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With the help of greenhouses and heaters, local flower farmers are still able to offer limited stock to Melbourne flower shops. However the costs to farmers of growing flowers during winter increases increases because of the additional resources required to improve the growing conditions. Consequently a popular alternative for flower wholesalers is to import fresh flowers from countries where growing conditions are more favourable. Through tried and tested methods, the imported flowers are able to remain fresh and made available to Melbourne florists.
Kenya is fast becoming the preferred country of origin for importing roses. With daytime temperatures averaging in the mid to high twenties, conditions are ideal for growing roses. The Kenyan roses have much larger heads than the locally grown roses, but their foliage is not as lush, possibly because of the treatment they receive to prepare them for transporting. Another popular international source of roses for the Melbourne flower markets is Colombia and Ecuador. The South American roses are grown in rich soils and the heads produced are gigantic. Unfortunately, like the Kenyan roses, the rose foliage is adversely affected in the transport process.
Google images of Kenyan Rose Farms
Orchids thrive in the tropical forests like those found in Thailand, Philippines, South China and Malaysia and are imported into Melbourne markets all year round. Cut orchids last quite well and do not ‘drink’ much water. They do however enjoy a humid habitat and accordingly appreciate a regular spray of mist. Of course cymbidium orchids, which are abundant in Melbourne gardens, are flowering during the Winter months. The Melbourne climate suits cymbidium orchids and most gardeners in Melbourne will have their orchid pots proudly on display throughout Winter showcasing the amazing flower display this plant boasts. Flowering cymbidiums orchid plants can be kept outside under a sheltered area ( like a verandah ) or brought indoors. While the flowers will last longer on the plant, they can be cut and placed in a in a vase, where they will look great for up to four to six weeks.
Gorgeous flowering Cymbidium Orchids Plants
There are many types of chrysanthemums which are imported into Melbourne flower shops during Winter from countries like Malaysia. The imported chrysanthemums are available in lots of beautiful bright colours and have nice foliage. They are long lasting with minimum length of 60cm so are great in floral bouquets for vases or can be trimmed to suit a boxed flower arrangement.
Lilies are one of the popular flower varieties that are not imported into Melbourne flower shops during winter. What lilies are made available during winter are those grown locally in greenhouses with the operation of heaters. Which are expensive to operate and thus increasing the price of lilies during winters. There have been many occasions during Winter where there are no lilies available for weeks because of the unfavorable growing conditions.
Lily of the valley, daffodils and lavender are some of the popular cut flower varieties grown locally during the Melbourne Winter.
Wedding posy featuring Lily-of-the-Valley inspired by Kate Middleton’s wedding bouquet
Also available during the Melbourne Winter months are flowers grown in warmer parts of the world, which are typically grown in Melbourne during Summer. I have seen peonies, hydrangeas and sunflowers available in the Melbourne flower markets, but their availability is scarce and very limited. They do not survive well once they are exposed to the cooler Melbourne temperatures