Flowers& - August 2014

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Flowers& AUGUST 2014 $5.50

Cast your vote in the Flowers& Design Contest Pg 16

Lilies from A to Z Pg 46

contents AUGUST 2014

features 16

30th Annual Flowers& Design Contest Announcing the finalists.


Flowing Sunshine Solidago as a feature flower.


Fall Fusion Mixing fresh flowers and botanicals. Floral design by Bob Hampton AIFD, AAF, PFCI

Photography by Ron Derhacopian


Lilies, Backwards & Forwards Where today’s cut-flower lilies come from, and where they’re going. Text and photography by Bruce Wright


Lilies, Easy & Elegant Quick & stylish designs for fall & winter. Floral design by Florian Seyd

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ON THE COVER Fresh sunflowers, realistic artificial privet berries and preserved diamond grass combine beautifully in an earthy yet elegant ceramic vase, perfect for fall. For more on this design, see pages 34-35. For more fall designs by Bob Hampton AIFD, AAF, PFCI combining fresh, faux, and dried or preserved materials, see “Fall Fusion,” pages 28-45.


departments 8

Focus on Design

Succulents, Stacked By Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI


Creative Edge


Profit Boosters


Principles & Elements


Shop Profile


What’s in Store


Advertiser Links


Wholesaler Connection


Where to Buy


Industry Events

pg 10

Fall: Spare and Brilliant By Hitomi Gilliam AIFD

Thriving in a Tough Economy

Principle of Design: Contrast By Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI

Ford Flower Company by Marianne Cotter

Flowers& Volume 35, Number 8 (ISSN 0199-4751). Published monthly by Teleflora, 11444 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064, 800-321-2665, fax 310-966-3610. Subscription rates: U.S., 1 year, $66.00. Canada, 1 year, $90.00 (US currency only); Canadian GST registration number R127851293. Other foreign countries, 1 year, $102.00 (US currency only). Single issues, $5.50 each prepaid. Periodicals postage paid at Los Angeles, Calif., and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Flowers&, PO Box 16029, North Hollywood, CA 91615-9871. Copyright © 2014 by Teleflora. Printed in U.S.A.

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Flowers& Publisher Editor Art Director National Advertising Director

Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI Bruce Wright Tony Fox Peter Lymbertos

Contributing Editor

Bill McKinley

U.S. Subscriptions


Foreign Subscriptions




On the Internet


ADVISORY BOARD Teleflora Education Specialists Susan Ayala


SAO Professional Design, Loma Linda, Calif., Tom Bowling

Fairfield, Ohio, Tim Farrell AIFD, PFCI,



Kansas City, Mo., Hitomi


Phoenix Flower Shops, Phoenix, Ariz., Vonda LaFever AIFD, PFCI, AZMF,

Essexville, Mich., Julie Poeltler Iowa, Jerome Raska

Tom Simmons


Dallas, Texas,

Surroundings Events and Floral, Verona, Wisc., Alex Jackson

Fla., Joyce Mason-Monheim



Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Bob Hampton AIFD, PFCI,


Farrell’s Florist, Drexel Hill, Penn., Bert Ford

Ford Flower Co., Salem, N.H., Jim Ganger

John Hosek AIFD, PFCI,





Tucson, Ariz., Darla Pawlak


Fountain of Flowers & Gifts, Lone Tree,


Blumz... by JR Designs, Detroit, Mich.,

Three Bunch Palms Productions, Palm Springs, Calif., Gerard Toh

Garden Trade Services, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Cindy Tole, Botanica Flowers & Gifts,

Greensboro, N.C., Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI, Mukwonago, Wisc.



Teleflora, Oklahoma City, Okla., Tom Butler

Teleflora, Oklahoma City, Okla., Carol J. Caggiano

Jeffersonton, Va., Wilton Hardy


Palm Beach, Fla., Rocky Pollitz




A. Caggiano, Inc.,

JWH Design and Consultant, West

Blue Jay, Calif., Elizabeth Seiji


Edelweiss Flower Boutique, Santa Monica, Calif.

Customer service: For service on your magazine subscription, including change of address, please write to Flowers&, P.O. Box 16029, No. Hollywood, CA 91615-9871, enclosing a recent address label. For faster service, call 818-286-3128; Teleflora members call 800-421-2815.


focus on design


Floral design by Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI

Photography by Ron Derhacopian

Faux succulents and bamboo boxes combine in a chic sculpture. Trendy and highly realistic, permanent succulents look especially beautiful in a showcase built out of bamboo. You could, however, also complete this concept using fresh succulents. Cascading succulents, like string-of-pearls and donkey tail, alternate nicely with large and small rosettes. 1. Experiment with bamboo cubes and rectangles until you find the configuration that will work best for your design. Place UGlu Dashes on your containers where you plan to attach them, but don’t attach them yet—leave the protective paper in place. 2. You’ll find it’s easier to fill the bamboo boxes with succulents while the boxes are still separate, then recombine them. Again, UGlu Dashes are a good way to secure the succulents in the boxes, if this is necessary or desired. 3. Remove the paper from the UGlu Dashes and adhere the boxes to each other. Since UGlu is removable, the configuration can still be altered if desired. Pebbles and preserved moss are possible additions to the sculpture. b




For product information, see Where to Buy, page 67.


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creative edge

The coming of autumn may suggest a bountiful harvest look, or spooky Halloween décor. But what about a different approach to fall? Autumn is the season of red and yellow in the treetops—but also the time when leaves fall and branches are stripped bare. Here then are relatively spare compositions, featuring permanent flowers in rich fall colors. They are intended to demonstrate that the motto “Less is more” was never more apt than in the fall.



Floral design by Hitomi Gilliam AIFD

Photography by Philippe Martin-Morice

THE TREES ARE ALMOST BARE In the design at left, there are just a few rich fall colors (represented by gold vanda and burgundy cymbidium blossoms) still clinging to the almost-bare branches. The abstracted grid of red reed gives a graphic vision of trees as they approach the cold winter months ahead. Liken it to an abstract painting. The reeds are first attached together with quarter pieces of UGlu Dashes so that the construction goes faster and is more solid. MID-FALL BRILLIANCE The table centerpiece above has dried reed wedged inside the lip of the container to create a solid armature, allowing simple insertions of cymbidium and oncidium stems and willow grass. It portrays the colors of fall as they drop into the rippling pond of water. Fall is the season for poetic expression with flowers—which does not have to evoke the season’s bounty. It can instead suggest the time when fall leaves drop, and the branches begin to bare their soul. LATE SUMMER, EARLY FALL The grasses are tall, the vines have a tight hold on their supports, and some of the deciduous trees are starting to turn golden. Pheasant feathers indicate the start of hunting season as night begins to chill. Fall begins with the palette green, yellow, gold, then brown. It’s easy to arrange permanent flowers in a clear glass cylinder. First, place a bundle of dried willow whips inside the cylinder to partially fill it. Then, begin designing by wedging the permanent flowers in between the willow whips. The cylinder vase is partially covered on the outside with brown decorative sheet foam and wrapped with Bind Wire to give a little fall touch. b

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TeamFloral founder Dan McManus talks with successful shop owners about their strategies.

by Dan McManus

Learning how to thrive in a tough economy. LYNN ANGELONE WAS forced to reinvent his business as a result of the recession in 2008. Economic hardship didn’t hit his shop until 2009 but when it hit, Lynn feared the worst. Here’s how he met those challenges and is now more successful than ever. Lynn’s father founded Angelone’s Florist in 1950, making Lynn a second-generation florist, with his daughter Jessica committed to carrying on the business into the third generation. The business started with a greenhouse and a flower shop and enjoyed prosperous growth through the end of the century. A tragic boiler explosion in 1964 caused a fire, which burned the store and greenhouses to the ground. As far as Lynn recalls, there was no insurance, no outside help. Lynn’s dad stepped up, worked hard and built it back. Watching his dad’s commitment and drive during this tough time made an impression on young Lynn that would affect how he managed the shop through the 2008 recession. Lynn and his dad weathered the recessions in the 1970s and ’80s without a significant change in business practices. Business always came back and the shop continued to grow. Then in 2009, Lynn lost sales faster than he had imagined possible. What was it like when sales came crashing down? For the first time in my career I was scared of losing the business. Sales dropped 30% to 40% in a free fall. We lost all profitability. After about a year of losing money, I knew it was time for change, but I wasn’t sure what to do. My instincts told me to look for other business owners who were smarter and more experienced than me to see how they were dealing with the situation. I started attending floral gatherings. I went to an SAF conference, met you and joined TeamFloral. I hired an on-site sales consultant. What did you change first? Me. I had to reshape the way I saw my business. I came

