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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.

February 2014 Floral News

2014 Chinese New Year Flowers: The Year of the Horse

by Flower Duet

Chi­nese New Year began yes­ter­day (Jan­u­ary 31, 2014) and marks the Year of the Horse. Peo­ple born dur­ing the year of the horse are extreme­ly active, ani­mat­ed and ener­getic. Hors­es love a crowd and enter­tain­ment and have a great sense of humor. Hors­es will take cen­ter stage and love to enter­tain audi­ences every­where. They are trust­wor­thy and friend­ly and love being sur­round­ed by friends and relatives.

We are in the mid­dle of the Lunar New Year for much of the world’s pop­u­la­tion. Here in Los Ange­les, peo­ple of Chi­nese descent are cel­e­brat­ing with their fam­i­lies through fes­tive meals and gath­er­ings. We’ll tell you a lit­tle about this hol­i­day and what types of flow­ers are tra­di­tion­al­ly used to help ring in the new year.

New Year is one of Chi­na’s old­est fes­ti­vals and is the start of a new year and an agri­cul­tur­al sea­son. Many tra­di­tions sur­round this cel­e­bra­tion. Here are a few of them:


Before the new year, peo­ple clean their homes from top to bot­tom, but nev­er dur­ing the 15-day cel­e­bra­tion. If they sweep dur­ing that time, they’ll sweep out all the good luck for the year!


Red is the main col­or for the new year. Many peo­ple dec­o­rate their doors and win­dows with red ban­ners in order to “ward off evil.” Many peo­ple will also dress in red clothes for good luck. Red flow­ers are a good choice for Chi­nese New Year flow­ers and we like to use red Ros­es, Car­na­tions, and red Hyper­icum Berries in flo­ral designs. Gold­en Chi­na Mums are pop­u­lar choic­es for gift giv­ing. Gold sym­bol­izes wealth. So, if you want to wish some­one good for­tunes in the new year, you would give them gold flow­ers or a pot­ted Chi­na Mum plant. See below for more Chi­nese New Year flower designs we’ve cre­at­ed in the past to cel­e­brate the new year.

New Year’s Eve Food

This would have been cel­e­brat­ed on Jan­u­ary 30th and in addi­tion to dumplings and fish which are sym­bols of pros­per­i­ty, many fam­i­lies include long rice noo­dles that sym­bol­ize long life. Chil­dren will receive gifts, includ­ing envelopes filled with money.


It would­n’t be Chi­nese New Year with­out fire­works and fire-crack­ers. Tra­di­tion­al­ly they are set off on New Year’s Eve in order to bid farewell to the old year, ush­er in the new, and ward off any evil spirits.

Festival of the Lanterns

The last day (day 15) of the fes­ti­val is known as the Fes­ti­val of the Lanterns. Red paper lanterns of all shapes and sizes are hung in streets and from almost all hous­es. Chil­dren often make their own lanterns in order to light the way as they stroll through the streets with friends and family.

To say Hap­py New Year in Chi­nese, you’d say: “Gung Hai Fat Choi!” (gong-hey-fat-choy) ·

We taught this arrange­ment to a kids’ class for Chi­nese New Year dur­ing the Year of the Drag­on. As you can see, the drag­on head and tail are con­nect­ed by a body of red Car­na­tions. We also high­light­ed the design with lucky gold­en Chi­na Mums.

This Chi­nese New Year flo­ral design fea­tures the three friends of win­ter. These are tra­di­tion­al flow­ers used in gift giv­ing and dec­o­ra­tion for Chi­nese New Year. They are Bam­boo, Pine and Quince Blos­som. These three are friends because the bam­boo and pine are “ever­greens” even in win­ter and sym­bol­ize life. The quince blooms in win­ter, so it’s a sign of new life. We added the Cym­bid­i­um Orchids to the design along with gold rib­bon to offer good for­tune to the recipient.

