November 2014 Newsletter

Floral Trends - Volume 56

Buy Your Gourds and Pumpkins for Fall Decorations Now Before they Disappear!

Fall Gourds and PumpkinsFall is in full swing and right now there is a plethora of all types of fun gourds, squash and pumpkins in the supermarket and pumpkin patches. Buy up all you can today or this week if you want to have these lovely decorations around for your Thanksgiving feast. Come the end of November, these wonderful items are few and far between!

Gourds and Pumkins

Gourds disappear from the store in mid November…so pick them up before then to make sure you have them for Thanksgiving!

If you decide to use a pumpkin as a hollowed-out vase, be sure to wait to carve out the pumpkin right before your planned event. Even with fruit preservative, the pumpkin will get moldy quickly.

Gourds can be refrigerated to keep them fresher longer. Or if you live in a cold climate, they would last well outside in a shady spot until you are ready to bring them inside for your fancy table top feast floral design.

Thanksgiving table top floral idea

Fall Table Top Flower Decorations

Check out these posts on our blog and newsletters:

Thanksgiving Rose Pumpkin Centerpiece

Thanksgiving Centerpiece in Peaches and Cream

How to Create a Succulent Pumpkin Planter Centerpiece

Rock and Roses

New Roses Breeds Named After Rock n’ Roll Bands

Freedom Roses by Flower Duet

Freedom roses have replaced the old “Classy” roses as the standard red rose in the florist trade. Freedom was also known as a psychedelic rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This floral Cocktail design features red Freedom roses. By Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz

We’ve been rocking out with Pink Floyd, Deep Purple and Moody Blues this fall at our floral design studio. But we’re talking about roses more than we are about amazing rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s.

pink floyd rose

The Pink Floyd rose. Photo from

Deep Purple Rose

Deep Purple Rose. Photo by

New rose breeds have taken on new meaning to our generation. With these lovely shades of pinks and purples, rose breeders are getting creative when naming them.

The rock bands with these names kicked off their careers in the United Kingdom in the late sixties. Pink Floyd got together in 1965, Moody Blues began in 1967 and Deep Purple in 1968.

How is it that suddenly these roses have hit the floral industry with these cool names?  Who names roses anyway?

According to Constance Casey, a writer for Slate magazine, reports that garden-style roses were named after notable people and royalty. However, we learned from our vendor at FlowerLink  that most roses are named by their breeders.

Wanted Garden Rose

Wanted Garden Rose. There is also a band called The Wanted out of the UK. Photo by

Moody Blues Rose

Moody Blues Rose. Photo by

The roses grown for our cut floral industry are mostly bred in Europe in such countries as Holland, Germany and Belgium.

A new breed gains wide acclaim if it does well in large rose growing regions like South Africa and Central and South America. We imagine there are some botanical scientists in the flower labs of Europe having a lot of fun making beautiful flowers and reminding us of some great music of our recent past.

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

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

Other roses we love to use often include Freedom roses. Freedom was a psychedelic rock band in the 1960s, but it’s also the name of a current rose that’s a perfect shade of red that is not too dark, orange, nor does it open too big or too small.  Freedom roses open nicely, hold their shape  and last for at least a week.

Another great rose is Hocus Pocus, which is a small headed dark red rose featuring yellow highlights. Hocus Pocus was also a Hip Hop /Jazz band from France that started in the mid 90’s and reached success in 2006 with a song called “Hip Hop?

If you start digging, we’re sure you might find a rose named after a favorite band or song! Tell us your favorites? We like the song Patience (and the pretty white garden rose by the same name) by Guns N’ Roses. By the way, there is even a Mama Mia rose!  Rock on!

Carnations Take on New Colors in Classic Designs

carnations go well with garden roses

Light pink carnations mix well with garden roses and peach standard roses in this lovely wedding centerpiece. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Burgundy carnations cocktail flowers by Flower Duet.

Burgundy and purple carnations blend well with gold accents in this holiday cocktail design. Photo by Kit Wertz.

We’ve been really fortunate lately to incorporate a wonderful flower into our event and wedding designs. Carnations are back in vogue and we are happy to embrace this wonderful trend.

The standard colors for carnations are red, white and pink. All other colors including different shades of yellow, orange, peach, green, purples, earth tones and bi-colors are considered “Novelties”.

Look for new novelties in earth tones, peach tones, burgundy, greens, and bi-color purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows.

Here are a few fun ideas on how to use one of the most long-lasting and best-scented flowers in the business.

