Tried my hand at Flower Picking today. The crew I worked with were a rag tag bunch of guys with good stories and a variety of quirks and unique experiences that they willingly shared with me.One guy, Dan, a Boat Captain in the Summer season, said Ámerican? Don't they do this on the chain gangs in Lousiana prisons...picking flowers I mean'... Apparently I got high marks as I lasted the full day...The back braking work sometimes has people quit as quickly as 40 minutes!
The Isles of Scilly are patchworked with tiny fields surrounded by high protective hedges that, during the winter, are filled with flowers. Over a dozen different varieties of narcissi are grown on the Islands which bloom much earlier than in other parts of the UK, thanks to the temperate climate. The first flowers are cut in October, depending on the weather of course, and the last in March, giving a good winter crop and making flowers the main agricultural product on the Islands.
The flowers are picked whilst still in bud, so that by the time they reach the shops on the mainland, they are still at their best and will last the longest. The winter work serves a good purpose in that those who work for the summer tourist industry can often find employment out of season.