Years ago before I met my husband and I was a single parent going to school, I had the great experience of working for a crazy Irish lady named Fidelma at her flower shop. She taught me many useful things and helped to develope my eye for floral arranging. So on Valentines Day, I always think of her. She used to sell "Gilded Roses" which she told customers were real roses that were covered in 18 carat gold and IMPORTED. The selling idea was that they were special because they were a keepsake rose and could be dried upside down and last forever. They were beautiful and she sold each one for I think $15 cdn. What makes me laugh is when I remember all those weekends out in the alley befind her shop spray painting the roses with Florists paint. Like in the movie "Alice in Wonderland" I was painting the roses GOLD. She also had a special name for the cheap dozen roses, she called them "One Night Stand Roses" because that is about how long they would last. I loved that lady!
Because of Fid, I also have a different perspective of Valentines Day, one that I am sure is shared by Florists the world over. To me, Valentines Day meant days of the phones ringing, standing in one corner of the shop with rose petals, leaves, and stems in a pile around your ankles. Your hands were cramped from holding a knife and your fingers bled from the thorns. Then there was always those last few customers just before we locked the doors, complaining that there wasn't anything left. Ah Yes, Valentines Day, not the day filled with love, chocolates and cupid that others think of.
My daughter Mara also works in a Floral Department of a large grocery chain, so I am really sending her my love right now. On Friday when I talked to her last, she had FOUR pallets of flowers to unload and prep for Valentines Day. I hope that she is well, and enjoys tomorrow if she has the day off.
Since I worked in that Flower Shop with Fid, I decided that if you want to give me flowers for Valentines Day, they better be attached to a perennial plant or come in a package of seeds to grow in my garden AND don't wait until Feb 14th to give them to me. As for chocolate, hey anytime is a good time!
My order from Richters Herbs came today!!! All those lovely packages of seeds and even better...dried herbs for my tea! I opened the packages and blended everything in my biggest bowl. So now I have the latest addition to my Mint Teas, Naturally Sweetened Mint Blend. Of course I had to brew a pot of tea just to check out the blend. This one is really fabulous!! I blended Spearmint, Peppermint, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Betony and Stevia. I really like this one because the Stevia gives it just the right amount of sweetness.
Now I will need to package up my new tea and find a way to market it. I will be looking for some pretty organsa fabric and sew some little bags for my mint tea. Something as special as my mint tea blends needs a special package, right?
I have started back at Cobblestone Garden Centre, and it is so nice to be there. With the beginning of the 2011 season, it is so amazing to watch the store come back to life and ready for the customers, just like the plants that we sell. Tomorrow will be the first day out at the greenhouses and I am going to miss being there, but I am seeing a different side this year. I can't wait to see the plants come into the store!!
Life is Good!