Welcome to 2013 and the hot start to January have sizzled a few crops. The Christmas/New Year period always makes for a difficult start with a lot of growers time out, and many lines not available for a couple of weeks.
A good flower for the heat of January is the lisianthus. Comes in a lovely colour range and our awesome grower has been giving us perfect blooms, and his strict post-harvest treatment routine has resulted in lovely upright blooms, perfect flower, good clean foliage and flowers that last well despite the heat. We have used these a lot in weddings this month.
David Austin’s are still beautiful, and producing a lovely range. Our standard “hothouse” roses have also been superb, and the quality is just getting better and better. He says he has a secret new ingredient - if he told me what it was he'd have to kill me. All the red roses (and some of the coloured) have been cut back for Valentine’s Day leaving red roses thin on the ground. I had to pull in a few favours to get enough for one vineyard wedding last weekend. It’s something to keep in mind for anyone wanting red roses in January, as growers try and time the rose flush for mid February. Our coloured rose range this month has been limited somewhat by one of our suppliers changing over nearly all his bushes. The good news is a new and better colour range when all these plants come online, but in the meantime we mourn the loss of some of our favourite colours grown by noone else.
Lilies (oriental, asiatics) have been plentiful at market. The size of many orientals has suffered in the heat. We are not recommending oriental lilies for any days likely to be over 30 degrees as they don’t like it much. Asiatics are a bit better in the heat, although still not the best choice - lisianthus or orchids are a safer bet for a hot day.
Callas are beautiful this month. The locally grown ones are so superior to the imports they are almost a different flower. Callas really don’t take well to boxing, as the blooms tend to crush and flatten during transport, so while we can get these locally grown beauties we can marvel at their lovely form and vase life. Because there are so few local grower of the calla, the colour range is limited. We have had to rely on imports for the whites and the head size has been a bit disappointing. No more arums this January, marshmallow or otherwise.
Dahlias have been lovely. As have the hydrangea. Sunflowers too have been nice.
Gardenias have come on, and what these blooms lack in vase life they make up for in fragrance. The gloriosa lily has also been available and beautiful. Although there has been plenty of hybrid delphinium, blue butterfly has been scarce making finding a true blue flower difficult over this time. Peonies are definately out.
Orchids are available, with a reduced number of import shipments between Christmas and New Year. They are a wise choice for a hot time of year.
We are getting misty emile and babies breath is making a comeback from the eighties in a new fashion of babies breath balls, bouquets and bunches.
The kangaroo paw has been lovely and we are still getting king proteas. Red flowering gum has been magnificent, if expensive.
Late addition - the constant hot weather has limited the availability of many field grown flowers - in particular, I have had trouble getting natives and lavender