May 2013 Newsletter

Mother’s Day Flower Recipes

by Kit Wertz

The letter “M” stands for “May” or “Mom” or “Magnificent Flowers.” Okay…maybe that is a stretch, but this month we’ll feature some floral design ideas to help you create something for the special mother in your life. Don’t forget that Mother’s Day is May 12, 2013 and that we are offering a special mother/child flower arranging class the day before Mother’s Day at our studio. NOTE: We welcome grandmother/mom/kid combos of all ages from 5-to 95-years-old!

To kick off this month’s feature on moms, we’ll talk about the latest design we created over this past weekend. Flower Duet was asked to appear at The Grove in Los Angeles to give the mothers shopping at The Gap a special treat of flower arranging tips to coincide with the launch of the Diane von Furstenberg Explorers Collection for GAPKIDS.

I was on hand at the store to show shoppers how to deal with a common problem when trying to design flowers in a short vase that has a wide opening like a cube or like these cute and colorful ceramic pots we used for the demonstration. (Casey was busy creating gorgeous designs for another event we had the same day!) Here is what I demonstrated and how you can recreate this look, too.
Gap Demo Example
This is one of the designs that I demonstrated using our “Bundle and Place” technique which works very well for short vases and containers.
Gap Demo Table
This was our setup before I started the demonstration.
Gap Demo Kit
I used orange, yellow and green vases and flowers to highlight the Gap’s spring collection.

Floral Design Recipe for the Garden-Loving Mom

Garden Flowers for Mother's Day

Here is the final floral design.
Bundles of Flowers

The full look is accomplished by creating three bundles of flowers. Then each is placed into the vase and kept in place by locking the stem bundles together. To see how this is done in more detail, you can watch our free video on how to “Bundle and Place” your flowers.
Bundle Placement

Here is a view of what two of the three bundles look like in the vase.

Flower Recipe:

6 full-headed orange roses

3 orange spray roses

2 stems Bupleurum

2 stems Pink Rice flower

1 stem Viburnum

3 stems Green Trick Dianthus

Vase: Low ceramic vase is 3 inches across at the bottom, 4.5 inches tall and 5 inches across at the top opening.

Remove all greenery from all the stems. Separate Bupleurum, Rice Flower and Viburnum to create shorter stems for your bundles. Create 3 bundled posies by using 2 Roses in each, 1 Spray Rose, 1 Green Trick Dianthus, 2 Viburnum blossoms, 3 Bupleurum stems, 5 Rice Flower stems.

Floral Design Recipe for the Traditional Flower Mom

Traditional Mother's Day Flowers

This was a design we created for a wedding in early April. We used metallic vases of assorted sizes and some lovely tradtional and romantic flowers. You can see a large photo album from this wedding on our Facebook page.

Flower Recipe:

2 white Hydrangea stems

1 green Hydrangea stem

3 pink Stock stems

1 white Veronica stem

1 Succulent rossette

1 seeded Eucalyptus stem, broken down into smaller pieces

2-3 Dusty Miller stems

3 light pink spray Roses

3 peach-colored garden Roses

Vase: Mercury class footed vase is 7 inches tall with a 5-inch opening.

We hand-tied the designs for this arrangement. To learn how to create a hand-tied arrangement, please order our floral design DVD, How to Create a European Wrap Bouquet.

Floral Design Recipe for the Beachy Tropical Mom

Tropical Mother's Day Flowers

Tropical Mother's Day How to orchids
Tropical Mother's Day How to cymbidium
Flower Recipe:

10 White Dendrobium Orchid stems

1 Cymbidium Orchid bloom

10 inches of colored aluminum wire

Dark pebbles – about 1 cup

Low rectangle clear glass container measuring 10 inches long, by 4 inches tall and 3 inches wide.

Bundle the Dendrobium orchids using aluminum wire (we used two different colored wires). Fill vase with water. Carefully place the pebbles in the bottom (we like to add water first so that rocks or pebbles don’t break the glass of the vase). Trim the orchid stems so that they are even and allow you to place them into the vase at an eye-pleasing angle. Cover the bottom of the stems with the Cymbidium bloom by submersing it half way into the water. Cymbidiums are very hardy flowers and do well inside a vase of water.

Floral Design Recipe for the Culinary Mom

Culinary Mother's Day Flowers
Flower Design Idea: Use a mix of cut organically grown herbs in a mixed bouquet. We like Lavender, Rosemary, Mint and Sage. Place cut stems in clean water in 3-4 decorative drinking glasses on a pretty plate or silver platter. This way, the herbs can be dried and stored or used immediately for cooking.

