October COVID Diary

Big news: We’ve got a new member of the team! Her name is Ellie and she is small and cute and loves terrorising Rosie our Border Terrier, who you can just see behind her in the picture. She’s also great at eating all the leaves on the floor so we don’t have to sweep up and knocking bouquets over that we put on the floor…

We’re in Tier 2 COVID restrictions at the moment here in Darlington, North East England. This means that people can’t visit each other at home or go out to restaurants and pubs with anyone other than the people they live with. It’s not ideal, but it means that we’ve seen a rise in gift bouquets – the tougher the restrictions, the more people send bouquets to their loved ones.

We’re into our new workrooms, just got a few shelves to put up and a big sink to install. Strelitzia’s new offices are progressing and we spent a couple of weekends knocking down greenhouses ready for the portacabins to arrive in a few weeks’ time.  

Funeral work is also keeping us busy. We’ve had based work coming out of our ears the past few weeks. I would say that’s pretty normal for this time of year, and COVID hasn’t really affected that side of the business much.

Wedding enquiries have just about dried up. I’ve had one or two move from Spring 2021 to 2022, and I think I’ll start and see more of that as the realisation of things not going back to normal next year starts to dawn on people. Having said that, we did have THREE (small) weddings in one weekend at the beginning of the month! They were just bouquets and buttonholes, but nice to get to do a bit of wedding work.

I’ve made a decision on Christmas Wreath Workshops. I’m not prepared to do them, even though some of the ones we had booked in still want to go ahead. It’s too risky for me – if we got contacted by track and trace after the workshops and had to close the business for two weeks it would be so stressful. It’s just not worth the risk of being in a room with other people when I don’t need to be. I can send DIY wreaths out and do a class on Zoom instead. Much better!

Hotels have still been enquiring about Christmas decorations, but none of them have confirmed yet. We have a few hotels in the area who pay us to put up all their decs and Christmas trees etc. I’ve put a clause in all the contracts that if they need me to buy extra decorations, then it is their responsibility to pay no matter if the decs go up or not. It’s a risk having to buy extra when we have no idea what the restrictions will be at the end of November.  

One thing that’s really stayed with me this month is a guy ordering a bouquet for his wedding anniversary. Sending a bouquet of flowers was all he could do as he couldn’t see his wife as she is in a care home. It makes you realise how much people are suffering, but also how much you can help by sending a gorgeous gift bouquet.

Take care everyone, Sally x

To see how Sally uses Strelitzia in Flowers by Nattrass, click here

October COVID Diary