The fourth emergency service

The reason I love being a village florist is…

PEOPLE!

All people; happy people, kind people, sad people, angry people, stressed people, anxious people, excited people, generous people, lonely people, young, old, little, large, tall, short and everything in between.

All these people make up a community and I love being part of our community.

I know I’ve said this before, but every week I like to remind myself of why I do this job. Why I will go above and beyond to make everyone who comes into my shop or orders flowers for a special occasion HAPPY!

The second you come into the shop I want you to feel welcome. I want you to leave any troubles, stress or worries behind. I want you to be hit by warm smiles, delicate fragrances, together with bright and soothing colours of familiar and unusual flowers and foliage. Shopping these days is all about the customer experience and I want you to leave happier than you arrived.

The same goes when I’m responsible for the flowers at an event, whether it’s a dinner party, a funeral or a wedding, I want the flowers to say something and to add to the occasion.

This week I was asked to produce a huge vase display for an event up in London and I was chuffed to bits to see the customer beam with delight when she came in to collect it. Packing it in the back of her car so it could be transported safely was a little trickier, but all part of the service.

Later in the week I spent the morning dressing a beautiful medieval church with a mass of flower and foliage ready for a funeral the following day. The flower was carefully arranged in wet oasis, weighed down with lumps of lead taken from the roof of my cottage and the main display alongside the alter (if I say so myself) looked A-MAZING and worthy of the solemn occasion, I was really proud to have created it.

Later that day, as I was closing up the shop and starting to put things away I got a call from someone at the church to say that the display had been accidentally knocked and there was some collateral damage.

PANIC took hold, I grabbed as much spare flower and foliage as I could and flew out the door, grabbing my sister-in-law off the street as I went and left John holding the baby (hoping that no one would come in asking if he could make up a bouquet).

Miche and I piled into the flower van and raced off to the church before they locked up for the night. When we rocked up at the tiny village church it was almost dusk, I pulled in tight into the side of the road, meaning Miche had to clamber over the central console, just managing NOT to release the handbrake with her knee before sitting on the horn and bringing most residents of the quiet little hamlet out on to their driveways.

I always like to make a dramatic entrance.

It was a good job I kidnapped Miche on my way, she’s useless at flower arranging, but she has two great assets…LONG ARMS!

Disaster had been averted and the display had been restored to it’s former glory and I went home happy.

Yesterday was ‘Wedding Day’ (not my wedding day I hasten to add, that was a long time ago) Becky and I spent the morning dressing a wedding barn, another ancient building but with a very different feel and vibe…it being a wedding not a funeral. We left an hour or so after arriving, again feeling pleased and satisfied with a job well done.

A couple of hours later, I answered the phone to the wedding cake-maker in somewhat of a stir. Apparently there weren’t enough flowers to dress the cake.

“I could just pull a few stems out of the top table display”

“NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Again, I grabbed what I could from the flowers and foliage available, grabbed Becks and jumped in the batmobile (my little Toyota Aygo) and sped off to the rescue once again.

Some people would say, you can’t run a business like this. You can’t work all hours, racing off at the drop of a hat, working late into the evening, getting up at the crack of dawn, giving extra, going further.

But this is what I love about being a village florist.

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