Thank you for your support during this time. You can order using our website for contactless pickup or delivery. Covid-19 has had an impact and there are still shortages of some flowers in the New Zealand market as growers were limited in their production throughout the lock down. Therefore we may need to substitute some of the flowers in your order to give you the best value for money. Any questions, please call us on 03 688 8844 or email Bloomers.Timaru@xtra.co.nz
Great to be mentioned in the Timaru Herald this week for Mothers Day!
"Flowers are in hot demand in South Canterbury as people prepare to celebrate their mothers during lockdown.
Florists say they have been overwhelmed with Mother's Day orders, for this Sunday, with some already out of flowers.
Absolute Flowers reached capacity at 3pm on Thursday and would not be able to source more flowers until early next week, according to the business' answer phone message.
Bloomers florist Jess Kuperus said by Tuesday the Timaru business had received the same number of Mother's Day orders, which was in the hundreds, as they had last year. They stopped taking orders at lunchtime on Wednesday, as they would not have time to fill any more in time for Sunday.
Kuperus said it was hard to turn customers away especially as many could not spend time with their mother this Mother's Day due to Covid-19 restrictions.
"Most requests were for bright and colourful flowers . . . It's a nice way to show they are thinking of her."
Bloomers' florists were working in a big space, or outside, and in shifts to manage physical distancing throughout level 3. The couriers delivering the bouquets were also following their own specific guidelines, Kuperus said.
On Friday morning Floral Harvest co-owner Emma Tarrant was busy filling Mother's Day orders and said while keeping up with demand, it was a lot busier than last year.
Taking mothers out for lunch is usually popular on Mother's Day but this year contactless deliveries have taken over.
Benny's Again owner Kaylene Gliddon has 80 orders for Mother's Day meal deliveries on Sunday.
Benny's Again owner Kaylene Gliddon said the restaurant had 80 orders for meal deliveries to complete on Sunday between 12pm and 2pm using three drivers.
Most of the deliveries were for mothers living on their own, Gliddon said.
"The number is not as many as when were are open."
She was looking forward to opening in level 2.
"I miss the faces [of customers] . . . I hope people are not too scared to come out."
Deliveries would continue into level 2 until people felt comfortable to eat out again, Gliddon said.
The Oxford Restaurant Bar and Brasserie co-owner Clarissa Doran said Mother's Day was usually the busiest day of the year with a high volume of diners.
Though the restaurant was not open, its vouchers were proving popular.
"Sales have been fantastic, many more sold than we anticipated," Doran said.
Saikou owner Gavin Hamel said orders were being taken for meal deliveries but they had not been extra busy. He anticipated that may change on Saturday as people left it to the last moment.
Bob Mason of Bullock Restaurant and Bar said he was also expecting orders to come in closer to the time."
She may have no formal floristry training but has successfully built up a bustling Timaru florist. Bloomers owner Cherilyn Kuperus tells business reporter Emma Bailey about the joys of the flower business.
What is your background in floristry? Where did you learn to be a florist?
Oh dear! First question and I have to confess, I have no background in floristry and no floristry training. My love of flowers began as a child and was probably influenced by helping my grandmother pick lily of the valley and freesias from her garden for local Timaru florists.
I rely on our wonderfully loyal staff who have years (many, many years between them) of practical experience. Rose tells me she has worked here for 15 years.
A lot of training takes place on the job. Some of our florists such as Julie have trained under the New Zealand Professional Florist's scheme and gained qualifications to their very exacting standards. Hannah and Sue decided a student loan was the way to go and did their training through tertiary training providers in Christchurch and Invercargill. Since starting at Bloomers Hannah and Lois have gained further NCEA qualifications in floristry under an apprenticeship scheme. Lisa owned her own very successful florist shop and under took her training then.
It is true to say everyone around me is far better qualified and knows far more than I do, I just keep quiet and hope nobody notices.
When did you set up Bloomers?
Murray and I had spent months and months backpacking through South East Asia, China and Europe. We both had an overwhelming desire to return to our home town of Timaru and just be normal. We longed for a house and garden and of course a family. Four wonderful children later, we used to potter around in our spare time and grow a few plants for sale.
