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Sign up for the free newslet­ters we write based on our dai­ly expe­ri­ence as wed­ding and event flo­ral design­ers in trend-set­ting Los Angeles.

Based near the Beach in the South Bay of LA, Kit & Casey take you on a jour­ney each month to our events we cre­ate and share with you the hottest trends in flo­ral design.

As sought-after flo­ral design instruc­tors, you’ll learn the lat­est tips and tricks of the trade.

Flower Arranging Summer Camp

Flower Duet is in kick­ing off our fourth year of teach­ing Flo­ral Design at The Hunt­ing­ton Library & Botan­i­cal Gar­dens in San Mari­no, Cal­i­for­nia. We start­ed adding a children’s class to the exist­ing chil­dren’s’ pro­gram almost two years ago and have been amazed and delight­ed with the reac­tion and the results. The age range is 7–12 years old and we draw both boys and girls to our fun classes.

Planning the Camp

Each child is accom­pa­nied by a grown-up, who we have come to call their assis­tant. We have seen these young design­ers take con­trol of their flo­ral foam, cut­ters and the tough­est thorny rose stems. The cre­ative juices start flow­ing with a usu­al pref­er­ence not to have the adult too involved. We give them all the same mate­ri­als and they see the same demo, but the end results are a range of amaz­ing cre­ations. This is a great age to intro­duce things to chil­dren. They can han­dle it and they do it well and have no fear.

This past spring, one of our reg­u­lars, Aspen, was asked by her mom, what she would like to do dur­ing the sum­mer. Her response was that she would like to attend Flower Camp with Flower Duet. Her mom asked me if that could be arranged and our reply was: “Of course.”

Aspen’s mom, Pat­ty, and Casey of Flower Duet coor­di­nat­ed this “Day of Flower Arrang­ing” to include, a trip to the flower mart in down­town Los Ange­les to pick out their flow­ers and con­tain­ers. And then, we returned to their home on the back­yard patio to con­di­tion the flow­ers and start the arrange­ments which were a hand-tied bou­quet and flower puppy.

Getting Started Bright and Early

On a Mon­day morn­ing at 7:30 a.m., an effer­ves­cent group of girls ages 7–12 and Pat­ty met Casey at the Los Ange­les Flower Mart where we also offer group and pri­vate tours to any­one. This group of five, four of whom had attend­ed our class­es at The Hunt­ing­ton this past year, fear­less­ly nav­i­gat­ed rows of mums, ros­es, hydrangea, and Hyper­icum berries. The girls waltzed through the mart, eas­i­ly blurt­ing out the names which they had learned over the two years of classes.

They rec­og­nized the del­phini­um and the sta­t­ice from the “Trea­sure Box” class we taught them in the spring and pro­fi­cient­ly squeezed the base of the bud of ros­es to ensure fresh­ness. They learned the eti­quette, pro­to­col and the rou­tine of work­ing with the ven­dors. They dis­cussed col­or and tex­ture with ease and decid­ed which options would be best for the hand-tied bou­quet. We were also plan­ning to make flower pup­pies out of mums and car­na­tions. Each girl took turns pulling bunch­es of white car­na­tions and check­ing for perky green­ery. We loaded our cart and head­ed to the flo­ral sup­ply store, to choose our con­tain­er for the pup­py and our vase for the hand-tied bouquet.

Prep Time

Once we picked out every­thing we need­ed we head­ed back to the venue for us to cre­ate a hand-tied bou­quet and these pup­py dogs. The young design­ers helped emp­ty the car, filled buck­ets with flo­ral food and water, trimmed stems, popped every­thing in buck­ets, soaked flo­ral foam and set up our work­space. While we took a morn­ing snack break, anoth­er flo­ral design­er camper joined us. The flow­ers had a chance to con­di­tion and we dis­cussed our plan. It was just 9:30 a.m.

Next, the six girls, fol­lowed my lead with clean and trimmed flow­ers, plac­ing them just so into the flo­ral foam to cre­ate the pup­pies pic­tured above. Then we pulled the ros­es out and Emi­ly asked eager­ly if the stems had thorns on them. The answer was yes, and she jumped for joy and grabbed her cut­ters ready to tack­le the job.

Designing with Ease

Once all the flow­ers were cleaned and ready, they again were imme­di­ate­ly ready to tack­le the next design. They had their hand-tied bou­quets of ros­es, Alstroe­me­ria, and mums in per­fect mounds in record time. Their small hands hold­ing 20 stems with com­fort and admi­ra­tion. A quick trim of the stems and they were popped into their vas­es. When all said and done all the young ladies had fin­ished their designs before 12 Noon!

We could not have been proud­er of our flower campers and are hap­py to be teach­ing a range of ages the art of flower arrang­ing. We have a series of class­es this fall for chil­dren, and we approach them know­ing that the young design­ers will embrace and delight in what­ev­er we present.