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to believe that it is the mindset of the person who runs the shop that ultimately drives how well it performs. Next I had to come to terms with the events. I felt victimized and betrayed. That led to a feeling of loss of control and I knew that was a slippery slope. I accepted that the recession was just another business obstacle to overcome. It took some re-focusing but I started seeing the bright side: getting out of this situation could sharpen me as a business owner and prepare me for the future. But to beat it was going to take more than small, incremental changes. I needed a paradigm shift for the business, a new way of viewing it. You then shifted your view of the shop? My perspective transitioned from being a florist first to being a business person first. That was an important distinction. It forced me to start taking responsibility for my business and its success and not feel like the victim of a change in the marketplace. I changed the way I approach each day. I get up every morning asking myself, “How can I do this in a different way to get a better result?” Instead of getting bogged down in the problems, I began to look for solutions. Business publications such as Success magazine were inspirational because they showed me how other small-business owners overcame similar challenges.

numbers. They were comparing stats they knew off the top of their head—numbers that I had never even tracked. I came home knowing that I could be successful even in a tough economy, but I needed to change some basic business practices. One thing I saw was that my technology was inadequate, so I started talking to Teleflora about a new POS system and a website. You hired consultants, invested in new technology. Many florists would see spending money when you are unprofitable as counterproductive. I had no choice. I was in a negative cash position for almost two years. If I had waited until I was profit-

Angelone Florist Raritan, New Jersey ▲

profit boosters

Lynn Angelone

Annual sales Profitability Payroll percentage Flower COGS percentage Average web sale* Average shop sale*

2012 $485,000 13% 23% 30% $88 $82

2013 $463,000 20% 21% 31% $103 $81

Median income of population in Raritan, New Jersey: $69,167 * includes tax and delivery

POS system: Dove POS Web host: Teleflora (custom template) Website:

How did you find what needed to be done? At the first TeamFloral Summit I was surrounded by other shop owners who were making progress, remaining profitable, finding ways to grow sales in the recession. I realized that I could do that too but I needed to step up my game. Listening to them talk, it was not hard to see that I was behind in technology and that too many of my business practices were based on guesswork. This is so common with florists, I think. The successful shop owners I met—big and small—were making decisions based on

able to spend the money, I wouldn’t be here today. I realized that I cannot be afraid to fail and that the more I try, the more I will succeed. My failures breed my success. In many ways the recession of 2008 was my version of the 1964 fire that my dad went through. I set out, as my dad did, to dig deep and rebuild. What did you do differently than your dad? He had to rebuild the physical infrastructure. I needed to rebuild the business infrastructure. TeamFloral taught me to focus my attention on payroll and fresh flower costs. That is not what I wanted to do but I followed

profit boosters the advice anyway. I was well over budget in both areas. I have known for a long time that my salary should be 10 percent of gross sales—there was just never enough there to draw that much. I also knew that my staff should be 20 percent. What changed is that I came to believe that those results were achievable. Instead of seeing all the reasons that it would never work, I started looking for ways that it could. How did you get your labor so far below the industry norm? I started matching labor costs with sales. If I was going to have $40,000 in sales next month, I could afford to spend $8,000 on staff labor (20 percent). It seems simple now but it was a new concept for me then. I learned to set my employees’ hours a month in advance. I used sales figures from the same month last

year, adjusted for how I thought it would be this year and made the schedule. Once I got into the swing of things, I kicked into overdrive myself. I started to feel like I was winning again, like I was back in control. I got used to working six days a week for 10 hours a day—for a while. I became a master of operations. I made sure that the customer service level and product quality stayed high, but everything else took a back seat while I learned how to become more and more efficient. Do you really measure COGS daily? Yes, but I don’t need to. Once a week would be adequate, but it has become a game for me. Every Monday, I pull a report from Dove POS that gives me sales by product category for the prior week. Once I have total flower sales, I multiply that by .25 to give me the amount I should have spent on flowers.

Then I find out what I actually spent by adding up the invoices for flowers and greens that were delivered last week by our suppliers. It’s second nature now—I can’t believe that I ever ran a flower shop not knowing every week what my numbers were. When did you realize it has turned around? I’ll never forget when my accountant called in late 2012 and said I had a ”problem.” She warned me that I needed to be prepared for a big tax bill. My taxes were going to be much higher than I was used to because I was so much more profitable! I always thought that I needed to grow to become profitable, but I really needed to become profitable in order to grow. I’ve been doing this for 35 years and we are more profitable today than ever. That is worth going through the recession. It was tough— but it made me tougher. b

Whose magazine is this, anyway? Are you reading someone else’s copy of Flowers&? Or a single issue that you picked up at your local wholesale florist?

Get your own monthly dose of creative design inspiration, flower news and business advice, for just $5.50 per issue!* Subscribe to Flowers&—in print (includes access to the digital edition) or online. Teleflora members, call 800-333-0205. Non Teleflora member florists, call 800-321-2665. From outside the U.S., call 818-286-3128. Questions? Email For current subscription rates, archived articles, and information about the current issue, visit: *Subscription rates are higher for international subscribers, discounted for Teleflora members. A digital subscription is only $19.95 for a full year. Visit our website for more info.

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Presenting the 10 finalists! Vote today to help pick the top three winners.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY 30th Annual Flowers&


What is the perfect anniversary cenC A S H P terpiece? The answer depends very much on whose anniversary it is. 1st Place: Consider the diversity of styles and 2nd Place: techniques on the following pages, and we think you’ll agree there is 3rd Place: no one approach to this assignment that trumps all the rest. The possibilities are endless! And that’s precisely what makes floral design such an infinitely rewarding and challenging medium for creative expression.



along with the quality of the photographs submitted and the requirements of the theme.


As we do every year, we ask you, our readers, to pick the first-, second-, and third-place winners. Review the designs that appear on the following pages and vote for your three top favorites, following instructions on the postage-paid ballot card bound into the magazine facing this page. You must use an original ballot card to vote; there is only one ballot per magazine subscription. Each ballot asks for a first, second, and third choice; these choices are weighted in the final tally.


Some designs, however, do stand out from the crowd in terms of skill and originality. As usual, this year we received many more than ten entries that could have qualified as finalists. Forced to limit their choices, how- Place the card in the mail so that it’s postmarked ever, the judges selected those seen here, basing their by Friday, August 29, 2014. The winners will be decision on classic criteria for excellence in design revealed in the November 2014 issue of Flowers&. 16



Materials include Wanted and Pink Piano garden roses, burgundy ranunculus, cymbidium blooms, green hydrangea, aspidistra leaves, lily grass, aluminum wire, and an oval glass dish.


Materials include magnolia leaves, succulents, Orange Unique roses, mini sunflowers, driftwood, heather, moss, stones, floral foam, and a metal heart container.






Materials include vanda orchids, flat cane, satin ribbon, a bouquet brooch, a cylinder vase, diamond wrap, aluminum wire, and UGlu Dashes.


Materials include mini callas, ranunculus, cyclamen blooms, maidenhair fern, champagne glasses, aluminum wire, acrylic cubes, and a rhinestone wrist band.


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Materials include freesia, lilac, white dahlias, purple anemones, Cool Water roses, umbrella fern, dusty miller, silver brunia, a mercury-glass goblet, a pearl and crystal necklace, pearl pins, and floral foam.

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Materials include mini callas, lily grass, a succulent, a ti leaf, and a glass vase.



