July 2015 Newsletter

Floral Trends - Volume 63

Richly Hued Summer Flowers

Floral Colors Evoke a Warm Sunset

By Kit Wertz

Flower Duet's Sunset Colored Flowers for Weddings and Events

Sunset Colored flowers for Weddings and Events by Flower Duet – Photo by Kit Wertz.

We’ve created flowers for recent weddings and events that mimicked the sunset and thought how beautiful they looked. What better way to celebrate summer heat than through flowers and their colors!

While many of our recent events were still mostly populated with blush, peach, white and creams, we are now see a turn toward richer hues including oranges, reds and the Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala.


Bi-color orange roses are offset beautifully by red Hypericum berries and green Hydrangea. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.


Orange Pincusion Protea plays a starring role in this centerpiece with Roses, Craspedia, Scabiosa pods and Succulents. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.


Succulents add a focal point to this elegant design with Saffron flower, purple Hydrangea, Hypericum and Coffee Break Roses. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.


Dark red Agonis greenery frames this light pink with dark red Rose centerpiece in a dramatic rustic container. Mini Hydrangea blooms make the colors pop! Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Julie Kennedy.


All the colors of a summer sunset make up this gorgeous long wedding floral centerpiece for a king’s table setting. Agonis, roses, succulents and mini Hydrangea enjoy a little help from an Echeveria rosette. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Julie Kennedy.


A series of low-cut roses grace a check-in table at a recent wedding. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.

Flower Duet Indian Wedding Flowers above Malibu. Cloak Photography.

A wedding in the hills above Malibu. Flowers by Flower Duet. Events by Holly Gray. Photo by Cloak Photography.

Colorful Blue, Orange and Rust Indian Wedding in Malibu. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo byCloak Photography.

Traditional Indian Wedding with flowers by Flower Duet. Events by Holly Gray. Photo by Cloak Photography.


American Flowers Week

By Flower Duet

American Flowers WeekIt’s the week before our Independence day and a week to celebrate the flower farmers of America! We join Debra Prinzing of SlowFlowers.com to honor and support our local growers.

Kit Picking Flowers with Cole and Keely

Here is Kit after picking Zinnias with her twins, Cole and Keely at a “Pick Your Own” farm in Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C..

This is her first celebration of Amercian Flowers Week and she hopes to make it an annual event. Here is a little bit about this from her website:

We are in the middle of celebrating the inaugural American Flowers Week, June 29th through July 4th. We created American Flowers Week as a grass roots education, promotion and advocacy campaign to highlight our nation’s farms, florists, flowers and foliage — and to raise awareness among consumers, the media and policymakers about supporting domestic flowers!

If you haven’t joined in, there is plenty of time to get involved.

The easiest thing you can do is to make a red-white-and-blue bouquet using all American-grown, local and seasonal blooms. Please post that photo on your social sites and tag #americanflowersweek. I believe this effort will grow from a small idea into a significant annual event – and by adding your voice (and creativity) to American Flowers Week, you’re helping sing the praises of our homegrown blooms.

So, seek out your local growers at your local farmers market or Whole Foods or find a “Pick Your Own” farm where you can pick a bouquet with your family and create a gorgeous home grown bouquet!


Western Drought and Flower Farmers News

by Casey Schwartz

California Drought Affects on FloristsIt’s in the news every day about the need to conserve water in California and some of our clients ask us what we are doing in our thirsty business to help conserve. Here are some facts about water and flower farmers as well as what we are doing to use less water and recycle more.

Drought tolerant succulents make for alternative floral designs.

Working with drought-tolerant plants such as these succulents offer alternatives for floral designers. Succulent wall flower design by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz

Having to rely on water to literally keep our business alive, can be concerning when there is a drought in our state.  Flower Duet does all we can to conserve water by using less and by doing as they do in the flower fields throughout California…we recycle water.  When we finish with flowers in bins, we use it to water our outdoor plantings or we pour the water into the County of Los Angeles treatment system (into our internal drains and into the sewer) where it goes through a process and part of it will show up again ready to use to water golf courses and other municipal landscapes.

