When I was a young apprentice oasis foam was a new idea and the traditional method of using sphagnum moss and wire fro funeral tributes was used. As a trainee part of the day was spent mossing which meant attaching the moss with twine or wire to metal frames there were the standard wreath hearts cushions and letters but you could obtain any shape you liked. In Covent garden flower market in London a very talented man would work with wires and soldering iron to create any shape requested I would watch mesmerised as aeroplanes ships and even animals would be produced nothing seemed impossible .Back at the shop the frames would be packed with moss and there trained florist would attach the flowers using stub wires.
It was also part of my duty to serve the customers one regular client was a lovely elderly Irish lady. She has always remained in my memory as she had a rather strange ritual she would choose her flowers and as we prepared to wrap them for her she would remove a small silver salt and pepper pot set from her handbag and would sprinkle the flowers with both condiments before she left the shop. As a junior I found this absolutely hilarious and hard to keep a straight face but was warned by my boss never to ask questions. I would love to find out why she did this and if anyone knows why it would answer a thirty year mystery.