December 2016 Newsletter

A Curated 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Flower Lovers

From Kit & Casey of Flower Duet


Faceted Terrariums Source:

Every year we like to curate a list of gift ideas for the Flower Lover in your life. In addition to these ideas, make sure you check out our book recommendations in this newsletter down below.

Gift Ideas from Shop Terrain

Shop Terrain is a perennial favorite of ours for gifts that are botanically inclined.

Pressed Metal Flower Garland – from Shop Terrain

Metal Flower Garland

Pressed Metal Flower Garland. Source: Shop Terrain

Geometric Porcelain Vase

Geometric Porcelain Vase by Shop Terrain

Geometric Porcelain Vase. Source: Shop Terrain

Bauble Bud Vases

Bauble Bud Bases by Shop Terrain

Bauble Bud Vases. Source: Shop Terrain

Cone Trio Vase

Cone Trio Vase by Shop Terrain

Cone Trio Vase. Source: Shop Terrain

Aged Iron Waves Urn

Aged Iron Waves Urn by Shop Terrain

Aged Iron Waves Urn. Source: Shop Terrain

Golden Lilies Wreath

Golden Lilies Wreath. Source: Shop Terrain

Golden Lilies Wreath. Source: Shop Terrain

Habit + Form Rectangle Trough

Rectangle Trough by Shop Terrain

Habit + FORM Rectangle Trough by Shop Terrain

Floral Holiday Gift Ideas from Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages is a charitable organization based in Pennsylvania that sells handmade products from around the globe in order to help the artisans create a better life. Their mission as stated: “We create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term, fair trading relationships.”

We have a Ten Thousand Villages store near to us in Redondo Beach and love perusing the wares seasonally. On “Shop Local Saturday” last week, Kit and her daughter found some great holiday decorations for the house! The shops are all staffed by friendly volunteers and are located throughout the country.

Bronze Bloom Bowl – From Ten Thousand Villages


Bronze Bloom Bowl. Source Ten Thousand Villages

Recycled Sari Flower


Recycled Sari Flower

Fine sari material finds new life in the creation of this flower from artisan group Hajiganj. Crafted with bendable wire, this flower is easily wrapped or maneuvered into the shape of your choosing. Because each piece of fabric comes from a real recycled sari, no two flowers are entirely alike. From Ten Thousand Villages.

Posy Dazzle Jewelry Set

Posy Dazzle Jewelry Set. Source: Ten Thousand Villages.

There are many jewelry choices available from Ten Thousand Villages including this Posy Dazzle Jewelry Set. Source: Ten Thousand Villages.

Fire Flower Scarf

Flower Scarf

Colors warm and bright emerge in a pattern inspired by the vibrant designs of a sari. Source: Ten Thousand Villages.

Happy Holidays Gifts from West Elm

West Elm was born in Brooklyn in 2002. A branch of Williams–Sonoma, Inc, the company brand is focused on modern design.

Wood + Glass Terrariums

Wood + Glass Terrariums from West Elm. Source

Wood + Glass Terrariums from West Elm. Source

Waterscape Vases


Waterscape Vases. Source

Embroidered Poppy Square Pillow Cover


Poppy Pillow Cover. Source

Red Berries Wreath


Fresh Green Wreat with Red Berries. Source


Holiday Gifts from Bambeco – Sustainable Home Goods

Bambeco designs, creates and provides responsible home goods that inspire sustainable design and enhance the way people connect with our planet.

Bloom Candles

Bloom Candles

Bloom Candles by Bambeco. Photo:

City Cedar Coasters – Set of 4


City Cedar Coaster Set of 4. Choose from 8 different cities including Baltimore, Brooklyn, Chicago, DC, LA, Manhattan, Paris and San Francisco. Offered at – Sustainable Home Goods

Artisan Root Wood Vases

Artisan Root Wood Vases

Artisan Root Wood Vases are made from discarded remnants transformed by artist’s hands into something extraordinary—the essence of nature, hand-touched. From Bambeco. Free CarbonFree Ground Shipping for orders over $100.

There are No Bad Flower Arrangers, only Bad Vases

By Kit Wertz

Recycled Glass Vases with gathered openings

These recycled glass vases from Pottery Barn make good choices for beginning flower arrangers because of their gathered openings which help create a natural shape to florals. Photo:

It’s all about the vase.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again…there are no bad flower arrangers…only bad vases. If you constantly struggle with making flowers look pretty in a vase from your grandmother or from an estate sale down the street, maybe it’s not you…maybe it’s the vase.

