When you pause to consider the bio-diversity on this planet, it makes your jaw drop. It's hard to conceive of the incredible imagination of Mother Nature as she gave life to this world of ours. And when it comes to flowers, Nature's creativity in finding ways to procreate through an often complex relationship with the wind, rain, insects or animal life and a blossom on a plant is awe inspiring.
Did you know there are over 400,000 species of flowering plants? Of those 30,000 are species of orchids.
Of course the commercial cut flower industry carries just a handful of the flowers known to us mostly as a result of their vase life and their ability to be distributed without damage. Many flowers will remain of the garden variety because of these factors, and many are just too sensitive to ethylene gases or temperature fluctuation to be boxed or shipped.
This photo shows the inside of the huge cooler at Kirby Wholesale Floral Distribution in Vancouver, BC. So many flowers!! Still,on any given day even at our Victoria flower shop, Poppies Floral Art, we usually have quite a fabulous selection! At this time of year you might find; several colours of roses, spray roses, gerbera daisies, miniature gerbera, alstromeria, snap dragon, larkspur, delphinium, hydrangea, mini hydrangea, freesia, iris, stocks, rannunculus, anenomes, many varieties chrysanthemums, wax flower, babysbreath, asters, tulips, hyacinth, daffodils, forsythia, day lilies, oriental lilies, bells of Ireland, viburnum, carnations, miniature carnations, nerine lilies....whew! And that is just in our cold storage cooler! In our warmer tropical cooler you can see all the orchids we bring in; oncidium, cymbidium, mini cymbidium, dendrobium, mokara, vanda, aranda and phalaenopsis! We also carry birds of paradise, heliconia, anthurium, and varieties of protea. It is quite a list, and it isn't everything that our suppliers have to offer. We are often discovering new additions to the vast list of flowers available to us.
Some day, come into the shop and have a close look at how each of these flowers differ- they all have unique petal formations, with a different function in nature. Some are highly scented, some are self pollinators, and some would rely on animals or insects to reproduce. Some have been hybridized by science, others are only sold for weddings because they are harvested without stems. And they have become our crayons- our art supplies- to allow us to make beautiful creations.
We try hard to source as many flowers as we can from local growers. One of our biggest suppliers is right here in Brentwood Bay; Eurosa Farms. Not only is this family business a neighbor and friend, but they have adopted pesticide free growing practices.
That makes me smile.