March 2018 News
St. Patrick’s Day Flowers
Bells of Ireland are the perfect choice for a fun St. Patrick’s themed-floral design. Flower Duet is featuring these flowers at our class at The Huntington Library this Saturday, March 17, 2018.
This Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day and we love it because we’re part Irish. No really, we are. After all, Casey is an Irish name! We’ll be teaching a class at The Huntington Library in San Marino that will feature Bells of Ireland, orchids and some other beautiful seasonal flowers to celebrate luck, green clovers and pots of gold.
Won’t you join us? Sign up at Brown Paper Tickets
How to Design with Daffodils
By Casey Schwartz
Daffodil Flower Arrangements
These lovely spring bulb flowers have a light scent. Photo by Kit Wertz.
It’s Daffodil season! They are everywhere…get ’em while they’re hot!
A FEW TIPS YOU MUST LEARN ABOUT DAFFODILS!!!!
Also known as Jonquils, Paper Whites or Narcissus, Daffodils do not play well with other flowers. So, it’s best to keep these flowers on their own in their own arrangements.
Cut stems exude sap that can be detrimental to other flowers; therefore, store separately in water for about 6 hours before mixing with other flowers. Do not recut again when arranging without floral foam, or you will have to wait another 6 hours.
These are available as potted flowering plants, which are great for short-term indoor or outdoor displays.
Narcissus are geotropic (stems bend in response to gravity), so store upright in uniform lighting. Most Narcissus have a delicate to strong fragrance, which some people may find overpowering.
Daffodil Pavé Step-by-Step
Step 1: Place a layer of flowers around the lip of the vase with stems reaching to the bottom of the vase.
Layer #1 of Daffodil Pavé. The number of flowers needed will depend on how open they are and how big the vase opening is for your design. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Here is an overview look at the first layer. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Step 2: Place a second layer of Daffodils resting just on top of the first layer. Here is a view from the top.
An overview of the second layer so you can compare the first to the second. The number of flowers you’ll need depends on the vase size. The first layer will take more flowers than the second and so on. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Finished view of Daffodil Pavé from the top. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Step 3: Finish with a few final blooms at the top. Make sure all stems reach the bottom of the vase. Always cut at an angle so stems can drink water.
Hmmm…pretty! Daffodil pavé by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Old Fashioned Flower
Daffodils are old-fashioned, so why not display them with their greens in a classic vase like this ceramic cupid vase? Cut at different lengths to add some whimsy to the design. This is only 10 stems of a double bloom variety.
Design tip: The tallest bloom should stand twice as high as the vase. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Modern Look with Classic Daffodils For Less than $5
These are wonderfully nostalgic flowers of spring, but they can also look quite elegant when clustered together showing off their clean stems in a tall glass cylinder. Keep it modern by letting the heads just skim the lip of the vase.
This elegant look can be done with just 20 stems of daffodils and a 9-inch cylinder from Dollar Tree! This is an arrangement that costs less than $5 in Los Angeles to make not counting the gas in your car taking you to Trader Joes to buy the flowers! Photo by Kit Wertz.
Step-By-Step Rose Compote How-to Floral Design
By Kit Wertz
First…you might ask…“What is a compote?”
Then…you’d like to learn more, right?
This design takes just four elements and looks amazing from all angles! We are working with the following elements:
- floral cutters or knife
- 1 compote vase (a fancy word for a footed container)
- 1/2 brick floral foam (soaked in water and flower food)
- 2–3 stems waxflower
- 10 stems spray rose (this is just one bunch)
- 5–7 stems Holland Ruscus (also called Israeli Ruscus)
- 7–9 stems standard carnations (match the color of the spray roses for maximum impact)
Pink and White Spray Roses! What is not to love!??? Photo by Kit Wertz.
Waxflower is the first step. This creates the overall shape of your design. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Step 1: After you’ve soaked the flower foam and fit it into your compote container so it’s a snug fit. Add the Waxflower as shown. Form a V with the two main stems. The height should be twice as high as the vase. Add two more stems elongated out to each side. One longer than the other. Finally, add two stems to the front and the back of the vase that are about half the width of the vase.
Add the spray roses. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Step 2: Add the Spray Roses as shown. Keep some of the greenery on the stems to add volume to the design. Make sure there are no leaves on the stems that will go into the foam. This is your “mass flower” and needs to be the majority of the design. Pay attention to the front and back. Follow the lines of the waxflower.
Add the Ruscus. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Step 3: Add the Ruscus to help offer a little more depth and dimension. This helps make the flowers’ colors stand out more.
Finish with Carnations. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Step 4: Finish with the standard Carnations as shown. Try to place them strategically throughout the design. On all four sides…some high…some low…none at the same level or right on top of each other.
