In the heart of Pimlico, Dovers Flowers is nestled in a small cul-de-sac just around the corner from Dolphin Square. Family run since the 1920’s, the boutique flower shop resonates the homely, residential area in which they are situated.
In his incredibly busy schedule, John Oakley, owner of Dovers Flowers accepted an interview with Dolphin Square. Valentine’s Day is approaching you see, so time is of the essence.
Dolphin Square: Thank you John for taking the interview. Please tell me more about the history of Dovers Flowers in Pimlico.
John: Dovers Flowers is a family business since the 1920’s. After buying this space 14 years ago, I now run the business with my wife, who is currently in the Putney High St. branch. We we are very lucky to have it.
Dolphin Square: As you know we handle the Public Relations for Dolphin Square, which is just around the corner in Pimlico. This area has a certain ambience that is completely different from any other part of London, why did you choose to move into this area?
John: When we came to Pimlico we knew it was perfect for the shop. We loved the area; it had a village feel which you don’t experience in other boroughs. People come to Pimlico for a reason; it isn’t a rat-run, it’s a destination.
Dolphin Square: This leads on to my next question about the philosophy of Dovers Flowers.
John: I would definitely say that it would have to be the regular customers, both residential and the overspill into the next-door boroughs: Westminster and Belgravia. We are very grateful to the people who support us in our day-to-day business
Dolphin Square: Moving on to the beautiful flowers spilling out of every shiny metal vase in the shop, what is your best seller?
John: It’s very seasonal. Our customers know their floral seasons so I would say at the moment it would be Daffodils and Tulips.
Dolphin Square: Right, now onto one of the most important day of the year for Florists – Valentine’s Day. What would be your advice to men who only buy flowers once a year at this time?
John: Trying not to state the obvious, but red roses are certainly a firm favourite for Valentine’s Day. But what I will always say to gentlemen coming into the shop who are slightly confused with what to buy for their loved one, is go for what their other half likes over sticking to tradition. It will be a lovely surprise.
Dolphin Square: Finally can I ask if you noticed any floral trends in 2013? And if you have any suspicions for the forthcoming year?
John: We noticed there was a 1920’s trend in 2013. Buyers were heavily influenced by the ‘Great Gatsby effect’, meaning there was high demand on vintage, dusty colours. For 2014, I would have to say Renaissance bouquets are becoming increasingly popular and white flowers are definitely having a comeback. 2014 will be a year of taking flower arrangements back to their roots, if you excuse the pun!