Hello again! Reneé here. At the start of the summer I made a post about my employment at Beall's Florist, and after an eventful summer, I'm finally here to tell you about it!
At the start of every morning I would wheel out the cart of annuals as well as the hanging baskets in front of the store, and I'd water each plant. For the rest of my day I would cut and clean flowers, take, process, and fill orders, price plants, green vases and baskets, restock supplies, clean, water the showroom, and anything else that needed to be done. It was certainly a lot more work than I expected it to be, but it was an excellent learning experience and it was worth the effort.
We received a variety of orders on a regular basis, from single plants to dish gardens, there were few limitations to the things we could do. While I didn't work on the more advanced orders, I did fill a fair amount of simple ones! Here are a few pictures of some of the orders I filled:
This is a peace lily in a basket with moss
These are two fruit baskets (with fruit that I selected myself)
Here is a kalanchoe with a bow (this is actually something I did quite a few times)
This here is a vase arrangement that I made according to the "recipe" in one of our books
This is a basket with green plants (including arboricola, pothos, croton, peace lily, etc) and some freshly cut alstromarium
And this one is actually an order that I filled today. It's a lovely dish garden with freshly cut flowers added in.
This isn't an order, but these are some flowers (and greenery!) that I cleaned one day. That's a task that definitely takes some time...
I'll admit that in the beginning it was difficult learning the ropes. There were so many things that needed to be done a certain way, and a few codes that I had to learn for taking orders on the computer. And you could probably flood the place with all the water I spilled on the floor (we called it "peeing" haha). But as my manager and mentor always told me, it's a learning experience. And, after several weeks, I dare say I've learned quite a bit. I've learned how to clean roses and numerous other flowers. I've learned about greening vases and baskets. I've learned to feel how heavy a plant is before watering it (this took me some time to get the hang of, as I over watered the showroom plants for a while). I've learned to memorize almost all of our tropical plants by sight, and that's not even the half of it!
While the work was exhausting sometimes, it was really fun. A work day could go from peaceful to hectic within a matter of seconds, and you never really know what kind of day is waiting for you- it certainly keeps you on your toes.
Aside from the work itself, I have to say that the work environment may have been one of my favorite parts of the job. The location of the store was perfect for when you needed something to eat at lunchtime, and the grocery store next door was perfect for finding fruit for fruit baskets. The sun was always shining through the windows, giving the whole shop a cheery air. The people were great too. My coworkers, who were experienced to say the least, were always so patient and kind while I was learning, even when I had made a particularly large amount of mistakes in a day. They worked efficiently and seriously, but could often be found cracking jokes while they worked. I feel like I was quickly accepted into the group, and I have to say that I have made some friends there.
All in all, I gained a lot out of this experience, and I have no doubt that this will be beyond beneficial to my future in horticulture.