Saturday, March 5, 2011

Trader Joe's Flowers

Just a mini rant. The original one stands. Read it if you want to know how I really feel. And why.

I wanted daffodils the other day and went in to see how the ones at Trader Joe's were faring. There they were in their bucket. Dry. Not a drop.

Some of the other flowers buckets did have a few inches of water in them, so all is not lost, but another bucket of small rose buds was bone dry and the buds had already drooped. What  a waste.

The daffodils' tickets said they came from England. England!!! Talk about a long trip with much fuel from some lovely breezy Wordsworthian daffodil farm. Only to end up parched. The waste, the waste, the wanton waste.

This is not rocket science.

I bought my flowers from the concession outside Key Food, where they were stored up to their waists in water. The concession has been booted from the high-traffic Atlantic Avenue sidewalk to the one on Clinton, decimating their traffic, just so that Key Food could display some fresh produce on the other sidewalk, that no one buys. I miss the riot of flowers.


  1. Odd. At the TJ near me, the flowers are well cared for and very popular.

  2. Hi John - It would seem to vary from store to store. Our store seems to be hub of social activity, much of it amongst employees, and perhaps that is part of the fun of working there. It just makes me shop elsewhere for the most part.

    The flowers are popular here, too, because they cost peanuts.

  3. Somewhere(on Court? I think, Bergen)is a little Chinese grocery.The lovely young man twisted a newsprint "collar" around the flower heads to protect them from damage on the trip home. He also suggested, in sign language and shaky English, that the stems should be trimmed.
    I went back to buy some tulips from him. ;-)

  4. Ugh, that is annoying that the plants had no water and were all the way from England. Crazy! I can only stand Trader Joe's in the wee mornings or on off days because it's a zoo there with all those customers!

  5. We don't have a Trader Joe's (which I think I'm happy about given your post)...such waste on so many levels. My usual grocery store though (part of Zehrs chain)always has has great flowers, ALWAYS in water and at a reasonable price. They last too. What I really hate is finding individual pots of bedding plants, herbs etc, dried out and fried in the late spring sun.

  6. Slightly off topic, but have you read Gilding the Lily by Amy Stewart? It's an absolutely fascinating account of the cut-flower industry. It'll also probably make you feel even more sorry for those daffodils.

  7. I asked once in a supermarket why the flowers weren't in water - the reply was 'because of the mess the water makes, dripping everywhere'. Probably these days it is because of the 'health and safety' rules that plague us in the UK - someone might slip on a drop of water and hurt themselves!

  8. I am not sure why the other flowers were dry, but daffodils are usually transported and sold dry. They have a really sticky sap in their stems that seals them once cut, and the buds stay closed until you re-cut the ends and put them in water. The buds then usually open within a day. That is my experience living here in Germany. :)

    I am interested in how much they cost in New York. Do you know? Here they are around EUR 1 for 10 or so stems.

  9. Just read your original post about the dry flowers and so have got the price info.
    I think the problem lies in the fact that the flowers aren't bought straight away like here and therefor get to the opening stage with no water. Either they are a bit pricey and so sit, and/or the transport time is a lot longer. Here they are bought while the buds are still tightly closed.
    I agree with you that they need to be in water at the flower already open stage!
    I bought three bunches on Saturday (a discount for three - EUR 2,50) and immediately snipped the ends and put them in water. They opened on Sunday and they still look beautiful and fresh and should do for a while.

  10. MIT - hm, trying to think where that is. Nice of him!

    Meems - TJ's is useful for some things - cheap organic milk and butter, frinstance!

    Val - yeah, they have those, too :-(

    Rosie - thank you! I think I'm going to look for it...Need a new book.

    frayed - heheh - well, some other flowers have water, here, so I think they are just a bit sloppy about others. In Cape Town at Pick 'n Pay, there was a designated waterperson at the flower buckets to make sure you put your flowers in a bag and didn't trail water...She was quite a dragon.

    Hi Kerry

    They range from about $2.00 to $4.00 for about 8 stems, here.

    If they were stored in a refrigerated room for some days, I might be happier, but they're not, (and I hardly expect a store to go to the cost of refrigeration). I've bought them once before, from their dry, bud stage at TJ's, and when they open, and some did not, they have crisp sad edges and are kaput within a day. The sap has never bothered me when buying 'wet ones', though apparently other flowers don't like it at all, if you mix them in a vase or bucket. The daffodils I buy up the road are stored in water, in bud, and are probably fresher as they have not opened, which the water seems to trigger.

  11. They're not put in water on purpose. The blooms would open in the store. You get them home, clip the ends, put them in water and they bloom in your house. Ta da!!!

  12. Hi Leigh. Yep, I've read that argument before. It don't fly. If they were dry for 24 hours, fine. But they are left out of water for days. This is not good. Read the previous post, linked in the post, for an explanation.


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