48 days remaining — that’s how much time we have left before Saanich is set to shut down the Foxgloves Flowers flower stand at 2825 Heath Drive.
Back on Monday May 4th, we were granted a 45 day extension to our original shut-down-before-May-22nd-or-receive-a-fine order. This extension was intended to hold us over while Saanich staff has had a chance to review the temporary emergency motion to allow farm stands within the Saanich urban containment zone. Saanich council is set to meet on Monday May 25th to debate and vote on this motion, based on the recommendations of Saanich staff.
It was clear to council that something should be done in the short term, and we’re hoping that they have had several weeks to consider that the interruption to business caused by COVID-19 will not be over on Tuesday May 25th.
Businesses are only now starting to re-open at partial capacity. We have been instructed to still not gather in groups, never mind large groups that are typical of the event types that we provide flowers for. While we here at Foxgloves have had some small elopements proceed with their plans this summer, more or less all events of over a few guests are being postponed.
The reason they’re being postponed is that no one knows when we’ll be allowed to have as many guests as would attend a wedding or event in one place. Some venues have even outright shut down for the 2020 season entirely. Others venues are unsure as to whether they’ll have staff available, and how much work will be involved in making the location safe.
While some hotels may end up re-opening soon, cross border travel is still restricted. Should the border open up once again, the question will remain as to whether the airlines will be ready to take on passengers, and whether guests will be able to fly here and find suitable accommodations.
For any who have planned a wedding, you know that the basics of finding a reception venue, ceremony venue, and someone to perform the ceremony, florist, DJ, caterer, photographer, and cake decorator (just to mention a few of those involved in making a wedding a day to remember), can seem extremely overwhelming. Throw in uncertainty about whether your guests can travel and find accommodation, or whether your venue will allow as many guests as you’d like… and many are likely to just say “Oh **** it, let’s just do this next year”.
This is why we’re fighting to be allowed to keep the flower stand open through the summer — to help offset this incredible loss of wedding and event revenue.
If you would like to contact the mayor (firstname.lastname@example.org) or council (email@example.com), to voice your support of allowing us and other farm carts for the summer under this extraneous situation, please do.
Brandon Devnich is the husband of Colleen O’Farrell (owner/operator of Foxgloves Flowers). While not normally in a day to day role at Foxgloves, Brandon manages the website and ecommerce operations. He has also found a new role in helping to drag the flower stand out and back each day. You may find him greeting you at the flower stand, or puttering around the front gardens muttering to himself about how the kids need to go back to school before he loses his mind.