There is one thing that must be available on 14 February and that is red roses. That also means that for the rest of the month red roses are rare and expensive. Its rare beforehand as growers have cut back their rose bushes and trying to time the flowering in time for Valentine's Day, and rare afterwards as they pick their crops so hard to get the numbers up. This year has been extraordinarily hot and that has also meant a battle for growers.
Roses in other colours have been readily available but with price increases leading up to the big day. David Austins were available for some of February, but the hot weather has spoilt some crops. The invarose range of beautiful David Austin style, large head roses have been available, many with a beautiful fragrance.
Lisianthus were beautiful and abundant, and a good flower choice for the hot weather. The dahlias were lovely, in pinks, magentas, whites and yellows. I also managed to find beautiful hydrangea, but it wasn't easy!
Blue delphinium has been thin on the ground (particularly the light blue), but the hybrid whites have been plentiful. Purple delphinium, although available, has not been quite as abundant.
Callas have been available but the colour range has been very limited mainly oranges and yellows, but able to get a lemony white too. I think most of the callas on the market have been imports and there seems to be fewer and fewer local growers. Our grower has finished with them already.
We had sad news from our chryssie grower, who has been supplying us since 1998 - he's closing up and will no longer be growing. He has been growing the crop for 30 years and despite the depth of experience, the hot weather this month meant he lost most of his crop. I am currently trialing a few other growers and supplementing with imports but nothing beats the beautiful large bunches and farm fresh chryssies that we have been getting from him.
Bird of paradise have been available this month.
Flowering gum has been lovely this month. Proteas, banksias, repens and leucadendrons were available, although the colour ranges were a little limited. The diversity of natives, however, seemed a little limited.
Privot berries have started and are just turning colour now, so had to cheat with a little design master to bring the black on!