Wide Openings = Lots of Flowers

Vases with wide openings require a lot of flowers and it’s harder to make a great floral design in one of these vases unless you have a huge backyard cutting garden. If you do have a vase you just love with a large opening, experiment with lots of different types of greenery including tree branches to make up the bulk of an arrangement, then add a few choice blooms for impact.

3d Eyelet Vases from West Elm

Vases with wide openings like these can be problematic to design in because they require a lot of flowers to fill them up! 3D Eyelet Vases. Source: West Elm

Leave the Bubble Bowls for the Goldfish

Bubble bowls are truly one of the most difficult vases in which to design. These vases, shaped like goldfish bowls, are better kept for the gold fish. They can make great terrariums! So don’t toss your entire collection! Just place a nice long-lasting Tillandsia in there and it will be quite happy with the natural humidity created by the slightly enclosed top.

Bubble Bowls

It’s tough to make an arrangement in a bubble bowl and the thin glass of the lip can make it difficult to transport. Photo:

 Cylinder Vase Alternative Uses

Cylinder vases are quite chic and still trendy, but are best left for very minimalist designs like a gathering of Calla Lilies or one Monstera Leaf. Otherwise, keep the cylinder vases for your pillar candles or tall terrarium design.

Clear Glass Cylinder Vases

Cylinder vases are sleek and slender, but difficult to design flowers in with flowing shapes. These vases do well as terrariums as shown here or containers to display collections like the antique keys. Photo:

Here are some tips on how to choose a vase that will make arranging flowers a little easier on you.

Tip 1: Pick a vase with a gathered opening and a large base. Think hourglass shape.

Wide Base Vase

Narrow vases with wide bases make for easy designing. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Tip 2: Pick a narrow-topped vase if you have a small budget for flowers. The narrower the opening, the fewer flowers you’ll need to use.

Gilded Fig Vases

Gilded Fig Vases from

Tip 3: Footed containers give an arrangement a natural elegance. Use floral foam or a floral frog to secure the stems place.

Flower Duet - California Wedding Day 2014 Ebell

Footed centerpiece in gold container with red roses, burgundy scabiosa, purple lisianthus, hypericum berries, red hanging amaranthus and red celosia. Flowers by Flower Duet, photo by Kit Wertz.

Most importantly, have fun and don’t be afraid to keep trying to see if a vase will work. If you’ve tried to design in a vase more than five times without success, it’s time to put the vase aside or take it to your next floral design class and ask the instructor on how best to design in it!

Real Wedding by Flower Duet

This wedding took place in Long Beach, California. All flowers by Flower Duet. All photos by Jessica Castro Weddings.

The theme was Citrus. All types of citrus colors and fruit were integrated into the flower designs. We used mums, dianthus, roses, ranunculus along with lots of citrus!_jb-875












Flower Duet is Florist for WIPA Gala Dinner

A Gem of a Night – Third Annual Gala Dinner at Hotel Irivine, November 30, 2016

Kit and Casey at WIPASOCAL A Gem of A Night 2016

Casey (left) and Kit (right) of Flower Duet pose in front of their gilded flower wall they created for WIPA SoCal’s Gem of a Night Gala Dinner at the Hotel Irvine on November 30, 2016. PhotoBooth:

We were asked to create the floral designs for the 3rd Annual WIPA SoCal (Wedding International Professionals Association Southern California Chapter) Gala Dinner and were delighted to add to the gem-filled theme of blue agate geodes and gold.

Taking a cue from the invitation, we gilded two types of Ruscus greenery and mixed the gold with non-gilded greenery along with a variety of white flowers from Roses to Amaryllis. We’ve sponsored three WIPA SoCal events in 2016, but this was the first event we were able to attend together as a team and it was so nice to see the reaction of people to our floral designs.

Lovely work by all the sponsors, especially Hotel Irvine and de LUXE Events!

We’ll have more photos when they are published by WIPA, but here a few sneak peeks from the evening as we were setting up for the gala.

Flower Duet Florals for WIPASOCAL. Photo by Kit Wertz

Kit and Casey collaborated on this design using over 30 long-stem Denbdrobium orchids and two types of Ruscus gilded and non-gilded. Photo by Kit Wertz


Roses, Wax Flower, Hypericum Berries and Amaryllis were the stars along with White Denodrobiums and gilded Ruscus in this design by Flower Duet for WIPA SoCal’s 2016 Gala. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Photo by Kit Wertz.

We created many different sizes of arrangements for the evening. Roses, Wax Flower, Hypericum Berries and Amaryllis were the stars along with White Dendrobiums and gilded Ruscus in this design by Flower Duet for WIPA SoCal’s 2016 Gala. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Donut Flower Wall

A Donut Wall by Lavish Candy had a flower wall background created by Kit of Flower Duet.


