From a gift to your hostess to making a bride’s day unforgettable, a group of decorators are making floral art a mainstay in Oman, writes Alvin Thomas.
Flowers are the music of the ground… from earth’s lips spoken without sound”, are the beautiful lines from the ode Flowers, written by the 20th Century American poet Edwin Curran.
And while it talks about the majestic “silent melodies” composed by daffodils and marigolds, it highlights something greater: our love affair with flora.
The tradition of giving and receiving flowers – and more importantly – using floral arrangements for occasions, dates back to the late BCs in ancient Rome.
But it hasn’t been until recently that demand for floral arrangements has gradually increased in the Sultanate, according to one of Oman’s top flower experts.
Walking through this wind of change is Khushbu Toprani, the Sales and Marketing Manager of Ultimate Planner, a shop that specialises in floral decoration and implements the renowned “Dutch Master Floral Art” i.e. flower arrangement art concept, in the country.
Flower arrangement training, also known as the Master Flower Arranger (or Dutch Master Florist) course, is very much the showpiece of the industry.
“Seeing the rise in the demand of flowers preferred by the people of Oman for various occasions and their needs gave us the idea of this unique retail outlet,” says Khushbu, who joined the company last year.
What makes Ultimate Planner’s idea stand out, however, are the kinds of flowers they use to create floral art.
“We have a variety of flowers at our store. We also provide exotic flowers from different parts of the world; mainly Holland. Roses, Hydrangeas, Chrysanthemums, Amaryllis, Orchids, Peonys, etc. are the kinds of flowers that we use to set the mood.
“I am glad to see people accepting the new flavours on the market. We place orders for conventional as well as exotic blooms but the best-quality flowers are those imported from Holland, Thailand and Malaysia.
“Oman is a tad diverse, however,” Khushbu says. “Occasions like birthdays, baby showers, graduation and weddings are the events that are most celebrated here, today.
“Weddings in Oman, particularly, are becoming a grand affair. To make it more memorable day, it is decorated with lots of loose flowers as well as arrangements. The demand for these wedding decorations has given us a boost to deliver more in this market, too.
“We are specialised in arranging the wedding decorations and our team of florists and event planners craft designs for each wedding as per the preference of the client.”
After a recent trip to an Omani wedding, we learn that weddings require decorations at the entrance, stage decor, table arrangements and bridal bouquets.
However, in a changing trend, even cars are decorated with flowers (!)
Each arrangement varies from one to another thereby causing a fluctuation in pricing. After a conversation with Khushbu, we learn that a typical floral decorative piece can cost anywhere between RO5 and RO20.
“We also get orders for the larger arrangement for home or office decor. Artificial floral arrangement is usually preferred for these, as they are long-lasting and easy to maintain.”
But, be it real or artificial, it seems that the floral culture in Oman is here to stay.
The store is located in the heart of Qurum, falling on the service road of Sultan Qaboos Highway, alongside the HSBC Bank offices. Call 24657191 or WhatsApp 79059708