Red and gold are the pri­ma­ry col­ors used in Chi­nese New Year cel­e­bra­tions and the last day of the fes­ti­val fea­tures a pletho­ra of red lanterns. The design we taught in the image above fea­tured red ros­es, gold mums, a bam­boo stand and a red lantern. We also added pussy wil­low which is anoth­er tra­di­tion­al flower for Chi­nese New Year. To the Chi­nese peo­ple, Pussy Wil­lows sig­ni­fy a new begin­ning, wealth and spring­time. Pussy Wil­low is “yin liu” in Chi­nese which sounds like “mon­ey flow­ing in.” So, these plants are thought to bring good for­tune in the new year.

In the Year of the Tiger, we taught a kids’ class and cut out dec­o­ra­tive paper tigers and hid them in the grass of this fun design. We used bear grass for the grass and cut it at dif­fer­ent heights. We added red hyper­icum berries for luck and a green trick dianthus to look like a tree for our tiger to have some shade.

International Students Continue to Take Flower Classes with Flower Duet

by Casey Schwartz

Stu­dents from all over the world come to our flo­ral design stu­dio to learn about the lat­est trends and tech­niques in flo­ral design. Above is a mono­chro­mat­ic bridal bou­quet which fea­tures the Pan­tone col­or of 2014 — Radi­ant Orchid.

We are delight­ed to have an inter­na­tion­al pool of stu­dents come through our design stu­dio. Stu­dents from abroad have made trav­el plans to vis­it the Los Ange­les area and have sched­uled pri­vate lessons with Flower Duet. We have been able to offer a range of tech­niques in a short amount of time because it has just been one-on-one.

Many stu­dents want to learn how to cre­ate tall flo­ral designs in a vase with­out any archi­tec­ture in the vase. We can show them how to make a design like this in about five min­utes. This fea­tures Lark­spur, Pit­tospo­rum, Stan­dard Car­na­tions and Peru­vian Lily (Alstroe­me­ria).

The advan­tage of this bundling of tech­niques is to be able to work with a vari­ety of flow­ers in dif­fer­ent designs back-to-back to real­ly expe­ri­ence the ver­sa­til­i­ty of cer­tain flow­ers. Maria, from Egypt, Ami, from Japan and most recent­ly, Flavia from Brazil, cus­tom designed their les­son plan based on a full menu of flo­ral design techniques.
Pave style designs are not going out of style soon and while this looks sim­ple to cre­ate in a vase, there are tricks to mak­ing it look tidy and pro­fes­sion­al. This design fea­tures just Ros­es and Wax Flower.

Our belief is to teach designs that pro­vide a strong base for any flo­ral design­er to build upon. All of our stu­dents, for­eign and local have lit­tle or no for­mal train­ing, pri­or to com­ing to Flower Duet. We embrace the oppor­tu­ni­ty to teach good skills, not just the how-tos, but the whys, also.
Suc­cu­lent rosettes paired with fresh flow­ers last a long time. We show stu­dents how to com­bine fresh cut flow­ers with suc­cu­lents with style.

The entire year of flower arrang­ing class­es is sched­uled. Take a look and see what inter­ests you…if would like to learn some­thing spe­cial, we can cre­ate a cus­tom les­son plan for you, too.
This is an exam­ple of a clas­sic go-to design for a florist. It’s pret­ty and light and airy with­out being fussy. It fea­tures Ros­es, Alstroe­me­ria, and var­ie­gat­ed Pittosporum.

Heart-shaped Flowers for Valentine’s Day

by Kit Wertz

We cre­at­ed this cen­ter­piece for a wed­ding ven­dor pro­fes­sion­al net­work­ing group and called it, “Two hearts become one” to sym­bol­ize a cou­ple who meets and then steps clos­er togeth­er until they become one mar­ried unit at their wed­ding. There are three pairs of white Anthuri­ums that start out far apart but get clos­er until the last pair is touch­ing and ends in one sin­gle Anthuri­um lean­ing out to grasp the future. Since Anthuri­ums are heart-shaped, we thought it would be fun to use them in this way on a bed of cush­ion mums accent­ed with pur­ple pix­ie pins.

