Realistically, it's really difficult to shop local for everything we buy. But I do believe in supporting small businesses where I can. Yes local shops are often more expensive than chain stores or supermarkets, but if you think about it, you do get what you pay for. Here are a few reasons why shopping local for your flowers is a great idea...
More varieties to choose from
Supermarkets tend to use the same varieties of flowers, because they have to. They're restricted by rules and regulations, health and safety and previous sales reports to guide them towards the flowers they sell. Don't get me wrong, sometimes a bunch of daffs or lilies will do the job, but sometimes the selection can be boring. In a local florist, you'll find a bigger variety of flowers, in a variety of colours. This variety also includes length...sounds silly but you won't usually find gorgeous lily of the valley in supermarket wraps or extra tall tropical heliconia. In supermarkets, flowers have to fit in standard buckets in a small section of the store, but your florist can have anything they choose to sell for you to choose to buy! Below is a picture of a vase arrangement I made using tall eramuris, bright red crocosmia and yellow dill; all varieties you'll rarely see in the supermarkets but you coud easily find or order at a florist shop.
You decide what to put together
The great thing about a local florist shop is that if you have a particular person in mind for a particular bouquet, you can choose exactly what to give them, even down to the shade of foliage or scent of a bouquet. The greater choice means greater options for what you can put together to suit a certain person, room or occasion perhaps. Some people like to leave it up to the florist but others prefer to have a say on their bouquet; you can't do this at a supermarket.
Expert skill and experience
This is definitely the most valuable thing about using a local florist. Your florist should be able to make anything you ask for and if they don't have the exact flowers you need, they can order them in specifically for you, all the way from overseas. Not only can a florist provide traditional bunches, bouquets and hand ties but they can also offer their services for creating corsages, wedding flowers, centre pieces, photo shoot flowers, arch arrangements, funeral displays, vase arrangements, baskets etc etc etc! Your local florist has probably made all of theses items 100 times over, so can offer helpful advice and answer questions you have about your flowers; something you just don't get elsewhere. Lots of florists also hire out items such as candelabra and vases as an extra option and some will offer a bespoke planting service too.
Less 'fake' colours
In your local supermarket or petrol station, if you look closely, you'll probably see flowers like chrysanthemums and carnations in lots of the bouquets, in a rainbow of colours ranging from the more natural shades to extremely bright highlighter-pen yellows, pinks and blues! You won't find these unnatural shades in a good local florist. You'll find lovely bright blooms, as nature intended, maybe bright calla lilies or orchids, but your florist will know what looks natural and what looks way too bold!
More seasonal flowers to choose from
The beauty of shopping at your local florist is that they probably shop at a market in person or online. This means they can see what is available to buy and sell at that time, rather than picking the same old flowers that have been pre-planned 6 months before. It's highly unlikely you'll find beautiful lily of the valley stems on the supermarket shelves as it has a limited season (and length as I mentioned), but you'll find it at your local florist, amongst other seasonal, beautiful and more unusual blooms.
Put cash back into your local community
Personally, I don't want all of our high streets to look the same and offer exactly the same products from exactly the same shops. I love going to places like Brighton lanes, where you can find hidden gems and quirky little shops to buy from. By shopping at your local florist or other independent retailer, you are putting cash back into the 'independent shop fund' and keeping the chain stores at bay. Buying local here and there, helps the local economy a great deal and you probably won't notice the difference at the end of the month.
Another great thing about shopping in individual shops is the individual service you receive. Most florists will do a venue/house visit as part of plans for your party or event to look at the space you want to fill with flowers. This is a totally personal service and really worthwhile. If you're getting married, your florist will give you a dedicated wedding consultation too, where you can discuss every thought that has popped into your head, bring along colours and look at all those Pinterest pictures! It's also worth mentioning that if you need funeral flowers, your local florist can talk over the arrangements and flower designs with you, giving you time to decide which flowers or colours are right or even make up a completely bespoke design. Personal service is about getting it just right, regardless of the occasion.
and finally... the 8th reason to shop at your local florist is gift wrapping. I think that when you receive any gift, it makes it all the better if it comes wrapped in lovely paper with a bow, or even just stylish product packaging can make it extra special. With flowers, you can choose how they are presented as well; which colours and textures of paper or cellophane and most places will present your hand-tied in a box bag as well. The gift wrapping is the finishing touch to the personalised experience.
I hope I've convinced you to buy from your local florist!
Remember...Every little helps!
I feel like I've seen that slogan somewhere before...