A part of Floralities which has always been important to me is creating planted designs as well as floral ones. One summer, a few years ago now, Ellie, Alfie and I visited various plant growers in a fairly small radius from Sidmouth to find the best sources of Devon grown plants. I now mainly buy from two of them, herbs, garden plants and, since last Christmas, the most fabulous Devon-grown poinsettias.
Last winter, I made the decision to learn as much as I could about poinsettias and to see if I could then persuade my customers away from the supermarkets’ imported plants in favour of these magnificent locally grown ones, available in 10, yes TEN, different colour varieties – and only two of them red!!
I was privileged to be shown a vast greenhouse where all the poinsettias, colour coded were being nurtured – it literally took my breath away and when manager, Kevin, saw a tear of wonderment rolling down my face I think he realised our mutual passion for a plant which is much maligned for its weakness but which he assured me had been raised in Devon to be robust and long lasting.
So, in early November I took possession of a set of mahoosive poinsettias which took up residence in my daughter’s now empty (she being at Uni in halls) rather large attic bedroom. Following Kevin’s instructions, I cared for the plants, trundling them off to various events and markets for sale or pre-order for Christmas and proudly displayed all ten varieties as a floral work of art in my apple crate table display at Kennaway House where they were auctioned off at the end of their Arts & Craft Christmas Fair.
By Christmas Eve, having completed my floristry orders, I had only two plants left - one from the original ten had a missing limb so became my “guinea pig” – the other I had saved as a gift for a friend in London who I would be visiting for a few days after Christmas.
In my next blog, I will tell you about the fate of those two plants. I also hope to be spilling the beans on my meeting with Jessica, owner of Ruby Cubes (all to be revealed), this coming Monday and the joint poinsettia-related-adventure we will be working on together over the next few months ………………. so exciting .