Because we enjoyed growing plants we thought we would expand our hobby into a business. When we were trying to think of a name for our business a friend suggested "Bloomers". The name was quickly discounted as it sounded more like a flower business than a plant nursery. It was the middle of winter when we purchased some glasshouses to develop our plant business. But the glasshouses were full of the most beautiful carnations in full bloom. Wow. As they say, the rest is history - Bloomers, it had to be called that, was born.
Initially we were just growers and wholesalers of carnations and we relied heavily on our family for help. But gradually the retail side of our business developed as Murray would sell surplus flowers on the side of the road from our van. That really appealed to Timaruvians and the business thrived. So friends were dragged in to help and then their relatives . . . and so we grew and it all became a bit more serious as our customers expected more and more of us.
Our customers wanted floral arrangements and for us to make a corsages for their children for school balls "because they always bought all their flowers from us" and so we sold the glasshouses and became florists.
When has been the biggest periods of growth for the business?
I remember the first Valentine's Day, the phone just started to ring and things went crazy and I thought we wouldn't make it through the day successfully. We were still working from the lounge then.
Over the years the business just steadily grew, we expanded our chiller into the garage and sold the old ice cream truck we used to keep the flowers in. We knocked out walls in our home to make a workroom. As the years have gone on the workroom has become more and more crowded and so when we are really busy we expand back into the living room again.
We never cease to be amazed at the quantity of flowers that are sold in the region in a week and how many first-time customers can call in a single day. Where do they all come from and where do all the flowers go?
What have been some of the trends you have seen as a florist?
The most dramatic trend that comes to mind is the change in corsages for school balls. All the girls used to wear a shoulder corsage pinned onto their dress. Then we were asked to make a couple of wrist corsages one year. The following year just about everyone ordered wrist corsages and we only made a couple of shoulder corsages. The transformation was complete.
The giving of corsages is a lovely tradition which has remained strong in Timaru, helped in part probably by our efforts to keep the price as reasonable as possible for the ball goers. Special times like that are a load of fun for us and although we might make over 100 corsages for one ball our florists get very creative and try to custom make each corsage so it is unique.
Of course different flowers come and go, we used to sell hundreds of bunches of gypsophila, then it became unfashionable and so the growers pulled out their plants and now gypsophila is in fashion again, especially for weddings, and we often struggle to find enough to fill our orders.
What have been some of your most unusual Valentines Day requests?
Well it wasn't for Valentines Day (but any day can be just as special), a gentleman ordered 12 dozen roses for his wife - what a mission that was. She very generously shared them with the customers that came into her shop that day. We also had a young chap who arrived after midnight to get some Valentines flowers as he had been working late in Christchurch - we were able to help him with wedding flowers a few months later.
What are the toughest aspects of your business?
Because we deal with a perishable product there is just no escape, you can't work ahead more than a day as the flowers have to be fresh. We have boxes of flowers arriving from all round the country from different growers and suppliers every day except Sunday. Each day and each phone call can be so different you just can't predict what will happen day to day so the job can be very relentless and demanding.
Of course there are all the usual business challenges of keeping the dollars going around and around and always having enough to pay all of the bills on time. Even something as basic as that can be a challenge.
What have been the highlights?
Well we don't get many visits from very famous people in Timaru so we are content with each week just doing our job really well for all our customers. If someone wants a particular flower in a particular colour I will order it throughout the country in the hope someone somewhere has it flowering. We put a lot of effort into sourcing the best we can to the exact specifications of our customers. I know as soon as I open the box of flowers if I've got it exactly right or not. We go out of our way to try to please our customers. When our customers win local and international competitions, such as The Interflora Pacific Florist of the Year, Floral Art and Ellerslie awards using flowers we have sourced for them then we share in their success.
Every bunch of flowers is really special to the person sending and receiving it whether they are for a bereavement, or birthday, a get well wish, or an anniversary, no matter what the circumstance flowers make you feel good and tells you someone cares. It is a lovely industry to be involved in and all our staff take great pride in their work.
How many staff do you employ?
Four fulltime and four part time
How many hours a week do you work?
Way too many - there always seems to be something to do.
