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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.

November 2014 Floral Trends

Buy Your Gourds and Pumpkins for Fall Decorations Now Before they Disappear!

Fall Gourds and PumpkinsFall is in full swing and right now there is a pletho­ra of all types of fun gourds, squash and pump­kins in the super­mar­ket and pump­kin patch­es. Buy up all you can today or this week if you want to have these love­ly dec­o­ra­tions around for your Thanks­giv­ing feast. Come the end of Novem­ber, these won­der­ful items are few and far between!

Gourds and Pumkins

Gourds dis­ap­pear from the store in mid November…so pick them up before then to make sure you have them for Thanksgiving!

If you decide to use a pump­kin as a hol­lowed-out vase, be sure to wait to carve out the pump­kin right before your planned event. Even with fruit preser­v­a­tive, the pump­kin will get moldy quickly.

Gourds can be refrig­er­at­ed to keep them fresh­er longer. Or if you live in a cold cli­mate, they would last well out­side in a shady spot until you are ready to bring them inside for your fan­cy table top feast flo­ral design.

Thanksgiving table top floral idea

Fall Table Top Flower Decorations

Check out these posts on our blog and newsletters:

Thanks­giv­ing Rose Pump­kin Centerpiece

Thanks­giv­ing Cen­ter­piece in Peach­es and Cream

How to Cre­ate a Suc­cu­lent Pump­kin Planter Centerpiece

Rock and Roses

New Roses Breeds Named After Rock n’ Roll Bands

Freedom Roses by Flower Duet

Free­dom ros­es have replaced the old “Classy” ros­es as the stan­dard red rose in the florist trade. Free­dom was also known as a psy­che­del­ic rock band active in the late 1960s and ear­ly 1970s. This flo­ral Cock­tail design fea­tures red Free­dom ros­es. By Flower Duet. Pho­to by Kit Wertz

We’ve been rock­ing out with Pink Floyd, Deep Pur­ple and Moody Blues this fall at our flo­ral design stu­dio. But we’re talk­ing about ros­es more than we are about amaz­ing rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s.

pink floyd rose

The Pink Floyd rose. Pho­to from

Deep Purple Rose

Deep Pur­ple Rose. Pho­to by

New rose breeds have tak­en on new mean­ing to our gen­er­a­tion. With these love­ly shades of pinks and pur­ples, rose breed­ers are get­ting cre­ative when nam­ing them.

The rock bands with these names kicked off their careers in the Unit­ed King­dom in the late six­ties. Pink Floyd got togeth­er in 1965, Moody Blues began in 1967 and Deep Pur­ple in 1968.

How is it that sud­den­ly these ros­es have hit the flo­ral indus­try with these cool names?  Who names ros­es anyway?

Accord­ing to Con­stance Casey, a writer for Slate mag­a­zine, reports that gar­den-style ros­es were named after notable peo­ple and roy­al­ty. How­ev­er, we learned from our ven­dor at Flow­er­Link  that most ros­es are named by their breeders.

Wanted Garden Rose

Want­ed Gar­den Rose. There is also a band called The Want­ed out of the UK. Pho­to by

Moody Blues Rose

Moody Blues Rose. Pho­to by

The ros­es grown for our cut flo­ral indus­try are most­ly bred in Europe in such coun­tries as Hol­land, Ger­many and Belgium.

A new breed gains wide acclaim if it does well in large rose grow­ing regions like South Africa and Cen­tral and South Amer­i­ca. We imag­ine there are some botan­i­cal sci­en­tists in the flower labs of Europe hav­ing a lot of fun mak­ing beau­ti­ful flow­ers and remind­ing us of some great music of our recent past.

Hocus Pocus is a rose and a band! Love these!

Hocus Pocus is a rose and a band! Love these!

Oth­er ros­es we love to use often include Free­dom ros­es. Free­dom was a psy­che­del­ic rock band in the 1960s, but it’s also the name of a cur­rent rose that’s a per­fect shade of red that is not too dark, orange, nor does it open too big or too small.  Free­dom ros­es open nice­ly, hold their shape  and last for at least a week.

