Horticulturist learns the business of flowers

Monday, February 13th 2006, 11:26 am
By: News On 6

Who knew Valentines Day was an educational opportunity? For Sue Gray, OSU Extension Service horticulturist, that's exactly what Tuesday will be. She's going to deliver flowers on the busiest day of the year hoping to learn a little more about that end of the flower business.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells says Sue Gray is at Tulsa’s Blossom Shoppe to learn more about the business of flowers. She's a horticulturist with the OSU Extension Service. She's worked for 22 years in field production. "So I know about growing cut flowers in the field, in commercial greenhouses. I advise other people on disease and insect prevention but I've never worked in a florist shop.”

So she's doing a Valentines Day stint with Mary Wilkins at the Blossom Shoppe to learn about logistics, how the flowers get to the customer. There's a lot to learn, like the code. “This is a V1 with a balloon." I think that's a large vase arrangement, with a balloon attached, I think.

Sue's only been at the Blossom Shoppe a few hours and already she's learned something that could mean business in Oklahoma. "She has to order in some green filler material from Israel and Italy, why couldn't we grow that in Oklahoma." It's that green glossy stuff that comes in a flower arrangement that really fills in the gaps and makes the flowers look that much better. She's gonna work on that after Valentines Day.

Valentines Day is so busy in the Tulsa area; florists pool their deliveries at the Tulsa County Fairgrounds overnight. Each florist is assigned a sector of the city. They start deliveries early in the morning Tuesday, and are usually finished by late afternoon.