I am very fortunate to have had the chance to have known florists and flower growers who were born in the late 1800’s and who shared stories of growing, selling and designing flowers in the early 1900’s. This was a time when many florists grew their own flowers and in addition to selling flowers through their flower shops, they sold their flowers to consumers and to each other through farmer’s markets.
One might think that flower varieties and design styles were greatly limited a hundred years ago. In fact, there was greater diversity in design and varieties in 1930 than in 1960. Check out the 1934 book “Flower Decoration” by Constance Spry sometime. It was the post-world-war-II “industrialization” of the floral industry that resulted in the inventory of many flower shops being limited to carnations, roses and chrysanthemums.
The farmer’s market is in resurgence throughout the world and a big part of the markets are locally grown flowers. I am discovering small flower growers, local commercial growers and retail florists at the markets. It is thrilling to see the new varieties of flowers, foliage and the design experimentation found in farmer’s markets. It’s just like the “old-days”.
It’s fascinating how history repeats it’s self.