August 2018 Newsletter

Floral Trends - Issue 100

///August 2018 Newsletter
August 2018 Newsletter2019-01-21T18:06:34+00:00

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

join our mail­ing list
* indi­cates required

We send out a month­ly newslet­ter — It’s free and has great flower arrang­ing ideas and tips includ­ing our upcom­ing flo­ral work­shop list, flo­ral design book reviews, how-tos, and more. We send it out each month and don’t share our mail­ing list with any­one.

Floral Design Newsletter Archives

Read more Flower Duet Newsletters from past years:

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 tooltips.

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

Kit Wertz and Casey Schwartz, the sis­ter design team of Flower Duet, have been 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.

Winter White Flowers

Hydrangeas and Ranun­cu­lus blooms make up this sim­ple vase design that is great for a win­ter white flo­ral dis­play. Flow­ers by Flower Duet. Pho­to by Kit Wertz.

August 2018 News

Do You Need To Be Certified to Become a Florist?

The Short Answer is: “No, but.…”

By Kit Wertz

In our design work­shops, we’ve offered at our stu­dio and online, we are often asked by stu­dents if we grant a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for our cours­es.

We do not pro­vide cer­tifi­cates because it is not a require­ment to become a “flo­ral design­er.” Unlike oth­er pro­fes­sions like hair­styl­ists and aes­theti­cians which require hours of class­es, tests, and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, flo­ral design­ers in the U.S. are not required to show any proof of course­work to offer ser­vices.

Hav­ing said that, we strong­ly encour­age peo­ple who want to learn the flo­ral trade to attend in-per­son class­es through­out their career…from when they have a small inkling to try some­thing new, to twen­ty years into their career.

Kit at SF Flower and Garden Show 2016

Kit lead­ing a class at the 2016 San Fran­cis­co Flower & Gar­den Show.

Why Take Classes? Here are just a few Reasons.

  • You will learn how to han­dle the prod­ucts. Fresh flow­ers are high­ly per­ish­able. Tak­ing class­es from a pro will help you learn how to keep your flow­ers fresh and pre­vent you from wast­ing mon­ey on flow­ers that wilt too soon!
  • You will learn how to process flow­ers. There are fast and slow ways to do any task. It’s impor­tant to prep, design and box flow­ers fast so you can keep labor costs down. The best way to learn this is from some­one who knows how to do those things.
  • You will learn how to keep flow­ers in a vase/garland/spray/etc.…the right way. Don’t risk that bridal bou­quet los­ing stems from the mid­dle of the hand-tie! Learn from a mas­ter design­er the way to make it work when it’s been out of the vase for a few hours for those pre-wed­ding pho­to ses­sions.

When to Take A Certification Course

Hogarth Curve AIFD flowers at Symposium 2018

Here is a design at the AIFD Sym­po­sium 2018 in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. this sum­mer. Notice the Hog­a­rth Curve? Don’t know what that is? Take a basic flo­ral design class soon! Pho­to by Kit Wertz.

If there is a flo­ral shop which requires a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, then find out which cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will help you land that job. Find out how much it pays if you have a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion because there are many thou­sands of dol­lars that go into secur­ing and main­tain­ing a pro­fes­sion­al flo­ral cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. The two most wide­ly rec­og­nized cer­ti­fi­ca­tions are Cer­ti­fied Flo­ral Design­er (CFD) and Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Flo­ral Design­ers (AIFD).

These two cer­ti­fi­ca­tions are offered by a trade asso­ci­a­tion known by the same abbre­vi­a­tion, AIFD. Its mis­sion state­ment is: “Estab­lished in 1965, the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Flo­ral Design­ers is, today, the flo­ral industry’s lead­ing non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cat­ed to estab­lish­ing, main­tain­ing and rec­og­niz­ing the high­est stan­dard of pro­fes­sion­al flo­ral design.”

While AIFD offers amaz­ing cours­es, sym­po­siums and stan­dards for flo­ral design­ers to aspire to, being cer­ti­fied is not the best fit for all design­ers. Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is not a require­ment to be a design­er, but tak­ing class­es from pro­fes­sion­als is a very good idea indeed.

