Each month, we cover a current event in the floral trade, florals from real weddings, our latest flower adventures and endeavors, design tips, current floral trends, floral design classes and workshops, book recommendations and floral tool tips.
Since 2010, we’ve created a hot list of what’s on for floral design in and beyond Southern California. As guest speakers inside and outside of California, we know what clients need in the wedding and event industry. We are your trusted resource for floral design tips and techniques for all levels of the flower enthusiast.
We are Kit Wertz and Casey Schwartz, the sister design team of Flower Duet. We are committed to educating our students and fans since we started our floral design business in 1999.
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Hydrangeas and Ranunculus blooms make up this simple vase design that is great for a winter white floral display. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
October 2014 Floral Trends
Beach-Inspired Wedding Flowers
Beach-inspired floral design includes blue sea glass bottles, white manzanita branches, white flowers including orchids and a variety of grasses. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Veranda’s Beach House Flowers
We were delighted to be invited to provide flowers for the last wedding industry gathering of the year for ABC South Bay (Association of Bridal Consultants — South Bay of Los Angeles chapter) held at Verandas Beach House in Manhattan Beach on September 16, 2014.
Our theme inspiration from the organizers Sara Holland (At Your Door Events) and Kim White (Two’s A Party) was to use white flowers with lots of grasses and natural elements to accentuate the venue’s relaxed, yet elegant beachy atmosphere.
We offered to use blue sea glass bottles along with mercury glass, sand blasted manzanita and pampas grass during our design meeting and here are the results. The marriage of Sara and Kim’s vision with Kit’s design aesthetic made for a perfect end of summer industry mixer.
We used three types of late summer grasses along with lisianthus and dendrobium orchids in this design. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Casey added flowers to this display created by Kim from Two’s A Party. Photo by Kit Wertz.
In this design we added veronica and wax flower to the lisianthus, grasses and orchids. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Our interns created all ten of the upstairs cocktail designs using burnia, grasses, eucalyptus and snowberries. Design by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
We created three different table top designs for the dining room. This one featured sandblasted manzanita branches, china mums and small florals in blue glass vases and mercury glass. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Our blue glass bottles inspired the lovely blue linens for the outside cocktail area in Veranda’s garden. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Here is one of the other type of table tops we created for the dining room. We used a Date Palm seed pod locally sourced near our studio, dendrobium orchids, grasses and China mums. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Another table top for the outside cocktail area. Bamboo furniture was from Zew Rentals and very comfy! You can rent them or buy them! Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Special thanks to board members from the South Bay chapter of ABC, Sara Holland and Kim White, who were lovely and so well organized.
Christie Asselin, Esq. was our speaker who gave us the dos and don’ts about legal contracts, every wedding vendor should know.
All attendees selected their own oyster and receive a genuine pearl from Vantel Pearls.
Flower Duet had another lovely wedding with Constance from Constance Curtis Events down in Huntington Beach. The flowers for the event featured hydrangea and roses. Enjoy this sampling of a pink and green wedding theme by the beach!
Pink roses are surrounded by a cloud of mini green and white hydrangeas in these ceremony floral designs at the foot of the aisle. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
The bride wanted a swirl pattern for the aisle. FLORISTTIP: It was a windy day, so we had to soak the petals in water to keep them on the ground and in place! Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
The floral sprays included New Zealand pittosporum in a crescent shape. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Each dining table featured a trio of vases in mercury glass. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Some tables featured tall mercury glass trios and others had a trio of shorter vases. The entire ballroom was draped and featured dramatic up lighting. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
We added flowers to each layer of the cake! Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Cherry Blossom Orchid Wedding
There is a fairly new estate venue on the Palos Verdes Peninsula featuring dramatic views of Catalina Island. It’s fittingly called the Catalina View Gardens. Here are flowers from a recent wedding where the bride wanted to feature her Japanese heritage. Since it was a fall wedding and cherry blossoms are not in season, the bride requested that we use silk flowers. Casey searched high and low and found these lovely draping branches that looked fabulous. We also used a variety of Cymbidium orchids to round out the pink and green color scheme. We teamed up with Constance Curtis Events on this wedding, too!.
These draping cherry blossoms are from Save On Crafts. No one could believe they weren’t real when they saw them! Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.
Orchids and ti leaves adorn one of the food stations. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.
We created a trio of vases on each dining table. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.
Some dining tables featured underwater Cymbidiums and cherry blossom branches. These were from The Crafts Outlet. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.
Each place setting featured a single orchid bloom tucked into origami chopstick holders. Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.
The views are endless at Catalina View Gardens. Lovely setting! Flowers by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.
Pick Your Own Fruit, Flowers and Vegetables
By Kit Wertz
I took my almost 4‑year-old twins to visit our parents in Virginia at the end of August and thought it would be fun to visit a pick-your-own farm. There are so many of these farms in the Washington, D.C. area. Our Pop and Mom drove us just 45 minutes into Frederick, Maryland to a farm called Rock Hill Orchard. We picked tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, raspberries, strawberries and zinnias. Here are a few photos from that visit. It was a perfect cap to a long week of visits to my old neighborhood pool, live outdoor jazz concerts on the Mall at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and walks in Meadowlark Botanical Gardens near my parent’s house.
Gorgeous late summer Zinnias at Rock Hill Orchard in Mt. Airy, MD. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Wish we could have a field of Zinnias like these! At Rock Hill Orchard. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Kit with her son, Cole and daughter, Keely on our “pick-your-own” veggies and flowers trip to Rock Hill Orchard. Photo by Walt Coleman.
