April 2016 Newsletter – Part I

Floral Trends - Issue 72

Flower Duet Tapped as Floral Designer for the 2016 American Grown Flowers Field to Vase Dinner Tour

The Table is Set for April 13, 2016 at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California!

The American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, a series of pop-up communal dining experiences that take place at American flower farms and greenhouses across the country, chose Flower Duet as the florist for the second of 10 this year’s series of dinners.

Casey & Kit of Flower Duet in the Flower Fields of Carlsbad

Casey (left) and Kit (right) of Flower Duet will be the floral designers for the 2nd 2016 Field to Vase Dinner Tour at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, Calif. They took a day trip to San Diego to help promote the dinner on Fox5 San Diego’s morning news and then stopped at The Flower Fields to snap this photo!

Pink Ranunculus Flower Bouquet

Pink Ranunculus will be one of the main flowers featured in Flower Duet’s Field to Vase design for The Flower Fields. Photo by Kit Wertz.

“Now in its second year, the Field to Vase Dinner Tour has been extremely popular, with dinners selling out during its inaugural year,” expresses Kasey Cronquist, administrator for Certified American Grown Flowers and CEO/ambassador for the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC). Each event features a seasonal four-course meal prepared by a local chef, served at a table decorated with beautiful, local, American Grown Flowers arranged by a local floral designer. “It’s a dinner tour for flower and food lovers who believe in the value of locally sourced, sustainable food and flora and for people who want a rare opportunity to experience a romantic dinner on a beautiful flower farm,” Kasey remarks.

In Joy or Sadness, Flowers are our Constant Friends Quote

A quote at The Flower Fields. Oh…so true!

The second of 10 events takes place April 13, at Mellano & Company’s The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, Calif. Participants will enjoy a guided tour by Mike Mellano, PhD of Mellano & Company who will offer guests an intimate look into what it means to be a California flower farmer and what it takes to farm his renowned, vibrant and fragrant ranunculus. Flower Duet will create a kaleidoscope of color using the Ranunculus blooms as the main inspiration for each centerpiece bouquet. Satisfying the taste palates of the guests will be local Chef Jeff Rossman of Terra Catering, who has prepared a regionally inspired menu, including the freshest culinary ingredients California has to offer.

“Now in its second year, the Field to Vase Dinner Tour has a growing fan following. I know, because friends and colleagues who attended last year have been asking when the 2016 schedule will be unveiled. Once you experience an al fresco dinner on an American flower farm, it becomes a must-attend event,” –Debra Prinzing, author and founder of Slow Flowers and Field to Vase Dinner Tour co-host and sponsor. 

We hope you will join us at The Flower Fields for a one-of-a-kind experience of flowers, food and great company in a field of blooms overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

Field To Vase Dinner – April 13, 2016 in Carlsbad, Calif.

What: 2016 Field to Vase Dinner Tour at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California
Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Time: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: The Flower Fields, 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, California, 92008
Reserve: Tickets through Eventbrite.com

Flower Fields Carlsbad

The flower fields are well-attended to by a worker in the midst of blooming Ranunculus in late March 2016. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Field to Vase Carlsbad

Dinner guests at last year’s Field to Vase Dinner at Carlsbad.

Sunset over Pacific

The sun sets over the Pacific and The Flower Fields during last year’s Field to Vase Dinner. Join us this year on April 13, 2016!

2016 San Francisco Flower & Garden Show – Speaking Recap

By Kit Wertz

Last month, I had the honor to appear with fabulous floral designers at the 2016 San Francisco Flower & Garden Show in San Mateo, Calif. I spoke twice on the Flower Pavilion stage and once in the DIY stage. What I loved about the show was meeting all the other designers where were on hand to speak over the weekend and working with devoted ambassadors of locally grown flowers including flower farmers of Alaskan Peonies and those who farm native California plants.

Here is a collection of photos and a little background on what it’s like to be a speaker at a big show!

