grown quickly. Quality takes time. A beautiful head wants a long, strong stem.

Flowers can also be crisp and delicate like a sparkling wine. Whatever colour or variety you choose, the colour should be pure (no artificial colours here) and if you give the head a gentle squeeze it should feel firm to the touch, with a little give, like a rubber ball.

You can always spot a florist in a supermarket; they’ll be busy squeezing heads assessing floppiness of stems. Don’t try this in a florist shop though, florists pride themselves on their ability to select the best flowers and will probably object to any random squeezing. Although, if you pop into the shop and ask nicely, I might let you have a gentle pinch.

I was inspired to write this after a customer came in on Valentine’s Day and asked “So what’s the difference between florist flowers and supermarket flowers?” An hour later he left, with a large bouquet of the very best roses, having been given a detailed lecture on the terroir, sunshine, new world and old world, the war against drug cartels in South America and the opportunity to squeeze a couple of my best bloomers.


The Flower Shop, Pulborough

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