The Sharp End: Handing out bouquets

This month, MT's roving reporter Rhymer Rigby is planted in the cut flower trade.

Have you ever wondered how those cute flower displays in corporate receptions get there? No, neither had I. But it's always fun to find out what lies beneath the surface of everyday office niceties. And, as I was about to discover, there's a whole floral logistics network out there.

For most businesses, Monday is flower day, the day all those vases in receptions and posies on boardroom tables are changed. Which makes for an early start in the corporate flower business. Mondays are bad enough without having to face desiccated lilies and drooping hydrangeas in a vase of stagnant water, so the whole lot is done before the white-collar workforce arrives.

In theory, anyway - I was half an hour late at Woodhams florists in London's Victoria, thanks to creeping trains on the District Line, and was introduced to shop manager Henry and delivery driver Stephen. Most of the flower arrangements had been made up over the weekend, but there was a bit of last-minute creative work to do before we set out on our rounds.

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