Flower Camp was a great expe­ri­ence for all of us. Thanks, Aspen, Alex­is, Savan­nah, Saman­tha, Emi­ly and Abby…and Mom Pat­ty, too!

Fall Flowers

There are cer­tain signs in nature that trig­ger the feel­ing of fall: A chill in the air, a blus­tery day and won­der­ful vibrant col­or in nature. Col­or is a big indi­ca­tor that the bright­ness of sum­mer flow­ers are fad­ing and the warm tones of Autumn are appear­ing. There are cer­tain flow­ers that espe­cial­ly look like they are in the fall flo­ral cat­e­go­ry and some that are only avail­able in those months that fol­low September.

Chrysanthemums

We grew up with “mums” being plant­ed in our gar­den after the pool closed and when school start­ed. We have come to appre­ci­ate them as a great cut flower. The col­ors that are only avail­able in the fall are by far the rich­est of maroons, cop­pers, bur­gundies and oranges. They are all you need to make an impact for a fall-themed arrange­ment. This one pic­tured is a large Chi­na mum, some­times referred to “Foot­ball Mums” because they make pop­u­lar cor­sages dur­ing Home­com­ing games. We only see this mum avail­able for pur­chase at the flo­ral mart in the fall months.

Amber Amaranthus


In the same fam­i­ly as one of our favorite greener­ies called “Green Hang­ing Ama­ran­thus,” but this is a bronze, amber col­or that is a bit more full and more upright. This works well as a cut flower as its stem stur­dy enough to hold up in an arrange­ment and the flower will last for sev­er­al days. These also do well in a low vase or con­tain­er to add vol­ume and pro­vide an unusu­al texture.

Sunset Safari

Part of the Pro­tea fam­i­ly, this is also called Leu­ca­den­dron or Safari Sun­set. It is a rich leafy, strong-stemmed green­ery that adds rich col­or, not usu­al­ly found in flow­ers or green­ery. Leu­ca­den­dron also comes in a lighter green as well. It has a long vase life and is fun to add to trop­i­cal arrangements.

Celosia

Native to Africa, Celosia is bril­liant in appear­ance and have two looks. One is a strik­ing flame-like flower head and the oth­er has a flower head referred to as cockscomb, which also looks like brain coral. The plant is well known in East Africa’s high­lands and is used under its Swahili name, Mfun­gu. We recent­ly com­bined celosia and suc­cu­lents in the arrange­ment. It would be a great arrange­ment to place for a late out­door sum­mer event, as it would not only last but enjoy the heat.

Hocus Pocus Roses

Hocus Pocus is a rose and a band! Love these!

Actu­al­ly avail­able year round, how­ev­er, we first saw them around Hal­loween and thought they were fun. We used them for a bride and brides­maids in a fall wed­ding mixed with oth­er red ros­es and yel­low ros­es. They tied the theme togeth­er like “mag­ic”.

Virgo Florascope — 23 August — 22 September — Tulip

Red Tulips

Red tulips are a great choice all year long!

About Florascopes

For years, astrologers have linked per­son­al­i­ty traits with the night sky. A fun book called Flo­ras­cope: The Secret Astrol­o­gy of Flow­ers offers a dif­fer­ent take on your every­day horo­scope. This is meant to enter­tain and if you are so intrigued,
buy the book! It makes a great gift.

Tulip (Virgo) Traits

If you are a Tulip (or Vir­go) you care for oth­ers deeply are a per­fec­tion­ist and can eas­i­ly save mon­ey while oth­ers splurge. Tulips keep a tidy clos­et and are nev­er late. Tulip chil­dren are shy but can blos­som when giv­ing the prop­er attention.
Tulips get along well with ros­es, cac­tus flow­ers, mums, mag­no­lias, sun­flow­ers, and oth­er tulips.
Famous Tulips include Ingrid Bergman, Sean Con­nery, Richard Gere, Gene Kel­ly, Sophia Loren, Gre­ta Gar­bo, Otis Red­ding, and Peter Sellers.

About Tulips — Botanical Information

Tulips orig­i­nal­ly hailed from the Turk­ish region and have a col­or­ful past — and we’re not just talk­ing about the vari­ety of col­ors and shapes they come in. If you want to learn more about them, read our April 2010 newslet­ter arti­cle All About Tulips. As bulb flow­ers, they are abun­dant in the Spring and are easy to grow in your home gar­dens. Fall is the time of the year to plant Tulip bulbs, so head out to your local nurs­ery and pick out some bulbs. You can even grow them in pots which Kit likes to do in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. If you are going to do that in a warm cli­mate, you’ll need to con­di­tion the bulbs in the refrig­er­a­tor before you plant them. Place the bulbs in a paper bag and put them in the crisper sec­tion of your refrig­er­a­tor for about six weeks before plant­i­ng them by Novem­ber in order to have spring blooms.

