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Easter Last Minute Cut Flowers

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Apologies to Readers and to Carol Siddorn. This message from her should have appeared earlier in the week. We hope you still have time to get some fresh, locally grown, cut flowers for Easter.

"At Carol's Garden, Carol and Paul grow cut flowers mainly for weddings and events, workshops and for local sale. I've long wanted to increase local business, but it takes more marketing and time than dealing with bigger events and florists. But the corona virus crisis has changed everything for us. All weddings, events and workshops have been postponed or cancelled, emptying our order book in a matter of hours. Right through our peak period up to the end of July at the earliest. Florists shops are closed, as is Ditzy Rose in Tattenhall, where we have been selling. But at the same time, the Dutch flower auction has also closed and the usual wholesale import of cut flowers has dramatically reduced, and the journeys are taking longer and are less predictable.

Government clarification on flower deliveries has been slow in coming, so we had stopped all deliveries on the understanding that flowers are not classed as 'essential'. But we now know that we are allowed (even encouraged) to do this, in a safe and contactless way, with online payment and drop-and-leave type delivery. So we are seeing demand from different customers- the florists and customers who might usually buy imported flowers are now looking to Buy British and local. The most heart-breaking example is for funerals. We know how difficult a time this can be, but it's so much harder at the moment. Very few mourners are allowed. On top of this, funeral directors are often unable to source flowers from their usual contracted florists, who rely on imports. We've had several enquiries from people wanting flowers for the funeral of their loved ones- and we are pleased to be able to do this, for local funerals. A simple sheaf of local flowers seems the most appropriate and lovely thing to be able to offer, either to collect from us or we can arrange direct with the funeral director.

We are a small business and able to adapt. The flowers keep growing and we need to keep sowing and planting ready for when the restrictions are over, whenever that might be. Things are certainly very different and we are glad to be able to carry on working outside, in our own fields, though we can't have anyone else on site. We have had huge support from local customers this year and we are very very heartened by that. We have decided that we can offer a safe local delivery of cut flowers, on a Friday afternoon (after 12.00) starting this week, on Good Friday. In Tattenhall and surrounding hamlets (inc Milton Green), Brown Knowl, Broxton and Bickerton. Or you can pick up from our contactless pick-up point in Harthill if you are passing on one of your essential journeys. See website for details and to order carolsgarden.co.uk"

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