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Re: Selling flowers (was Transplanting ?)

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: Selling flowers (was Transplanting ?)
  • From: Kathleen Shinners <kathy@laraby.tiac.net>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 08:03:59 -0700 (MST)

OK--time to de-lurk. My name is Kathy Shinners and I live in
Tewksbury, Massachusetts, which is somewhere in zone 5. I've been an
iris-holic for about 10 years, and I grow about 150 varieties of bearded
irises from MDB's through TB's, plus some siberians. Given the time and
the space, I'd like to attempt some crosses, mostly involving the
space-agers, of which I have quite a few.

The lack of time stems from my business, which is *growing* cut flowers,
which I sell wholesale to the wholesale flower markets and to local
florists, and retail in the the summer at the beautiful farmers' markets
in Newton and Brookline (which are lovely communities in the Boston area).
We run approximately 20,000 square feet of greenhouse with ground beds,
and about an acre outdoors in the good weather. In the greenhouses we grow
snapdragons, stock, larkspur, godetia, asiatic and oriental lilies,
freesias, calla lilies (at their peak now!), and Dutch iris, which are in
full production right now. In the summer, we grow many annuals and
perennials for cuts, such as sunflowers, delphiniums, and my favorites,
dahlias, to name only a few. We also incorporate local wildflowers such as
eupatoriums, and even even *purple loosestrife* in our mixed arrangements.

I have seen TB blooms at the Boston Flower Exchange on rare occasions. My
instinct tells me that you should be able to get at least $3 a stem from
the florists, and at least $5-$6 each if sold retail. The problem here is,
roadside or outdoor market customers tend to not want to buy a single
expensive bloom as often as would a florist shop customer. This is just my
experience, for instance, a Stargazer lily stem runs $6 or more in some
florist shops, while I get $7.50 for 3 stems at the farmers' market. I am
able, however to use less expensive (smaller) bulbs for these, as bud
count is not as important. To be honest, though, I have never, ever sold
one of my bearded iris blooms, although I have also been asked. Those are
*my* flowers, and definitely *not* for sale, although I am always happy to
share rhizomes so everyone can have some of their own. I have also been
able to sell rhizomes at my stand, which helps support my iris habit.

I have been enjoying this list very much, and feel I "know" a lot of you

Kathy Shinners
Honeysuckle Rose Flower Farm
Tewksbury, MA 
Zone 5

Sunny here, with a group of crocus in bloom!

On Tue, 25 Feb 1997, Nicki Shay wrote:

> What would a fair price be for an iris flower?  Retail or wholesale to a
> florist shop?
> I have often wondered about that.  I know one fellow who sells a bouquet
> of smaller type iris by the dozen - and he charges $4.50 each bouquet -
> or at last check he did.
> The large hybrid iris should certainly be worth more than that - wouldn't
> you say?
> Nicki
> On Tue, 25 Feb 1997 09:17:39 -0700 (MST) Ellen Gallagher
> <e_galla@moose.ncia.net> writes:
> >	Robert F. asked:
> >
> >>> 2. Do you need a nursery license to sell cut iris flowers ?
> >
> > 	John Jones replied:
> >
> >>Probably a business license of some sort, but it varies city to city,
> >>state to state. Check with your local government.
> >
> >	In my small town, if it is against the 'law' to sell cut 
> >flowers
> >	or fresh vegs. in one's own front yard (with a sign,etc) - a 
> >lot
> >	of people are outlaws including me. :-)) This area has yard 
> >sales
> >	galore and selling one's 'growables' falls into the same 
> >barrel. We
> >	sell vegs. in August only because our friends and neighbors 
> >can
> >	only eat so many tomatoes and zucchini.
> >
> >	 I would never sell my iris but people have stopped when I 
> >have
> >	  been working in the front garden and asked for fresh 
> >flowers.
> >	People have paid more money for six cut peonies than I paid 
> >for
> >	the tuber. I am toying with the idea of marketing peonies 
> >since
> >	they are the ones people are struck with in the garden. It can
> >	pay for my 'iris habit'. :-)
> >
> >	 However, to have a 'spot' in the village to market flowers 
> >and
> >	vegs. probably needs a permit of sort - even in New Hampshire.
> >
> >	Ellen Gallagher  	 e_galla@moose.ncia.net
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >-----------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >Ellen Gallagher	\ e_galla@moose.ncia.net \ Lancaster, New 
> >Hampshire,USA
> >		USDA Zone 3a \ Northern White Mountains
> >     
> >
> >
> >

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