March 2015 Newsletter

Floral Trends - Volume 59

What’s It Take to be a Florist?

Qualities which make a Successful Floral Designer

By Kit Wertz

Casey at a fountain with flowers

Sometimes you need to have a lot of flexibility to place flowers into position. Casey stretches to place flowers in a fountain at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.

There are many qualities which make up a successful floral designer. For example, we know that it takes strong arms and legs to withstand all the lugging around of flowers and bins full of water, Chuppah poles, and hours of standing while making floral designs.

Elevators and carts - bring your energy!

As a florist, you take a lot of trips in freight elevators with all types of carts. It’s a good idea to be in good shape and employ some muscle to help with installs. Here is Casey with our extra tall brother, Stu, in an elevator at the AT&T building in downtown Los Angeles after installing over 100 flower arrangements for a wedding.

It also takes someone who can handle the cold and early mornings at the wholesale flower market and someone who likes to be up to his or her knees in discarded floral stems on a daily basis.

In addition to being strong, rising early, embracing cold temps, wearing nice clothes and arriving early on site, wear a smile because  you could meet your next client who is doing a walk-through at the venue where you are setting up. Always be ready to make a good first impression.

We created a fun info graphic to highlight some of the many requirements for making floral design a career.

Infographic on what it takes to be a successful florist - by Flower Duet

Have No Fear – Of Heights, New Challenges or Flowers

As our business has expanded over the past 17 years, we’ve been faced with many new and exciting challenges. We were taught to face them without fear by our parents and continue to do so.

Need ladders and no fear of heights to be a florist.

It’s best not to be fearful of heights. You’ll most likely need to bring your own ladder to venues to set up floral sprays and garlands on arches. Arch flowers by Flower Duet at the St. Regis in Monarch Beach. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Casey with bins of fresh flowers at the Palos Verdes Golf Club.

Here are just a few bins of flowers that we often bring on site to finish designs. Carrying around buckets of fresh flowers and water requires a florist to have a strong back, core and arms. Casey on site at the Palos Verdes Golf Club. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Casey carries a tree.

Casey carries in an iron tree we decorated with seeded eucalyptus for a wedding at The Bel Air Bay Club. Sometimes jeans are appropriate attire for working and set up. Photo by Kit Wertz

2015 Flower & Garden Shows

By Flower Duet

Philadelphia Flower Show

Detail from the 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show – the world’s largest indoor flowers dedicated to the display fresh flowers.

Highlights of Upcoming 2015 Flower Shows

In late February of each year, flower and garden shows start to sprout up all over the country. One of the most famous is the annual Philadelphia Flower Show held this year from February 28 to March 8, 2015.

Philadelphia Flower Show – February 28 – March 8, 2015

Philadelphia Flower ShowCelebrate the Movies – The silver screen will burst into living color at the 2015 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show from February 28 to March 8 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Every guest will feel like a star and every garden a magical setting as the world’s great floral and landscape designers capture the beauty and spirit of the world’s great cinema.

This year, the Philadelphia Flower Show will be rolling out the red carpet as floral and garden designers use Disney and Disney•Pixar films as inspiration for their exhibits. Guests will experience the magic as they walk through floral displays highlighting their favorite movies, from “Cars” to “Frozen” and “Maleficent” to the new live-action film “Cinderella.”

West Michigan Home & Garden Show – March 5-8, 2015

UBloom Flower ChallengeEverything for Your Home & Garden – All in One Place! West Michigan’s largest Home & Garden show is back for its 35th season! With 12 feature gardens, 4 free seminar stages and over 350 exhibitors featuring every product and service you’ll ever need, all under one roof, this is the show to attend!

Join uBloom‘s J Schwanke & WZZM‘s Catherine Behrendt and Local Celebrities as they whip up amazing floral arrangements right on stage on Friday at 6pm on the Home Stage to raise money for local charities! First place will get $500 for their selected charity, second place gets $200, and all others get $100 just for participating.

 Chicago Flower & Garden Show – March 17-22, 2015

Chicago Flower Show ImagesThe roots of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show can be traced as far back as 1847!  The Show, held each March at Chicago’s Navy Pier (March 14-22, 2015), is an experience for the senses, invoking memories of spring after a typically long and cold Chicago winter.

Presented by Mariano’s, the Chicago Flower & Garden Show creates an experience that the attendee will never forget by presenting realistic, as well as DIY solutions to inspire, educate and motivate the next generation of gardener.

The North Central Chapter of the American Institute of Floral Designers has teamed up with the art world to present an interpretive exhibit of art and floral. Come enrich your senses and see how others are using green as inspiration.

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show – March 18-22, 2015

Flower Dress at SF Flower and Garden ShowThe 2015 San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, “Going Wild.” is already under development.

  • Stroll through gorgeous designer gardens, with artfully arranged plants, trees and flowers in full bloom.
  • See the designs and watch the demonstrations by world-class floral designers.
  • Discover how to create your own remarkable garden with hands-on demonstrations and inspiring seminars.
  • Meet professional gardeners and nursery owners who can answer all your questions…and help solve those nagging problems.
  • Browse a wide selection of specialty shops featuring unique flowers, plants, gifts, tools and more.
  • Learn how to grow and prepare fresh home-grown food.

