2020 A Year of Reflection: A Florist’s Perspective

The year 2020 has been a defining year for so many people, with massive job loss, financial uncertainty, and social isolation. Many people, including myself, have had to reevaluate our priorities and our mindset on what “normal” looks like.

Having been in the floral industry for 18+ years, I take for granted how much my career has allowed me to have a sneak peek into my client’s lives. From welcoming a new life into the world, to the celebration another year lived, to the public display of commitment to share life’s journey with someone else.

Through flowers, I have been given the good fortune to meet people of all walks of life.

When COVID-19 hit, I felt like that personal connection was lost. Gone were the days of “small talk” with the locals, the smile and calming words shared with a nervous bride, or the joy of helping someone pick out that special bouquet for their first date. Human interaction was now replaced with online orders, brief glances behind a mask, Plexiglas or face shield.

What once was excitement was now replaced with fear and uncertainty. Would life ever go back to “normal”?

Could the floral industry persevere, when most are just trying to survive?

To my surprise, flowers conveyed what most of us could not.

That mixed bouquet I lovingly created spoke of time longing to be with loved ones; my vase arrangements, of love shared while apart and to greater days ahead. Now, more than ever, those flowers were the warm embrace we could not give.

As I enter 2021. I am more invigorated and hopeful than ever.

Yes, life is different now.  Conversations with locals are now replaced by phone calls, meetings via Zoom, Skype or email. The medium has changed but the message is still the same.

We are community and we will get through this together!

Claudia Morgan, Manager

King West Flowers


We Have Adapted to COVID-19

With the continued issues caused by COVID-19, King West Flowers has taken some actions to protect the health of both our customers and our staff (see below). The store is open from Monday to Saturday between 10:00AM and 7:00PM, and on Sunday from noon to 6PM. We are doing deliveries seven days a week. You can also drop by the store to pickup your (pre-ordered) purchase.

If you would like to purchase a flower arrangement, gift basket or plant, or talk about your wedding, we offer the following services.

  • Walk-in clients – because there is a COVID-19 closure in Toronto, King West Flowers is currently closed for walk-in purchases. However, we continue to do deliveries and clients can pick up purchases at the door.
  • We will accept phone orders for delivery and pick-ups. Pick-up orders will need to be paid in advance by credit card. We will not accept payment at the door for phone orders. Please call the store at 416-203-1258 to discuss your needs and our availability. Same-day delivery will be available for phone orders placed by 11:00AM each day.
  • We will accept internet orders for both pick-up and delivery, and you can access our website at kingwestflowers.com to place them. Same day delivery of internet orders is available for orders placed before 10:00AM.
  • If you are wanting to plan your wedding, we will have staff available to help you. The only thing that will be different is that we will not do in-store consultations. We can talk to you about ideas, send you pictures of our concepts, and prepare a quote to give you an idea of the cost.

Store Hours

Staff will be in the store from 10AM to 7PM, Monday to Saturday, and on Sunday from noon to 6PM. This person will answer the phone and process internet orders.

Delivery Information

We expect to be able to make deliveries on a daily basis for both phone and internet orders placed by the times mentioned above. We will contact the sender if we foresee having an issue doing this. If we have difficulty making the actual delivery, we will contact both the sender and recipient to see if alternative arrangements can be made.

Please note the following restrictions:

  • We will not be able to deliver to any medical facility. This includes hospitals, clinics, labs, doctor’s offices and any similar facility.
  • We will not be able to deliver to long-term care homes.
  • We may have issues delivering to both businesses and residents. We ask that you try to determine if someone will be available to take your delivery, especially for businesses.

Flower Availability

We expect to have fewer flowers on hand than normal, both in variety and quantity, because sales have decreased substantially and because the supply chain has been impacted. This may mean that we are unable to make an arrangement exactly as you have seen it on the website or as you have described to us. We will also be changing the offerings on our website depending on the flowers we actually have in stock. Please bear with us as we try to assist you. We will make sure that anything we send out is beautiful and fresh.

Thank you for your understanding, King West Flowers

Plants Poisonous/Toxic to Pets

How Can I Find Out What Plants Are Poisonous/Toxic to my Dog or Cat?