Tips for Using Carnations in Flower Designs

  1. Even though there is very little greenery on the stems, it’s still best to remove any leaves that will be below the vase water line so they don’t break down.
  2. Use flower food to extend the life of the flowers – these can last over two weeks in a vase!
  3. Be careful when handling these stems, even though the flower seems very sturdy, the stems are vulnerable at each joint. If you hold on too tight to a stem, it’s very easy to break them at the joint.
  4. Buy the carnations when the flowers buds are still not quite open. These means they are fresh. In order to help open them, you gently pet the petals open.
  5. Mini-carnations are a good filler flower, or for adding mass to an arrangement.

Blush Wedding Themes

We are still receiving many requests for blush-toned weddings. These themes feature white, creams, peaches and shades of light pink. While white hydrangea is a great way to fill up masses in arrangements we like to sometimes add what we call “Antique Carnations” to offer a hint of color to the designs.

Here is an example of a newer peachy colored novelty carnation that works really well in this blush wedding floral theme.

Sage green and pink wedding flowers

Peaches, whites and creams go really well with the pink spray roses and light peach carnations in this wedding centerpiece. The theme of the wedding featured light pink and sage green. We added dusty miller to get just the right green accent color. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz

Here are some more novelty carnations in antique colors:

Antigua Carntion. Source

Antigua Carnation. Source

Light Pink Candy Carnation. Source:

Light Pink Candy Carnation. Source:

Re-Sole Cream Carnation. Source:

Re-Sole Cream Carnation. Source:

Maria Callas Cream Carnation. Source:

Maria Callas Cream Carnation. Source:

Yellow carnations like these are considered novelty. In this simple deisgn, we added solidago and yellow alstromeria to round out the design. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Yellow carnations like these are considered novelty. In this simple deisgn, we added solidago and yellow Alstroemeria to round out the design. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Red Roses Bouquet

Red spray carnations, red roses and Misty Blue spells “I Love You” in this updated love bouquet. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz

Dahlias, Carnations, Protea for weddings!

Hot pink carnations are teamed up with orange roses, orange pincushion protea and fabulous bi-color dahlias in this single-bloom vase designs for a wedding we did at The Sinatra Residence in Palm Springs. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz

Pink bouquet

Classic pink roses add interest to this asymmetrical design with roses, Alstroemeria and ruscus. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz

Fall Centerpiece

Deep red and orange carnations are the main flowers in this fall rustic wedding centerpiece with succulents, kiwi vine and scabiosa pods. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Christmas Flowers

We made this mini Christmas tree out of leather fern and accented it with red spray carnations for ornaments. The flower ball in front of the tree is made up of standard red carnations and sits atop a selection of Magnolia leaves. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.

Fall Beach Wedding On the Sand

Beach Wedding Flowers.

Beach wedding greeting sign flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.

Last month, we created some gorgeous floral designs for a wedding on the sand in Hermosa Beach, California just a few miles from our design studio. The theme included peach and cream-colored roses, protea, and lots of seasonal pampas grass blooms we harvested ourselves from friends and local business partners.

Beach clamshell flowers by Flower Duet.

Beach wedding clam shells flanked the aisle on the sand for our Hermosa Beach wedding ceremony. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.

Beach wedding arch by Flower Duet.

Protea is the centerpiece for this asymmetrical floral spray design on our own birch pole arch. A lifeguard stands adds to the lovely sunset beach atmosphere for this fall wedding in California. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.

Flower Duet created the wedding flowers for this lovely fall beach wedding.

Sunset beach wedding scene. Photo by Casey Schwartz.

Beach bridal bouquet

Our Beach bride with her bouquet. Flowers by Flower Duet.

Book Review:

Hawaiian Lei Making BookHawaiin Lei Making

Back in mid-2000s, Kit took Casey to Kauai and we learned how to make leis in the Hawaiian style by a lovely local named Auntie Tia. We made a couple of leis and a few bracelets using Dendrobium orchids.

Dendrobium orchids.

Dendrobium orchids make excellent and long-lasting flower leis.

We learned that they can last a few days in the fridge if you put them in a ziploc bag with a wet paper towel in the crisper section.

The next time Kit visited Kauai, she picked up this book on Hawaiian Lei Making. It’s a great resource for different types of leis.

We recommend this book in case you can’t make it to Hawaii and learn from a genuine Auntie!


Flower Tool: Lei Needles

Oh my Garland, Oh My Garland

Arch garland made using carnations at the Sinatra House in Palm Springs. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.

How does one string flowers for a garland or a lei?

We recently were requested to create an arch with flowers by hanging them in a way to create and arch.

lei needleLei needles are super long so you can fit a few flowers on it before sliding on to your thread. For making leis, dental floss works well, as it is pretty sturdy and will hold flowers around your neck pretty securely.

For longer garlands, using a heavier line would be best such as a fishing line that won’t stretch with the weight of the flowers.

To find these supplies online, go to for lei making kits.

Locally in Los Angeles, we purchase lei needles at Boulevard Florist.

One Comment
0 Pings & Trackbacks

Leave a Reply