Today, we’re excited to share insights from Jihyen Crowley, owner of Gotham Florist in New York, NY. There are few things that make us happier than spring flowers, and Jihyen is here to share her take on the beauty of spring, as well as share some tips for finding your own spring blooms.
Spring always feels like a breath of fresh air.
When I see the crocus and hellebores start to push through frozen soil, and the trees start to turn green again, I feel uplifted. This is our sign that we made it through another cold, dark winter, and a beautiful, blooming spring is our reward.
My flower shop, Gotham Florist, has been open for 9 years now, but my path to becoming a florist was a little unusual — I originally moved to New York City to pursue musical theatre. I was working a restaurant job in between gigs, and the restaurant owner was looking for a new florist. My mom owned a flower shop, and I felt like I could wow them, so I asked for a trial. The rest was history.
When I design arrangements, it’s important to me that I include things you won’t find at your local grocery store. I like to find unique flowers to complement the seasonals. I’ll start with the main-focus flowers — in spring, those are usually peonies, roses or ranunculus — and I’ll build from there. I like to make every arrangement feel special, since flowers are a uniquely personal gift, and it makes me happy beyond words to know that my designs are brightening someone’s day.
My business has grown steadily over the years, but when COVID hit, online ordering reached new heights, as more people wanted to send flowers to loved ones to let them know they’re thinking of them. We’re members of BloomNation, an online marketplace for local florists, and their platform allowed us to continue to grow and thrive, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Customers were able to find us more easily and shop with us directly, and that made all the difference for us and for them.
After staying home and staying safe for more than a year, it didn’t surprise me when I started to hear friends mention that they’ve become bored with their surroundings. Now that it’s spring, it’s time to breathe new life into our homes, and I think there’s no better way to do so than with flowers:
- In the bathrooms, I recommend decorating with freesia or hyacinths. They have a beautiful scent, and in other rooms, the fragrance may be overwhelming.
- In the bedroom, roses are a beautiful and smart choice. They don’t have pollen (which can upset allergies or stain your clothes or sheets) and their fragrance is sweet and subtle.
- In the living room, tulips are great because they are bright, will open beautifully, and will dance, chasing the sunlight.
Our most popular flowers for spring are peonies, since they’re in season. Prime time for peonies is in May, so we tend to see a lot of requests for them in Mother’s Day arrangements. Other popular and beautiful choices for Mother’s Day are pink and yellow tulips and roses, which look beautiful when arranged together. Some of our spring bestsellers are Ode to Spring, Pink Peonies and Wildflower.
If you receive flowers this spring, you’ll want to make sure you take good care of them so they can stay beautiful and vibrant all season long. Keep your cut flowers in clean, fresh water (it’s best to change the water every day to prevent bacteria from growing), and away from the sun, heater vents, and fruit (which releases ethylene gas that’s deadly to flowers).
If you’re on the giving end and plan to order flowers online, please take 30 seconds to make sure you’re ordering from a real local florist. There are a lot of “order gatherers” out there who will take $100 from you and only give $40-50 to a florist to fill the order. Google shop names and check out their social media pages to make sure they’re real. A local florist will take the time and effort to make sure your flowers are fresh and beautiful, and that they’re delivered exactly when you want them to arrive.
Every spring when I see new flowers start to bloom, I’m reminded why I love my job. Every day is filled with beautiful flowers, and I feel like I get to be part of my customers’ celebrations. I love designing and creating arrangements that I know will make someone smile, and although floral design wasn’t always my passion, now I can’t imagine my life without it.
Thank you, Jihyen! Follow along on Instagram @gothamflorist.
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