Materials include phalaenopsis orchids, agapanthus, anthuriums, roses, a pincushion, anemones, variegated aspidistra, flat cane in purple, red and green, flat wire, beaded wire, glue dots, and a glass cylinder.


Materials include cymbidium orchids, mini roses, green hydrangea, baby’s breath, bear grass, string of pearls, pearl beads, a glass pedestal container, and floral foam.

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Materials include forsythia, spray roses, godetia, Clooney ranunculus, tulips, pussy willow, curly willow, a fourinch ivy plant, bupleurum, oregonia, a sponge mushroom, an artificial butterfly, and a patinated rose pot.


Materials include a phalaenopsis orchid spray, a four-inch cyclamen plant, small succulent rosettes, steel grass, UGlu Dashes, a container, and floral foam. b



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principles & elements

Floral design by Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI

Photography by Ron Derhacopian

For product information, see Where to Buy, page 67.

How many kinds of contrast can you employ in creating a floral design? So many! Color, texture,

and form, for example, can all offer contrast. As a principle of design, contrast plays with many different elements. Strategies of high contrast or low contrast can both be effective. Traditional designs tend to rely on low contrast, edgier designs on high contrast. Here, contrast is illustrated not only with the floral materials, but with the container and accessories. We see color and texture contrast between the tillandsia and the lotus pods, but also between the shiny finish of the flat wire and the matte plastic of the tray. It’s important to remember that as you employ contrast, you want to maintain unity and harmony in your designs. The flat wire adds so much to this design because of its contrast; yet, it works well with the silver tone of the container, which helps achieve harmony. b


Flowing Sunshine A how-to featuring Golden Glory™ solidago.

An armature made with pieces of twisty, graybarked wood serves as the perfect showcase for summery yellow flowers, including two bright and cheery new varieties: Golden Glory™ solidago and Paintball™ craspedia. To begin, the pieces of wood are placed upright in a pot filled with wet floral foam and secured to each other with cable ties, leaving space in the center to accommodate insertions of solidago.

Craspedia and variegated flax are then woven around the wood armature. The long, flexible craspedia stems are secured to the wood or to each other with metallic wire, while the tips of the flax leaves are inserted through slits made in other leaves.

The Golden Glory™, with its large bright flowers and long, sturdy stems, fills in both the base and the center of the design. The tall stems in the middle are inserted last, pulled through the armature. To learn more about Golden Glory™, Paintball™, and other cut-flower varieties from Danziger (best known for Million Stars® gypsophila), visit b 26


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Autumn is the perfect time to include botanicals— fresh, dried or permanent—in your design mix.

For product information,

Floral design by Bob Hampton AIFD, AAF, PFCI

Photography by Ron Derhacopian

see Where to Buy, page 67.

Fall is just around the corner! That means bringing the outdoors in—with fresh flowers, but also with fruits, berries, pods, grasses, branches, and leaves. This seasonal mix of materials falls right in with the trend toward texture and variety in floral design. And if you don’t have fresh botanicals available—or if you want a more long-lasting result— the look is still easily achieved thanks to the latest advances in permanent materials. More and more permanent botanicals are waterproof and weather-resistant. Realistic yet affordable, they’re perfect for adding that something special to fresh-flower designs.

GLEAMING GREEN Tinted and textured glass orbs serve as a mechanic in the design at left, holding flower stems in place, but also remain as keepsake decorative accessories when the flowers are gone. Nestled in a low, clear glass cylinder bowl, they mingle beautifully with orange gerberas (Sunset and yellow-tipped Ornella), rosehips, privet berries, and sorghum grass.

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BRANCHING OUT At left, wired, permanent branches of dogwood echo the wavy outline of a hand-blown glass vase and establish a grid that supports additional stems: polished baobab pods, fresh artichokes in green and burgundy, hypericum berries, and nandina. A hand-blown glass pumpkin calls attention to the artisanal quality of the vase.

NESTING To build the autumn nest above, Bob began by placing dried grasses in the Humanity Bowl, first cutting them to an appropriate length. He lowered blocks of wet foam on top of the grass bed, pressing the grass into place against the sides of the bowl. Next he added fresh olive branches, inserting them into the foam, along with dyed transparent oak leaves and a variety of textured, grassy permanent and dried materials including smoke tree and mossy vine. For the finishing touch, permanent green osage oranges serve as “eggs,� surrounded by mahogany pods.

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BRIGHT HARVEST The artificial coleus leaves that peek out from the edges of this sprawling cornucopia are a good example of the type of material that would not last long in fresh, but in permanent adds an affordable and realistic, familiar accent. Vivid fresh orange physalis combines well with permanent green bittersweet, fresh orange carnations, and beautifully textured spiral cones and moss balls, all in a low green handled ceramic tray.

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FOREVER FRESH New technology means that many permanent floral materials, like the privet berries here combined with fresh sunflowers, are now fully waterproof. “The paint won’t run, and they can be subjected to freezing temperatures outdoors,” says Bob—or used in fresh designs to supply realistic color and texture that might not otherwise be readily or reliably available. In this design, preserved diamond grass adds a delicate finishing touch.

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RED TASSELS At left, Tango Pup Art lilies, dark orange-red with burgundy throats, make an autumn statement that transitions into the winter holidays, placed in a silver urn with preserved hanging amaranthus in a very rich red. Fresh red and green chili peppers likewise strike a trans-seasonal note, along with red dyed pods and permanent blackberries.

WAVING GRAIN A harvest of bearded wheat and china millet, setaria and nubbly pods, angel vine and fresh red cotinus foliage sets off the warm tones and fresh petals of orange lilies and Free Spirit roses. The lily buds blend nicely with the grass heads and will soon pop open, covering the surface with color. On this design Bob started his insertions in the middle and worked his way out.

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SWEET SUNSET At left, Coffee Break roses embrace a range of delicate hues, from hints of yellow and orange to cream and brick-pink. This exquisite palette inspired Bob to combine the garden-style roses with callas in a similar color range. Both are complemented with the addition of preserved and permanent materials: clove-studded oranges, persimmon-colored transparent oak leaves, and tufts of seeded grass, in a color and texture that harmonize perfectly with the ceramic crock.

WARM AND FUZZY Above, two kinds of artificial succulents and a nimbus of curly permanent smoke-tree branch add sophisticated texture and variety to a simple combination of long-lasting orange pincushions and Green Ball dianthus, all in an iridescent, footed amber glass bowl.

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LOW-HANGING FRUIT Fall fruit on the branch evokes a feeling of abundance while the branches lend movement to design, as seen at left. The fruited branches can be difficult to balance, however, physically and visually, especially in the vase. A branch of yellow persimmons extending outward on the right side of the design is balanced by a bundle of fresh green setaria, grouped on the left side, while the downward motion of the hanging fruit is countered by orange ilex and Tango Orange Art lilies, thrusting upward from the ribbed amber vase.

A TOUCH OF GOLD Above, fresh pomegranates on the branch and gold permanent artichokes nestle together in a wavy glass bowl, complemented with fresh red hypericum and chocolate lace. Permanent staghorn garland is woven into the mix, adding its rough texture to the soft and shiny ones.

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AUTUMN MEDLEY Nature’s brush strokes on fresh calla blooms sing out over a background of pods, branches and berries nestled here in the long, low, boatlike Bentley Bowl. Bob began by filling the bowl with water, then placed branches of nandina as an initial support system for stems; the nandina leaves set the tone for the color scheme, with their exquisite blend of green and mottled rose. From there, Bob added short branches of privet berries and rosehips, and finally the callas, permanent conifer pod branches, and okra pods, creating dynamic crisscrossing lines.

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LOOK INSIDE At left, a Design Ring (a ring of floral foam glued to a plastic tray), mounted on a rust-finish pedestal tray, lends the intriguing form of a horizontal wreath to a medley of yellow matricaria, Sonrisa roses (with budded side shoots), brassica (ornamental kale), plucked sunflower centers, fresh olive branches and pink hypericum. Preserved hanging amaranthus drips from the perimeter of the Design Ring; colorful gourds and clip-on birds add the finishing touch.