One flower that is a per­fect fit for Valen­tine’s Day. It’s shaped like a heart. The trop­i­cal Anthuri­um makes an excel­lent choice for a sweet­heart who loves going to Hawaii or oth­er trop­i­cal loca­tions. It’s also a great mas­cu­line flower and can be show­cased in a cut flo­ral arrange­ment mixed with oth­er non-trop­i­cal flow­ers or just as love­ly as a pot­ted plant.

These are pur­ple tulip Anthuriums.

These plants are actu­al­ly native to Cen­tral and South Amer­i­can trop­i­cal rain­forests. The col­or­ful “flower” is actu­al­ly a large leaf or “spathe” and the flow­ers are tiny flow­ers grouped along the long nose. On most vari­eties, the col­or of the flow­ers is yel­low, but with the pur­ple vari­ety, the mini flow­ers are dark purple.
Red is the tra­di­tion­al col­or for these gor­geous cut flo­rals. We think these are a good choice for any Valentine!

Anthuri­ums come in a mul­ti­tude of col­ors and sizes of spathe from the clas­sic red, to white, pur­ple, pink and green. There are even bi-col­or Anthuri­ums that are tru­ly gor­geous called Obake.

There are many vari­eties of Anthuri­ums. This image is from Hawaii Flo­ral Products

These flow­ers are grad­ed by size of the main leaf. From Minia­ture, Small, Medi­um, Large and Extra Large.

Flower Spathe Size:

  • Minia­ture — under 3 inches
  • Small — 3 to 4 inches
  • Medi­um — 4 to 5 inches
  • Large — 5 to 6 inches
  • Extra Large — over 6 inches

Although we’ve fea­tured this green Anthuri­um flo­ral design in past newslet­ters, I just love it every time I see it and hope you do, too. It’s paired with Ker­mit mums to cre­ate a love­ly mono­chro­mat­ic green flo­ral design.

Floral Design Day is February 28th

by Flower Duet

Gath­er some friends in your din­ing room or back­yard if it’s warm enough and cel­e­brate “Flo­ral Design Day” on Feb­ru­ary 28, 2014.

In 1995, Rit­tner’s School of Flo­ral Design peti­tioned the gov­er­nor of Mass­a­chu­settes to pro­claim Feb­ru­ary 28th Flo­ral Design Day in 1995 in order to hon­or the school founder’s birth­day. The idea is to cel­e­brate the joy that flow­ers bring to peo­ple in all aspects of their lives. After all, we use flow­ers to cel­e­brate births, grad­u­a­tions, wed­dings and to com­mem­o­rate lives. We use flow­ers to bright­en a room, as a sym­bol of love or a show of gratitude.

Flowers Actually Make People Happy and Keep them Happy

In 2005, Rut­gers pub­lished a study that showed flow­ers have a pos­i­tive emo­tion­al impact on peo­ple. “What’s most excit­ing about this study is that it chal­lenges estab­lished sci­en­tif­ic beliefs about how peo­ple can man­age their day-to-day moods in a healthy and nat­ur­al way,” said Jean­nette Hav­i­land-Jones, Ph.D., Pro­fes­sor of Psy­chol­o­gy at Rut­gers and lead researcher on the study.

A team of researchers explored the link between flow­ers and life sat­is­fac­tion in a 10-month study. They found the following:

  • Flow­ers make peo­ple hap­py. All study par­tic­i­pants expressed “true” or “excit­ed” smiles upon receiv­ing flow­ers and this reac­tion was uni­ver­sal across all age groups.
  • Flow­ers offer a long-term pos­i­tive effect on moods. Par­tic­i­pants in the study were feel­ing less anx­ious, depressed and agi­tat­ed after receiv­ing flowers.
  • Flow­ers help make inti­mate con­nec­tions. Just by hav­ing flow­ers around increased con­tact with friends and family.

Com­mon sense tells us that flow­ers make us hap­py,” said Dr. Hav­i­land-Jones. “Now, sci­ence shows that not only do flow­ers make us hap­pi­er than we know, but they also have strong pos­i­tive effects on our emo­tion­al well being.”

Ways to cel­e­brate flo­ral design day are to take a flo­ral design class (with Flower Duet), make a flo­ral design at home, go to a muse­um and look at paint­ings of flow­ers (check out the Dutch Mas­ters at the Nor­ton Simon Muse­um) and take your local florist to lunch.

