Wait a minute. . . you mean to tell me that I can’t get ANY white flowers at all?!?
The voice of my floral wholesaler on the other end of the phone had just two words for me – Nope. Sorry.
Let me sum up this situation, just in case you somehow missed my first three posts of this heart-pounding, pulse-racing saga story.
- I had 3 pending orders for funeral sprays requiring white flowers.
- This was the largest order I’d ever received as a florist.
- The order was for the landlord of my flower shop.
- For his mother-in-law’s funeral the week of Mother’s Day.
- I was just 19 years old.
- It was 1978, when apparently white flowers were in high demand during Mother’s Day week.
- And I needed WHITE flowers!
Did I already mention that?
Okay, okay. I can handle this. Sure! I can handle this. I was raised in a family business where we were always left to our own devices to figure stuff out.
I can handle this!
Option #1 – Find White flowers from another supplier.
Um, in 1978, there were two, TWO, floral wholesalers in Sacramento. Neither of them had any available white flowers during Mother’s Day week.
Nor any growers.
Option #2 – Tint some colored flowers White.
You order peach, they ship you pink. A spritz here and there, and Voila – the bride has peach flowers.
Keep in mind, this was over 30 years ago. Times have changed. You can get nearly any flower you want, any time of the year – for a price. This was not the case in 1978.
But take a look at the Design Master shelves . . . see any White? No, you don’t!
Who sprays flowers white?
Now, that I think about it, I could’ve saved a lot of heartache and trauma (and probably 9 years’ worth of grey hairs) if I’d gone to the hardware store and picked up some Krylon White. But I didn’t think of that.
I was 19. I’d already accepted a huge deposit on the order. For my landlord.
I was not thinking clearly.
Nah, let me rephrase that – I was very, very close to a full and complete anxiety attack.
Then it hit me . . . Ribbon! White. Satin. Shiny. Ribbon!
The solid heart posed the biggest challenge. I was too chicken to just wire the red roses (like a corsage) and pin them to the middle. I figured I had to stick them into a brick of Oasis foam.
Which meant the Oasis had to go inside the Styrofoam heart.
Which meant I had to cut a square out of the heart.
No big deal, right?
Okay, let me restate the situation again.
- The funeral home was 30-40 minutes from my shop.
- The arrangements had to be at the funeral home and set up a full hour prior to the service. Or risk having them refused.
- I had four large (LARGE!) arrangements to prep – 12 dozen roses for the casket spray alone – which meant stripping and dethorning 144 roses. Then arrange them. Then deliver and set them all up.
- I was the only “designer” (and that term is used very, very loosely here.)
So I stuck 144 red roses into the casket saddle.
Easy-peasy. I mean, One Hundred Forty Four any-kind-of-flower looks pretty damn good. No matter what!
Bleeding cross? No problem.
Bleeding heart #1? A cinch!
The red roses against the white satin ribbon actually looked really nice!
This was gonna work! I was almost on schedule. I wasn’t in a total state of panic. I had already told my landlord about the absence of white flowers and that I’d credit him for those and he was fine with it.
I had about 15 minutes left. Plenty of time to finish the solid heart and get everything loaded into the van.
The solid heart was already wrapped in white satin splendor. With the rectangular hole already cut out and waiting the block of Oasis foam.
You know what that green floral foam looks like, right? You soak it in water, it drinks up a ton of water, and you stick the flowers in.
But it drips!
And I didn’t want it dripping all over my oh-so-pretty white satin-wrapped heart, so I wedged it into a green plastic container.
Oh, look at me! I’m a Floral Designer! I just handled a major would-be crisis! Whoo-hoo!
And then I pushed the green plastic with the sopping wet foam with 24 red roses ‘bleeding’ out of it into my perfectly cut-and-measured hole in my oh-so-pretty white satin-wrapped heart.
And then . . . Do you wanna know what a giant Styrofoam heart sounds like when it cracks into pieces?
Snap! Crackle! Pop!