SPOTLIGHT ON LILIES Above, exquisite autumn lilies deserve a fitting showcase, here supplied with the bright fresh green of permanent mossy vine and dyed, preserved wild oats. Rolled dried leaves actually support and stabilize the positioning of some lily stems. Fresh yellow marigolds reinforce the inside hue of the Royal Sunset lilies. Toward the base of the bouquet, light orange Cocotte mini lilies harmonize with the orange ceramic pot. b

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ou may think of lilies as a classic and traditional flower—and they are. And yet, more than any other staple item that florists use and sell every day, lilies have undergone a remarkable revolution in the past 70 years. It’s a revolution that’s still underway. Within the next decade, experts say, we’re likely to see dynamic changes in the lily assortment. Looking for lilies without pollen, so you won’t have to worry about pollen stains? Lilies of the large Oriental type, but with a less overpowering fragrance? Not to mention double lilies, miniature lilies, and an ever-evolving palette of new colors and color combinations. Before looking at these exciting developments, it helps to review the basic lily types. The history of lilies as a modern bulb and cut-flower crop is surprisingly short. It proceeds mainly from the breeding and interbreeding of just four original types: the Asiatic group, the Oriental group, longiflorum lilies and trumpet lilies. FROM ASIA TO LA Lily breeding didn’t get started until the first decades of the 20th century, with the introduction of Asiatic lilies—the first group to achieve commercial success as cut flowers. Yes, they came originally from Asia—but it was an American, hybridizer Jan de Graaff of Oregon Bulb Farms, who gave the Asiatic group a big boost in 1944. That was the year in which De Graaff introduced Enchantment, a phenomenally successful, speckled orange Asiatic lily (similar to what you may think of as a tiger lily).


Other mid-century Asiatic hybrids quickly followed. As a result, after World War II, Asiatics dominated the market for more than 30 years. Within the Asiatic group, about eight species were much crossed with each other, producing a wide range of brilliant colors: orange, yellow, pink, red—in fact, everything except blue. Some have speckles, some do not. The flowers are star-shaped and typically about four or five inches across, with long, soft, slender leaves. The next step for Asiatics involved a cross with longiflorum lilies. Also known as Easter lilies, longiflorums are white, trumpet-shaped (longiflorum means “long-flowered”) and downward-facing. As beautiful as they are, there’s a reason you probably know them primarily as plants, not cut flowers: their downwardfacing habit means they are difficult to sleeve and ship without damage to the buds or blooms. Longiflorums do, however, have one characteristic that drew the attention of cut-flower breeders and growers: speed in production. From propagation to a mature bulb takes two, sometimes three years for With flat, star-shaped flowers and brilliant colors, Asiatic lilies ruled the market for 30 years from World War II on. Today they have yielded much of their market share to the LA hybrids—but some varieties remain popular for their unusual colors or color combinations, like the striking Strawberry and Cream.

JULY 20102014 47 47 AUGUST

LILIES Asiatics. For longiflorum lilies, the same process takes only a year, sometimes two. Inevitably, breeders got the idea, “If only we could grow Asiatics that fast!” LA lilies are, as you might guess, a cross between longiflorum and Asiatic types. Breeders started crossing them more than 20 years ago. The first LA lilies all came in pastel colors—as though you took the vibrant hues of the Asiatic group and mixed them with a paint can of longiflorum

white. (Marketers called them “decorator colors”; others sniffed that LA’s came in the same color range as ladies’ underwear.) It took a few years, but slowly breeders were able to produce LA varieties that combined the swift, vigorous growth of longiflorums with the strong, bright colors of Asiatics. Today, LA’s are taking over and almost pushing pure Asiatic lilies out of the market. They’re similar to Asiatics but with blunter, bigger, more balloon-like buds. The flowers face up, but retain a little of the longiflorum shape; they may not open quite as flat as a pure Asiatic lily. They may also be considerably larger than the flowers of Asiatics.

When breeders got the idea to cross longiflorum lilies (Easter lilies) with lilies in the Asiatic group, at first all they could get were pastels. Eventually, though, they managed to develop varieties with the fast-growing qualities of longiflorum lilies, and the vivid colors of Asiatics—like Ravello (orange) and Pineto (red), above. If you look carefully, though, at these LA lilies, you’ll notice that they retain a bit of the Easter lily’s trumpet shape. Original Love is another red LA lily, with a sprinkling of freckles in the center. Worldwide, most flower buyers like lilies with spots. Americans are the exception: we prefer our lilies spotless. 48

OUTWARD AND UPWARD Rising to prominence in the 80s and 90s, Oriental lilies were introduced to the market in 1975 with Stargazer—a large, speckled red lily that remained a best seller for the next 25 years. The name Stargazer is significant: this was the first Oriental hybrid to face upward, toward the sky. Oriental lilies were developed from about eight species native to central Asia and Japan. All of these lilies grew wild in forests where there was a lot of rain. If you are a lily and it rains frequently, and if your flowers face up, you will find that your pollen gets washed away before insects can find it and carry it to other flowers—which means you can’t reproduce sexually, and your species won’t last very long. Therefore, the Orientals originally all had outward- or downward-facing flowers. Today, breeders have mostly succeeded in getting the flowers to face up. And what flowers! Large, elegant, and highly fragrant, the Orientals performed well in the greenhouse, as long as they were kept cool and well shaded (just like in their native wet forests). They were less happy growing in the warmer soil of summer, or of any warm, sunny region (like those where most of today’s cut flowers are grown).

With their large blooms and intoxicating perfume, Oriental lilies took the market by storm, starting in the 80s. The color range has always been strongest in pink or white, sometimes with a streak of yellow. Two of the earliest, most successful Oriental lilies were Stargazer, a speckled dark pink, and Le Reve, a lovely light pink. Even today, medium pinks are relatively rare. Seen here are Le Reve, the best-selling variety La Mancha, and darker pink Metropolitan. SOMETHING TO TRUMPET ABOUT The fourth major original lily type is the trumpet. Trumpet lilies are, of course, named after their shape, having a long neck, similar to longiflorum lilies, and an even more pronounced reflexing at the tip of the petals. You probably won’t see pure trumpets being marketed as a cut flower (though they are popular as garden flowers). Cut-flower breeders noticed, however, that some trumpet lilies came in a yellow color—so they tried crossing them with Orientals to see if they could get that color into the Oriental group. When they did so, it turned out that trumpets have another helpful characteristic they could lend to Orientals: they are heat-tolerant. (In China, trumpets can sometimes be found growing on the roof, with no shade at all.) Today OT lilies (Oriental X Trumpet) are making the same inroads in competition with Oriental lilies that LA’s have made in competition with Asiatics. Besides their heat tolerance, OT’s have another advantage over pure Orientals: their forcing time, from bulb to flower, is significantly shorter. Growers like that because it saves them quite a bit of money: imagine how much it costs to heat an entire greenhouse for just a week or ten days. For all these reasons, the OT’s are gradually growing in importance. Many growers and breeders believe that in the future, OT’s will largely replace Orientals. One challenge that remains is that OT’s have very big flowers, but fewer buds, and the bulbs are also very large, which makes them expensive to ship.

To the untrained eye, OT lilies look much like pure Oriental lilies—and that’s the idea. In crossing Oriental lilies with trumpet lilies, breeders hoped to get the elegant look of Orientals in a heat-tolerant lily with a shorter growing time. With varieties like soft yellow Outback (at left) and coral Zelmira, they have largely succeeded. However, breeders are still working on getting OT’s to face upward rather than down or out, just as they had to do with Orientals. Another “flaw” commonly found in OT’s is that the three outside petals sometimes “trumpet”: they curve back and twist a little. AUGUST 2014 49


EASTER GOES EAST The latest lily hybrid, just now making inroads into the market, is LO lilies: longiflorums crossed with Orientals. Breeders are trying to get them shorter, more compact, and more upfacing. They could be an important step toward a

flower that looks like an Oriental lily, but with a less overpowering fragrance (the heady perfume of Oriental lilies is a feature that doesn’t find favor with all customers or cultures). As with LA lilies, the longiflorum side of the cross also means that production can be speeded up, saving costs. When LO’s were first introduced (many from Dutch hybridizer Royal Van Zanten),

growers at first sneered at them, according to a Van Zanten representative. Among other things, they objected to the superabundance of foliage, which Dutch growers call “noise.” One grower took them on, however—and is now making a tidy profit selling LO lilies to the upscale British retail chain Marks & Spencer. “Every variety takes time to find its way,” says the rep.

