The first customer of the day, is one of my regulars. An old woman who lives alone in an apartment just a few minutes from my shop. Mrs Abiodun comes in about once a week to buy gardenias. She told me that her husband used to buy them for her, and every time she smells them, they remind her of him.
When I opened the shop, Mrs Abiodun was exactly the kind of regular customer I dreamed of. Flowers are my way of connecting with people. When people come into the shop, they are searching for a flower to connect with a significant moment, emotion or event in their life.
Later a woman comes in to make an order for a wedding. She walks around the shop examining and smelling various flowers. I advise her on the flowers that fit the wedding’s colour scheme, which plants could work for different locations in the venue and the layout as well as the meanings of the individual plants.
Most people think that floristry is a very outgoing, visual profession. The assumption is partly true, but so much of my time is spent researching and cultivating plants. It is solitary, contemplative work. I once read a book where a writer called flower shops and greenhouses ‘our cathedrals of plants’. I will admit that I’ve said a prayer or two alone in my shop.
Just before closing, I see some young women lingering in the front of the shop. They tell me that they need some flowers for the background of their videos. They are content creators they show me some of their videos on their phones. I create bunches drawing on colours from their decor and furniture. They walk away with giant smiles on their faces and vases in their arms. I switch the sign to ‘Closed’ and lock the door behind them. I love my work.