Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Florist Fun Facts for April

Did you know......

80-90% of the fresh cut flowers in the US come from South America?

Fresh cut flowers do not need sunlight, in fact, it will speed up the "dying"process

Roses and Carnations are grown in mountain regions with cooler climates in Ecuador and Columbia.

The biggest "floral holidays" by rank are: Christmas, Mother's Day and in 3rd place, Valentine's Day.

Daffodils secrete a poisonous sap that will kill other flowers if combined in a vase together.

Poinsettias are not poisonous but amaryllis, mistletoe and holly berries are.

Baby's breath, wax flower, limonium and other "filler" flowers are weighed and sold in grams (metric) but florist have to convert that to by the stem pricing for resale

Floral designers stand while designing, sitting while designing has been proven to result in slower productivity.

Designers are expected to produce/design 3-4 arrangements per hour as an industry standard.

There are several universities that offer Associate Degrees in Floral design, Floriculture, and other related fields.

In the victorian era, each flower had a specific meaning, and when combined with other flowers in a nosegay, could convey secret messages between men and women.

Some of the early boutonnieres were worn by men to disguise body odor in the victorian era.

Egyptians crushed rose petals and other flowers to use as "make up"

Oasis, the first "floral foam" was first marketed in 1953 and could take up to an hour to saturate with water.  Today there are several companies that produce floral foam of different shapes, sizes, densities and colors and most are completely saturated in less than 2 minutes.

Friday, March 17, 2017


I hear "wildflower" almost every day.  Customers wanting a "wildflower" look or Brides wanting a "wildflower" bouquet.  But what does this mean? 

A wildflower "look" or "style" usually means: a large variety of textures, colors, and types of flowers used.  Not more than 2 or 3 stems of any one flower, usually smaller headed flowers are used or flowers with multiple blooms.   It also can mean a looser, unstructured design as well:

A wildflower bouquet in terms of weddings means using more field type flowers, or less formal flowers than what is traditionally used: 

One mistake people often make is thinking "wildflower" means "less-expensive".  Stems of "wildflower" cut flowers are either equal to, or more than, some of their traditional cousins
 ( i.e. roses, hydrangeas and lilies. ) These "wildflowers" are still commercially grown, exported cut flowers and still come with all the same costs to produce and ship them worldwide.  Unless you are truly picking a flower from a field would you save any money.  The field flower will not last as long as a commercially cut flower will last due to breeding.   

Monday, February 27, 2017

DIY Wedding Flower Budget

The number one question I am asked is about budget.  How much will the flowers cost?  This is hard to answer because there are literally thousands of combinations of flower varieties which contribute to total cost.   However, I can make a few suggestions based on many of the weddings I have done over the years.
To give you an idea of what controls your floral budget I have an equation below to illustrate:

Venue(s) + Time of year + Bridal Party Size + Guest Count = Quantity/Cost of Flowers needed

Example 1:

Church ceremony + Hotel reception + May + 300 guests = $2000+
Garden ceremony + Tent Reception + May +300 guests = $1500+

The difference between the two equations above is the locations.  With outdoor weddings in May, most outdoor plants will be in bloom creating a colorful backdrop to your wedding day and possibly eliminating the need for additional arrangements outside.   Have the same outdoor wedding in March, October, November (and possibly September) and you will need the addition of fresh flowers to add color to muted outdoor backgrounds.

Example 2:

Justice/Court house ceremony + 15 guests + Any Month < $200

With a court house ceremony only the bare minimum is needed, a bouquet, a boutonniere and sometimes corsages and boutonnieres for your guests.

The bigger the ceremony and reception location is usually in line with needing a bigger budget.
Again there are so many different variables that each wedding comes to a different amount needed for the budget.

To help (again, this is to help you estimate your budget and is not the final amount you may or may not spend on wedding flowers) I have put together a google spreadsheet with multiple budget options available:

It should automatically calculate the subtotal for you.  Delivery and setup fees vary with each wedding depending on how much is transported, how many vehicles/employees are needed and how far the flowers have to travel.

This is the first time I have ever published an interactive worksheet to help brides calculate wedding costs.  I would love any and all feedback so that I can add more worksheets in the future or make the necessary changes to this one.

