What’s the Big Idea?

Dscn2291 This question has come up a lot since the publication of Flower Confidential was announced, and it was just posed to me again this week in an e-mail.  Someone who’d read one of my earlier books wrote to me and said, "Your new book isn’t going to make me have to stop buying flowers, is it?"  In other words, am I going to have to boycott flowers in order to be a responsible consumer?

Absolutely not.  In fact, I think the opposite is true.  The flower industry is in a real transition right now, and I certainly advocate for better labor and environmental practices, but I would never suggest that you stop buying flowers.   I think there’s a perception among some in the floral industry that by talking about these issues, or by promoting organic or sustainable flowers, the general public would get an idea that there’s something wrong with flowers and would stop buying them.  That point of view overlooks the fact that there’s a major shift to organics underway right now, and an ever-growing pool of consumers ready to buy organic when it’s available.

After everything I learned about the inner workings of this industry, I buy more flowers now than I ever did.  Don’t take my word for it, though–a fellow author who just read an advance copy of Flower Confidential wrote to me and said:

"The whole time I was reading the book, I was just dying to go down to my local florist and buy a bunch of flowers, which I intend to do as soon as I get home. I’ll probably also be asking them whether they’ve looking into organic or certified flowers while I’m there. But it’s definitely stimulated my appetite for flowers."

1 thought on “What’s the Big Idea?”

  1. I think that there are a lot of florists who don’t KNOW where their stock comes from – they seem to be frightened to ask as though not knowing absolves them from responsibility.
    This will change when customers begin to ask questions, and that is what I hope your book will provoke.
    I hope also that people will search out the small growers who care about how they treat their workers and the environment and who are trying to exapnd the market with more unusual garden type flowers – there seem to be lots of small growers in the US if the Cutting Garden forum on Gardenweb is anything to go by.
    Here in the UK it is much smaller – as far as I know I am unique in Scotland – but I hope that more growers will emerge and that we will head back to the situation of the C19th and early C20th (before UK flowers going through the Dutch auctions) when there was a genuine local and seasonal market for cut flowers.

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