Mother's day flowers - with a difference
PUBLISHED: 15:10 07 March 2014 | UPDATED: 15:10 07 March 2014
Design your own bouquet for mum this year
You’d expect the smiles might be slipping a bit in the flowers section of Marks & Spencer’s busy Bluewater food hall.
After all, they’ve followed a hectic Christmas (wall-to-wall poinsettias) with Valentine’s (roses are red and all that) now Mothering Sunday. And there are an awful lot of Kent mums hoping for flowers on 30 March, from brand-new mothers to the trendy and the more traditional.
But the M&S floristry specialists were full of beams when I visited, excited about the store’s first in-house florist service, launched in a bid to offer shoppers more bespoke, personalised service options.
It’s already proved so successful that the concept is now likely to be rolled out to an additional 28 stores before the end of this month. Which is exciting news for me, as I am now hooked on the idea.
Basically, it gives customers the option to buy a variety of single stems or to have bespoke bouquets made and wrapped up while you wait or browse the shop.
As M&S flower expert Simon Richards says: “Not everyone buying flowers wants a ready-made bouquet, so this new service allows shoppers free reign to come up with something truly personalised, particularly important when giving flowers as gifts.”
Or treating yourself, as I did and shall continue to do. After all, for just £2, one of the team can transform a couple of bunches of bargain roses into a bouquet straight out of a high-end florist.
Or why not go wild, choose exotic Bird of Paradise (four stems for £10) and spend £4 on even fancier wrapping to really impress.
I put myself in the hands of Constance Spry-trained Claire Hunt, who has been a florist for 15 years and with M&S for 14, and clearly loves her work. Vaguely mentioning a few colours and blooms I liked, with the speed of a magician Claire picked out gorgeous spray avalanche roses, lilies and Genista, a deciduous yellow shrub with a subtle scent that develops once you get it home into the warmth.
The resulting bouquet, seen above in all its Spring-like yellow glory, took her about 20 minutes to create and, wrapped in on-trend brown paper with a raffia tie, it looks pure Covent Garden, dahling.
“We’re a destination place for key dates all year round, not just the obvious calendar highlights,” says Claire.
“We get every type of request here, from self-purchase treats to wanting a table decoration for a dinner party, or a bouquet that says ‘I love you, Mum.’ And you don’t have to spend a fortune either.” n