August 20 2014 Latest news:
by Sara Odeen-Isbister, Sara Odeen-Isbister
Friday, July 1, 2011
Liz Stevens, 44, has been a florist for six years and has been employed at A Floral Boutique in Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham for two years.
Before becoming a florist I worked in a supermarket, but fancied a change. I tried out a taster floristry class and enjoyed it so much I decided to do a longer course at college. I’ve been working as a florist ever since.
A normal day for me will include putting together floral arrangements that people have ordered, mainly for weddings and funerals, but I also help people who come in to buy bouquets.
Serving weddings customers can be a bit difficult because they obviously want their day to be absolutely perfect, but thankfully I’ve not had any bridezillas. Though we did have a bridezilla mum once who wouldn’t let her daughter decide what flowers she was going to have.
I find funeral customers, although obviously sad, are generally very appreciative of our help. Though we once we did the floral arrangements of someone who died, and the flowers at the funeral were sabotaged by a relation of the deceased. We had to rush over there to fix them. There was some kind of family feud or disagreement apparently.
We’ve had requests for all kinds of floral arrangements for funerals, including a Nandos chicken, a loaf of bread, a bingo card, bag pipes and a champagne bottle. A woman once asked for witch’s hat for her late husband who used to fondly call her an old witch.
I really enjoy this job. It’s hard work - harder than you’d think - but I have a great laugh with my colleagues and one of the lovely things about being a florist is you’re working with something that makes a lot of people happy.
My husband asked me the other day what my favourite flower was. I love so many of them but, if I had to choose, I’d probably say an orchid.
The number of animals reported stolen from Barking and Dagenham more than doubled in the first three months of this year, new figures show.
The number of job benefit claimants has fallen by more than 2,000, new figures show.
One hundred years ago, a global war began that saw more than 16million people killed and a further 20m wounded. In this week’s feature to mark the centenary of the First World War, Sophie Morton finds out how the story of Barking’s own war hero is being told to a new audience.