According to the LA Sanitation Districts, urban waste water, after treatment, is a good substitute for groundwater or imported surface water for irrigation and other on-farm uses. The California Water Recycling Criteria allow over 40 specified uses of recycled water—including irrigation of all types of food and flower crops. In California, growers have used recycled water for the last 50 years, and have proven that this practice is safe and economical. Recycled water is also sustainable, conserves energy and provides a significant portion of the nutrients needed by the crops—nitrogen, phosphorus and micro nutrients.

California farmers grow 80% of the cut flowers grown in the USA, so they know how important water is to the business of providing flowers.  One of the growers is Farmerswest in Carpinteria, California. They know water is precious and they do their part by draining water from the crops grown hydroponically for their Gerber Daisies. It is collected and reused on other crops as well as implemented irrigation water management to reduce water use.  Many of the farms in this area follow very similar practices.

In an article from ProduceNews.com, California flower farmers talk about how they have prepared for drought. According to the article, how the drought affects growers varies widely on where their farms are located within the state and many use a combination of well water, district water as well as reclaimed and recycled water.

Wastewater Treatment Graphic

Below is a graphic from the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment System located on the coast in El Segundo, Calif. and we thought you could see where the wastewater ends up once it goes into the drainage systems from offices, warehouses and homes. As you can see from the graphic, some of the water is reused as recycled water for irrigation.

Click Image to View Full Size


Hyperion Wastewater Treatment System Graphic – Source: www.lasewers.org.

July Floral Design Classes

By Flower Duet

Three completely different floral design classes  are offered this July. Two are at our studio in the South bay of Los Angeles and the other is at the South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes. Each offers an intermediate level experience for the all students.

Here is a closer look at this month’s classes. Be sure to sign up soon before the class is full! All class sizes are limited so you receive one-on-one attention.

Roses, Roses, Roses – July 18, 2015

Learn all about the wonderful comeback of the garden style rose in commercial floral design and how to integrate it into an elegant arrangement with standard and spray roses. This class includes an optional tour of the Los Angeles Flower District.  We provide the cut flowers, vases, floral cutters and step-by-step instructions on how to recognize the freshest flowers, how to care for them and how to create a beautiful flower arrangement. Each of you will then be hands on with your own set of flowers to create a bouquet to keep. (No added fees for any supplies.) Reservations required through Flower Duet.


Here is what the students will learn to create in our living garland succulent class at The South Coast Botanic Garden. We’ll also cover how to make “all succulent” living garlands in the class. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Succulent Garland Class at South Coast Botanic Garden – July 19th, 2015

This class sold out last month at The Huntington Library where Kit of Flower Duet showed students how to cre­ate a long-lasting liv­ing gar­land com­plete with suc­cu­lents, green­ery and fresh flow­ers. All of the featured suc­cu­lents could be replanted into a pot or gar­den. Flower Duet will teach stu­dents how to choose the fresh­est cut flow­ers, which flow­ers and green­ery com­bine well together to make a cohe­sive design, how to com­pose the design and make it last a long time. All sup­plies are included. Stu­dents will take home their designs. Reg­is­tra­tion for this class is required 48 hours in advance of class start date. Please con­tact Guest Ser­vices at 310–544-1948
at the Garden to reserve the class.


Wedding Centerpieces – Wednesday Wedding Series II – July 22nd, 2015

Our wedding series continues with a class in centerpiece design. Next month’s class will cover boutonnieres, corsages and hair wreaths. Each class size is limited and geared toward wedding celebrations.

In this class, students will learn the tips about making a centerpiece suitable for a sit-down dinner, pros and cons of using multiple vases of flowers on a table and will create a hands-on floral design using floral foam that’s easy to arrange and transport for that big wedding or event. We provide the cut flowers, vases, floral cutters and step-by-step instructions on how to recognize the freshest flowers, how to care for them and how to create a beautiful flower arrangement. Each of you will then be hands on with your own set of flowers to create a bouquet to keep. (No added fees for any supplies.) Reservations required by Flower Duet.

