February 2015 Newsletter

valentine_victorian-heartFlower Duet’s Special Valentine’s Day Gift Offering – Coming Soon!

Available February 7, 2015

Flower Duet will offer two special floral Valentine’s gifts that can be ordered for Valentine’s Day! We’ll have options to ship to anywhere within the continental United States or to pick up at our studio in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Watch our Shopping page, floral trends blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feed to learn more on February 7, 2015. For now, it’s our little secret so stayed tuned!

 Moss Covered Letter Initial Wreath Tutorial

By Kit Wertz

Mossy Letter Initial Wreath

Miss your Holiday wreath? Here’s a quick how-to on creating a moss-covered wreath that is perfect for any time of year. Great for birthdays, Mitzvahs and weddings. Photo by Kit Wertz

Super77 Spray Adhesive by 3M makes attaching moss to wooden frames extremely easy.

Super77 Spray Adhesive by 3M makes attaching moss to wooden frames extremely easy.

Over the last holiday season, I saw a wreath for sale online that was a moss-covered letter initial. The cost for the wreath was $45, plus shipping! I made one of my own for about $8.

Here is my tutorial on how to create a letter wreath that is perfect for any occasion whether it be for a first birthday party, Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah, wedding or your own front door.

Moss-Covered Wreath Supplies:

  • Wooden Letter from Michael’s Craft Supply
  • Super 77 Adhesive
  • Preserved Moss
  • Staple Gun & Wire (for Hook)

Step 1: Gather Materials; Prep Work Area

First, take the wooden letter you purchased from your local craft store and place it on top of craft paper or a painter’s tarp which you can toss when you are finished with your project. The spray glue will get all over the place and you’ll want to make clean up easy.

Michael's wooden letter W.

Wooden letters measure about 14-inches in diameter and height and cost about $6 each from a craft store like Michael’s.

Step 2: Add Glue to letter

Spray the letter with the Super77 Adhesive liberally. Let it become a bit tacky by waiting about a minute before you start to add moss.

Spray glue onto letter.

Spray glue on in a few even passes with the Super77.

Step 3: Add First Moss Clumps

Add large amounts of moss to the glued letter. Press down and let dry for about 10 minutes.

Add moss.

Add a lot of moss to the letter that’s been sprayed with glue.

Press down on the moss.

Press down on the moss to make it adhere to the wooden letter.

Step 4: Remove excess moss and spray again

Remove the excess moss that did not stick and re-spray the entire top of the letter again with the Super77. Then, add more moss. Press down. Let dry and then remove any excess moss by trimming away with sharp cutters or craft scissors. Remember to spray the sides of the wreath so you cover the sides with moss, too!

Repeat spray and moss.

After 10 minutes, remove the excess moss, spray again with more adhesive and repeat the process until you have covered up the wooden part of the letter.

NOTE: I am wearing Nitrile gloves on this step because the moss tends to stick to everyting at this point. Also, sometimes moss can cause a type of dermatitis, so it’s a good idea to work while wearing gloves.

Step 5: Attach a Loop and It’s Ready to Hang

Turn over the back of the wreath and attach a loop of wire with a staple gun. I used some aluminum wire I had which I twisted around to make a loop. Then, I stapled it to the top of the W so I could hang it. You could use small hook eyes and hang it using invisible fishing line. If you want to hang it where people can see it from both sides, be sure to cover both sides with moss!

Staple a wire hook to back.

Attach a loop made out of aluminum wire by using a staple gun.

Hanging Moss-Covered Letter Wreath

Here is the finished product! Done in less than 30 minutes, for less than $10 for all the supplies.

Finished W Moss-Covered Letter

Finished letter! Photo by Kit Wertz

Red Floral Ideas for Valentine’s Day Flowers

By Casey Schwartz

Ode to Red Blooms
by Casey Schwartz

Red roses are great,
But the bank you may break.
There are many more red flowers,
Which may wield the same powers.

Red means passion. When you give red flowers to someone, you are telling them that you are passionate for them.