Want to learn more designs & professional floral techniques? Sign up for our monthly subscription to Flower Arranging Fridays Forever classes online and you can learn a new design each week! With Step-By-Step videos and downloadable PDFs so you’ll know exactly how to create a wonderful floral design and learn trade secrets from Kit & Casey of Flower Duet!
Slow Flowers Summit — Sign Up and we’ll see you there!
What is the Slow Flowers Summit?
Called a “TED Talk for Flower Lovers,” the SUMMIT is a one-day lecture series for creative professionals, thought leaders and pioneering voices in the progressive American-grown floral community. Designed to stimulate curiosity, examine conventional assumptions and explore conscious and ethical practices in the floral industry, the Summit agenda asks speakers and audience members alike to inquire, inform, include, instigate and inspire. Flower Duet will present at this year’s Summit!
Debra Prinzing developed the SUMMIT as a new “live” component to the American Flowers Week campaign (June 28-July 4). AFW devotes a week of activity via events and social media platforms to promote domestic flowers, raise consumer awareness and unite America’s flower farmers with the U.S. floral industry.
Kit attended last year’s inaugural summit in Seattle and wrote a lengthy article about all the wonderful presenters. It was a priceless day of connecting with like-minded floral designers and flower farmers.
In 2017, Debra Prinzing developed the SUMMIT as a new “live” component to the American Flowers Week campaign (June 28-July 4). This week devotes a variety of events and activity on social media platforms to promote domestic flowers, raise consumer awareness and unite America’s flower farmers with the U.S. floral industry.
READ MORE: Behind the Scenes at the Slow Flowers Summit 2017
The 2018 Slow Flowers SUMMIT is partnering with the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), to co-locate and offer the Summit as a bonus program taking place the day prior to the start of AIFD’s Symposium.
Reserve your space!
Flower Duet Nominated for Best Wedding Florist for 2nd Year by California Wedding Day Magazine
Casey and I were nominated for the 2nd year in a row for BEST WEDDING FLORIST in Los Angeles by readers of California Wedding Day Magazine! If you are in the industry you can vote for us! Voting ended but winners will be announced in May. Thanks for your support!
Just published a few weeks ago, this is the latest book from the Doyenne of Design, Martha Stewart. From the publisher:
“The essential resource from Martha Stewart, with expert advice and lessons on gardening and making the most of your spectacular blooms
Martha Stewart’s lifelong love of flowers began at a young age, as she dug in and planted alongside her father in their family garden, growing healthy, beautiful blooms, every year. The indispensable lessons she learned then–and those she has since picked up from master gardeners–form the best practices she applies to her voluminous flower gardens today. For the first time, she compiles the wisdom of a lifetime spent gardening into a practical yet inspired book. Learn how and when to plant, nurture, and at the perfect time, cut from your garden. With lush blooms in hand, discover how to build stunning arrangements. Accompanied by beautiful photographs of displays in Martha’s home, bursting with ideas, and covering every step from seed to vase, Martha’s Flowers is a must-have handbook for flower gardeners and enthusiasts of all skill levels.”
Purchase online in Hardcover or E-Version.
Flower Tool: Start with Clean Buckets & Tools!
It’s a good idea to go back to basics and be reminded that success starts with clean tools. The cleaner the vases and your buckets are, the better off your blooms will be.
“Clean and fresh” takes on new meaning with flowers. Your buckets, cutters, knives, benches and other equipment used in processing should be sanitized. Bacterial counts rise rapidly in the holding solution unless buckets are cleaned with an antibacterial solution and the solution contains a properly mixed floral preservative.
- Do not use soap when cleaning buckets and vases (might leave a residue)
- Use commercially prepared product like DCD
- Alternatively, use vinegar or bleach to sanitize your equipment.
Water quality has a direct effect on the longevity of your cut flowers. Clean water is essential. Look into your buckets and containers and ask yourself, “Does this look clean enough to drink?” If the answer is “No”, then your flowers shouldn’t be stood in it!
We use all ways to clean our tools. Commercially prepared cleaners for the floral industry include DCD Cleaner which disinfects, cleans and deodorizes containers, tools and work surfaces. From the manufacturer:
“Use D.C.D.® Cleaner to disinfect, clean, and deodorize flower buckets, vases, containers, tools, work surfaces, coolers, shipping and packing areas. Benefit from the rewards of fewer bacteria affecting the wellness of your flowers for sale. Flower wellness which brings customer satisfaction and repeat flower sales to your business.
- Disinfects and reduces bacterial growth which harms flower stem vase life.
- Multiple use areas – coolers, tools, containers, work surfaces, and shipping areas.
- Lasts longer – it doesn’t quickly break down or evaporate like bleach. Creates a protective coating that keeps on working over many days.”
Purchase online or at Floral Supply stores.