In their original form, all longiflorum lilies pointed downward, but some, like Global Leader (at far left, in the Global series from Mak Breeding) have been successfully bred to face upwards. Breeders have also enjoyed some success with LO lilies—crosses between longiflorums and Orientals—some white, like White Triumph (at near left), some pink, like Bellsong or the darker Pink Heaven. The LO’s look a little like Orientals, but grow faster and have a more subtle fragrance. 50

Lilies are propagated by “scaling.” The bulb from a lily consists of a series of scales; when the scales are separated, each is capable of forming multiple tiny bulblets. Under a bulb producer’s careful tending, the scales from a single lily bulb can yield hundreds of bulblets! But, to produce salable new bulbs takes a year, two years, or more, depending on the type of lily. All flower bulbs have scales, but in lily bulbs, the scales are more evident than in most others; they are looser and lack a protective covering (a “tunic”) such as tulip bulbs have. At the very center of the bulb you can see the vegetative growing point from which the new lily stem will grow. With its delicate coloring, this lily bulb is as beautiful in its way as the flower.

DUTCH BULBS, DUTCH QUALITY Your customers may not even realize that lilies are bulb flowers—probably because lilies are traditionally summer flowers, and most people associate flower bulbs with tulips and springtime. Like tulips and other bulb flowers, however, lilies have a special connection to the Dutch flower industry. Almost all high-quality, cut-flower lilies—whether they were grown in Holland, California or South America—were grown from bulbs produced either in the Netherlands or by Dutch bulb producers with greenhouses in the Southern Hemisphere (usually Chile or New Zealand) to accommodate off-season production. Every year for the past four years, lily breeders, growers, bulb producers, exporters, and traders from around the world have come together for an event known as Dutch Lily Days. Sixteen Dutch companies participate in these collective trials. It’s an educational event, a business opportunity— and also a rare spectacle. Under normal circumstances, you would never get to see a greenhouse full of blooming lilies, because the lilies would be harvested just before the buds burst open. At Dutch Lily Days, however, traders can see first-hand the latest new varieties in full bloom, in greenhouses specifically devoted to the exhibition. There is no trade event quite like it, devoted to a single wide family of flowers—a family that promises to become even more diverse, more practical, more romantic and appealing in the years ahead.

Whatever the “downside” of down-facing lilies from the point of view of sleeving and shipping, the charm of these garden lilies (for example, Lilium canadense, in speckled orange, and Lilium martagon, in white) can’t be denied. With their diminutive bell-like flowers, martagon lilies are available from some cut-flower wholesalers in Europe. The Latin name comes from a Turkish word that means turban or cap, and these lilies are also known as Turk’s cap lilies, referring to the upside-down shape with reflexed petals.

Double Oriental lilies, also called Dublets or Roselilies, are still very new, especially as cut flowers, but coming on strong—and as producers scale up, we can expect wider availability at a lower price. North American florists may be familiar with Belonica, Fabiola, and other double varieties from Sun Valley Floral Farms or Green Valley Floral. The icy pink Miss Lucy (seen at right above) is yet another double variety. Like other doubles, Miss Lucy is pollen-free—although you might not notice this at first, since the anthers are hidden within the center petals. Asiatic doubles, like Red Twin, are also available, though they have not yet been adapted for the cut-flower market. AUGUST 2014 51


To learn more about lilies, visit these resourceful websites: BOT FLOWERBULBS










GREEN VALLEY FLORAL Today the direction that lilies will take in the future is determined by just five or six companies that are specialists in the breeding of new lily varieties. One of them is the Dutch firm Vletter & Den Haan, where Arie Peterse has been working with lilies for 25 years. Much of the explanation about the history of lily breeding in the 20th century in this article comes straight from him—thanks, Arie!

We’re Everywhere... Run an Ad in Flowers& and Join Us! Call Peter @ 800-421-4921



Quick & stylish designs for fall & winter. Floral design by Florian Seyd

“The nice thing about lilies is that they’re available year-round and just as beautiful in fall and winter designs as in spring and summer,” says Florian Seyd, a German-born designer who currently works out of Amsterdam, in partnership with Dutch florist Ueli Signer. He shared these ideas during Dutch Lily Days: For more about Florian and Ueli and their creative work with flowers, visit

IN THE CLOUD To create a romantic, low-labor bridal bouquet, Florian simply hand-tied gypsophila stems, then pulled a white Oriental lily stem down through the flower cloud and re-wrapped the stem bundle, securing the lily stem to it. Of course he covered the wrapping and the entire stem bundle with ribbon. “This could go for a modern or a classical bride,” he points out.


BLACK AND WHITE “This color scheme is always elegant,” says Florian. To introduce something close to black in a natural material, he used black thalia berries, secured in a ring around each of three glass cylinders with help from a readymade twig fence, together with touches of wood glue, which is transparent when it dries. The berries contrast also in shape and texture with the longiflorum lilies; variegated fatsia leaves, nestled among the berries, add a harmonizing color and shape.

AUGUST 2014 55

LiLies, easy& eLegant FIELD OF WHEAT Tall, branching or nodding lilies are seen to advantage in custom-decorated containers. Florian showed several variations on this concept, starting with glass cylinders inside sheaves of dried wheat. He laid the cylinders on his work surface and wrapped bowl tape around first one, then another layer of the wheat, trimming it at the bottom and covering the tape with ribbon. (A few drops of glue keep the ribbon from sliding.) Fresh grasses with flat seedheads add contrast to the dried wheat.

THE GRASS VEIL Using dried grasses strapped to the outside of glass bottles for a touch of autumn, Florian kept the layers of grass light and transparent, so they could mingle with the lily blooms. Again he used anchor tape to secure the grasses, this time covering the tape with twine. In the finished, composite design, three different types of lilies are showcased, each in its own bottle: an LA lily, an Oriental, and two stems of the new, diminutive, martagon lilies (for more on these, see page 51). Dyed leaves, slipped among the grasses and secured with a drop or two of glue, reinforce the color scheme. 56

WINTER SCENE A plastic bucket is covered with lichen twigs, again secured to the container with bowl tape, which is then disguised with ribbon; a touch of glue keeps the ribbon from sliding. Branches of Euonymus alatus, with their ridged “wings,” are planted in floral foam in the bucket; the base of the design is filled in with pinecones and Christmas foliage. Florian has removed all the foliage from the lily stems, to emphasize the spare, wintry feeling and create a “fairytale” look.

