How a flower shop keeps their variety of flora in freshest shape
rganizing a household is a hugely satisfying process. But what about a business like Primrose NY, which houses an inspiring variety of florals? We wanted to learn more about the infrastructure that keeps that green thumb from turning black.
Question: How do you keep track of the different watering schedules for different plants and flowers?
Answer: We keep the plants near sunlight and maintain a chart of when they’re watered so they stay in peak condition. (Orchids, for example, need a third of a cup of water every ten days.) For flowers, the process is more complex.
> The water for the flowers gets changed every two days and the stems get a fresh cut.
> Each flower is conditioned, which refers to the care given to every stem. When the flowers arrive, we trim the stem with a floral knife, using different cuts for different varieties. After this treatment, they’re given time to rehydrate for at least 24 hours to recover after their long journey from Holland.
> Each variety of flower requires its water to be maintained at a different temperature, and some flowers, like tulips, grow toward the light, which can cause their stems to bend into odd configurations. We try to keep the light on in the room for those varieties so they’ll maintain a vertical stance rather than bending toward the window.
> All the flowers normally go into the cooler overnight.
Question: How do you organize the different flowers in the store and the cooler?
Answer: In the store display, the flowers are organized by general color palettes. They go into the cooler in the same order as they’re set up in the store. Each section in the cooler has a sticker with the corresponding color for placement, so it’s easy and efficient to set up the store every day.
We also date each vase to indicate when the flowers arrived so we can keep them fresh and maintain records of who conditioned which flowers and when.
Question: What is the ordering process like?
1 I place an order to Holland on Friday.
2 The flowers are cut from the farms on Monday, packed in special boxes with cool packs, and sent in a special compartment aboard either an American Airlines or a KLM flight.
3 The shipment arrives in Miami, where it (hopefully) clears customs and Department of Agriculture control.
4 It then wings its way on the next flight to JFK.
5 Tuesday night between midnight and 2:00 a.m., my deliveryman puts the flowers directly into my cooler.
6 Wednesday morning the flowers are fresh and ready for conditioning, which is done during the day on Wednesday. This way they can rehydrate for 24 hours so they’re ready for arranging and delivery before Shabbos.
7 Additional flower shipments may come in on Monday or Tuesday so there are fresh flowers available throughout the week.
As in life, juggling the different elements of what makes a business run smoothly is complex and involving. Here’s to fresh florals and plants that last!
Raquel Goldish was raised in Ohio and has always had a passion for design and art. She moved to New York five years ago and later attended FlowerSchool New York, opening Primrose in the summer of 2019.
(Originally featured in Family Room, Issue 008)
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