It’s All About the Vase — No Trouble!

How to Improve Your Design by Changing the Vase

By Kit Wertz

Vas­es by Pot­tery Barn

The kids are in a math camp this week to help them get ready for the next grade lev­el and the camp is being held at my neighbor’s house. So, at the last minute, I thought it would be nice to make a quick flo­ral “Host­ess Gift” to bring over as a thank you for spon­sor­ing their home to all the kids!

Off to my local gro­cery store to pick up two bunch­es of flow­ers. I chose five stems of sum­mery Sun­flow­ers and five stems of wide open yel­low Alstroe­me­ria.

Two bunch­es of sun­ny yel­low flow­ers from my local gro­cery store. Pho­to by Kit Wertz.

Then, I was into my garage to look for a vase and set­tled on a basic gath­er­ing vase.

Once I had put the flow­ers into the basic vase, I wasn’t that impressed with the results. We have a say­ing in our class­es. “There are no bad flower arrangers, only bad vas­es.” In this par­tic­u­lar case when I had about 5 min­utes to put this design togeth­er, my vase was not coop­er­at­ing.

First, I put them in a basic gath­er­ing vase and was not impressed with my efforts! I went back to the garage to look for a bet­ter vase to show­case the flow­ers and add more val­ue as a host­ess gift for my neigh­bor. Pho­to by Kit Wertz.

So, back on search, I found a cute short white cylin­der that was sit­ting on a shelf, not being used. I remem­bered buy­ing it for flow­ers a long time ago and felt it would be a nice way to make this basic sum­mer flower design a lit­tle more classy with a nice ceram­ic con­tain­er.

I was right! I had achieved an instant improve­ment in aes­thet­ics just by short­en­ing the stems and pop­ping them into a clean, mod­ern vase.

Remember…flowers are pret­ty and they don’t always need a fan­cy vase. But you must use the “RIGHT VASE” for every design!

Always use the flower food to help your flow­ers last! Pho­to by Kit Wertz

Since the new vase I chose was short­er with a wide top, I need­ed to secure the stems. I re-used the rub­ber band that came with the flow­ers to secure a small posy and then cut the stems short to fit into the vase nice­ly. Pho­to by Kit Wertz

The flow­ers looked much bet­ter in the cute ceram­ic vase, but I felt it could use a bit more pizazz. Pho­to by Kit Wertz

Adding some green­ery and suc­cu­lents gave the design a bit more tex­ture and depth. Pho­to by Kit Wertz

A few notes to help this design were:

1 — Always use the flower food that comes with the flow­ers. Read the pack­age to see the right ratio of water to flower food.

2 — I re-used the rub­ber band that held the bunch of Alstroe­me­ria togeth­er to bun­dle my stems to help the design stay more sta­ble in the short­er vase. Since the vase was opaque, I did not have to wor­ry about any­one see­ing my rub­ber band.

3 — I added a few stems of green­ery from my gar­den to make this design stand out from a “gro­cery store” design. By adding a few stems of Aeo­ni­um suc­cu­lents and five stems of Camel­lia leaves, I was able to up the ante of the design.

Blooming on a Stamp

United States Postal Museum Exhibition Displays Flower Art

By Kit Wertz

In July, I had the plea­sure of vis­it­ing the Smith­son­ian Nation­al Postal Muse­um in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. with my father and two kids. This is a gem of a vis­it near the US Capi­tol build­ing and Union Sta­tion. It was very close to a Metro stop which made it attrac­tive to vis­it on a hot sum­mer day!

What brought us there was more than a love of stamps! There was an exhib­it about flo­ra on US Stamps!

Beau­ti­ful Blooms: Flow­er­ing Plants on Stamps is open from Octo­ber 20, 2017 — July 14, 2019.  It was described as:

Stamp art fea­tur­ing flow­ers and diverse ele­ments of a gar­den, such as birds and flow­er­ing trees, rep­re­sent some of the most attrac­tive art­work in the Post­mas­ter General’s Col­lec­tion. This exhi­bi­tion focus­es on the issuance of Unit­ed States stamps that acknowl­edge nature’s most col­or­ful and beau­ti­ful liv­ing botan­i­cals found through­out the Amer­i­can land­scape, from sea to shin­ing sea.”

