August 2014 Newsletter

Floral Trends - Volume 53

Flowers on Friendship Day – August 3rd, 2014

by Kit Wertz

Friends Shopping In 1919, Hallmark founded Friendship Day to be the first Sunday in August. It was intended to be a day for people of all ages to celebrate their friendship by sending each other cards. By 1940, no one was interested in sending cards and the trend died out. In 1998, Winnie the Pooh was named by the United Nations as the Ambassador of Friendship and in 2011, the UN  made July 30th International Friendship Day. However, most  countries celebrate on the first Sunday of August!

Friendship Day Flowers

Learn to how to make floral arrangements for Friendship Day by recreating this design. Follow our How-To below!

On this Friendship Day, Flower Duet is hosting a group of friends at our floral design studio for a private flower party.

We’ll be teaching the ladies how to create their own floral designs to take home to enjoy or give away to friends. It will be a wonderful way to celebrate Friendship Day.

Perhaps you would like to make a floral design to give to your friend? Here is a quick flower recipe and step-by-step photos for creating a lovely design to give to your best buddy on Sunday (or any day of the year!)

All flowers purchased at Trader Joe’s. You could also source from a local Farmers Market, grocery store or if you are lucky a wholesaler close to you. NOTE: The mums, roses and stock are available year-round, but Dahlias are mostly only around in the summertime. So get them while they are hot!


Flower Recipe:

  • 7 stems Purple Dahlias
  • 8 stems Kermit Mums
  • 13 stems small headed Hot Pink Roses
  • 7 stems Lavender Stock

dahlia-pink

Dahlia

kermit-mums

Kermit Mum

roses-hot-pink

Hot Pink Rose

stock-lavender

Lavender Stock

Supplies:

  • Flower Food – came with flowers – use it!
  • White Cube vase – 4x4x4 inches – opaque containers are great because they hide the stems
  • Floral twine – you can use rubber bands or kitchen twine
  • Floral cutters

Total Cost about $23 for flowers and $4 for the vase.


friendship-day-cube-food-twine

Friendship Day Flower Design Instructions

Step 1: Clean all the leaves off the stems and separate stems so that each stem is about the same length. It’s best to remove all greenery on a stem that will be below the water line in a vase. This will help the water stay clean and enable the flower stems to stay unclogged.

Dahlia

Uncleaned Dahlia


Cleaned stem of Dahlia

Cleaned and separated Dahlia

Step 2: Make small bundles of flowers using 2-3 stems of each type of flower and tying them together with a rubber band or twine. I used floral twine because I was out of rubber bands and it is more Eco-friendly!

Flower Bundles

Keep the stem length of each bundle long to start and trim as you place them in your container.

Step 3: You’ll end up with about 3-4 bundles. Place each in a small, low container full of water and flower food. Place them so you lock the stems in place.

Lock stems in vase

Place each bundle inside the vase so the stems lock together. This method of designing is called “bundle and place” and it helps to ensure heavy blooms like Dahlias stay in a low container like this one instead of flipping out!

Step 4: When placing the bundles, be sure to have the lowest blooms of each bundle just rest on the lip of the vase. This ensures you don’t see any “stems” above the top of the vase and lends itself to a modern and luxurious look.

Angle the bundles in the vase

Angle the bundles and cut the stems so that the lowest blooms sit slightly above the lip of the container.

 Step 5: Finish adding the bundles, write a card to your friend and give it away for Friendship Day!

Finished Friendship Flower Arrangement by Flower Duet

The finished design used a total of 35 whole stems, but some of these were separated to make smaller stems to fit in the vase.

Flower Tool: Racking Gerbera Daisies

By Casey Coleman Schwartz

Gerber Grower Box

Gerber Grower Box

Gerber Daisies are a joy to work with and to look at. The happy faces and multitude of colors are extraordinary. Their stems however can challenge your design on a regular basis.  This can be helped.

I purchased a growers box last week and they were out of water and lying flat. I needed to suspend them some how so the stems would get strong and straight.

I had to rack my brain….”Aha, a rack with a bucket underneath. Perfect,” I thought.  I pulled the Gerbers out of the box and snipped a half inch off the base of the stem and slipped the stem between the grid of the rack and presto, a suspending Gerber, with a straight stem coming right up!

Gerber Rack Closeup

gerber-rack

gerber-rack3

Gerbers also love to drink lots of water, causing their heads to get very full and heavy, making them droop easily. So, when you put them in a vase, try to limit their vase water and add just enough to keep them hydrated.

