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The announcement that Philippa Craddock has been chosen to do the flowers for the wedding of Harry and Meghan created a bit of a storm on the social media channels, not least the claim that she was self-taught.

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Lord knows it’s easy to become despondent about life. After all here we are, it’s nearly April and the weather is rubbish, economic forecasts are as gloomy as the weather and there’s a long old slog now all the peaks are out of the way, especially if you don’t do weddings. Thank heaven for funerals I hear you cry!

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Looking back through old magazines reminded me that there was a time, not so long ago, when we had 9+*1 groups working with and on behalf of the Industry.  

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I remember when the Flower Council produced their first Green Gallery online magazine. Lord what an uproar on Facebook! ‘Had they lost their minds’ people metaphorically shouted! ‘This isn’t floristry’ wrote Mrs Angry of Dagenham. ‘Why aren’t they supporting the florists who buy their flowers?’, ‘disgusting … a waste of money’ dah de dah de dah.

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I confess I walked into Chelsea 2017 with a degree of nerves. It had already been widely publicised that the displays were going to be smaller … or non-existent due to falling sponsorship but I was more interested in what the floristry side be like.

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OK I admit it … I am a bit of a show off! Point a camera at me and I’m away. Stick a microphone in my hand and I’ll talk for England. It’s not that I never feel shy or nervous (I often do!) but overall I work on the basis that if I want to be noticed in a positive way I’ve got to get out there.

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Knowing she wouldn’t be with me on the day my youngest tried to buy me flowers for Mother’s Day. She knew she had to ring a local florist (I’ve trained my girls well!!) and she set a budget of £30 which I thought was pretty darned generous for an 18 year old on a student allowance.

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An American florist started a thread on Facebook as to what had caused the demise/deterioration of florists.  Almost instantly the replies flooded in.  It was all because of the relays, the big box stores, the online order gatherers, Brexit, home workers, the weather, the price of flowers, cheap offers on other gift lines, lack of promotion … the list went on and on.

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The slightly disparaging comments by The Times on Sunday when referring to the fact that HMRC used bouquets of flowers to apologise did rankle; after all what's wrong with sending flowers! Nothing but it made for a good story. Thing is I know full well that in the next few weeks flowers ... and ergo florists ... will come in for a lot worse as journalists try to use VD and MD as a chance to have a pop at the sector.

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Am I disappointed that we don't have more GFG'ers. Of course. Given as a magazine we deal with the industry on a daily basis I know there are some stunning shops out there who totally deserve to carry the logo but unless people apply I can't do much about it.

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