STARPOWER A star-shaped armature complements the starry shape of a lily bloom and provides a dramatic backdrop for Miss Lucy double lilies. Florian made the armature himself, cutting the shape from cardboard and adding, first large pieces of bark, then smaller ones. Heavy wire extends below the hole in the center of the armature, forming a handle. Florian then began by pulling silver twigs through the hole; in the completed design, these emerge around the double lilies, adding a further contrast in texture, in harmony with the woodsy, wintry theme. b AUGUST 2014 57

shop profile

by Marianne Cotter

Celebrating 30 years, Ford Flower Company balances tradition and innovation.


icture a rose between two thorns. Then expand that image to encompass a single rose in an endless field of thorns. Now you have a picture of the genteel colonial building that is Ford Flower Company as an island in the sea of big box stores and franchise restaurants—not to mention the 250-store mall—that populate its Salem, New Hampshire neighborhood. The franchise frenzy can be explained by the fact that with no state sales tax, Salem is a convenient shopping mecca for residents of Boston, Massachusetts, a mere 30 miles


Photography by Daniel Doke

away. For owners Bert and Susan Ford, the contrast serves to make the store a highly inviting standout. “It’s actually kind of cool,” says Bert Ford. “We are an oasis of calm and beauty for our customers. With easy-access parking in front of a beautiful, traditional-styled building, our customers don’t have to traipse through a strip mall or a parking structure. They park near the front door, come in, browse, get their flowers and drive off. The shop lends itself to customer service and convenience.” GARDEN GRACES Once inside the shop, customers are not disappointed. The immediate impression is one of colorful abundance—as if you walked into a garden on a magical day when every flower and plant is in full bloom at once. Flower and gift vignettes are set against an environment fitted with historic architectural details including a grand staircase winding up to the second floor under a huge chandelier—that is, if you wouldn’t rather take

Click Here to See More Photos

the elevator. Downstairs a garden vignette features birdhouses, a collection of wooden birds, a gazing ball and an assortment of vintage shovels and rakes, all set against a lush arrangement of potted greens and succulents. Nearby a roll-top desk opens its drawers to host topiaries and other plants that are ready to take home. Bert creates drama in his shop with the use of bold colors: a red wall here, a black one there, furniture painted bright yellow or stark white. The building’s many windows bring in ample light to support the deep, saturated hues. All traditional elements have a strong, clean modernity without a hint of the musty or worn. LOCK, STOCK AND BARREL But the best part of the building is visible only to Bert and Susan. The Fords are in the rare position of owning the land and the building that houses the shop—the result of years of stashing away Teleflora rebates until they were able to buy

In 1998, after 14 years in business, Bert and Susan Ford were able to move their shop into a brand new building designed to combine residential style with commercial appeal (large windows, ample parking). A big chandelier and a grand staircase dramatize the high ceilings in the shop’s inviting entryway, where flowers and plants are displayed in colorful abundance, yet without overcrowding the space. The look is traditional, yet fresh and creative.

Ford Flower Company LLC

ing to buy property and then in in a high-rent district, we minidesign and build their own d Salem, New Hampshire mized the storshop, becoming, at last, m age and design their own landlords. a Owners: Bert and Susan Ford space. As a result “When you think of how s Niche: Corporate business, the contrived financing can be, th workspace is weddings, events, gourmet foods, streamlined but putting the rebates into a s decorative accessories effi special savings account e cient, with no room for clutter or was just so blatantly logir Space: Showroom, 5,500 square feet; overstock.” cal,” says Bert. “When we o building, 8,000 square feet The lack of finally moved into our new Staff: 8 full-time, 12 part-time storage space building in 1998, the morts necessitates sellgage and overhead were n through on seacheaper than what we were th sonal merchanpaying to rent at the strip s dise. The shop offers sales at the end of each mall. Plus we have equity for retirement.” When working with the architect to design season to recoup costs. Then they can start the building, Bert wanted a residential style each season with fresh merchandise. “From combined with commercial appeal—thus, the the beginning we knew the space would be oversized windows to let in plenty of natural so much more valuable as retail than it is for light for plants and product displays. Utilizing storage and design work,” Bert explains. square footage efficiently was another issue Bert tackled aggressively in the design. “Be- THE ENGLISH TRADITION Bert attributes his

early interest in flowers to the influence of a grandfather who came from England: “He had hedgerow gardens that I used to help with as a youngster, so my English heritage came into play early on.” By the time Bert was ten years old he had developed an infatuation with growing plants and flowers in his own back yard. “I put them in vases and entered a few design competitions with the local garden club’s ‘junior sprouts’ division,” Bert recalls. “I was heavily criticized for proportion and scale and other criteria, which I took quite seriously. I developed my interest from there.” Bert attended the University of New Hampshire and studied plant science, doing independent studies in floral design. During that time he worked part-time at a local gift shop, bringing in plants from the university. Eventually the university asked him to start a flower shop on the main campus, plus two more on satellite campuses, to serve the needs of the students. His career in the retail floral business had begun.

AUGUST 2014 59

shop profile After working for the university store Bert was offered a position as vice president and general manager of a local nursery and garden center, where he started yet another flower shop. In the nursery Bert was the chief landscape designer, which increased his knowledge of plant materials. “I managed sales, installation and maintenance crews as well as managing the flower shop. Then the shop was sold, and Susan and I decided that after opening four shops, it was time to open one of our own.” THIRTY YEARS AGO In 1984 Ford Flower Company opened its doors, occupying a small space in a 500-square-foot gift shop in Salem. From the very beginning the shop sported the name and branding it still uses today. Ford Flower Company quickly outgrew the space and moved into a strip mall where it stayed for ten years. In 1987 Susan Ford came on board in the strip mall location. She worked part-time in the store, and full-time raising the couple’s two children, who were both active in sports. Today she is fully devoted to the shop and handles its financial operations. The family connections don’t end there. Son Chris joined the business in 2005, followed by daughter Becky in 2007. Chris works with his mother on the financial side while also working with his father on the shop’s outside décor business for the holiday season and during the summers. “My son and I handle that part of the business,” says Bert, “which has been a great niche. It’s something a lot of our competitors do not do. I’m directing the business to go heavily Today the two Ford children, Chris and Becky, have joined the family business: Chris works on the financial side and on the shop’s outdoor décor business, while Becky works in the design room, handling wedding consultations and managing the back of the store. Display coolers line two walls of one showroom; in another area, white and light green blooms and accessories stand out against a patterned wall.


in that direction—outside services, seasonal décor.” Meanwhile daughter Becky works in the design room, handling wedding consultations and managing the back of the store. “We sent them off to college and got them great educations, and they came back to work with Mom and Dad,” Bert laughs. “It really is a family business.” Continuing his education, Bert became the first person from New Hampshire to become a member of AIFD in 2001 and went on to become a member of the Professional Florist Commentators International (PFCI). Today Bert serves as an Educational Specialist for Teleflora, traveling all over the country helping florists improve their creative and business skills. In 2010 he had the honor of presenting the opening program at the National AIFD Symposium in Boston. MARKETING ON AND OFFLINE A clear advantage of having the younger generation in the business is their natural infinity for social media. “Our website is one of the best marketing tools we have,” says Bert. “We do Facebook and some Twitter. We get a lot of our customers through electronic means. My daughter and son pretty much handle that part of the business.” That doesn’t eliminate traditional marketing methods that have proven successful. “We have an annual open house in the fall the weekend before Thanksgiving,” says Bert. “We do a massive postcard direct mail, which is still quite effective for us. We get “Gourmet food is a huge business for us,” says Bert. As seen in the top photo on this page, the many food items carried at Ford Flower Company—from snack foods to party provisions—are supplied from four or five different vendors, but all are re-branded with the Ford logo. Permanent botanicals and living plants supplement fresh cut flowers in creating a bright, gardenlike atmosphere throughout the shop—reinforced with accessories like birdhouses and artificial birds.

AUGUST 2014 61

shop profile

1200 to 1500 people through the doors. We have refreshments and we offer discounts and door prizes. It’s phenomenal and exciting and a holiday tradition in our area.”

explain how to care for the flowers when they get home.” Bert and his staff always take advantage of the opportunity to converse with the customer, asking them how they are and allowing the customer to share their reason for coming in. “We convey that behavior to our employees,” explains Bert. “I use the philosophies of some of the people who are currently teaching in the industry, especially the advice never to ask a customer how much they want to spend. Instead we listen to the customers. Listening is key. Then we can give them what they want.”

PROFITING FROM WALK-INS Bert is fortunate to get a lot of walk-in business, from which he is able to capture new customers. “When that customer comes in for the first time and wants to buy flowers for a spouse or friend, they’re greeted and spoken to by the staff,” he explains. “We open our refrigerator and show them what we have. And when they make a purchase, we don’t just wrap up the flowers like a pound of hamburger they bought at the deli. We use pretty cellophane wrap with our logo so they are handed a gift. Finally, we

HOLDING FAST TO THE BRAND At the very beginning Bert created a visual brand for his shop and has never changed it. The logo is a simple, classic burgundy-colored oval containing the shop name in cream-colored lettering. It is omnipresent in the shop and throughout the community wherever Ford Flower Company does business. “I’m into maintaining tradition,” says Bert. “Our logo is on our wrapping paper, our van, the aprons our staff wears, and on our extensive line of private-label gourmet food.”