Teach Your Children Well: Flower Arranging

By Casey Coleman Schwartz

DR. Suess Flowers

We taught this Dr. Suess-inspired foral arrangement at The Huntington Library to the children’s class in March. It’s very stylized and the children all did a wonderful job, but admitted it was harder to create than it looked.

Young Learners

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang it best….”Teach your Children Well…“

We do our best. We teach our children everyday, and we teach other children as often as we can and we love it.

Whether it is about bugs, birds or flowers, it’s all related and increases awareness to the entire world around them.  My sons, Will and Sam, went on a bird watching tour while we were on the East Coast this summer and those two hours shaped them for the remainder of the trip and continues on since we have returned to Los Angeles. They point out flowers to me along our walks in the neighborhood and at the grocery store, they even identify flowers by name or comment if I had just used them for an event.

Kit’s twins who are 3 1/2 years old are already designing and have shown they have completely different design aesthetics, are completely fearless and have embraced the normalcy of it.

Three-year-old's flowers.

Kit’s daughter’s design using leftover tulips and spray roses. She’s three and a half years old.

Cole's design

Kit’s son’s design who is also three and a half. He used sea holly, roses, pittosporum, spray roses and roses that had been “petaled.” He said he liked the “spiky” flowers.

The daughter of a co-worker spends a lot of time at the studio with us, and I have been teaching her a few tricks and tips. She spends her mornings in Jr. Lifeguards and in the afternoon she is ready to help me with cleaning flowers and loves to see what she can create with all the leftovers.  She has made some combinations that I would not think to put together and they are amazingly sweet.

Another creation by Kit's daughter. This one looks like it has tow eyes and multiple antennae. After working on this, she relayed to her dad, "We were at the studio and I made beautiful flower arrangements." Yes, indeed.

Another creation by Kit’s daughter. This one looks like it has two eyes and multiple antennae. After working on this, she relayed to her dad, “We were at the studio and I made beautiful flower arrangements.” Yes, indeed.

We have an intern this summer, he is the son of friend of mine. He is 17 and just graduated from high school and will be heading to a four-year college in September. He had expressed this interest about floristry to his mother, who relayed it to me. He is totally game for anything.

So far this summer we have created 14 arrangements together using three different techniques, built the inside of four, 25-inch tall vases with manzanita branches, sand, shells and sea stars. Together, we’ve mixed cement, cut PVC pipe and the tackled the ever glamorous task of cleaning many, many used vases and buckets. He is getting a behind-the-scenes view of a flower business. He is realizing that he has a keen sense of design and detail. He admitted that he had no idea what to expect and is happy to be learning so much. We have a full month of August ahead of us, so he will continue to bloom and learn. Our job is to teach them well. And we love it.

Manhattan Beach Wedding at a Private Residence

By Flower Duet

Here are a few designs that our 17-year-old intern helped us create for a Manhattan Beach wedding at the end of July. This wedding was in a private home, so the flowers were treated as accents to the lovely beach environs. All designs by Flower Duet.

flowerduet-wedding-manhattan-brides-bouquet

Bride’s Bouquet of Yellow Calla Lilies and Lily Grass.

flowerduet-wedding-manhattan-centerpiece

Dining Table Centerpiece with Mini Green Hydrangea, Billy Balls, Lily Grass, Ruscus, Gerber Daisies and Green Trick Dianthus.

flowerduet-wedding-manhattan-ceremony

Wedding Ceremony backdrop with five accent floral pieces.

flowerduet-wedding-manhattan-cocktail

Cocktail floral piece.

flowerduet-wedding-manhattan-coffee-table

Coffee table design with Gerber Daisies, Sunflowers, Calla Lilies, Billy Balls, Green Trick Dianthus and Celosia.

flowerduet-wedding-manhattan-detail

Ceremony accent piece detail featuring two types of Gerber Daisies, Billy Balls, Dahlias and Lily Grass.

 New Farmers Market on Wall Street: Saturdays 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

By Flower Duet

The Wall Farmers Market

The Ribbon is cut to commemorate the opening of the new Farmers Market on Wall Street Saturday mornings in downtown Los Angeles in the flower district. Photo by The Original Los Angeles Flower Market.

Mission: Increase foot traffic into the flower market with a weekly event that promotes improved fresh food access with reasonably priced high quality perishables that benefit all while supporting California small & mid-size farms. Result, enrich the health & overall quality for the communities in which we work & live.

There is a new place to shop for fresh local produce in downtown Los Angeles and it’s right in the middle of our favorite place to buy fresh local flowers – the Los Angeles Floral District! On July 26th, The Wall Farmers Market was launched amid fanfare that included a ribbon cutting, cooking demonstrations, live music, aerial performers, food vendors and local politicians.