Floral Design Recipe for the Wildflower Mom

Wildflower Mother's Day Flowers

Flower Design Idea: Wildflowers are available later in the summer, but if you have a mom with a birthday in August or September, this would be a great idea for a birthday bouquet. Wildflower ideas inlcude Larkspur, Echinecea, Allium, Bachelor Buttons, Veronica, and Rudbekia.


Flowers in the Media

by Casey Schwartz

Real Simple Magazine

Flowers in the media and advertising are abundant this time of year. So, just what are all these flowers gracing these covers of May magazines? How do you work with them and can you grow them in your own garden this summer? Let’s take a look at each one and find out!

Real Simple Magazine

Kit and I each subscribe to this magazine and even though I may not be able to actually read it right away, it is gracing my coffee table like a real vase of bold pink Peonies. This cover is very appropriate for the season as we are starting to see the regular arrival of Peonies at the wholesale flower vendors. The colors available now vary from bright white and pinks, to coral and even yellow! They are powerful and delicate flowers at the same time. Kind of like a Mom. Peony arrangements are like the name of this magazine. They are the only flower you need to fill a vase and make it lovely.
Victoria Magazine
Victoria Magazine

Lavender graces the cover of this issue. Native to the Mediterranean, it seems to grow many places one would not expect. It usually likes dry, sunny, rocky surroundings, but somehow England seems to grow it in abundance. “Victoria Magazine” feels like a step into merry old England and adorned with the romantic flowers of Lavender it seems most fitting for the month of May. We love to use lavender when we teach our herb wreath classes. Plant it with your roses and cabbage; it will help keep the deer away!
all you Magazine
All You Magazine

Snap to it and learn how to make this darling vase and fill it with bright Snap Dragons. “All You” magazine features how to create the vase decoration and how to “Plant a Gorgeous Cutting Garden.” Snap Dragons are available year round at the flower mart as a cut flower in a full range of colors. Buy them now from the local nurseries to plant in your garden, container or window box. They are a terrific line flower that will continue to grow after you have cut them and will follow the sun.
Southern Lady Magazine
Southern Lady Magazine

This looks like a porch where Kit, our Mom and I would love to sit and sip some of that sweet tea. A white-washed palette of Hydrangea colors graces this inviting scene with flowers in fresh white, blue and “antiqued green” which are offset by bold orange Roses in the water pitcher. As a cut flower, white Hydrangea is available year round as well as the orange Roses. Even though you are so happy to have the Hydrangea finally bloom in your own garden, give the new blossom heads a few days on the plant to be strong enough to manage in the vase.
Cottage Journal Magazine
The Cottage Journal Seasons Magazine

Hydrangeas also grace this huge colorful pot that I just love. The pale pastels of the Hydrangea work well with this wide mouthed rustic pot. It would take dozens of roses to fill this container, so the editors chose the right flower to fill it well. The robin egg blue cups are a sure sign of spring. Be sure to keep your Hydrangeas hydrated.

Martha Stewart Magazine
Martha Stewart Living Magazine

Whether you like to call them “Johnny-Jump-ups,” “Violas” or “Pansies,” these native wildflowers from Europe look lovely sprinkled on this luscious cake. These darling little flowers with happy faces are edible and good for you. Also referred to as Heartsease, these flowers have been used to treat epilepsy, asthma, eczema, and cold symptoms over the years. These bloom from April to September and are available at your local plant nursery. Add some zest to your garden and your salad or cake!
flower Magazine
flower Magazine

One would expect to see flowers gracing the front of this magazine. We are delighted to receive 50 copies of this delightful magazine each season to give to our students. This is a great publication that speaks to all our students and all flower enthusiasts. The spring cover is an amazing combo of purples with just a touch of green and features Anemones, Delphinium, Hyacinths, Lisianthus, Nigella pods, and lots of lovely green Viburnum. This arrangement says, “It’s Spring!”
Last month, Sunset Magazine featured a gorgeous orange dahlia on the cover. Yum!


“Slow Flowers” Book Signing with Debra Prinzing

by Kit Wertz

Slow Flowers Debra  with Casey and Kit
Pictured from left, Casey Schwartz, Debra Prinzing and Kit Wertz. We are so happy to have met Debra and can’t wait for her next book!

Photo by Carol Reach from

We hosted acclaimed garden writer Debra Prinzing, author of The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local and Sustainable Flowers, last month in our studio for a floral demonstration and book signing. Inspired by the “slow food” movement which encourages people to grow and eat food that is both healthy and sustainable, Debra looks close to home for floral inspiration in her own backyard and nearby farms. She talked about her two latest books, including her newest, Slow Flowers: Four Seasons of Locally Grown Bouquets from the Garden, Meadow and Farm, in which she created a bouquet per week using only locally sourced materials.


Slow Flowers Reception
Slow Flowers Reception, Floral Demonstration and Book Signing was held at our studio April 16, 2013.

