It’s December 1st, the trees are all up on the sides of shops and houses along Lower Street with twinkling lights, shedding friendly, festive luminosity throughout the village. The temperature has suddenly dropped and there’s definitely a whiff of Christmas in the air.
For The Flower Shop it is the start of silly season. You might think Mothers’ Day or Valentine’s Day were the busiest times of the year for florists, but although hundreds of bouquets are made up and sold over one or two days, when it comes to Christmas we don’t stop for weeks leading right up to the big day itself .
Be warned. The Flower Shop doors will be closing at noon on December 24th and by 12.30pm I’ll be flat out on my sofa, in front of the log burner with a bottle of Sherry. I went to a Sherry tasting event at Henning’s on Friday evening and had the most fabulous time. As well as stocking up on a different sherry for every occasion, I’m now also an expert on floors (not just falling on them), oxidisation and what to eat with which Sherry.
Did you know that some Sherries have to be drunk in one sitting? It’s no use leaving a good Sherry on the side in case the vicar and his wife pop in, left for more than an hour or two after opening and it could ruin a great tipple.
But I digress. We’ve already started wreath making but this week we’ve really ramped things up. In the next week or two we will have made over 200 wreaths!
All the wreaths sold in The Flower Shop are handmade and I can tell you wreath-making will ruin your hands. Just look at my poor little front trotters…I used to have baby soft hands and beautifully manicured finger nails.
We make a wide selection of wreaths for the smallest to the grandest of doors, internal and external. Each one is unique and comes with a selection of festive ingredients (not just holly) and ribbons from a classic blue velvet to the traditional red tartan and take between 30 minutes and 4 hours each to make. They are some of the first decorations to go up as they last so long and look so good. They make an historic village like ours look virtually timeless. If you ignore the cars and street lights you could be walking around a Recency village bumping into the likes of Jane Austen or Elizabeth Fry (who once held a reading in my old house – not while I was there of course) both who would have visited the Flower Shop daily (I’m sure).
In addition to the wreaths we have lots of festive table decorations and extravagant floral tributes to make for individuals and corporate clients, schools and hotels on top of our regular work and deliveries, after all it’s not just Jesus who has a Birthday in December. All this with one man down, or should I say one woman down with our lovely Rachael being off on maternity leave. As most of you know, not long ago Rach gave birth to her third son two months early, but you’ll be delighted to hear that baby and Mum are doing well.
As we get closer to Christmas Day, we often get a great flurry of orders from afar, bunches of love and best wishes from friends and relations of those living in and around Pulborough, so we need to keep a constant flow of fresh flower coming in, right up to Christmas eve. Then for a couple of days the flower stops coming and the auction houses and wholesalers close.
The auction houses open again on December 27th but this year we have decided to stay closed until Monday December 30th, not only to give myself a well earned break, but because we want you to have the freshest possible flower ready for the New Year.
I’ll be blogging again as normal next week but whether you are local or from afar and want to surprise someone this Christmas, get your orders in quickly as we’re busy, busy, busy!!!
ps. We can also add chocolates, wine or sherry from Henning’s to your order for local deliveries.