12 Feb 2016

Hydrangeas - Export Beauties

From Country Life, 9:16 pm on 12 February 2016

A chance comment by American TV personality Martha Stewart got Jane Bryant into growing hydrangeas about twenty years ago and she says she's never regretted it.

She had been growing avocados and kiwifruit on her Pahoia Penninsula property in Bay of Plenty, but it was too small to be commercial so flowers seemed a good alternative.

These old fashioned, multi coloured flowers are in demand internationally, especially in the United States, South East Asia and the Middle East.  

Jane grows 12 varieties, often from Dutch root stock, and depending on the type of soil they're grown in, they can be anything from hot pink ( a popular Valentine's Day choice) to purple or bright blue.

The picking season runs from December to May and flowers picked in the morning can be in overseas market just over a day later.

Instagram gives Jane helpful feedback on overseas floral trends. "We follow various florists around the world to see what they're doing with our flowers.... and the styles. The styles have changed. It's a looser look now that the florists are doing."

And Jane pops photos on Instagram herself. "That's what we were doing yesterday. And then I can see, with luck, who's liked what. See here are your followers from yesterday, gives you some excitment. Someone quipped last night, 'heaven'. Just gives you a little boost."