Red anemones mean to “unlock the secret”, so these are perfect to send to one you secretly admire. They are spring flowers which we’ve seen at the flower mart already!

Red anenomes.

Red anemones. Photo by flowerbulbcrazy.com.


How much more message do you need if you send Tulips …. of course you will want a kiss. Amazingly your love will grow as your tulips will too.  Expect your tulips to grow up to four inches once you have purchased them. Best to group these with just other tulips as not to overwhelm the other flowers.

Tulips Workshop – February 15, 2015: Flower Duet will hold a special flower arranging class featuring tricky tulips on February 21, 2015 at our floral design studio in Torrance. You can attend our optional tour of the Los Angeles Flower District before the class or just come to the class.

Red Tulips

Red tulips are a great choice all year long!


Ranunculus mean “Radiant with Charm” and are just starting their season this time of year. They are native to Asia, but have made an impact worldwide and are charmers with brides for bouquets! Vase life is still only a week, but worth it.

Red ranunculus

Red ranunculus flowers are grown in close proximity to Los Angeles. Photo by: ActFlower.com.


Anthuriums are amazing tropical blooms shaped like a heart. What could be more telling of how you feel. They also last up to a month in a vase. Talk about a long relationship. These are available year round and grown in the USA…a bit off the coast of California! Red, Pinks and Whites.

Red Anthurium

There is more than one variety of red anthuriums as illustrated here by Sierra Flower Finder.


Another lovely tropical which makes a statement is Ginger. Tall and bold in red and pink, they last a long time and are available for Valentine’s Day.

Red Ginger Flower

Red Ginger packs a visual punch.

Mango, Riffifi & Montoya Carnations

When one thinks of carnations, Grannies usually come to mind…these amazing carnations have hip names and visually pack punch. Mango, Riffifi, and Montoya sound like new age names at a local dog park in Los angeles, but they are amazing carnations which will also last for weeks in a vase.

Novelty pink carnations

Bi-color carnations are great options for Valentine’s Day. Photo: Sierra Flower Finder.

Peruvian Lily: aka Alstroemeria

A red Peruvian lily like the one pictured here is called “Symphony Red Passion.” These lovely blooms are known by their latin name, Alstroemeria. We like to tell our brides who cannot remember the name that it sounds like, “Ask her to marry ya.”

So, choose these if you about to propose. They also last up to and beyond two weeks in a vase.

Red Passion Alstroemeria

Red Alstroemeria “Red Passion” will last a long time in a vase. Photo by Sierra Flower Finder.

All flowers will last at least a week. Just remember to give them water and love and attention just like any relationship.

Flowering Branches Bloom at the Mart and in the Garden

By Kit Wertz

Flowering Branches at LA Flower Mart

Flowering branches are blooming at the mart!

In the last week of January we saw the first flowering branches at the mart. They included forsythia, quince and some pussy willow. Next month we’ll see cherry blossoms, plum blossoms and more forsythia and pussy willow.

Join us on our next tour of the Los Angeles Flower District. We go almost every month and offer you guidance on how to choose fresh flowers, where to find specific flowers and plants and how to find that perfect vase!

If you want to learn more on how to force flowering branches at home, we wrote a tutorial a few years back in a previous post. Enjoy some recent photos of what is at the mart including locally grown Wax flower that is simply gorgeous in its magnitude!

Dark pink quince blooms

Dark pink quince sometimes is a substitute for cherry blossom.

Quince blossom

Light pink quince is a lovely spring bloom available in January and February at the Los Angeles Flower Mart.

Wax Flower

A packed variety of locally grown blooms includes natural wax flower and dyed wax flower (shown here in blue).

Flowers at Ted's Evergreens

Flower mart vendors are gearing up for the busiest two weeks of the year with long hours for Valentine’s Day orders. Here is some of the great variety available right now at the mart!

Japanese Apricot Flowering Branches

This Japanese Apricot tree is in flower now at our local South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Camellia Flower Arrangements

By Kit Wertz

Red Camellia blooms

Floating a Camellia blossom is a great way to display this short-lived bloom. Camellia Japonica ‘Cherries Jubilee.’ Photo by Kit Wertz.