Hotel Irvine | @hotelirvine
de Luxe Event | @deluxeeventweddings
Sweetest Love Events |@sharonagonzalez
3J Events | @3jevents
AmariProductions | @amariproductions
AmpersandInk Designs | @ampersandink
Beverly’s Bakery |@beverlysbakery
Chloe Wine Collection | @chloewine
Christopher Todd Studios | @christophertoddstudios
Design Visage | @designvisage
Flower Duet | @flowerduetla
Krieger | @kriegerstyle
LA Follies | @lafollies
Lavish Candy | @lavishcandylife
NFP Productions | @nfpevents
Rrivre Works | @rrivre_works
SocialLight | @sociallightsocal
The Society Band |@thesocietyband
TMMPRO | @jack_tmmpro
Urban Espresso |@urbanespresso
Wildflower Linens |@wildflowerlinen
Sweet Traders | @sweettraders
Baker Party Rentals | @bakerparty

Books Recommendations – Comfort Flower Books

2017 Floral Books

foragerscocktailsForager’s Cocktails by Amy Zavatto

From farmers’ markets to speakeasies, delectable drinks made from foraged and grown ingredients are the latest trend to hit mixology. Full of mouth-watering color photos, this handy guide to imbibing the great outdoors offers 40 inspiring recipes, divided into seasons, as well as tips on how best to forage and preserve the freshest and tastiest berries, herbs, flowers and more.




garden-madeGarden Made: A Year of Seasonal Projects to Beautify Your Garden and Your Life – by Stephanie Rose

40 down-to-earth ideas for inspired garden crafts, including containers, handmade gifts, outdoor lighting, holiday decorations, and more.

Blending the pleasures of gardening with the joys of crafting, Garden Made showcases over forty projects to adorn your garden, beautify your home, or give as gifts. Following the natural cycle of the garden in all its seasons—yes, even winter!—these garden-inspired projects, made by hand and finished with finesse, are the perfect way to express your love of the garden in fresh ways. With full step-by-step instructions, as well as gardening tips and advice, Garden Made will inspire seasoned and novice gardeners, and everyone in between.

herbariumHerbarium: One Hundred Herbs Grow – Cook – Heal – by Caz Hildebrand

From the forward: “This is a book of herbs. There are sweet herbs — basil, angelica, pandan — and tart herbs — sorrel, bergamot, sassafras. There are minty herbs and oniony herbs and bitter herbs. There are tall herbs that whisper, and small herbs that shout. There are herbs to eat and herbs very much not to eat; some of them heal, but there are a few that could kill. Not all herbs are green, although there are a lot of green herbs.”


aromaThe Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and Well-Being by Kathi Keville

The Aromatherapy Garden explains how fragrant plants can be as therapeutic as they are intoxicating, and how easy it is to add this captivating element to gardens large and small. It reveals the scents, secrets, and science behind fragrant plants, and how to optimize the full benefits of fragrance. Hone your powers of concentration with lemon verbena. Beat the blues with wintersweet. And use rose geranium to relieve anxiety and stress. Revealed here are the scents, secrets, and science behind plant aromatherapy, and how to optimize its full benefits. Detailed plant profiles will help you create a beautiful source of restorative aromas, oils, sachets, teas, and more. The nose knows—and with Keville’s expertise, now you too can create your own sanctuary of health and happiness

Flower Tool Recommendation – Garland Making Tools

Garlands are all the rage for the holidays and we thought it might be nice to let you know the right tools you’ll need to create  your own. We use a lot of garlands in our wedding and event work. Sometimes we create them ourselves and other times, we outsource the garlands if we need A LOT of them!

They are all built the same way…with one continuous rope (hemp rope) and one coninuous wire (paddle wire). Basically, you gather stems of greenery and wrap them together onto the hemp rope and then overlap the next gathered group of greenery with more paddle wire until you reach the end.


Here is a wedding by Flower Duet. The garlands on the table were accented with fresh florals including roses. Tools for making garlands are simple…rope, paddle wire and shears. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Hemp Rope – Can be purchased online or at hardware stores.

Hemp Rope

Hemp Rope

Paddle Wire – Can be purchased online or at craft stores like Michaels.

Paddle Wire

Paddle Wire

Pruning Shears – Bunch Cutters or pruning shears work best for cutting large stems like Douglas Fir.

Pruning Shears by Fiskars

Pruning Shears by Fiskars


Here is a great step-by-step garland making tutorial from Bob Vila of This Old House fame.