I went into Marks & Spencer’s Simply Food, an upscale UK grocery store kind of like Trader Joe’s in the US, to check out the kinds of flowers they sell. I’d heard that they were going to start offering a new rose developed by David Austin for the cut flower market that was designed to have both an old-fashioned rose fragrance and a longer life in the vase.
I didn’t find the David Austin roses, but I did find inexpensive (by London standars) flowers with two surprising things on their labels: a vase life guarantee, and a sell-by date. Imagine: you can check the sell-by date for your carnations the same way you would your eggs or milk. Care instructions were on the back. Interesting, eh? Would you be more likely to shell out about six bucks for a bunch of flowers if they came with a guarantee and had a freshness date stamped right on them?
Next I went to Tesco, another UK grocery store that had recently announced it would be selling Fairtrade flowers. Once again, I couldn’t find what I was looking for–they were almost sold out of flowers on a Saturday evening and all they had left were horrid bouquets of dyed mums and carnations–but once again, I saw vase life guarantees and this–a warning that lilies could be toxic to cats–on the label.
I wonder what distraught cat owner got that on every flower label in Tesco?