When Buying Tulips

Buy Tulips when the blooms are still closed and the green­ery is about the same height as the blooms. If the blooms are taller than the green­ery, they’ve already been cut from the bulb for a lit­tle while. Tulip stems con­tin­ue to grow even after they’ve been har­vest­ed, so make sure you think about that before you design and makes sure you keep the water in your vase clean and mixed with flower food to pro­mote longevi­ty. See our August Newslet­ter on more about the ben­e­fits of using Flower Food in flo­ral design.

Flower Arranging Book Review


Flower by Flower: A Prac­ti­cal and Inspi­ra­tional Guide to the Art of Flower Arranging

by Tad­hg Ryan

This book was pub­lished way back in 1998, but we still feel it has lots of help­ful and rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion. It may be hard to find new, but you can order it from inde­pen­dent sell­ers on Ama­zon or maybe even find it at a book sale.

Flower Duet wants to rec­om­mend this book because it offers time­less flower recipes by sea­son. It talks about flow­ers that are avail­able in the Spring, Sum­mer, Fall, and Win­ter and shows a col­lec­tion of designs to repli­cate for each sea­son as well.

It also offers a tech­niques sec­tion in the back of the book, cov­ers lots of dif­fer­ent flower tools and offers a detailed chart on each flower that is fea­tured in the book. You’ll learn the aver­age height of each bloom, if it offers a scent, the col­ors it comes in, what type of foliage it offers, what to look for when you are buy­ing the flow­ers at the mart or florist, how to care for them right after you get them home from the mart and how to care for them to keep them last­ing in the vase and final­ly, the aver­age life span in a vase.

It also offers a sec­tion on green­ery in the back to com­ple­ment the flow­ers in the rest of the book. It’s a def­i­nite pos­i­tive addi­tion to your flower arrang­ing library.

Floral Tool — ZOTS

This prod­uct is made by a com­pa­ny called Therm-o-web. They have rev­o­lu­tion­ized craft­ing, espe­cial­ly scrap­book­ing, how­ev­er, the flo­ral indus­try has found them also very handy.

Clear Adhe­sive Dots

Zots bond instant­ly and adhere to paper, glass, and ceram­ic which are the usu­al ves­sels we use for vas­es. We have used Zots on a vari­ety of mate­ri­als to either cov­er a vase or dec­o­rate it. The slip­pery satin rib­bon stays where you want it to with Zots when dec­o­rat­ing the smooth fin­ish of a glass cylin­der vase. It’s easy to attach a fresh, green Ti leaf on the out­side of a glass cube vase to add a nice trop­i­cal look to a design. Adding moss and bark to a paper maché con­tain­er is a breeze with Zots.

Easy-to-Use and Easy-to-Remove

The ease in which Zots bring to dec­o­rat­ing and secur­ing mate­ri­als is equal to the awk­ward­ness and risk in deal­ing with hot glue. They come in dif­fer­ent sizes and thick­ness­es and they have them in strips, too. The oth­er great thing about Zots is that they remove eas­i­ly, so you can reuse a glass or met­al con­tain­er again and again after remov­ing the out­side decoration.

As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. Sometimes we link to a product on Amazon in our articles on flowerduet.com.

Flower Duet Online Floral Design Classes

Online Class Sample Button

In-Person Floral Design Classes

Class­es are usu­al­ly in per­son. Here is our 2020 Schedule*

*May’s class will be a hybrid where stu­dents will get their flow­ers for class at our curb­side pick­up, watch pre-record­ed videos for the les­son, then meet via Zoom with Kit & Casey.

Saturday Flower Arranging Classes & Optional Flower Mart Tours:

  • Jan­u­ary 11, 2020 — White Botanicals
  • Feb­ru­ary 8, 2020 — Flo­ral Gift Boxes
  • March 21, 2020 — Wav­ing Ranun­cu­lus — Can­celled (California’s #SaferAtH­ome)
  • April 18, 2020 — Tremen­dous Tulips Can­celled (California’s #SaferAtH­ome)
  • May 16, 2020 — Pock­et Full of Posies — Will be held through Video Conference
  • June 13, 2020 — Ros­es + Peonies 
  • July 18, 2020 — Trop­i­cal Flowers
  • August 22, 2020 — Hap­py Dahlias
  • Sep­tem­ber 19, 2020 — Antiqued Flowers
  • Octo­ber 17, 2020 — Pump­kin Crafts
  • Novem­ber 21, 2020 — Fall Flow­ers for Celebrating
  • Decem­ber 12, 2020 — Hol­i­day Flo­ral Wreaths

Wednesday Night Wedding Series Workshops:

  • Jan­u­ary 22, 2020 – Bou­quet & Boutonnière
  • Feb­ru­ary 26, 2020 – Cen­ter­piece & Table Accents
  • May 20, 2020 – Bou­quet & Bou­ton­nière — Will be held through Video Conference
  • June 24, 2020 – Cen­ter­piece & Table Accents
  • Sep­tem­ber 23, 2020 – Bou­quet & Boutonnière
  • Octo­ber 21, 2020 – Cen­ter­piece & Table Accents
Book a Class