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Vancouver Island floral experts get you ready for Mother’s Day

Flowers in abundance for Mother’s Day but now is the time to order

Those looking to get mom flowers should order now advises a Vancouver Island floral designer.

“We have lots and lots of flowers but it’s a matter of labour, there are only so many of us to design,” Katherine Olmstead said. A full-time designer and marketing manager at the downtown Victoria location of Brown’s the Florist, she said Mother’s Day sparks the busiest few days of the year.

Eurosa Gardens owner Ryan Worsfold agrees, after all, “moms are the one thing we can all get behind.”

The Central Saanich flower supplier is among the reasons Brown’s has been able to keep up pace, Olmstead said. In the last two years, Eurosa has managed to maintain consistency despite worldwide supply chain and labour issues but recent events are starting to catch up.

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Bulb growers were heavily impacted by floods last fall, Worsfold said, anticipating shortages among those varieties and other ground-based crops.

A colder, darker spring than usual is also impacting things such as peonies – wildly popular for Mother’s Day and other spring celebrations. Even in their greenhouse operation, they struggle to keep up, Worsfold noted. Eurosa invested in LED lighting for some of the buildings but in those that don’t, plants are up to three weeks behind the same time last year. Though he notes last spring was a warm one.

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While the bulbs of the Lower Mainland suffered, local suppliers have come through, Olmstead said. Tulips for example are abundant and popular.

While those looking for specific blooms should order early, patrons tend to be open to ideas for this particular holiday.

“People are usually pretty open to having a beautiful bouquet. People are open to a variety of things as long as it’s nice and bright and cheerful,” Worsfold said.

Despite the cooler spring, Mother’s Day remains busy because people are excited about longer days and budding plants. It’s a celebration drawn out beyond May 8, Olmstead said. And while Valentine’s Day can be busy, not everyone has a partner, but they do have a mom, mother figure, or someone to recognize – and the designers find themselves creating arrangements for all those roles.

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From growers through transport and to the coolers of floral shops, flowers go through many hands to get where they are, Olmstead said, describing flowers as a great way to support the local economy. And these days, there’s been a little pickup as a small silver lining to ongoing public health concerns.

“The one positive thing through COVID is people started to realize the benefit of sending a bit of colour and brightness into family and friends’ homes,” Worsfold said. “I have friends who buy flowers regularly now. It’s a wonderful gift to show up with.”

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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