When we buy cut flowers at a supermarket or florist, those blooms may have traveled thousands of miles. Countries closer to the equator, that don’t have cold winders and decreased hours of sunlight, produce flowers for many northern and southern continents. Some of these equitorial countries have cheap labor, lax environmental policies, and weak labor laws. Flower workers in many areas of production are exposed to pesticides. More than 40% of the interviewed workers in a recent study never use protective equipment. A large number of workers show symptoms and illness that are very likely the consequences of pesticide exposure.
Sherene Hulugalle, owner of Wisteria Lane flower shop in the Los Angeles area, loves flowers, but doesn’t want any part of the pollution and exploitation associated with many business in the cut flower industry.
“The Flowers in our bouquets are locally grown, organic, eco friendly and extra special because the farmers and earth are treated with respect,” Says Hulugalle.
Wisteria Lane flower Shop (888 345 61010) delivers across most of the Los Angeles area. For wedding and event flowers, consultations are by appointment at our offices in Beverly Hills or Woodland Hills.
An interview with florist and owner Sherene Hulugalle
Many people consider flowers to be natural. Why are organic flowers a greener option?
Although flowers can be naturally produced, the flower industry uses a vast arsenal of pesticides and fungicides, which makes a lot of the flowers produced in conventional farms, toxic. Organic flowers address the core purpose of organic production: to enrich the Earth.
Pesticides and other toxic chemicals used on flowers can affect the health of farm workers and florists. Without the proper protection, the toxic chemicals can spread onto the clothes and into the bodies of farm workers which in turn can increase exposure to their children. The toxic chemicals used on flower farms can poison groundwater and the soil. These chemicals also become part of the food chain, as animals such as birds will eat the sprayed plants.Through evaporation, toxic pesticides and fertilizers that are sprayed on flower farms end up in the atmosphere.
Do organic flowers cost a lot more than traditional flowers?
Some organic flowers are more expensive and some flowers cannot be produced commercially under the strict organic certification guidelines. However, the Veriflora certified flowers are priced very competitively as the conventional flowers. Veriflora flowers are not organic but are grown in a manner that is gentle to the earth, the pesticide and fungicide use is minimal and water run off is controlled. Also the farm workers are given protective gear and treated well.
How wide of an area do you serve?
We deliver all over the Los Angeles area.
Can you name some of the flower types you might be featuring for specific holiday seasons?
We always recommend succulents which are local, sustainable and available all year round.
- Mothers Day – Spring flowers such as sweetpea, tulips, rununculus, hydrangea
- The June wedding seasons – locally grown roses, peony, tulips
- Thanksgiving – Dahlia, sunflowers, autumn leaves and berries
- Christmas and Winter Holidays – White lillies, pepper berries, holly, evergreens
- Valentines Day – Locally grown roses, lillies, tulips, gerbera daisies
What else would you like our readers to know about Wisteria Lane and organic flowers?
We believe that to be a socially responsible business, we must be passionate about protecting the environment, and working towards social justice. Through our Designs for Causes program we donate a percentage of our sales to a charity of your choice. (from a list on our website)
Our quest for a sustainable future for nature is the best business practice we can imagine. Our flowers are grown in a manner that is gentle on the earth and safeguards the well-being of farm workers, wildlife, and the ecology using the best certified sustainable practices including Organic and Veriflora. We scour flea markets and thrift shops for unique and interesting shapes to complement our arrangements, some of which are cut flowers mixed within a cactus planter. We use succulents in our arrangements to extend the life of the floral gift – once the flowers have faded the succulent can be transplanted.
Wisteria Lane’s unique and elegant Organic Floral arrangements will enhance the beauty of your home and office. Our design staff is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and pays great attention to detail. The flowers we use are special because the farmers and the earth are treated with respect.
Bouquets: Offered daily (except Sunday) deliveries across most of Los Angeles. Orders can be placed online or please talk to our florists to order your Eco friendly bouquet.
- Weddings and events: Fantastic flowers make up part of your fantastic day. Our wedding flowers are custom made to suit the individual. Please call or email us for a free consultation to plan your Green Wedding or Party.
- Corporate: Fresh eco friendly flowers enhance any working environment. We have a simple, competitive pricing structure and provide flowers and plants for shops, offices, hotels, galleries and restaurants.
- Funerals: Our funeral service is for local delivery and collection. We provide locally grown, eco friendly flowers to suit your choice
Thank you Sherene!
Green spotlight features seek to profile people, business, and services with a mission preserve our common resources and to care for our earth and all the people and ecosystems that share our planet. If you would like to suggest a featured topic contact, Amy Lou at AmyLouJenkins.com.
Do you have a favorite eco-friendly florist? Spread the word in our comments section.
- Seeds of Change — Offers organic flower seeds, as well as tools and books to help you grow your own organic bouquets, (888)762-7333.
- International Labor Rights Fairness in Flowers Campaign — Find information on the international flower industry.
- Local Harvest — Acess sources of local, organic flowers near you.