Day 1 – Saturday – Noon Demonstration at the Flower Pavilion & DIY Stage

In this talk and demonstration titled “Flowers For All: From Age 7 to 70+” I covered classic flower arranging techniques like cleaning all the greenery below the water line in a vase (to keep the water clean so stems can drink) and cutting stems at an angle (so they don’t sit flat on the bottom of a vase). I also talked about the optimum height for a vase centerpiece for a dinner and more.

Pictured below: In this part of my lecture, I was talking about using stems inside the vase to create the architecture for the later stems that will be added. Basically, if you start to add stems at an angle and keep turing the vase around in the same direction and keep adding in the same angle, you’ll build up an base of stems that creates a nice rounded shape. As you add stems, they need to but a bit longer and longer until you have the middle stem which should be the longest stem in the design.

2016 San Francisco Flower & Garden Show - Kit Speaking

For Day 1, my topic was about the Top 10 Tips on Flower Arranging Success. Photo by Christine Coleman.


One of five designs I created for the first day of my talks at the show. It featured California grown Protea, Freesia, Spray Roses, Bupleurum, Wax Flower and Ruscus. Photo by Kit Wertz.


Here is the scene at the DIY stage of the show. Attendees were able to arrange a flower bouquet on a first-come, first-served basis – but it was free! Photo by Christine Coleman.

DIY Stage - Kit Wertz - San Francisco Flower & Garden Show

There I am…way in the back of the photo showing everyone how to toggle their hand-tied bouquets. Photo by Christine Coleman.

Kit at SF Flower and Garden Show 2016

Kit leading a class at the 2016 San Francisco Flower & Garden show DIY stage after teaching how to make a European Style Hand-Tied bouquet with California Grown Flowers.

Day 2 – Sunday – Noon Demonstration – Successful Floral Design: Discover Two Foolproof Techniques

On Sunday, I had the Noon spot again and demonstrated two different techniques while covering three floral designs in the span of one hour. First, I showed how to arrange flowers using a technique called “Gather, Drop & Fill.” First, you take about 12 stems of flowers and gather them so the blooms are all about the same height. Then, you’ll cut the bottom of the stems all the same length at about twice the height of the vase you are using.

Then, while holding the stems over the vase, you “drop” the stems and see how they fall. Pictured below, I was explaining that when you’ve cut the stems properly before dropping them into a vase all at once, they spiral in the vase automatically, creating an easy architecture to just keep adding flowers.


Kit explains how stems will spiral after “Gathering” and “Dropping” them into a vase. Then you can proceed to add more stems to fill up the design. The key to this technique is to cut the stems at the same length at about twice the height of the vase.


Here is the final design of “Gather, Drop & Fill” by Kit at the 2016 San Francisco Flower & Garden Show. Photo by Kit Wertz.


Kit also demonstrated how to “Bundle” flowers and “Place” them into a vase. Here are four little posies that are bundled with rubber bands and then placed into the vase so the stems lock together. Photo by Kit Wertz.


Kit created this high-style design using the “Bundle & Place” method, but kept stems long. She created five bundles of flowers. The middle three bundles had the focal flowers of Roses, Protea, Wax Flowers and Greenery. The two outside bundles including Wax flower, Amaranthus and more Greenery. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Kit Wertz at the SF Flower and Garden SHow

Outside the 2016 San Francisco Flower & Garden Show

Coastal Posies Garlands

Terri Lynn Heath and Jennifer Ketring of Coastal Posies showed show attendees how to create garlands using California Native plants.

California Native Garlands

Here were the finished Coastal Posies flowering garlands using all California Native plants!

Urban Gardens

Here is a cool way to have signage in an urban garden! Block wooden letters filled with succulents! This was one of many drought tolerant landscape garden displays at the 2016 SF Flower & Garden Show.

SF Flower & Garden Show

A company called the Waterfall Guy created a cool entry way into the show which included this larger than life Praying Mantis!

Waterfall Guy

Here is another display at the show.

Parking Guys

As a speaker, I had my own reserved parking area at the San Mateo Event Center and these two workers at the show helped preserve my parking space for both days. So after my last lecture, I broke up my tall “Bundle and Place” bouquet and gave the bundles to them as a thank you.

