Surrounded by heavenly scents and pretty things, the impression most people have of a florist’s life is that of playing with flowers all day. But this behind-the-scenes-peek will give you a taste of a real day-in-the-life of those that work with flowers all day long! And spoiler alert, we do way more than plonk pretty petals in a vase!
First of all, flowers are heavier than they look and being a florist is way more labour-intensive than most would assume. Picking up, transporting, and cleaning and processing all the flowers translates to hours on your feet lifting heavy buckets of water and greenery. Unpacking large shipments and then preparing and packing finished arrangements for delivery is physically hard work.
We’re in a perpetual race against the clock! Flowers wilt and die very quickly and we only want to sell the freshest blooms to our customers so we have to accurately time purchases, orders and deliveries. Most clients, particularly for a wedding or important event, want to see blooms that have opened up and not buds so this also has to be factored in.
Because flowers are perishable, we can’t get too much of a head start on making arrangements. This means heavy flower periods, like the holidays, Valentine’s, Mother’s day, etc. are really demanding not only on the hours worked, but also on our bodies, and especially on our tootsies! We’re standing in one spot designing for hours on end to get all the arrangements made. Up to 12 hours a day, for several days in a row!
We’re very early risers - buying the freshest plants and flowers and organizing stock pickups all happens during the early hours of the morning, as does organizing and prioritizing all the orders that come in overnight.
Like an even and comfortable climate-controlled work environment? Then floristry isn’t for you! Our flowers must be kept in a cooler, and working out on site setting up weddings, events and doing planters can have us working in extreme hot and cold temperatures for hours on end.
This non-stop graft can also be really dirty - all those flowers need cleaning and processing before they are ready to be used in designs and all the flower buckets must be regularly scrubbed to keep the flowers as fresh as possible. No French manicures here!
Taking orders, answering the phone, assisting customers in the gift shop, preparing and gift wrapping orders ready for pickup or delivery and striving to meet our customers’ high expectations, means that floristry can be an incredibly stressful and demanding job at times. However, there are many many things to love about working in this field. Participating in our clients’ emotional milestones, and contributing to special memories, such as baby showers, births, weddings, anniversaries, and even funerals, is an absolute privilege and one we are extremely grateful to be involved with. The opportunity to work with nature’s seasons and be creative, is also one of the reasons we just cannot get enough of working with flowers!
Want to try your hand at designing? We regularly host fun and interactive workshops where you can learn the tricks of the trade. Check our website or follow us on Instagram @oleanderfloraldesign for future dates.