A day in the life of a flower picker

Some people hold the idea that working on a flower Nursery picking flowers is in some way idyllic, a lovely way in which to spend your day. They’ve clearly never worked on a flower Nursery picking flowers.

Yesterday our staff started picking flowers at 6am and finished at 8pm,  then after they had all been bunched and treated we had to pack them in boxes ready to be delivered to the various Wholesalers and florists we supply. I think I got to bed at midnight. Then at 5am the alarm clock rang and the next day was about to start. Yesterday we only picked the Alstromeria, Snapdragons & one of the Delphinium houses, today we had to work our way through some of the other crops that are ready to pick, so I thought I’d grab my camera and capture a few pictures of everyone beavering away.

Steve & Vaughan started in the early morning sun picking the dew covered Phloxes, this is the best part of their day, the Phloxes are in the outdoor houses and the sun is less sapping before 7am. Meanwhile Darrin started attacking the second Delphinium house, this is the new crop and as well as the Blue & White also has the Pale Blue Delph which we’ve been unable to get for a few years.

After the Phloxes Vaughan got tucked into the Astilbe House which is a netted tunnel so also easy on the pickers although the sun by now is well on the way to midday where temperatures here in the Tamer Valley have been touching 30 degrees. Darrin has found his way into the Misty Limonium Greenhouse, he’s in there somewhere! Temperatures in the greenhouses have been over 35 degrees every day, we use venting, fans to move the air and over head misting which can drop the temperature a few degrees for a short time but the heat has peaked at 38c already this week making working very difficult.

By early afternoon Vaughan & Steve have made it to the Statice house, temperature in here is the mid 30’s. It might sound nice but you don’t get the cooling breeze you get outside and being under glass is like being under a magnifying glass on a hot sunny day, the high humidity in the houses makes everything stick to you as the sweat pours out, its very important to keep your fluid levels up, the flower coldstores this time of year are like a giant drinks cabinet!

You might also see some of the staff pop out to the outdoor houses when the overhead watering comes on, theres nothing like a cold refreshing shower!!

That’s a short day, its now 7.45 and everything is safely stored away in the coldstores and the flowers for our local Cornish Wholesalers are packed and ready for collection, time to go home and get ready for tomorrow, 5am the lorry from Holland will be here with all the florists wedding orders to sort and deliver, then guess what, we’ll be back out picking flowers again!

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