Flower Duet on Fox 5 San Diego to Promote Field to Vase American Grown Flowers

By Kit Wertz


On the Friday before Easter, Casey and I drove down to San Diego to appear on Fox5 San Diego‘s morning news show were we showed the co-anchor, Maria Arcega-Dunn, how to create a Spring floral design using American Grown Flowers. We were there to help promote where people can find flowers are grown locally (See AmercianGrownFlowers.org) and to talk a little about the Field to Vase Dinner being held on April 13th at The Flower Fields (see article above).

First, we stopped at Mellano & Company’s Carlsbad cooler to purchase the flowers we featured on the show. We were able to buy lots of Ranunculus, Wax Flower, Stock, Israeli Ruscus, Tulips, Green Trick Dianthus, Veronica, Solidago and Craspedia.


Kit created these cute Easter decorations from Green Trick Dianthus as part of our “set decoration” for our Fox5 San Diego Appearance. Photo by Kit Wertz.


We created an Easter-themed low terrarium for the show table set decor for our Fox5 appearance. Wax flower is grown locally in San Diego. Photo by Kit Wertz.


Kit stopped at Vons the day before the show to pick up locally grown flowers for our set decoration. In this design is yellow Dubium, Stock, orange Rununculus, Pincushion Protea, Israeli Ruscus and Green Trick Dianthus. We also added some Foxtail Fern from our own studio garden supplies. Photo by Kit Wertz.


Casey posed on our “set” on the back patio of Fox5 San Diego before our appearance with Maria on the show. Photo by Kit Wertz.


This was our view of the back lot before while we were waiting to be on the show. There was a steel drum band from Oceanside that was going to be on the air after we appeared and they were doing sound checks as we were getting ready for our appearance. It was a fun and festive atmosphere! Photo by Kit Wertz.


Some detail from a bud vase we did with Tulips, Craspedia, Ranunculus, Solidago and Veronica. Photo by Kit Wertz.


Our set after our segment was filmed LIVE! The baskets in the back were ours, too. We hid buckets inside to house the fresh flowers as part of our springtime set design. Photo by Kit Wertz.

The live interview went so fast! I’ve never built an arrangement in under three minutes – much less taught one that fast!  Casey and I were on together with the anchor and while I helped news anchor Maria Arcega-Dunn create the pink and white spring vase of flowers on camera, Casey answered all of her interview questions. If you want to use an online directory to help you find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers who are committed to using American grown flowers, visit SlowFlowers.com.

Watch a Video

Here is a home video Casey took after our appearance we posted on YouTube so you can hear the excellent Steel Drum band that was playing along with us to the tune of “Oh What A Night” by the Four Seasons!

Ceremony Magazine Features Flower Duet’s Work

Photo by Kristina Lee Photography for NYFC. Flowers by Flower Duet

The Venue Crawl South Bay for New York Food Company. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kristina Lee Photography. As seen in Ceremony Magazine Blog

Flower Duet was asked to create florals for three venues for New York Food Company which is the parent company who run Veranda’s Beach House in Manhattan Beach, Calif. and La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

New York Food Company, a prestigious event venue and catering company in the Los Angeles area, invited event planners to participate in The Venue Crawl South Bay. The group explored NYFC’s exclusive venues: Verandas Beach House, The Redondo Beach Hotel, and La Venta Inn. NYFC provided refreshing beverages and exquisite cuisine along the way. See the photos from the event at Ceremony Magazine’s Blog.   Want to see more? Watch the highlight video HERE.

Here were all the vendors we worked with that day:

Photography | Kristina Lee Photography
Catering & Planning | New York Food Company, The Sugar Party by NYFC, Celebrations by NYFC
Videography | Impressive Creations Video
Floral Design | Flower Duet
Rentals | Baker Party Rentals
Venues | Verandas Beach House, The Redondo Beach Hotel, La Venta Inn
Coffee | New Frontier Coffee
VIP Passes | Social Savvy
Transportation | California Excursion Tour

Coverage of April Events coming in May Newsletter!

We have so much going on this month that we’ll include a tool and book in next month’s news! More to come soon….stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Best to you and enjoy your flowers, Kit & Casey