Make a Tic-Tac-Toe board out of Horse­tail and Mum flow­ers. Play with the kids and have fun with flowers!

Flower Duet Provides Flowers for Sony Music’s Post Grammy Party 2014

by Flower Duet

We were hap­py to pro­vide the flow­ers for the Sony Music’s Post-Gram­my Awards par­ty last Sun­day at The Palm Restau­rant in down­town Los Ange­les. It was the third con­sec­u­tive year we’ve cre­at­ed the flow­ers for this fun event. Atten­dees includ­ed Katy Per­ry, John May­er, John Leg­end, Ste­vie Nicks, Bon­nie McK­ee, Ian Axel, Chad Vac­cari­no, Sara Bareilles, Jack Antonoff, Mack Wilds, Salaam Remi, and Sony Music Enter­tain­ment Chair­man and CEO Doug Morris.

We team up with Mabel, own­er of Pradi’s Orchids, to cre­ate these cus­tom designs for the par­ty each year. This year’s theme was all white flow­ers in white ceram­ic cubes to go along with the white fur­ni­ture brought in for the par­ty. The linens used on the tables were a sub­tle gold sheen and we cre­at­ed over 75 arrange­ments for the par­ty. While we unloaded the flo­rals into the restau­rant, we saw hun­dreds of Gram­my Awards atten­dees walk­ing by to enter The Sta­ples Cen­ter in their super high heels, long (and real­ly short) gowns and tuxe­dos. It was a very fes­tive and fun atmos­phere before the par­ty got underway.

Secu­ri­ty per­son­nel were gath­er­ing out­side to get wired up before the VIP guests arrived at the par­ty. It was fun eaves­drop­ping on their con­ver­sa­tions. One of them had been an agent who guard­ed Prince William and Princess Kate while they were here in Los Ange­les after their wedding.

Magazine Review: Flower Magazine

We’ve fea­tured this mag­a­zine in past issues of our newslet­ter, but felt it was worth a new men­tion since it’s expand­ed its pub­li­ca­tion from quar­ter­ly to six issues per year. The edi­tors at the mag­a­zine send us a large num­ber of copies of each issue to pass out to the stu­dents who take our class­es. This pre­vi­ous week, we passed out 38 copies to our stu­dents intro­duc­ing them to this won­der­ful col­lec­tion of DIY how-to, flo­ral inspired jew­el­ry and inte­ri­or design, real-life wed­ding sto­ries and more.

This mag­a­zine is classy from cov­er to cov­er and is filled with high-qual­i­ty tips, tricks and pho­tographs for the flo­ral design enthu­si­ast. Flower Mag­a­zine fea­tures top flo­ral design­ers’ work and is the per­fect fit for the flower design student.

Check out their online blog and we’re sure you’ll turn into a loy­al subscriber!

flower magazine jewelry

A fea­ture on flo­ral jew­el­ry from the Jan­u­ary-Feb­ru­ary 2014 issue of flower mag­a­zine. Pho­to cred­it:

Floral Design Tool: Recycled Flower Boxes

We have a lot of flow­ers deliv­ered to us in box­es. They are called “box lots” and after we’ve tak­en out the flow­ers to con­di­tion them, we don’t throw away the card­board. We can use them in a vari­ety of ways. Here are a few tips on how to use these valu­able tools!

  • First, we usu­al­ly use just the top or the bot­tom of a box and place the flo­rals inside.
  • Then, we wedge some more card­board or scrunched up paper between each vase or con­tain­er so the flow­ers from each design don’t touch each oth­er and so that the arrange­ments don’t shift when we are car­ry­ing them to and from the truck and when we are dri­ving to the event.
  • After the event, we put them out­side our stu­dio where card­board recy­cler entre­pre­neurs come by and take them for us, or we give them to our neigh­bor Dave, who ships all types of tile around the world. He shreds the box­es to make padding for his tile shipments.
  • If we don’t need them for an event, we some­times will bring them back to our whole­sale ven­dor who will use them to box up flow­ers for the next customer.

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

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.

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