“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens / Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens / Brown paper packages tied up with strings / These are a few of my favorite things.”
So goes the delightful Christmas song.
For Whitehorse florist, Crystal Rose, Christmas is more chaos than delight. The P.E.I. native opened her shop, In Bloom Flowers, four years ago on Main Street.
“I knew I should be working with flowers and I felt there was room for another shop in town,” Rose says.
Flower shops are known for being busy on occasions such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, but Christmas brings in a different kind of busy.
“With Christmas, people order things throughout December, where as other holidays are just the one day,” she says.
The preparation for Christmas requires massive organization and planning.
Typically, the majority of Rose’s Christmas stock must be ordered by early November. This includes all ferns, poinsettias, holly, birch, themed vases, red roses, gift baskets, and all sorts of glitter décor. Customers are encouraged to order their arrangements early, because the closer it gets to Christmas, the less variety is available.
According to Rose, centerpieces are the most popular item ordered; the florist makes sure to have plenty of ferns available.
“A lot of time is spent prepping the ferns before they are ready to be sold,” Rose says.
The ferns are then nicely arranged in an oasis, and once an order is placed, the flowers are put in, candles added and it’s all set. Aside from centerpieces, Rose offers fern decorative wreaths, miniature fern trees with flowers and bows added, and any type of floral arrangement.
“This year I made sure to be super-prepared.”
Living in the Yukon can pose certain challenges for florists. Almost everything is shipped from Vancouver. The sources of the flower supply are interesting.
You have heard of the New York Stock Exchange; in Vancouver, they have a floral version called United Flower Growers. In the early hours of the morning, suppliers enter the building and watch as small trains circle around with different flowers. Then the bidding begins. Large digital clocks display the prices either increasing or decreasing.
“I’ve been there when I was in florist school,” says Rose. “The scene is crazy. People are screaming and swearing at one another, all trying to get the best deals on flowers.
“I believe the flower business, to be a large emotional roller coaster.”
Despite all the trials and tribulations to get premium flowers sent to the Yukon, it is all worth it in the end. Rose always enjoys bringing joy to her customers through her flower creations.
As for Rose’s favorite things, she favours gladiolas, pincushion protea, and the ginestra flowers.