- The Timaru Herald
Poppy production might have been outsourced to Australia and China, but many of the wreaths laid at Anzac Day services across South Canterbury are prepared by hand in Timaru.
Bloomers owner Cherilyn Kuperus said the flower shop has orders for 10 wreaths and that number will likely increase with last minute orders.
Mrs Kuperus said most of the wreaths use fresh flowers and leaves. "It's a lot nicer to have fresh flowers rather than plastic," she said.
The Timaru District Council is the biggest customer for live wreaths this year, purchasing six, to use in services across the region on April 25.
Bloomers employee Lois Holdaway said the common factors in an Anzac Day wreath include laurel leaves and rosemary, which are placed around a central ring.
Laurel leaves traditionally symbolise victory, dating back to the ancient Olympics, and rosemary is a symbol of remembrance.
Poppies are not often used in live wreaths, which usually use a range of other flowers including forget-me-nots, depending on the colour required.
Anzac Day required some traditional aspects, but Mrs Kuperus said that each wreath was different.
"We create wreaths to represent where they're going to be laid.
"[For example] Temuka's wreath for this year will have black and white flowers and ribbons," she said.
Each wreath takes about an hour to make and costs around $100, depending on the size.
South Canterbury RSA general manager Don McCully said many of the wreaths laid at Anzac Day services dated back many years, but live ones were also laid.
They ran out of flowers and ran out of of time, so Lois Holdaway and Hannah Braid were extremely surprised when they won a bronze award at the 2013 Ellerslie International Flower Show.
The Timaru florists from Bloomers would know what they were doing if they entered next year, Mrs Holdaway said, especially as they started their entry days after the other entrants in the floral art section.
"We were extremely surprised. We had read the instructions wrongly, we didn't realise we could start working on the entry three days before, so we were a few days behind everyone else when we did start."
Annette Waller and Liz Chapman, of Geraldine, also won a bronze award in the same section for O Frosty Morn. Gislinde Folkherts, also of Geraldine, took away a merit for her entry Wind Of Change in the floral art, individual section.
Convenor of judges Andrew Fisher Tomlin was impressed with the variety of entries.
"I am very impressed by the big ideas and simple messages this year's designers are showing at Ellerslie.
"They demonstrate a deep understanding of core design values, as well as high quality material finish and horticultural excellence."
Two Timaru florists hope to set themselves apart with their entry at next week's Ellerslie Flower Show in Christchurch.
Hannah Braid and Lois Holdaway, of Bloomers, are two of several local enthusiasts busy preparing their entries, Whatever the Weather, for the show, held from March 6-10. They are in the Floral Art Club category.
Miss Braid entered the junior florist section last year and decided this year to have a go at a higher level. She joined forces with workmate Mrs Holdaway.
The pair's entry centres around a tornado and involves hundreds of stripped-to-the stem periwinkles.
"We're sort of doing it on the effect of the wind," Mrs Holdaway said. "We've got a major structure that is 2.5 metres high by 1.5m wide, and it's a big metal structure."
It will be erected at the site on Sunday, followed by the lighting. The plants can then be arranged.
Mrs Holdaway said Timaru firms had donated some of the materials. Entrants also received grants of $250 for the event, which would go towards plants. Preparing the entry had "probably been more of a challenge" than she thought.
"There's been a lot of sleepless nights over it, but that's fine. You've got to think of absolutely everything that you need. It's on such a larger scale compared to what we are used to."
She described herself and Miss Braid as "not floral artists, but florists", which could be their entry's point of difference, she said.
Miss Braid said she was looking forward to seeing the entry in its finished form "instead of on paper". She came up with ideas for the entry by looking through floral art books.
- The Timaru Herald
Mountainview students set a magical tone for the high school ball season tonight.
The Landing Service Building has been transformed into an enchanted garden by the school's decorating committee, with help from Bloomers Florist and The Complete Garden.
Decorating committee member Rebekah Bowman said the enchanted theme was voted most popular at the start of the year and about 170 students could be attending the Year 12 and 13 ball.
Miss Bowman said 25 people were on the ball committee - including 15 on the decorating committee. Being on the committee had been an eye-opener into the amount of effort put in to planning the ball, she said.
"It takes a lot to pull it together.''