Slow Flowers begins
Debra Prinzing started her presentation by reading a few passages from her most recent books and by giving the audience background as to how she wrote each book.

Photo by Carol Reach from


Slow Flowers Crowd
We had a wonderful turnout of florists, flower wholesalers, gardeners and floral enthusiasts for Debra’s book signing and flower design demonstrations. Everyone was able to take home flowers from the demonstration to make his or her own design.

Slow Flowers Debra Prinzing
Debra shows how to design using chicken wire as architecture in a footed pedastal vase provided by Flower Duet. One of the audience memebers took home the completed design as a raffle gift!

Slow Flowers: Four Seasons of Locally Grown Bouquets from the Garden, Meadow and Farm is an essential addition to your flower design library and would make a great gift for Mother’s Day!

Purchase from

Video: Bundle and Place your Flowers

Each month we try to bring you a video we’ve produced or appeared in and this month we are revisiting a video Casey did on public television’s Creative Living with Sheryl Borden. This is her third season on the show.

For the Mother’s Day feature article above, Kit explains how she created the designs during her live floral demonstration at The Gap at The Grove in Los Angeles. She used our “Bundle and Place” technique which is great in short vases with wide opening. This is the video that shows how to use this technique for a wide cube vase.

You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel: fashioningflowers so you’ll know when we’ve uploaded a new show of our own!

Flower Duet News


Torrance Bakery holds Wedding Cake Showroom Reception

Torrance Bakery held a party on April 24, 2013 for wedding industry professionals of the South Bay to celebrate the redesign of their Wedding Cake Showroom. It was a lovely event with hot paninis, sparkling tea and luscious desserts that Kit enjoyed.

Torrance Bakery Wedding Industry Event
Wedding industry professionals received the Torrance Bakery “Blue Carpet Treatment.”
Torrance Bakery Wedding Industry Event - Wedding Cake Showroom Window

The new showroom window features beautiful cakes.
Torrance Bakery Wedding Industry Event - Wedding Cake Showroom

There are three wedding cake consulting areas in the showroom. Each bride will feel like a princess during her tasting.
Torrance Bakery Wedding Industry Event - Wedding Cake

This is just one example of the many beautiful cakes Torrance Bakery has to offer.
The revamped Wedding Cake showroom of Torrance Bakery is located in the heart of Old Torrance at 1341 El Prado Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501. Phone 310-320-2722 for questions or custom cake appointments.

Kit appears at The Grove for GAPKIDS and Diane von Furstenberg

Flower Duet was asked by The Grove Shopping Center in Los Angeles to create a flower arranging activity for the launch of the Diane von Furstenberg Explorers Collection at The GAP on Saturday, April 27, 2013. Our friend Laurie who has helped us with weddings in the past, went with Kit to help set up and took these photos.

Kit at The Grove - GapKids

The clothes from the DVF Explorers collection are too cute. After she finished the demo, Kit bought a timeless DVF wrap dress and cute DVF top for her toddler daughter Keely.
Kit at The Grove - DVF

We totally agree with this saying!

laurie at The Gap

Our friend Laurie (in blue above) was there to help set up and take photos of the event. Here is our table before the demo officially started.

Kit at The Grove - Demo Flowers

Kit showing customers a few tips and tricks of the trade.
Kit at The Grove - Bundle and Place

Customers would drop by for a few minutes and Kit would explain the trick to design in a low vase. Check out the details in our Mother’s Day article at left.
Kit at The Grove - Final Final Display

Laurie created a little display of the flowers with cards and pens for customers to take after the demo was over.


Book Recommendation

The Knot Ultimate Wedding Lookbook: More Than 1,000 Cakes, Centerpieces, Bouquets, Dresses, Decorations, and Ideas for the Perfect Day

If you are a bride, florist or wedding planner, this is a great resource book to have to give you ideas on the latest trends in wedding looks from cakes to invitations to the wedding flowers. We thought the cake section would be an inspiration following the redesign of Torrance Bakery’s Wedding Cake showroom.



Floral Design Tool:

Smithers Oasis Mini-Deco Holder / 12 Per Box

Since we are featuring wedding cakes in this month’s newsletter, we thought it would be good to include a tool we sometimes use to create cake topppers using cut flowers. In order to keep our risk of injuring a cake to a minimum, we’ll make a cake topper ahead of time with small deco-holders. Here are our tips to use this tool:

  • Soak deco holder in water, then dry off the bottom.
  • Cover entire holder in plastic wrap so the foam stays separate from any cake.
  • Use small stems of flowers to decorate the top of the cake.
  • Transport in a clean box to the reception before very carefully placing on the cake!

You can fit many stems into one of these and the plastic wrap helps hold stems in place. Here is a cake topper Kit created for a wedding cake last summer.

Order from or get at your local wholesale floral supply company.

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