December 2015 Newsletter

Floral Trends - Volume 68

Gift Guide: 100 Holiday Gifts for Flower Lovers

By Flower Duet

Gilded Fig Vases

Gilded Fig Vases from One of 100 holiday gift ideas from Flower Duet for flower lovers!

From gilded vases, to pillows, rugs and jewelry, Flower Duet has curated a list of 100 Holiday Gift ideas for people who love flowers as much as we do. Whether your gift recipients likes to wear flowers on their feet or be inspired by flowers in all aspects of their lives from floral tea towels to iPhone covers, we have their present covered!

Tea Towel

Spring flower tea towel from

Succulent wall planter in the shape of a Peace Sign.

Succulent wall shape planter in a peace symbol by Potted.

Crystal block vases by Williams Sonoma.

Crystal block vases by Williams Sonoma.

Wall plant hangers

Wall plant hangers by

Here is our Pinterest Board we created to make it easy to shop for your favorite flower lover!

NOTE: On Pinterest….you will have to create a profile to view all of our ideas. Pinterest is a useful platform to collect ideas that inspire you around the Web and share with friends – in public or private.

100 Holiday Gifts for Flower Lovers

Floral Styling Class: Create a Winter Wonderland with Flowers

White snowball carnation pomander.

Snowball pomander – Flower Duet will show you how to make these and hang them or turn them into snowmen!

Attend a hands-on workshop with Flower Duet on location at The South Coast Botanic Garden to learn how to make holiday bows, snowball pomanders, garlands and an oversized organic penguin!

Winter Wonderland Flower Class

Learn to combine white and silver flowers to create a winter wonderland for your holiday parties!

In this exclusive behind-the-scenes look into event styling, students will be hands-on to set up a winter-themed holiday display with accompanying decor on the Koi Pond Patio. During this multi-faceted class, students will learn about techniques for making garlands and large bows to accompany all types of home and commercial holiday decoration needs. Students will also receive tips and tricks on current holiday decorating trends. Flower Duet provides all the materials for the class.

Where: South Coast Botanic Garden, Palos Verdes on the Koi Pond Patio

When: December 2, 2015 – 10 a.m. – Noon

Cost: $25 members/$35 non-members

Reserve: Online or call Guest Services at 310-544-1948.

Auto Show Flowers – A Look Back and the Present

Casey’s family went to the Los Angeles Auto Show over the Thanksgiving Break and as she admired the modern and sleek floral designs that were throughout each auto maker’s snazzy displays, she came across some archival photos of auto shows from the early and mid 20th century.

Here are a few photos to help you see how much floral design has changed as well as automobile styling! (Thank goodness!)

Auto Show Flowers History

Flowers at an auto show in the 1950s.

1930s Auto Show

Auto Show flowers – 1930s.

Auto Show Flowers 2015

Auto Show flowers at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2015 for the Volvo display. Photo by Casey Schwartz.

A florist in Fenten, Michigan called Gerych’s, has designed flowers for the Detroit Auto Show. They have a small gallery of more modern floral design examples on their site.

Flower Duet’s Press

Flower Duet has been featured in a number of print and online publications for the wedding and floral industry. Here is the collection that was published last month from the national Bridal Guide magazine to our local floral trade publication – The Bloomin’ News.

bridaL-guide-magazineBridal Guide Magazine – 2016 Wedding Floral Trends

Flower Duet was interviewed by Bridal Guide magazine to provide floral trends for the 2016 wedding season. We were delighted to have our work featured as well as our ideas on what’s going to be “hot” for brides and grooms in the coming year.

Our flowers were even featured on the cover of their 2016 Wedding Trends insert in the magazine!

Pick up the magazine to read why and check out all of our ideas as well as tips from our top wedding vendor friends. 

We’re loving all of the tips from Antonia Christianson Events, Flower Duet, Gourmet Invitations, Twinkle & Toast, Great Dane Baking Company, Nineteen Studios, Miki & Sonja Photography!

Flower Duet in Bride Guide

Flower Duet’s clean and elegant flowers in a metallic vase atop a metallic linen is the featured photo for January’s Bridal Guide Magazine! Photo by Miki & Sonja Photography.

Place Card Holder by Flower Duet

Place Card Holder by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.

The Bloomin’ News – Holiday & Wedding Place Card Holders

In the most current issue of The Bloomin’ News, the trade publication for the Original Los Angeles Flower Market, Kit wrote an article entitled, “Flower-Themed Place Card Holders Double as Guest Favors.” – Mix & Match Bridesmaid Dresses by Joanna August

We are receiving more press from our fashion photo shoot with Joanna August designs. Last month, we were featured on

Pink Bridal Bouquet

Dresses: Joanna August / Photography: Krista Mason / Florals: Flower Duet / Hair and Makeup: Kacee Geoffroy / Venue: The Colony House – 30 Breathtaking Ways to Turn Your Wedding Into a Winter Wonderland

Flower Duet was featured in a slideshow on for a winter-themed wedding we did with the lovely planner Helen Cho of Now&Forever Love and Love Sprung Photography.

Flower Duet winter flowers

Flower Duet Flowers. Photo by Love Sprung Photography.

Brit + CO – Gray Wedding Ideas that are Anything but Drab

Kit shot a few lovely white and silver bouquets we created for a wedding and one made it into a nice article on weddings that feature “gray” as a main shade! We saw it on the website along with a plethora of ideas on how to use gray for a classy celebration in flowers and decorations.

Gray Wedding Flowers

Silvery gray wedding flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.

What to do with leftover Mums? Make a Flace! (Flower Face)

We provide flowers for a local restaurant each week and many times the flowers still look awesome when we swap them out with new blooms. It seems a shame to compost the old flowers, so if we have time between gigs, it’s fun to be creative. Last week, Casey took some rust-colored China Mums – which are also called “Football Mums” – and created a Football helmut-themed flower face – or “Flace.”