Here is one of my favorite col­lec­tions on view…the orig­i­nal art and then the stamps:

Orig­i­nal Art:


The most inter­est­ing item about the pieces is how small the orig­i­nal art actu­al­ly is…I always thought it was a big poster shrunk down to size. But in real­i­ty, the stamp “art” is almost as small as the stamp!

These artists are amaz­ing!

If you have kids, it’s fun to vis­it the mail train exhib­it, see the authen­tic stage coach and sit in a big rig pre­tend­ing to haul the mail. You can also design your own stamp and send a free post­card from the muse­um!!!

Make Your Own Postal Stamp

Here is my stamp I cre­at­ed at the Nation­al Postal Muse­um! Notice the two flow­ers for “Flower Duet?” Ha Ha. Design by Kit Wertz

All in a beau­ti­ful build­ing I had nev­er been to in all my youth grow­ing up just 15 min­utes from down­town Wash­ing­ton. This muse­um is worth a visit…with flower stamps or not!

National Postal Museum Washingont D.C.

This is the main hall of the Nation­al Postal Muse­um. It’s real­ly gor­geous. Pho­to by Kit Wertz.

Real stage­coach at the Nation­al Postal Muse­um. Pho­to by Kit Wertz

National Postal Museum Airplanes

Air­planes on dis­play above you in the 1st-floor gallery at the Nation­al Postal Muse­um in D.C. — part of the won­der­ful Smith­son­ian col­lec­tion. Pho­to by Kit Wertz

Also…if you are an Alexan­der Hamil­ton fan, there is an exhib­it on him at the Postal Muse­um now, too!

Free Online Flower Class: Make a Floral Lei

Floral Lei

Learn the ins and outs of how to make a basic flo­ral lei! Pho­to by Kit Wertz

In this Fresh Flo­ral Lei mini-work­shop, Kit will show you the tra­di­tion­al way to make a flower lei using fresh cut flow­ers. Join us for this FREE work­shop this month and then we’ll know you’ll want to join us every week for new class­es!

What you’ll learn in this course:

  • 5 videos
  • PDF down­load­able file of all sup­plies used
  • Plus a tip on how to keep flower leis fresh!

To take this class, please enroll in Flower Arrang­ing Fri­days For­ev­er for only $8 per month and you can access this les­son and all our past Flower Arrang­ing Fri­days Cours­es! That’s 52 Cours­es over the year.…for a low month­ly sub­scrip­tion!!!!

Book Recommendation: Pressed Flower Art: Tips, Tools and Techniques for Learning the Craft

If you want a clas­sic book on how to cre­ate amaz­ing pressed flower art, this book, “Pressed Flower Art” by W. Eugene Burkhart is a won­der­ful choice for your flo­ral design or craft library.


The art of using pressed and dried flower mate­ri­als to cre­ate pic­tures and designs has been pop­u­lar through­out his­to­ry in cul­tures around the world. Acclaimed artist W. Eugene Burkhart Jr. pass­es the craft on in this com­pre­hen­sive, full-col­or, how-to guide, shar­ing infor­ma­tion on tools and mate­ri­als, detailed step-by-step instruc­tions and close-up pho­tographs, and an assort­ment of projects, pat­terns, and design ideas for mak­ing botan­i­cals, whole flower designs, and intri­cate cut­work pic­tures.”

If you want keen guid­ance on how to press fresh flow­ers to pre­serve them and then, design art pieces, this is a won­der­ful book. From greet­ing cards to wall pieces, Mr. Burkart’s book has it cov­ered.

Floral Tool: Flower Press

We spent the end of July in the moun­tains in the East­ern Sier­ra moun­tains and enjoyed hik­ing through a pletho­ra of wild­flow­ers! What joy to walk through the fields and think of how I could cap­ture the joy of wild­flow­ers beyond a few love­ly pho­tos from my handy mobile phone.

