Everything is better if you know the story…

It’s that time of year again when cyclamen are in plenty supply.
Cyclamen in all shapes and sizes, colours and varieties.
Not just different flower shapes, but also different types of leaves.
Smooth or silver leaves, fringed or double flowers, and too many shapes and sizes to mention.

Because I work for a breeder of cyclamen and other flowering plants, when I visit a garden centre or florist my sensors are naturally focused on cyclamen.
My husband and kids regularly moan at me (no, not again!)
because I always just have to take a ‘quick look’.

And that raises the question:
What am I actually looking for?
What is important?

I’ve been fed with the ‘right’ information, so I know to look at the leaves: are they strong? is the plant nice and round? Is it full and firm and are the flower stems thick and firm?
And of course, I check the plant for the number of leaves, because there will be a flower for each cyclamen leaf.

So, that’s how I look at cyclamen, my frame of reference…
I probably look at other plants as others look at cyclamen,
because you only see the difference if someone explains or shows you.
That might seem strange, and it says something about your experience on the spot.

Today on Facebook I saw a colourful collage posted by a florist.
The chrysanthemums in the collage were nicely styled and there were several baskets and pots with cyclamen, to be precise – there were four pictures.
When I saw the pictures I knew with certainty that one or two of the plants ‘were not ours’…
How? Because the flowers came up differently…
But does a florist see or know that? And do consumers see or know that?
And why does a consumer select one plant or flower shape and not another?
And how important is this then?

It is a challenging and intriguing continuous process to point out to each other the details that are important for all parties, to explain about the plant hardiness and abundant blooms, to inspire each other with photos and videos.
But above all, to tell the story, the background story – such as why the cyclamen with the hanging flower that is reminiscent of a billowing skirt is called petticoat.
But you can only see that beautiful skirt if you position the plant higher, so you can look up to see the magnificent veining in the petals. She really is ‘different’…


Florists will select the plants that appeal to them most, and can do this best with the right background information. And perhaps then, they will present the plant differently in the shop or garden centre, not the standard display, but one that brings out the best in the plant.
So that everyone can choose their own style…

Because that is what we all want, isn’t it? To be able to see our own feelings and perceptions reflected in our choices, and to be happy with these?

Everything is better if you know the story…

By: Carin Parie







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