In September, several garden club members took a trip to Baltimore to visit the Claymore Sieck Warehouse. Garden clubs offer opportunities to improve skills with floral arranging and design, so we wanted to see what kind of things could be found at a large place like Siecks. We entered the shipping and receiving department and Connie Hoge, who suggested this trip, introduced the group to one of the contact persons who work there.
Warehouses aren’t pretty; they’re functional. We could see boxes piled up, coming in from around the country and from abroad. I saw boxes in receiving from places like Columbia and Ecuador and many from Florida the day we visited. The company website says they also get materials from flower farms in Pennsylvania, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Holland. The floral and foliage material is unpacked, checked and quickly moved into a temperature controlled area which is quite chilly. This is to preserve the freshness of the plants and to keep the blossoms tight to the point of sale. Companies and individuals call in orders or check to see whether their contact at Sieck’s can obtain special materials for them. The reserved items are either tagged or put high on racks. The flowers are sacked in plastic wrap with the blossoms barely exposed in open boxes. In most cases, one would buy the entire wrapped group of, say one dozen roses. In other cases, one could buy whatever number of items desired, such as a single Bird of Paradise bloom or Curly Willow branches. We saw all manner of colorful mums, alstromeria, roses, orchids and many other flowers, some of which I was unable to identify. They also offered diverse collections of colorful bouquets for an arranger to play with.
The other area of Sieck’s is devoted to great quantities of items like floral foam (Oasis, etc.), containers, baskets, vases, tapes and twines, floral paints, seasonal items, ribbons and you name it. There are aisles and aisles of shelves and alcoves containing all manner of stuff. We wrote up our order for a big box of floral foam and some other sundries, flowers for arrangements and headed back.
We had lunch in Glyndon at the charming deli/caterer/marketplace “Santoni’s” and visited the Woolstock yarn shop for fun on the way back to Westminster.
The following photos are intended as a visual record of what one can find in September at Claymore Sieck’s. We hope it will serve to foment some ideas about what is possible to find in floral colors and forms for future arrangements you may like to consider making. (I’d appreciate any corrections to my guesses at what some of these items are!) Click to enlarge.