Here are the results of our bounty from Rock Hill Orchard. The flowers were $7 to fill up the plastic cup. You can fit about 40 stems in a cup! This “arrangement” came straight from the farm where my mom and I placed them in the cup. After this photo, I took off all the greenery on each stem and put them in a new vase so that they would last a long time. Photo by Kit Wertz.
How to Find Pick-Your-Own Farms in Southern California and Beyond
Cal Poly Pomona’s annual pumpkin festival is October 18th and 19th this year.
For example, just out in Cal Poly Pomona (where our next wedding below took place) is a huge pumpkin festival. And you can pick your own at a farm called Brian Ranch Airport U*Pick Orchard where they offer seasonal apples, apricots, cherries, grapes, nectarines, pears, peaches, plums, pumpkins from May to October on Saturdays and Sundays.
Kit & Casey’s Pop with Kit’s daughter Keely after picking strawberries at Rock Hill Orchard. It’s a great family outing. Photo by Kit Wertz.
Tanaka Farms in Irvine offers U‑pick different times each year and is open no for its Pumpkin Patch now everyday until Halloween!
Keys Creek Lavender Farm in north San Diego County is open to the public in May and June only. You can still have a private event there like a wedding, but need to contact them directly for details.
McGrath Family Farms in Camarillo, Calif. is a Certified Organic Farm and is still open to the public for U‑pick Squash and Pumpkins.
I encourage your to search near your home, you may be surprised by what fruits, flowers and veggies you can pick yourself on a working farm within an hour from your house.
Birch Pole Ceremony Structure
by Casey Schwartz
The rustic season is upon us as fall made its introduction a couple of weeks ago and we have a few brides who have ordered birch poles for their ceremony structure.
Event design by Christina Cruz from The Events Boutique. Huge paper flowers, compliments of Mona of paperlyeverafter.com. Birch Pole Pergola by Flower Duet. Photo by Casey Schwartz.
Here are some details of the lovely flowers by paperlyeverafter.com.
Flowers for the dining tables were made up of a trio of vases including vintage blue Mason jars paired with smaller jars that were filled with a plethora of wild greenery featuring pops of hot pink delicate flowers like clover and alstroemeria.
Birch Pole Pergola Design Steps
I was able to procure four hefty birch poles for the base from Liz at Torrance’s San Diego Floral Supply. Wasabi Green, an eclectic dry goods wholesale vendor based at the Los Angeles Flower Mart, which specializes in items like manzanita, grapewood, glass and sea shells stocked the four slimmer birch pole cross pieces which I purchased.
Once I had all the poles, I was quite surprised how heavy each 4‑inch diameter 8‑foot pole was and realized I would need a very strong base to keep each large pole anchored to the ground.
A Christmas tree stand makes a great holder for birch or bamboo poles used in ceremony structures.
I started at Home Depot and purchased galvanized pails that I poured with cement, but the foot print proved to be too small to hold up the poles. Then, I tried to make my own bases with L‑brackets and round wood bases from Lowe’s. Back at the studio, I went into our storage area for our power tools and next to the power tools sat the answer my base challenge.….a Christmas tree stand! The label stated, “Will hold an 8‑foot tall tree trunk.” My question was, “Could I find three more Christmas tree stands in September? Halloween has just appeared in stores.…did anyone have Christmas stuff yet?” The answer is: No. So, I went onto Amazon.com and was able to find just what I needed with 2‑day shipping.
Bride Kelly borrowed our new birch pole pergola for her ceremony, which was adorned by huge paper flowers, compliments of Mona of paperlyeverafter.com.
She loved it. I love my new stands. Variations of the birch pools will be posted after they take on a very diverse set of decorations this month. Stay tuned.
Floral Design Book Recommendations
There are many new books on floral design to be released throughout the month of October, so we are featuring them as sight-unseen recommendations. These authors have published before, so you can rest assured that they will be sure to inspire your floral dreams. Enjoy the October choices for floral design books. Find them on Amazon to pre-order your copies.
From author Olivier-Dupon, comes two books on contemporary floral design:
Casey and I are partners and sisters and we do talk on the phone many times per day when we are not working together on a flower job. However, it was increasingly difficult for us to make sure we were aware of each others’ schedules since my children started preschool last month. Our solution is not a new one, nor that grand, but it is quite helpful for us and we wanted to pass it on to you.
We use Google’s free calendar to keep track of our school schedules, sports practices, music classes, flower classes, private lessons, lecture appearances, weddings, special event jobs, restaurant deliveries, industry event mixers and vacations!
Signing Up For a Google Account to Create a Shared Calendar
You can sign up for a Google account even if you don’t intend to use Gmail as your primary email address. But, you need a Google Account in order to use its free tools like the Calendar and other apps. NOTE: If you work inside a company with a restricted firewall, you may not be able to access Google Apps like the calendar from your work computer. But you can from your smart phone!
Sharing Calendar Views
In order for this to work well with other people in your business or group, you need to share your calendar with them. There are different levels of sharing. You can let someone else add items to your calendar as an admin, or you can just let them view your calendar.
Under My Calendars, click Create New Calendar.
Create a New Calendar.
To Share your Google Calendar:
Under My Calendars, click Settings.
Under Sharing, Click Edit Settings.
Here, you can add the person you want to share your calendar with and set up the level of permissions for sharing.
Locate the person’s account for whom you want to share your calendar and edit the settings to your level of preference. In order to let Casey edit my calendar, I have allowed her to “Make Changes and manage sharing” for my calendar.
Syncing To Your Smart Phone
Once you have a calendar set up, it’s a good idea to make sure your calendar app on your phone reflects your Google calendar so you can stay in sync. Save contact info, addresses and other key info in your appointments within your calendar, so you always have access to that information when you are at the flower mart, your kids’ swim meet or a wedding!
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Flower Duet Online Floral Design Classes
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