On Friday March 19, join the elite designers of the American Institute of Floral Design for an exciting evening of floral design and flower fashions.

An Interactive Flower & Garden Show Map

We decided it would be fun to create a Google mash up interactive map of garden shows around the country and a few more overseas so you can see at a glance if there is one near you or in a place you’d like to visit!

Click on a green point to view more information about the show.  Zoom in by clicking on the + sign.

Flower Duet’s March Floral Design Classes

Flower Arranging Classes at Flower Duet’s Studio in the South Bay

Floral Crowns

Floral Crowns by Flower Duet. Photo by Genevieve Elaine Photography.

Flower Duet Studio Wedding Series: Personal Flowers: Corsages, Boutonnieres and Floral Crowns

Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Three times next year, we’ll offer a monthly series of three classes. You can sign up for one class or a whole series. These will con­cen­trate on three areas of wed­ding flow­ers: bou­quets, cen­ter­pieces and per­sonal flow­ers — which will include cor­sages, hair wreaths/floral crowns and boutonnieres.

Class size is limited and geared toward those who want to increase their aware­ness of wed­ding flow­ers and how to work with tricky wed­ding tech­niques, but it can be use­ful for the casual flower arranger as well who wants to round out their flo­ral skills.


Flower Duet Design Studio
2675 Skypark Drive, Suite 205
Torrance, CA 90505

Register for this class…

At the Gardens of The Huntington Library and The South Coast Botanic Garden

Learn all about Ranunculus at The South Coast Botanic Garden

Purple RanunculusDate: MARCH 15, 2014

Time: Adult Design Class: 1-3 p.m.

Spring Ranun­cu­lus Flo­ral Design: Learn how to design flow­ers using lovely spring­time Ranun­cu­lus blooms in flo­ral foam. Stu­dents will learn how to choose the best flow­ers for arrang­ing, how to con­di­tion them so the arrange­ment lasts a long time and com­bine them with com­ple­men­tary green foliage. Flower Duet will show stu­dents how to prop­erly use flo­ral foam so the arrange­ment stays look­ing nat­ural and organic. All sup­plies included. Stu­dents take home their designs. Reg­is­tra­tion for this class is required 48 hours in advance of class start date. More Info….

Celebrate Pinkie and Blue Boy at The Huntington

pinkie-and-blueboyAdult Class (Ages 13+): Cel­e­brate The Blue Boy and Pinkie paint­ings from The Hunt­ing­ton Library’s per­ma­nent col­lec­tion by cre­at­ing a flo­ral design fea­tur­ing pink or blue hydrangea. You choose your color theme and Flower Duet will lead you in a full flo­ral design along with tips and tricks for keep­ing hydrangea fresh!

Kids (Ages 7–12 with an adult assistant): Cre­ate a nosegay or posie that Pinkie would love to carry in this flo­ral design class where stu­dents learn about flow­ers that would have been car­ried by the girl in the pink paint­ing. (Kids visit the gallery as part of this class.)

Date: MARCH 21, 2014

Time: Adult Design Class: 10 a.m. to Noon   |    Kids Design Class: 1 to 2:30 p.m.

More info…


Flower Book – Taking the Flower Show Home

Taking the Flower Show Home BookTaking the Flower Show Home: Award Winning Designs from Concept to Completion

by Bill Schaffer, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, Kristine Kratt, AIFD

In this extensively and beautifully photographed compendium, these veteran flower show exhibitors reveal the excitement and challenge of realizing large scale artistic visions. The book includes all you need to bring the show home to you, with construction tips, ideas, material lists and flower selection, and insightful techniques to help you create floral designs of your own.

Purchase on

Learn more about this team of floral designers from an interview they gave to the Mayesh team in 2013.


Flower Tool – Ladders

Ladders are essential tools for florists

Ladder for set up at the Los Verdes Country Club in Rancho Palos Verdes. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Tall ladders, step ladders and stepping stools are all necessary and handy tools for every florist. Most venues do not provide a ladder and it’s not good form to stand on the rental chair to attach a garland or floral spray to an arch.

One ladder is crucial for most jobs, and a light weight step ladder may be all you need. They fold flat and can fit in the van without taking up too much storage space. Using two of these is actually ideal in the event you have two of you to set up floral sprays on an arch. One to hold it at the right height and another to attach it.

If you know that a pergola is tall, better bring that 6-8 foot ladder. It’s best to make it an aluminum one so that it is lightweight to carry and lift to lash to the roof of your van or truck.

Most venues will not allow you to use their ladders for insurance reasons, some may not have one to even offer, and if they do, you have to wait for them to get it for you.  It is always professional to provide your own tools, so that you can get the job done within the tight time frame allowed. Add that ladder to your tool kit, you’ll be glad you did.

Putting up floral sprays requires ladders

Keegan, our 6-foot tall summer intern, pauses for direction from us while putting up part of an amaranthus and rose floral piece on Terranea’s pergola. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.


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  1. […] Flower Show sea­son so we cre­ated an inter­ac­tive map of world flower shows and dates for 2015 in this month’s news! We are also gear­ing up for lots […]

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