Anoth­er great rose is Hocus Pocus, which is a small head­ed dark red rose fea­tur­ing yel­low high­lights. Hocus Pocus was also a Hip Hop /Jazz band from France that start­ed in the mid 90’s and reached suc­cess in 2006 with a song called “Hip Hop?

If you start dig­ging, we’re sure you might find a rose named after a favorite band or song! Tell us your favorites? We like the song Patience (and the pret­ty white gar­den rose by the same name) by Guns N’ Ros­es. By the way, there is even a Mama Mia rose!  Rock on!

Carnations Take on New Colors in Classic Designs

carnations go well with garden roses

Light pink car­na­tions mix well with gar­den ros­es and peach stan­dard ros­es in this love­ly wed­ding cen­ter­piece. Pho­to by Kit Wertz.

Burgundy carnations cocktail flowers by Flower Duet.

Bur­gundy and pur­ple car­na­tions blend well with gold accents in this hol­i­day cock­tail design. Pho­to by Kit Wertz.

We’ve been real­ly for­tu­nate late­ly to incor­po­rate a won­der­ful flower into our event and wed­ding designs. Car­na­tions are back in vogue and we are hap­py to embrace this won­der­ful trend.

The stan­dard col­ors for car­na­tions are red, white and pink. All oth­er col­ors includ­ing dif­fer­ent shades of yel­low, orange, peach, green, pur­ples, earth tones and bi-col­ors are con­sid­ered “Nov­el­ties”.

Look for new nov­el­ties in earth tones, peach tones, bur­gundy, greens, and bi-col­or pur­ples, pinks, oranges, and yellows.

Here are a few fun ideas on how to use one of the most long-last­ing and best-scent­ed flow­ers in the business.

Tips for Using Carnations in Flower Designs

  1. Even though there is very lit­tle green­ery on the stems, it’s still best to remove any leaves that will be below the vase water line so they don’t break down.
  2. Use flower food to extend the life of the flow­ers — these can last over two weeks in a vase!
  3. Be care­ful when han­dling these stems, even though the flower seems very stur­dy, the stems are vul­ner­a­ble at each joint. If you hold on too tight to a stem, it’s very easy to break them at the joint.
  4. Buy the car­na­tions when the flow­ers buds are still not quite open. These means they are fresh. In order to help open them, you gen­tly pet the petals open.
  5. Mini-car­na­tions are a good filler flower, or for adding mass to an arrangement.

Blush Wedding Themes

We are still receiv­ing many requests for blush-toned wed­dings. These themes fea­ture white, creams, peach­es and shades of light pink. While white hydrangea is a great way to fill up mass­es in arrange­ments we like to some­times add what we call “Antique Car­na­tions” to offer a hint of col­or to the designs.

Here is an exam­ple of a new­er peachy col­ored nov­el­ty car­na­tion that works real­ly well in this blush wed­ding flo­ral theme.

Sage green and pink wedding flowers

Peach­es, whites and creams go real­ly well with the pink spray ros­es and light peach car­na­tions in this wed­ding cen­ter­piece. The theme of the wed­ding fea­tured light pink and sage green. We added dusty miller to get just the right green accent col­or. Flow­ers by Flower Duet. Pho­to by Kit Wertz

Here are some more nov­el­ty car­na­tions in antique colors:

Antigua Carntion. Source

Antigua Car­na­tion. Source

Light Pink Candy Carnation. Source:

Light Pink Can­dy Car­na­tion. Source:

Re-Sole Cream Carnation. Source:

Re-Sole Cream Car­na­tion. Source:

Maria Callas Cream Carnation. Source:

Maria Callas Cream Car­na­tion. Source:

Yellow carnations like these are considered novelty. In this simple deisgn, we added solidago and yellow alstromeria to round out the design. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Yel­low car­na­tions like these are con­sid­ered nov­el­ty. In this sim­ple deis­gn, we added sol­ida­go and yel­low Alstroe­me­ria to round out the design. Flow­ers by Flower Duet. Pho­to by Kit Wertz.

Red Roses Bouquet

Red spray car­na­tions, red ros­es and Misty Blue spells “I Love You” in this updat­ed love bou­quet. Flow­ers by Flower Duet. Pho­to by Kit Wertz

Dahlias, Carnations, Protea for weddings!

