The evenings are getting shorter, the trees are shedding their leaves, the rain is getting heavier and the cold south westerly winds are coming in from the Atlantic Ocean.
Over here, in South West Ireland that means it’s time to dust off the ski jacket, dig out the woolly hat and start knuckling down for the Christmas rush.
Christmas is by far our busiest peak with over 60% of our yearly turnover in November/ December. Our range is probably at its best at this time of year as products have hardened off fully after the extra long growing season we have down here. It’s also before the really hard winds in January and February start to do a little bit of damage.
I thought I would take this opportunity to run through some of the frequently asked questions we get on our Christmas range…
We make all our wreaths on a wire clamp ring system. This is very different to the typical straw based wreath but we find that it gives much more uniformity when making on a large scale.
When we sell wreaths we talk about the wreath frame size.
The picture above is of a 10” wreath frame. You can tell the size of the frame by counting the number of clamps on the ring.
Our most asked question is ‘what is the finished size once the foliage is applied?’ So here you go!
14” – 55-60cm
All wreaths are made by hand.
HOW LONG WILL THE WREATHS LAST?
This is the million dollar question and there is no right answer. If stored out in a field then the wreaths will last until Mother’s Day. If they are stored in a hot sitting room then they will drive out within a week. I would suggest the following:
Order your wreaths in batches rather than one big lot.
Store them outside away from direct sunlight and wind. Heat is obviously not good for wreaths but strong winds will dry out the foliage also. Ideally, store them on a sheet of plastic in a dark damp part of the garden.
If you feel they are a little dry then a light spray of water will be great for them.
Most of our wreaths are supplied as plain noble fir wreaths. Noble fir is a fantastic, long lasting Christmas foliage and is a fantastic base for florists to add to with their creative minds.
We also supply a mix of Noble fir and pine and a mixed of Noble fir, Pine and Sussex Silver.
Other options are available on request.
Our garlands are sold per foot. Please order the total length you require and then specify in the comment box how you want them made.
For example if you order 20ft it can be done in 2x10ft, 4x5ft etc
We have 4 types of garland;
Plain Noble fir
Noble fir and Pine mixed
Noble fir, pine and Sussex silver mixed
Noble fir, Pine, Sussex Silver mixed with pinecones wired through
They follow the same guidelines as the wreaths in terms of lasting. Typical width is 20-25cm but again they can be made heavier if needed.
NOBLE FIR BUNDLES
We supply Noble Fir in bunches with 10 stems in the bunch. Each stem is between 60-80cm. The grading is not as tight as on our other foliages but all stems are usable.
The industry norm in Holland is selling it in 5kg bundles but we feel that could be a mix of any number of stems and probably a lot of timber in some cases to get the weight up!
Because of our climate the foliage does not have the absolute premium blue colour and is probably more of a green blue colour which may not be suitable for all.
Again, please store this outside but away from direct sunlight and wind. That damp corner of your garden is perfect!
OTHER CHRISTMAS FOLIAGE
We also supply beautiful Lodgepole Pine which is a great foliage to give bulk, scent and Christmas texture to hand tieds and arrangement. Hemlock is a softer, finer foliage and Olearia is a foliage we grow as a holly substitute. It looks like holly but doesn’t have the spikes or dodgy vase life!
Other products such as the Grey Sussex Silver or the yellow Cuppressus are also really long lasting and add winter colour.
We are offering foliages painted this year in Gold, Silver, Copper, Rose Gold and Snowed finishes.
Our painted birch twigs at 90cm are long lasting and ideal for corporate work, or as retail bunch or split up and added to arrangements.
We paint all the foliage here in Kerry which saves 2-3 days on vase life compared to our competition. The Sussex silver and goldcrest last for weeks if you require a long life foliage painted in a particular colour.
Please give us as much notice as possible. We have bought in a lot of wreath frames but when they are gone they are gone as they come from the other side of the world!
For large orders please give us 2-3 weeks notice to guarantee supply.
We sent all orders via DPD couriers and recommend you give you a minimum of a weeks notice for smaller orders.
UK customers, delivery is available on Wednesday and Thursday only.
Irish customers, delivery is available Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
If you wish to track an order please email us and we can send you a tracking number.
Our website will have the most up to date information on product availability. It will know more than I will! If you have a special query then please email us at email@example.com
Phone coverage will be patchy on the mountains and we will to get back to you in the evenings.
I am looking forward to working flat out over the next 2 months to deliver high quality foliage to as many of you as possible!
Best of luck,
I might be smiling now…