One of the most frequently asked questions by customers at King West Flowers is “Is this plant toxic to my dog or cat”? Or, “will my dog or cat get sick if it eats a particular plant”?

These are good questions and pet lovers who care about the health of their pets should be asking them. To help you get answers, we have done a little research on the internet to find out what other people are saying. Here are a few sites that look useful. We cannot make judgement on their accuracy. Please do that for yourself.

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants – this site will leave you bleary-eyed if you read the whole thing. It is very comprehensive.

Part way down the page, there is an icon for a list of the scientific names for all of the plants. However, a bit further down the page there are pictures of all of the plants, toxic and non-toxic. Click on the category you want and then on the name under a plant. This will give you the toxicity information about that particular plant. The only issues that we have with this site are that it does not seem to indicate the part of the plant that is toxic and that it is a bit light on describing the severity of the toxicity.

https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/gardens/planting-and-maintenance/protect-your-pets-from-harmful-plants – this is a much, much shorter list but we like it for two reasons. It identifies the part of the plant that is toxic and talks about the severity of the toxicity.

https://pethelpful.com/cats/Houseplants-Poisonous-to-your-Cats – this is another very comprehensive site. Although the url refers to cats, it seems to cover both dogs and cats. For each plant or flower, there is discussion about the toxic symptoms and, where appropriate, the part of the plants with the toxicity. However, this site also appears to be a bit light on the potential severity of the plants’ toxicity.

We hope you enjoy both your pets and your plants, in good health for all. And when you want to purchase a new plant, please drop by King West Flowers to see our stock. If you are looking for a particular plant and we do not have it, we will try to get it in for you. You can also order plants from our Online Shop.

Birth Month Flowers

PL030[1]Just like birthstones, there are flowers that are special to a particular birth month:

  • January – carnation or snowdrop
  • February – violet, primrose or iris
  • March – Daffodil
  • April – Sweet pea or daisy
  • May – Lily of the Valley
  • June – Rose or Honeysuckle
  • July – Larkspur or water lily
  • August – poppy or gladiola
  • September – Aster or cosmos
  • October – Calendula or Cosmos
  • November – Chrysanthemum
  • December – Holly, Narcissus, poinsettia or orchid

How wonderful to include a meaningful flower in a loved one’s bouquet. Please give us a call at 416-203-1258 if you would like to do that and give us a few days so that we can order in them if they are not in the store. You can also make a request by using our contact form.

Flower Care

KWFHow do I care for my flowers?

There are a number of things that you can do to extend the life of your cut flower purchase.

  1. Remove all foliage that would be underwater in the vase. Leaves rot when submerged and will shorten the life of the flowers.
  2. Cut all stems at a 45-degree angle, underwater. This keeps the stems from sitting flat in a vase and creates more surface area to absorb water. Cutting underwater prevents air bubbles from forming in the stem. Air bubbles impede the flow of water to the flower, causing them to wilt.
  3. Fill vase with water and the flower preservative provided which kills bacteria and extends the life of the flowers.
  4. Change the water and trim the ends underwater every second day.
  5. Flowers with hollow stems such as amaryllis, lupines, delphiniums and Queen Ann’s lace, need to stay full of water. Pour water into the stem and then plug the stem before putting them into a vase.
  6. Woody-stemmed flowers like branches of flowering trees, lilacs, azaleas, forsythia, crab-apple, cherry etc. should be split vertically about an inch or two up the stem, to enable the branch to draw more water. If the stem is very thick, smash the bottom few inches with a hammer.
  7. Flowers that grow from bulbs need the firm white portion at the bottom of the stem cut off so that the flower can draw water up the stem. Tulips do better if you place them in ice water and keep adding ice daily.
  8. Flowers that have nodes in their stems such as baby’s breath, carnations and sweet William, need to be cut just above one of the nodes so that they can more easily absorb water.
  9. The pollen of scented lilies such as Stargazer or Casablanca is a dye and will stain clothes and furniture. Remove the stamens as the lilies open.
  10. If roses look limp, cut the stems underwater and plunge the stem into boiling water or lay the stems and flower heads in a bath of room temperature water. They will absorb water through their pores. Keep vases of roses full of water.