Furry Felines Protect Flowers and the Los Angeles Flower District

By Flower Duet

Cat smelling orange tulips

According to an article in the LA Times on June 26, 2015, cats rescued from shelters are hired for rodent patrol at the Los Angeles Flower District. This cuts down on loss of flowers by nibbling rodents.

Last week, I was delighted to read a feel-good story in the Los Angeles Times on June 26, 2015, about rescued cats, including one tough kitty called Pacino – as in “Al,” who work at the Los Angeles Flower District on rat patrol.

According to Jerome Campbell, the journalist for the article, “As part of the Working Cats program, street cats like Pacino are rescued from animal shelters and sent to locations ranging from police stations, like the LAPD’s Wilshire and Foothill divisions, to private homes, businesses and schools. Over the years, the program has placed about 500 cats in nearly 50 locations.”

The program was developed in 1999 when a market employee alerted Melya Kaplan, a frequent customer of the market, about the rats in the workplace. Traditional exterminators techniques did not keep the rodents away.

Cats patrol the market at night, keep the rodent population at bay, save flowers from being nibbled on and wooden cooler doors from being gnawed through!

According to Kaplan, cats may live fewer than five years on the streets, but can live more than 14 years in a home, business or police station. At the Flower District, the patrol cats are given meals and the buildings give them protection from bad weather, dogs and cars.

Read the entire article on these flower-protecting cats at The Los Angeles Times.

Floral Design Tool – Wreath Forms for Succulent Wreaths & Succulents

moss-wreathWhen you take our living succulent garland class this month, we’ll teach you the technique for creating “living” garlands in moss shapes in addition to using our traditional floral designer technique for keeping flowers fresh in a garland.

succulentsAfter that class, you’ll be ready to tackle your winter succulent wreath. Yes…to make a succulent wreath look fabulous for your November door, you’ll need to start making it now. It takes time for the roots to take hold in a wreath form and for some succulents to fill in. Here are the tools you can easily order from Amazon.com for your own living succulent wreath or other fun shape.

Moss Wreath Form with Moss Pins

Succulent Cuttings for Topiaries and Wreaths


Floral Design Book – Living Wreaths

living-wreaths-bookIn case you are not able to make our living succulent garland class this month at the South Coast Botanic Garden this new book is a great resource for teaching you all about the best plants to use in a living succulent wreath or topiary. With tons of photographs, step-by-step instructions and lists of plants, you’ll be all set to create your own unique fall succulent wreath for your home.

This book, Living Wreaths: 20 Beautiful Projects for Gift and Decor by Natalie Bernhisel-Robinson

From Amazon.com:

From the simplest herb wreath to more extravagant succulent designs, the strong outlines and shapes of these living wreaths have great visual impact. Bernhisel-Robinson uses step-by-step instructions, an encouraging voice, and gorgeous photographs illustrating her techniques to teach how to make not just a wreath but a modern garden in miniature that changes to become even more beautiful as the plants mature. Includes echeveria, hens and chicks, cactus, moss, strawberry, tomato, herb, lettuce, lavender, and more! Natalie Bernhisel-Robinson has more than fifteen years experience in the floral design world. Her design company, La Fleur, specializes in custom floral design for weddings and special events. Natalie holds a successful holiday wreath-making class each December. She makes her home in Utah with her husband and two children.

Order from Amazon.com – Living Wreaths: 20 Beautiful Projects for Gift and Decor by Natalie Bernhisel-Robinson

One Comment
  1. Judi Corfino

    Love love love the sunset and succulents! Beautiful combinations! Looks like I missed a really pretty one! And nice photos credits to Julie!
    I was thinking about re-purposing the flower box with succulents too. Haven’t gotten around to it yet!

    Have a happy 4th and see you next week:)

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