The opportunity to buy mistletoe online in the UK is relatively new – in fact I don’t think you could at all until TEME began trading back in 2005. Over in the States things were different – but then so is their mistletoe – which is small, compact in branching, and easily slips into an envelope.
The downside is that the US stuff is really uninspiring, and begs the question of why anyone would want to buy it at all. Check out the picture… I’m not even going to mention the plastic berries they add…
But here in the UK, where the kissing custom began, we use real mistletoe – the proper species of tradition.
And it’s long and leggy and difficult to post… So I thought I’d do a quick check on who’s in the business this season:
First and foremost has to be TEME – Tenbury English Mistletoe Enterprise, who despite my being involved with them and therefore arguably biased, must be regarded as the ‘original and best’. Though only 3 years old.
I think this is the only outfit that can honestly say that mistletoe is largely picked to order – from tree to delivery within 2-3 days.
Next up there’s InterRose.co.uk – who’ve been in the mistletoe mail-order business for at least 2 seasons, selling Tenbury stock from their base in Suffolk.
They major in, er, red roses, but branch out (geddit?) into mistletoe at Christmas.
And then it all gets a bit vague. InterFlora have a Google ad that pops with a mistletoe keyword, but if you search their site for mistletoe, you just get a note saying "did you mean ‘nestled?’". So nil points for the grand-daddy of floral mail-order.
But there’s a new boy on the block this season. Mistletoestore.co.uk‘s site has just launched, and sells ‘Luxury’ mistletoe. Am not sure where they’re based (the url is registered in Manchester) or how well they’ll do, as the website takes an age to load (optimise those pics please!), and isn’t particularly straightforward to read (lots of L to R scrolling, and new window opening) when loaded. But I assume those are teething troubles – and will be solved in due course. Good luck to them.
Lastly we have the usual suspects selling mistletoe on Ebay – but I don’t count them as they’re not (yet) volume sellers, largely just selling a few sprigs.