Given the current situation at hand with the ash cloud from the erupting volcano in Iceland, I thought it may be a good time to provide an informative post on where flowers come from and how global weather and natural phenomenon can effect availability. As we enter into the 6th day of stalled airplane travel, many can sympathize with stranded travelers in airports worldwide. The problem is that the ash cloud is depositing directly into the jet stream, creating murky-fog like conditions that make it unsafe to fly. According to the Wall Street Journal:
“This eruption is a perfect storm, a combination of wind and ice conditions that has turned an ordinary eruption into a crisis. Last month, the same volcano erupted harmlessly. But last week, magma found a second pathway to the surface, this time beneath a glacier. When hot magma touched ice, it instantly created a burst of steam and produced glassified silicates. The sudden expansion of steam created a colossal explosion that sent billowing clouds of glassified silica ash three to five miles into the air over Europe. The ongoing eruptions of the volcano, which continue unabated, are caused by a series of steam explosions as magma continues to encounter glacial ice.”
The London airports remain closed today, and it is from London that a majority of dutch flowers are shipped to the US. Sometimes, it’s easy to think that the products we take advantage of– from food to clothes to flowers– are readily available on home soil. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Dutch export blooms include Cymbidium Orchids, mini cymbidium orchids, peonies, some shades of dutch hydrangea (like deep emerald green, rich purple, and raspberry,etc.), amaryllis, muscari, gloriosa lilies, some variety of rannunculas, some varieties of hyacinth, tulips, dutch master daffodils, and dutch calla lilies, to name a few– the list extends far beyond that.
The most joy-dampering news about the volcano is not only the fact that many of these flowers will not make their way to the US this week, which will impact both exporter and importer business, but also the bridal and event business. This is the time of “reasonable substitution” that you read on your contract and wonder at what it means– it’s when by act of God, nature intervenes and we must do what we must to make your day as beautiful and special, but perhaps not quite with the flowers you’d initially imagined.
Experts feel that there’s a possibility that the Icelandic volcano may continue to erupt for several months, effecting the jet stream with every eruption. Let’s hope that’s not the case and that we get through this week unscathed. At present, we’re hoping that flights may resume out of London today– but right now it’s looking dubious. Keep those dutch-loving brides in your thoughts over the coming days!!