The market has fresh produce as well as flowers and plants and will be open each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wall Street between 7th and 8th Streets Rain or Shine.

Be sure to note this the next time you travel down to the flower mart. Stop by and pick up some fresh fruit and veggies along with your flowers. Just be sure not to display your flower designs next to any ripening fruit!

View more photos on Facebook or on Yelp. Know that Flower Duet offers guided group and private tours of the Los Angeles Flower District. Our next scheduled group tour is October 25, 2014.

Book Review: Summer Reading Recommendations Include More Florist Mysteries!

It’s summer and time for some light reading for the plane, the beach or your comfy couch at home. Last year, we wrote about The Flower Shop Mysteries by Kate Collins. This year we want to highlight two more authors who write mystery novels which feature florists as the amateur sleuths. Thanks goodness that Agatha Christie gave us Miss Marple or where would we be without all these fun-lighthearted mysteries?

Theo Bloomer Mysteries

Joan Hadley’s Theo Bloomer mysteries from the late 1980s are a fun flashback to a time when Kit was in college and Casey was gallivanting around the globe on cruise ships designing flowers for premium passengers. You can pick up a used copy online for a few pennies or hunt one down at your local library book sale!

The Deadly Ackee, retired florist Theo Bloom lucks into what appears to be a perfect situation -- escorting his teenage niece and her five friends to lush Jamaica, where he can study the tropical flora to his heart's delight. But there are serpents in paradise; his squabbling charges are enough to drive even mild-mannered Theo to drink, and when an old friend from the CIA turns up, it's more than coincidence. But when a body is found floating in the resort pool, Theo's vacation turns murderous, and only he can solve the mystery before another victim is found.

In The Deadly Ackee, retired florist Theo Bloomer lucks into what appears to be a perfect situation — escorting his teenage niece and her five friends to lush Jamaica, where he can study the tropical flora to his heart’s delight. But there are serpents in paradise; his squabbling charges are enough to drive even mild-mannered Theo to drink, and when an old friend from the CIA turns up, it’s more than coincidence. But when a body is found floating in the resort pool, Theo’s vacation turns murderous, and only he can solve the mystery before another victim is found.

In The Night Blooming Cereus, Theo Bloomer, a retired Connecticut florist, discovers that his niece, Dorrie Caldicott, refuses to leave a kibbutz in Israel beacuse her Vassar roommate may be involved with some dangerous characters implicated in gun-running and terrorism.

In The Night-Blooming Cereus, Theo Bloomer, a retired Connecticut florist, discovers that his niece, Dorrie Caldicott, refuses to leave a kibbutz in Israel because her Vassar roommate may be involved with some dangerous characters implicated in gun-running and terrorism.

The Lake District Mysteries

Rebecca Tope has written numerous mystery novels and three which feature a florist as the sleuth. In her Lake District Mystery series, florist Persimmon ‘Simmy’ Brown has moved to the beautiful region of the Lake District to be nearer her charismatic parents. These are more recent and can be read as eBooks or purchased online.

windermerewitnessFrom the publisher: “In The Winderemere Witness, things are going well for Simmy, with her latest flower arrangements praised and Simmy content to lose herself in her work. But the peace she has found is shattered when, at the wedding of a millionaire’s daughter, the bride’s brother is found brutally murdered in the lake.

As the florist of the wedding and one of the last people to talk to Mark Baxter alive, Simmy gradually becomes involved with the grief-ridden and angry relatives. All seem to have their fair share of secrets and scandals – an uncaring mother, a cheating father, and a husband twenty-five years older than his bride. When events take another sinister turn, Simmy becomes a prime witness and finds herself at the heart of a murder investigation. The chief suspects are the groom and his closely knit band of bachelor friends. They are all intimidating, volatile and secretive – but which one is a killer?”

Also be sure to check out the other books in this series:

The just published The Coniston Case (available July 24, 2014) and The Ambleside Alibi

New Photo Galleries!

Galleries of Flowers

One of three new photo galleries on our website featuring all of Flower Duet’s original floral designs from past weddings and events.

We’ve added three new photo galleries to our website which feature past floral design work. Under the Wedding Flowers menu item, you can peruse our:

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  1. […] We cre­ated some lovely col­or­ful cen­ter­pieces and flower accent pieces for a wed­ding in Man­hat­tan Beach this month. When the home is ele­gant with clean lines, just a few flower accents are the per­fect com­ple­ment to cap­ture the eye. Here are a few designs from the wed­ding. To see more, check out our August Newslet­ter. […]

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