Clockwise from top left, rustic baskets and grapevine wreaths stand ready to be enhanced with flowers; a red wall makes a dramatic backdrop for green and blooming plants; a basket packed with gourmet foods is wrapped and ready to go; ceramic birds and tea towels with a homespun look complement profuse bouquets in muted colors.


Which brings up the question of gift lines, particularly which type of items Bert has chosen to stock and which he is careful to avoid. “Being across the street from a 250-store shopping mall and down the street from TJ Max, Marshall’s and Target, I’m not going to sell jewelry, hats or scarves,” Bert explains. Instead he has invested in an extensive line of gourmet foods which he stocks on the shelves and uses in gift baskets. “Gourmet food is a huge business for us,” Bert says. “We work with four or five food purveyors and we customize each item with our private label.” In addition to a daily selection of fresh market fruits, he stocks everything from popcorn, candy and snacks to pantry provisions including honey, candy, jams, jellies, pickles, preserves, oils and soup mixes. The common merchandising element is the burgundy Ford Flower Company logo that lines row after row of enticing gourmet products on the shop’s main floor. THE CONNECTED BRIDE Doing about 240 weddings a year, Bert finds that today’s brides are very well prepared when they come to their consultation. The preparation, however, takes

Combining flowers and decorative accessories in a homelike setting, with strong color groupings, is a powerful sales motivator. In the photo above, cellophane printed with the flower-shop name adorns and protects every gift basket and bouquet of cut flowers that goes out the door. place on the Internet, where they fall in love with other people’s weddings rather than creating a unique vision. “They arrive with their iPads and a collection of Pinterest photos and they already know what they want,” says Bert. “I used to find that bothersome, because we can’t show off our creativity, but I’ve learned to take it as a challenge. Now I tell them that we can do that Pinterest wedding if you want us to. But we can also offer a twist to the design so that your wedding isn’t like everyone else’s. We make suggestions.” SERVING THE SEA COAST The Salem area attracts more than shoppers looking for a bargain. Its beautiful seacoast location in New England draws a wealthy clientele with summer homes who do large-scale entertaining, including charity events, parties and family celebrations. Among his clients Bert counts famous authors, business executives, hightech entrepreneurs, philanthropists and other high-profile individuals. For these clients Bert offers total event service, which entails rental of tents, tables and chairs, as well as picking out linens, crys-

tal and silverware. “It’s really laborious,” he says, “but once you get into this kind of event and do a really good job the referrals spread like wildfire.” Working with blue-chip services helps Bert gain access to the area’s wealthiest clientele. “We’ve been fortunate to have paired up with very high-end caterers,” he explains. But once he’s done an event or two with a client, he develops a relationship that lasts. He becomes their go-to florist. Bert has found that these clients are very particular about privacy: “Some very high-profile clients won’t let you take an iPhone out of your pocket when you’re on their property.” Respecting these wishes is part of earning their confidence and loyalty. Short of putting cards on the floral arrangements on the table, the Ford Flower Company brand is highly visible at these events. “Our staff is wearing our aprons and shirts with our logo, our cleanly washed vans are present,” says Bert. “I’ve build up personal relationships with many of the families who host these events and they refer.” EMBRACING SMALLER EVENTS Bert’s success with wealthy clients hasn’t dimmed

his enthusiasm for the small event, which he seeks out and finds highly profitable. “We opened our doors to the smaller event: a small breakfast or luncheon at a hospital, rehearsal dinners, christenings and baptisms, that sort of thing. Also we’ve paired up with a lot of the higher-end restaurants and venues that have function rooms. Due to the fact that much less planning and maintenance goes into a rehearsal dinner or a small corporate event than a wedding, we can turn a profit without a lot of fuss.” Bert states that no event is either too small or too large for him to handle: “We truly do embrace that.” Bert has learned that a small budget doesn’t have to inhibit creativity. “I work within whatever their budget is. My rapport with my clients is important. They know I can be creative on a small budget.” Bert feels lucky to have found his passion at such an early age and to have been ale to bring it to fruition in a building he owns. “I knew what I wanted to do from a very young age,” he says. “For the last 40 years flowers have been a passion for me, and the business still challenges me every day. That’s why I’m still here.” b

AUGUST 2014 63

what’s in store

READY TO POUR With a rich glaze to show off shades of indigo and bronze, this stoneware pitcher is FDA-approved to safely serve and store food. Six inches high with a three-inch opening, it’s part of Teleflora’s nationally advertised Glaze of Glory bouquet. Call 800-333-0205 or visit

WHAT’S INSIDE The packaging is colorful and eye-catching (a great way to add or coordinate color in a gourmet gift basket)— but it’s the contents that count the most: beautifully crafted candies in eight mouthwatering flavors, just the right size for fast sell-through. Call 877-219-9871 or visit


THEY GLOW IN THE DARK Perfect for Halloween, Glow in the Dark ribbons from Berwick Offray LLC require only 20 minutes of exposure to a light source to glow for hours. Patterns are available in multiple widths, colors, and patterns. Call 800-237-9425.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER Ceramic birds with scroll wings come in light blue or white; part of CBK’s Outdoor Living collection, they’ll bring the garden look indoors come fall. The birds are 5½ inches long by 4¾ inches tall. Call 800-394-4225 or visit

advertiser links

wholesaler connection Flowers& magazine distributors ARIZONA PHOENIX Conroy Wholesale Florist The Roy Houff Company CALIFORNIA FRESNO Designer Flower Center INGLEWOOD American Magazines & Books OAKLAND Piazza International Floral SACRAMENTO Flora Fresh SAN BERNARDINO Inland Wholesale Flowers SAN DIEGO San Diego Florist Supplies SANTA ROSA Sequoia Floral International FLORIDA PENSACOLA American Floral Wholesale of Pensacola Carlstedt’s, LLC GEORGIA OMEGA Hornbuckle Wholesale Florist HAWAII HONOLULU Flora-Dec Sales ILLINOIS CHICAGO The Roy Houff Company NORMAL The Roy Houff Company WHEELING The Roy Houff Company

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PENNSYLVANIA PITTSBURGH Keystone Ribbon & Floral Pittsburgh Cut Flower Company SOUTH DAKOTA SIOUX FALLS North American Wholesale Florist, Inc. TENNESSEE NASHVILLE The Roy Houff Company TEXAS DALLAS American Agroproducts, Inc. HOUSTON Pikes Peak of Texas Southern Floral Company LUBBOCK Lubbock Wholesale Florist UTAH SALT LAKE CITY Ensign Wholesale Floral VIRGINIA NORFOLK The Roy Houff Company RICHMOND The Roy Houff Company WASHINGTON TACOMA Washington Floral Service CANADA BURNABY, BC Kirby/Signature Floral Supply MALAYSIA SELANGOR Worldwide Floral Services SINGAPORE Worldwide Floral Services


To access our advertisers’ websites, go to and click on “Advertisers in This Issue.” CLEVELAND PLANT & FLOWER COMPANY 216-898-3510






HARVEST IMPORT 949-833-7738











ROYAL FLOWERS 800-977-4483


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SULLIVANS 800-456-4568


SYNDICATE SALES INSIDE COVER 800-428-0515 TEAMFLORAL 800-342-2251 TELEFLORA 800-421-2815


17, 53

where to buy

continued on page 70

Bentley Bowl, Accent Décor.

For more information on merchandise featured in Flowers&, contact the supplier directly. Direct links to most suppliers can be found on the Flowers& website, Use the links under “Advertisers in This Issue” or the link to our searchable, online Buyers’ Guide at the top of the Flowers& home page.

LOOK INSIDE, page 44 Fresh ornamental kale and yellow button matricaria, Sun Valley. Sonrisa yellow roses and pink hypericum, Royal Flowers. Dark green preserved hanging amaranthus, Schusters. Pedestal tray and robins on clips, Sullivans. 14½-inch Design Ring, Smithers-Oasis.

