Sign Up for Newsletters

Sign up for the free newslet­ters we write based on our dai­ly expe­ri­ence as wed­ding and event flo­ral design­ers in trend-set­ting Los Angeles.

Based near the Beach in the South Bay of LA, Kit & Casey take you on a jour­ney each month to our events we cre­ate and share with you the hottest trends in flo­ral design.

As sought-after flo­ral design instruc­tors, you’ll learn the lat­est tips and tricks of the trade.

August Floral News

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-twineFriend­ship 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 some­how 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 flo­ral 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 every day, 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 of 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 con­tin­ue 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 uses 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,

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 a 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 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 on Sat­ur­day morn­ings in down­town Los Ange­les in the flower dis­trict. Pho­to by The Orig­i­nal Los Ange­les Flower Mar­ket.

[pul­lquote align=“left” type=“simple”]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.[/pullquote]

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 that fea­ture florists as ama­teur sleuths. Thank 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!

[one_half]

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.

[/one_half][one_half_last]

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.[/one_half_last]

The Lake District Mysteries

Rebec­ca Tope has writ­ten numer­ous mys­tery nov­els and three of 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:

As Ama­zon Asso­ciates, we earn from qual­i­fy­ing pur­chas­es. Some­times we link to a prod­uct on Ama­zon in our arti­cles on flowerduet.com.

Read more Flower Duet News & Newsletters from past years:

2023 Newslet­ter Articles

2022 Newslet­ter Articles

2021 Newslet­ter Articles

2020 Newslet­ter Articles

2019 Newslet­ter Archives

2018 Newslet­ter Archives

2017 Newslet­ter Archives

2016 Newslet­ter Archives

2015 Newslet­ter Archives

2014 Newslet­ter Archives

2013 Newslet­ter Archives

2012 Newslet­ter Archives

2011 Newslet­ter Archives

2010 Newslet­ter Archives

Each month, we cov­er a cur­rent event in the flo­ral trade, flo­rals from real wed­dings, our lat­est flower adven­tures and endeav­ors, design tips, cur­rent flo­ral trends, flo­ral design class­es and work­shops, book rec­om­men­da­tions and flo­ral tool tips.

Since 2010, we’ve cre­at­ed a hot list of what’s on for flo­ral design in and beyond South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. As guest speak­ers inside and out­side of Cal­i­for­nia, we know what clients need in the wed­ding and event indus­try. We are your trust­ed resource for flo­ral design tips and tech­niques for all lev­els of the flower enthusiast.

We are Kit Wertz and Casey Schwartz, the sis­ter design team of Flower Duet. We are com­mit­ted to edu­cat­ing our stu­dents and fans since we start­ed our flo­ral design busi­ness in 1999.

We don’t share our email list with any­one! So, you can rest assured, your email is safe with us.