When it comes to gift giving, some say it's the thought that counts, but have you ever taken a moment to think about how that beautiful bouquet of flowers you received from a loved one actually made its way to your living room table?
With a little help from , one of the growing number of flower delivery companies serving up farm-fresh blooms on demand, we tracked the journey of a single bouquet — from a 100-year-old Long Island greenhouse to the Union Square Greenmarket to the doorstep of an appreciative Manhattanite.
And while the finished arrangement exemplifies Petal by Pedal's vibrant winter offerings — a mix of anemone, garden roses and alstroemeria — one signature ingredient is a little less conspicuous to most: a generous portion of TLC.
"We want flowers to go the way of food, with attention on where and how the products came to your table," says Kate Gilman, Petal by Pedal's founder and CEO. The slow flower movement, as she puts it, means that companies like Petal by Pedal are "extremely conscious of pick up and drop times, all the way from harvest at the farm to the customer's vase."
The farm Gilman refers to is actually a small network of New York-based growers she's developed relationships with over the years, like the ones in Patchogue, Long Island, where this particular journey began.
In addition to the blooms they selected for this trip, Gilman says late winter favorites include ranunculus, poppies, snapdragon and flowering kale.
Sourcing flowers locally means minimizing travel (most cut flowers are imported from Ecuador and ), cutting a few days off of the front end and "giving that time back to the customer through the longer life span of the flower post-delivery," according to Gilman. Her other tricks for keeping flowers fresh en route? Water-soaked wraps around the stems so that the arrangements are always drinking, she says, "even when en route on the bikes."
For a little something special, arrangements are finished off with a typewriter-printed message (on wildflower seeded paper that can be planted afterwards) and delivered, by with the warmest of wishes. Check out the video above for a look at just how the magic happens.