Wednesday, 15 March 2017

"Say it with [plants]"

Extracted from (Brown, n.d.).
I used to send flowers to friends, family and clients for special occasions, but I don't any more.

I suddenly realised that I was creating a problem for the recipient a week down the track, when they had to dispose of the 'remains' of the flowers, the plastic water capsules, and the wrapping.

Something that had looked alive and vibrant when given had died. I found this particularly unpleasant when I sent flowers for funerals. Why do we send people more death?

Additionally, I have also come to think that giving someone the sawn off reproductive organs of plants conveys a less than pleasant message in itself.

What I do now is to give either good handmade local chocolate, native plants in a pot, or wine. If I am giving plants, I select New Zealand natives to be planted out if the recipient has a garden, or as easy care house plants if they are in an apartment. Grasses are usually pretty trouble-free and long-lived, even for recipients who are not that flash with house plant care.

And for funerals, a living plant can be a memorial, particularly if the plant has significance or tradition for the family.

Giving something growing, or a taste experience, feels less wasteful somehow.

PMA (2015) said that the Baby Boomer sector is the most likely to purchase flowers weekly or fortnightly, with younger groups perhaps only indulging two or three times a year. According to the Retail and Personal Services Training Council (2015), florists in Australia and New Zealand have been declining at 1.4% per year since 2010. Perhaps this is a cultural shift, but few people I know want to receive cut flowers.

Floriculture needs to become ornamental permaculture if it wants to survive, I suspect.




  1. Well put Sam....although I do feel a good smell for a week is better than the guilt that you didn't keep the gifted alive ;-)
    From the anonymous irrigation gardener...

  2. Ha, ha: good point. We are better to give someone consumables if they have no plants in their house but plenty of empty pots!


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