Hot pink car­na­tions are teamed up with orange ros­es, orange pin­cush­ion pro­tea and fab­u­lous bi-col­or dahlias in this sin­gle-bloom vase designs for a wed­ding we did at The Sina­tra Res­i­dence in Palm Springs. Flow­ers by Flower Duet. Pho­to by Kit Wertz

Pink bouquet

Clas­sic pink ros­es add inter­est to this asym­met­ri­cal design with ros­es, Alstroe­me­ria and rus­cus. Flow­ers by Flower Duet. Pho­to by Kit Wertz

Fall Centerpiece

Deep red and orange car­na­tions are the main flow­ers in this fall rus­tic wed­ding cen­ter­piece with suc­cu­lents, kiwi vine and scabiosa pods. Flow­ers by Flower Duet. Pho­to by Kit Wertz.

Christmas Flowers

We made this mini Christ­mas tree out of leather fern and accent­ed it with red spray car­na­tions for orna­ments. The flower ball in front of the tree is made up of stan­dard red car­na­tions and sits atop a selec­tion of Mag­no­lia leaves. Flow­ers by Flower Duet. Pho­to by Kit Wertz.

Fall Beach Wedding On the Sand

Beach Wedding Flowers.

Beach wed­ding greet­ing sign flow­ers by Flower Duet. Pho­to by Casey Schwartz.

Last month, we cre­at­ed some gor­geous flo­ral designs for a wed­ding on the sand in Her­mosa Beach, Cal­i­for­nia just a few miles from our design stu­dio. The theme includ­ed peach and cream-col­ored ros­es, pro­tea, and lots of sea­son­al pam­pas grass blooms we har­vest­ed our­selves from friends and local busi­ness partners.

Beach clamshell flowers by Flower Duet.

Beach wed­ding clam shells flanked the aisle on the sand for our Her­mosa Beach wed­ding cer­e­mo­ny. Flow­ers by Flower Duet. Pho­to by Casey Schwartz.

Beach wedding arch by Flower Duet.

Pro­tea is the cen­ter­piece for this asym­met­ri­cal flo­ral spray design on our own birch pole arch. A life­guard stands adds to the love­ly sun­set beach atmos­phere for this fall wed­ding in Cal­i­for­nia. Flow­ers by Flower Duet. Pho­to by Casey Schwartz.

Flower Duet created the wedding flowers for this lovely fall beach wedding.

Sun­set beach wed­ding scene. Pho­to by Casey Schwartz.

Beach bridal bouquet

Our Beach bride with her bou­quet. Flow­ers by Flower Duet.

Book Review:

Hawaiian Lei Making BookHawai­in Lei Making

Back in mid-2000s, Kit took Casey to Kauai and we learned how to make leis in the Hawai­ian style by a love­ly local named Aun­tie Tia. We made a cou­ple of leis and a few bracelets using Den­dro­bi­um orchids.

Dendrobium orchids.

Den­dro­bi­um orchids make excel­lent and long-last­ing flower leis.

We learned that they can last a few days in the fridge if you put them in a ziploc bag with a wet paper tow­el in the crisper section.

The next time Kit vis­it­ed Kauai, she picked up this book on Hawai­ian Lei Mak­ing. It’s a great resource for dif­fer­ent types of leis.

We rec­om­mend this book in case you can’t make it to Hawaii and learn from a gen­uine Auntie!


Flower Tool: Lei Needles

Oh my Garland, Oh My Garland

Arch gar­land made using car­na­tions at the Sina­tra House in Palm Springs. Flow­ers by Flower Duet. Pho­to by Kit Wertz.

How does one string flow­ers for a gar­land or a lei?

We recent­ly were request­ed to cre­ate an arch with flow­ers by hang­ing them in a way to cre­ate and arch.

lei needleLei nee­dles are super long so you can fit a few flow­ers on it before slid­ing on to your thread. For mak­ing leis, den­tal floss works well, as it is pret­ty stur­dy and will hold flow­ers around your neck pret­ty securely.

For longer gar­lands, using a heav­ier line would be best such as a fish­ing line that won’t stretch with the weight of the flowers.

To find these sup­plies online, go to for lei mak­ing kits.

Local­ly in Los Ange­les, we pur­chase lei nee­dles at Boule­vard Florist.

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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