Yellow Wildflower Moth

Yel­low wild­flow­ers are giv­en a vis­it by a moth at 11,000 feet above sea lev­el at Mam­moth Resort in Cal­i­for­nia. We saw lots of wild­flow­ers in the moun­tains last week. All ripe for press­ing! Pho­to by Kit Wertz

I thought back to my youth and girl scouts and press­ing flow­ers. We used to lit­er­al­ly press them in between sheets of wax paper to pre­serve them. Mod­ern artists are press­ing flow­ers nat­u­ral­ly and then glu­ing pieces to paper to cre­ate bou­quets or com­po­si­tions that are amaz­ing to behold!

The Microfleur flower press is a great inven­tion to help with our “hur­ry up” soci­ety to speed the flower dry­ing and press­ing process. Nor­mal­ly, one would take a flower head (dry…not damp), place it in between some blot­ting paper (like parch­ment or tis­sue paper) and sand­wich the flower into some pages of a heavy, unused book…like your well-worn Jane Austin anthol­o­gy (yes…I actu­al­ly have one of these which must weigh at least two pounds) and then wait 4–6 weeks.

This flower press uses the mag­ic of the microwave to speed up most of the wait­ing time to dry­ing and press­ing your flow­ers. You will still need to wait a few days after the microwave process to ensure a prop­er­ly pre­pared flower, but then, you are ready to design!

Once you’ve gath­ered your pressed flow­ers, it’s time to make beau­ti­ful “flat” arrange­ments on paper. What a won­der­ful way to express your flo­ral design ways.

Sign Up

2019 Flower Design Classes

Flower Duet’s South­bay Stu­dio
Reg­is­ter for these class­es online. *LA Flower Mart Tours avail­able some dates also.

  • Jan­u­ary 12, 2019 — The Ele­gant Calla Lily
  • Feb­ru­ary 9, 2019 – Organ­ic Con­tain­ers
  • March 9, 2019 – Eccen­tric Emer­ald Flow­ers
  • April 20, 2019 – A Mod­ern Take on the Bas­ket of Flow­ers
  • May 11, 2019 – Tulips for Mother’s Day
  • June 15, 2019 – A Pock­et Full of Posies
  • July 20, 2019 – Large-Scale Flo­ral Design with Ros­es
  • August 17, 2019 – Too Hot Trop­i­cal Flow­ers with Orchids
  • Sep­tem­ber 14, 2019 – Suc­cu­lents & Flow­ers
  • Octo­ber 12, 2019 – Fall, Tall & Ter­rif­ic Flow­ers
  • Novem­ber 23, 2019 – Flo­rals On the Table Work­shop
  • Decem­ber 7, 2019 – Wreaths!

Wednes­day Night Wed­ding Series Work­shops:

  • Jan­u­ary 23, 2019 – Bou­quet & Bou­ton­nière
  • Feb­ru­ary 27, 2019 – Cen­ter­piece & Table Accents
  • May 22, 2019 – Bou­quet & Bou­ton­nière
  • June 26, 2019 – Cen­ter­piece & Table Accents
  • Sep­tem­ber 25, 2019 – Bou­quet & Bou­ton­nière
  • Octo­ber 23, 2019 – Cen­ter­piece & Table Accents

Hunt­ing­ton Library

Reg­is­ter for these class­es through

  • Jan­u­ary 19, 2019 — Herb Gar­den Flow­ers
  • March 2, 2019 — Bulb Spring Flow­ers
  • May 4, 2019 — Cin­co de Mayo Bright Flow­ers
  • June 1, 2019 — Ros­es

More in 2019 in the fall!

Autry Muse­um
Watch for Novem­ber Class in 2019!

Wedding Flowers

Fall Wedding Bouquet by Flower Duet

Flower Duet offers a gen­er­ous wed­ding pack­age includ­ing a trip to the LA Flower Mart and a mock­up design of the wed­ding vision. Check out the details on our Wed­ding Flow­ers page. If you are com­ing to the Los Ange­les area for your wed­ding, we are your Los Ange­les wed­ding des­ti­na­tion florist!