Football Flower Face or Flace by Flower Duet.

Football mums made into a football helmet for a flower face – or Flace by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.

Flower Face - Flace

Flower Face or “Flace” by Casey Schwartz of Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz

Poinsettias for Christmas: Colors and Varieties

By Kit Wertz


Everywhere I look from Home Depot to Trader Joe’s to the Flower Mart, I am bombarded with amazing-looking Poinsettias.

Chances are, they were grown very close by in Carson or down in Encinitas by Color Spot Nurseries who provides the plants to large retailers but is a local grower (for SoCal at least).

I love these plants and looked forward to seeing them every year next to our fireplace back in Virginia at my parent’s house. They still buy a bunch every year to light up the house with lovely color.

The poinsettia  is native to Mexico and Central America and most well-known for its red and green foliage which makes them popular for Christmas displays everywhere. Its common English name was derived from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant into the United States in 1825.

Now you can find the plants in all types of colors including white and pink and in a curly floret style called the Christmas Rose. Here is a color sheet from a nursery in Illinois, Vern Goers, that I found to be a nice reference.

Poinsettia colors

Photo Credit: Vern Goers Greenhouse

When driving around my neighborhood, I see many tall and mature poinsettia plants growing and blooming in people’s yards. Here is a great reference on how to propagate the plants after the holidays.

From: Mother Earth News.

From: Mother Earth News.

Flower Duet’s Greenhouse

By Casey Schwartz


Orchid bouquet by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz

We had a wonderful late summer whirlwind of weddings which required the finishing touches of Phaleonopsis orchids to the centerpieces. So instead of purchasing the cut stems and having to handle their delicate transport, we purchased the plants whose blooms were full and at their peak of opening. Transporting the stems still attached to the plant and in a sturdy tray keeps the bruising minor. In addition the stem is able to get lots of energy until the last minute providing a super fresh stem, without the mystery of how long has this stem been cut. Some plants are doubles and provide two stems for a lower price than purchasing the cut stem.

The other bonus would be the plant itself. Once the bloom is cut, the plant, if treated well, will provide years of blooms. Some varieties of orchids “spike” again within 3-6 months. Since we had made this investment in plants and our studio gets rather chilly in the winter, we decided to make an investment in a greenhouse.

I did quite a bit of research and found this company Ogrow. I needed something I could actually walk into. The weather has turned chilly here, so I took the weekend to put it together.



First steps of setting up the greenhouse frame from OGrow.

Frame setup complete from Ogrow.

Frame setup complete from Ogrow.

Sam testing out the cover of the greenhouse.

Sam testing out the cover of the greenhouse.

Final greenhouse set up with plants!

Final greenhouse set up with plants!

It took a pleasant two hours from start to finish with a little help and a lunch break. My son, Sam, was great and compared it to a giant tinker toy with a cover. Once I filled it with the orchids and some young succulents, I watered and Sam walked in and said,” It looks just like the Huntington Gardens.”

What more could I ask for!!!  I look forward to some spiking from the orchid plants and maybe on a cold day…just sitting in the greenhouse!

Book Review: Jane Packer’s Guide to Flower Arranging: Tips & techniques for beautiful flowers with more than 25 step-by-step projects

janepackerThis book was actually first published back in 2008 but it’s still relevant and now it’s available for the Kindle tablet.

Jane Packer is an expert designer and floral instructor based in the UK and we are finding more and more influence in American floral design from designers in Europe.

The chapters in the book including Flowers To Give, Flowers for the Home, Flowers for Celebrations and Choosing Wedding Flowers, offer lovely and elegant design options as well as solid practical advice for the new flower arranger.

This book, Jane Packer’s Guide to Flower Arranging, is a wonderful gift for someone who is just starting to learn the art of floral design.

Flower Tool: Chicken Wire


Chicken wire or “Poultry netting” is an essential tool for the floral designer. It allows you to design with confidence tall flowers inside vases, helps secure lots of stems inside floral foam and makes wire forms for topiaries or other large scale floral designs like the Tournament of Roses Parade floats!

chicken wire on foam

Chicken wire on top of foam adds security for stems in a floral design.

For Added Security: When working with floral foam in a shallow dish or container, or  using tall stems, it’s a good idea to reinforce the foam with a layer of chicken wire, then some tape. This helps the stems stay put during transport.

chicken wire as vase architecture

Chicken wire as an inside vase architecture helps when placing stems in a wide-mouth container like this 8-inch metal cube.

As Inside Architecture: When using large open mouthed vases and containers, it’s easier to have stems stay in place by adding a loose ball of chicken wire inside the vase. This works well in opaque containers. For clear glass containers, try curly willow or aluminum wire instead.

Chicken Wire topiary

Kit created this topiary frame for a winter penguin. We’ll be adding greenery to create the “fur.”

As a Topiary Frame: This week, we are teaching a class on winter styling at the South Coast Botanic Garden and are working in a Topiary Frame for a penguin. We covered a tomato cage with chicken wire and added chicken wire feet, tail and wings. Stay tuned to see the final version we create at the garden.






  1. Julie

    Love reading the monthly newsletter! What a pleasure to see your work featured in such a variety of outlets. Thanks for sharing all the pretty and all the useful info. Wondering if we will have a new resource for orchids and succulents before too long??

  2. Judi Corfino

    I’ve been so busy with the Holiday Home tour that this is the first minute I’ve had to read my favorite newsletter! Always full of great ideas…love the football face! It made me laugh and I’m sure you were cracking up making it.
    I will look for the magazine…
    And I’m wondering how long it will be before we see 2 greenhouses:)
    Merry Christmas!

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