Happy Planning!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Rose Pricing Quick Break Down

1. Pruning back in Dec/Jan to get 200 million roses to grow, cut and ship in Feb

2. Growing, watering, fertilizing 200 million roses

3. Harvesting, packaging, logging those roses by size and color

4. Shipping to Miami from South America one way, paying round trip fares.

5. Shipping from Miami to all locations in US.
6. Wholesaler receiving, inventory, reselling to retailers.

7. Retailers receiving, cutting, watering, storing, & arranging roses then delivering.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Pantone Color : Greenery

Apple, Avocado, Grass, Granny Smith, Artichoke...just a few names that come to mind when looking at this color.  (Yes, I am writing this close to lunchtime- hence the food names)  Green can be a great platform for colorschemes when it comes to weddings.   This particular shade will accent and brighten many colors including purples and pinks.

Purple + Green

Pink + Green

And even Blue + Green

There are many different color combinations beyond what I posted here.  This is just the beginning.  
I am really excited to see this fun and vibrant color incorporated into weddings this year!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Poison Lilies and other dangerous (and safe) plants

Is it poisonous?  Florists are often asked the toxicity of certain flowers and blooming plants, especially around the holidays.  While we cannot guarantee the level of nausea you or your pet will feel after consuming decorative flowers and plants, we can give you a list of toxic and non-toxic plants:

Poinsettias are the #1 blooming plant to be given at holiday time in December.  It's also the #1 misunderstood plant.  It is NOT poisonous, however, eating any part of this plant or any other plant will likely make you nauseous to a certain degree.  Also the yellow cluster in the center is the actual "flower", the colorful bracts are not.

Although kissing under the mistletoe is still a very popular custom, you should never eat it.  Mistletoe is poisonous to humans and animals.   It has greater complications for pets, even if it is a dried version of the plant.  As a florist, I never carry fresh mistletoe for liability reasons.   Holly plant and berries have a similar toxic effect on pets and humams and should be kept out of reach.

Another seasonal favorite in December is the Amaryllis. Amaryllis is in a genus or group of similar flowers with names like "Belladonna Lily" and "Jersey Lily" named for their lily-shaped petals.  It is not part of the actual Lilium family but is related to Easter lilies in the Hippeastrum family.   It usually considered more toxic to pets as humans are less likely to try and consume the flowers or the bulb.  The bulb of the plant contains higher concentrations of the chemicals that cause complications in pets.  

Christmas Cactus:
This colorful plant blooms in December and is NOT poisonous.  It would be a good choice as a gift when safety is a prime concern.  

However, any fiberous plant material is not going to agree with any pet or human, and will usually cause stomach irritation /or nausea, but will not be life threatening if the plant is considered Non-toxic. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Florists' Holiday Wish List

The inspiration for today's quick blog is from my own experiences in my flower shop.  So many times when I am waiting on a customer, they will remark that I must be hard to shop for.  Being a floral designer, my husband can't simply send/bring me flowers for my birthday or any other special occasion.  So what do I want instead?  

Beyond my normal response to my customers ("Wine, chocolate & jewelry- ha ha") there are things that I especially crave after a long brutal holiday:

1. Shoes with additional supportive inserts that don't look like crocs.  Skechers tends to make more trendy work shoes, some even with non-skid soles. 

2. Hand lotion/repair cream. The good stuff.  Even as I type this my hands are already the texture of fine grit sandpaper.  Shaping Christmas trees made from various PVC is extremely rough on one's hands. Cold, dry weather and constantly dealing with water are also big factors.   Pine sap is SO HARD to get off completely that I give up halfway to Christmas and deal with "pitch hands" smudged, sticky, and pine-fresh smelling.  

3. Massage Therapy.  Enough said. 

4. A clean car.  Vacuumed especially.  I never have time for this between business and kids and sports so it is especially appreciated. 

5. Dinner out.  Anywhere.  A few years ago we had dinner at Burger King on Valentine's Day because the restaurants were absolute madness and I was too exhausted to cook and he was working late.  I honestly was so happy to sit down to eat my food instead of over my design table that it was great. 

I'm sure I could think of a few other items but this is the top of my list.  :)