Camellias are gorgeous flowering shrubs that are evergreen, drought tolerant once established and bloom from late fall through early spring. Primarily used in home garden design as opposed to the cut floral trade, camellias are available in many shapes, sizes and colors.

Camellia foliage is often available at the flower mart and makes a wonderful accent to all types of floral designs year round.

Camellia Foliage

Camellia leaves make great greenery options for all types of floral designs throughout the year. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Most designs using garden-cut camellias won’t last more than a day or two in a vase, so enjoy them while you can. After the bloom has faded, save the greenery and add it to another floral design!

My mother-in-law has many beautiful bushes so I thought I would make a lovely design for her table out of a few different types of camellias. The design I created featured branches from three different camellia bushes. The red Camellia japonica ‘Cherries Jubilee’ has been blooming all month. The pink Camellia japonica ‘Debutante’ is in full bloom right now and a white Camellia japonica ‘Alba Plena’ is still waiting to bloom but had gorgeous greenery.

Camellia Flower Arrangement

Floral arrangements featuring cut camellias won’t last very long, but they sure are pretty while they last. Featuring three types of Camellias. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Waxed Camilla

Waxing camellias is one way to preserve the bloom. This one is from Marian St. Clair’s blog, Hortitopia.

Waxing Camellia Blooms to Preserve the Flower

Many garden club growers use a method called “waxing” to preserve blooms for shows.

Here is one tutorial I found that might be handy if you want to preserve a perfect bloom.

How to Wax Camellia blooms.



Magazine Recommendation:
Flirty Fleurs

By Flower Duet

Flirty Fleurs Magazine

Flirty Fleurs is a blog about flowers and the floral designers who make them into art. Creativity and the art of ‘making’ require dialogue. The full purpose of the Flirty Fleurs blog is to encourage and inspire.

The floral designer behind the wonderful floral design website flirtyfleurs.com came out with a digital and print magazine last year. If you have not seen it, it’s time to check it out!

In this issue, Alicia Schwede, the editor-in-chief, shares a selection of sensational bridal bouquets,  the power of the  Farmer/Florist movement, why teaching classes can be great for your business, and takes a trip to the London gem that is Neill Strain Floral Couture.

On the cover and inside offers photos of an amaryllis-inspired styled shoot by Nancy Teasley of Oak and the Owl. And since rose studies are one of Flirty Fleurs’ signature features, they feature a study of David Austin garden roses.

The purpose of Flirty Fleurs is to encourage and inspire floral designers. You should also add this blog to your feed to learn more about what is going on in the flower world!

Flirty Fleur Magazine excerpt.

An excerpt from an article about florist farmers by Debra Prinzing inside Flirty Fleurs Magazine.

The editor of Flirty Fleurs interviewed us a few years ago. Here is where you can read our profile on her site: Fabulous Florist:: Flower Duet, Los Angeles, CA on Flirty Fleurs.

Floral Design Tool:
Crowning Glory Hydration and Protection Spray

By Flower Duet

crowning-glory-sprayCrowning Glory® solution spray keeps arrangements fresher and customers satisfied. This easy to apply liquid shield holds in moisture which reduces water loss, keeping flowers more vibrant. We use it on all our boutonnieres, corsages, hair wreaths and bouquets to seal in moisture and keep flowers fresh.

Often used in delicate traditional wedding flowers, such as gardenias, stephanotis, roses, and lilies, where the arrangements are in no or little water, it’s the final hydrating step. Crowning Glory® is used by all levels of the floral industry including growers, wholesalers, and florists.

Order from Amazon or your local wholesale floral supplier.

Crowning Glory® is ready to use; no mixing or diluting required. Spray dries to a clear finish with no residue.

  • Ready to use product, no mixing or diluting required.
  • Spray dries to a clear finish with no residue.
  • Slows deterioration and browning of fresh flowers, plants and greens.
  • Can be used with either vase or designed floral foam arrangements.
  • Perfect for corsages, boutonnieres, and wedding work.
  • Safe to use on all flower types.

Crowning Glory – How to Use PDF

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