ON THE COVER Sunflowers, Royal Flowers. Ceramic handled vase, Sullivans. Waterproof privet berry, Direct Export. Preserved diamond grass, Knud Nielsen.

FOCUS ON DESIGN, pages 8-9 Permanent succulents, Pioneer Imports. Bamboo cube and rectangles, Teleflora. UGlu Dashes, Smithers-Oasis.

PRINCIPLES & ELEMENTS, page 24 Flat wire and silver Essentials Rectangle Bowl, Smithers-Oasis.

pg 41 NESTING, page 31 Leucadendron, Royal Flowers. Wild grass, meadow grass (each in two colors), mahogany pods, transparent oak leaves in mango color and angel vine, Knud Nielsen. Mossy vine, Direct Export. Osage oranges and smoke tree, Sullivans. Humanity Bowl, Accent Décor.



pages 32-33

pages 28-45

GLEAMING GREEN, page 28 Orange gerberas and rosehips, Sun Valley. Glass orbs, Diamond Star.

Fresh orange physalis, Sun Valley. Green bittersweet, coleus with multicolored berries, Direct Export. Moss balls, Knud Nielsen. Spiral cones, Schusters. Low green ceramic handled tray, Sullivans.

Setaria, china millet, wheat, pods in orange and yellow, and angel vine, Knud Nielsen. Cottage basket, Accent Décor.


pg 45

page 30 Hypericum berries, Royal Flowers. Dogwood stems, Sullivans. Baobab pods in Kenya color, Knud Nielsen. Glass vase and pumpkin, Diamond Star.

Coffee Break roses and orange-yellow callas, Royal Flowers. Crock container and clove-studded oranges, Sullivans. Seeded grass, Pioneer Imports. Transparent oak leaves in persimmon color, Knud Nielsen.

WARM AND FUZZY, page 39 Pincushion proteas, Royal Flowers. Green Ball dianthus, Sun Valley. Permanent succulents, Direct Export. Permanent smoke tree branch, Sullivans. Footed amber glass bowl, Diamond Star.


Sunflowers, Royal Flowers. Ceramic handled vase, Sullivans. Waterproof privet berry, Direct Export. Preserved diamond grass, Knud Nielsen.

page 40 Orange ilex and Tango Orange Art lilies, Sun Valley. Ribbed glass vase in clear and amber glass and amber stoppered glass bottle, Diamond Star.


Tango Pup Art orange Asiatic lilies with dark centers, Sun Valley. Red dyed monkey and mahogany pods and red preserved amaranthus, Schusters. Permanent blackberries and autumn leaves, Direct Export. Silver urn, Sullivans.

Red hypericum, Royal Flowers. Gold artichokes, Pioneer Imports. Staghorn garland, Sullivans. Wavy glass bowl (combines clear and amber glass), Diamond Star.


pages 42-43

page 37

Rosehips, Sun Valley. Callas, Royal Flowers. Conifer pod branches, Direct Export. Okra and monkey pods, Knud Nielsen.

Free Spirit roses and solid orange lilies, Royal Flowers. Cotinus foliage, Sun Valley.

Sunset lilies and light orange Cocotte mini Asiatic lilies, Sun Valley. Permanent mossy vine and rolled dried leaves, Direct Export. Preserved wild oats, Schusters. Kindred Pot in orange, Accent Décor.

page 38

pages 34-35

page 36

page 45





page 41


FEATURED SUPPLIERS Accent Décor, Inc. Call 800-385-5114 or visit Diamond Star. Call 888-866-8368 or visit Direct Export Co. Call 888-881-0055 or visit Knud Nielsen. Call 800-633-1682 or visit Pioneer Imports & Wholesale. Call 888-234-5400 or visit Royal Flowers. Call 800-977-4483 or visit Schusters of Texas. Call 800-351-1493 or visit Smithers-Oasis. Call 800-321-8286 or visit Sullivans, Inc. Call 800-456-4568 or visit The Sun Valley Group. Call 800-747-0396 or visit Teleflora. Call 800-333-0205 or visit

AUGUST 2014 67

industry events For the most recent additions to Teleflora Unit Programs, go to and click on Design Education to access the Floral Event Calendar in the Unit Program section.

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AUGUST 13-16, MARCO ISLAND, FL SAF Annual Convention. Call the Society of American Florists at 800-336-4743 or visit

AUGUST 16-20, NEW YORK, NY NY NOW Home and Lifestyle Market, Jacob K. Javits Center. Call 800-272-SHOW or visit

AUG 17-19, DAVIS, CA PRO Institute UCDavis, intensive cut-flower care and handling program, Hyatt Place Hotel. Email George Staby at or call 520-723-9705.

SEPTEMBER 6-8, DALLAS, TX Total Home and Gift Market, Dallas Market Center. Call 800-DAL-MKTS or visit

SEPTEMBER 16-18, ATLANTA, GA Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, AmericasMart. Call 800-ATL-MART or visit

OCTOBER 1-4, QUITO, ECUADOR FlorEcuador Agriflor 2014, Cemexpo Exhibition Center. Visit

CENTRAL REGION AUGUST 5, FLINT, MI Michigan Unit, Everyday Designs with Cindy Tole, Nordlie, Inc. Call Dave Pinchock at 810-397-4829.

AUGUST 10, MINNEAPOLIS, MN Minndakota Unit, Sympathy Designs with Gerard Toh, Len Busch Roses. Call Heather Hammer at 507-539-9900.

AUGUST 17, ST. LOUIS, MO Lewis & Clark Unit, Wedding Designs with Gerard Toh, Baisch & Skinner. Call Jenny Thomasson at 314-972-7836.

SEPTEMBER 10, TOLEDO, OH Ohio Buckeye Unit, Everyday Designs with Jim Ganger, DWF. Call Becky Pegorsch at 800-379-3554.


NORTHEAST REGION SEPTEMBER 17, HIGHTSTOWN, NJ Penn Jersey Unit, Everyday Designs with Tim Farrell, Sieck Wholesale. Call Marjie Versagli at 610-647-9311.

SEPTEMBER 17, PITTSBURGH, PA Western Pennsylvania Unit, Corporate Events with Julie Poeltler, BW Keystone Wholesale. Call Patrick Devlin at 412-414-9701.

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION AUGUST 1-3, LUBBOCK, TX West Texas – New Mexico Florist Association, program includes Wedding Designs with Tom Bowling, Overton Hotel. Call Marisa Guerrero at 915-857-8600.

AUGUST 14-17, HOT SPRINGS, AR Arkansas Florist Association, Annual Convention, program includes Christmas Designs with Marie Ackerman, Hot Springs Convention Center. Call Bitsy McCorkle at 870-777-6667.

SEPTEMBER 7, SANTA FE, NM New Mexico State Florist Association, program includes Everyday Designs with Alex Jackson, Santa Fe Hilton. Call Linda Pritchett at 800-200-9065.

AUGUST 8-10, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA Virginia Professional Florist Association, program includes Color Trends with Susan Ayala, Doubletree by Hilton. Call Cindy Reynolds at 504-502-5661.

AUGUST 15-17, GREENSBORO, NC North Carolina State Florist Association Annual Convention, program includes Color Trends for Parties with Susan Ayala, Embassy Suites. Call Charlie Jordan at 336-855-5408, call the association at 800-889-7118, or visit

SEPTEMBER 7, VALDOSTA, GA Georgia Unit, Wedding Designs with Julie Poeltler, Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts. Call Jenna Naylor at 404-502-7621.

SEPTEMBER 14, TAMPA, FL North Florida Unit, Sympathy Designs with Gerard Toh, Nordlie, Inc. Call Bruce Wilson at 727-823-3432.

SEPTEMBER 19-21, MYRTLE BEACH, SC South Carolina Florist Association, program includes Everyday Designs with Cindy Tole, Clarion Hotel & Conference Center. Call Bud Hornburg at 843-450-9804.




North Texas Unit, Everyday with Flair with Jerome Raska, Botanica. Call Lauren Darr at 903-746-3615.

Floral Association of the Rockies, program includes Everyday Designs for Fall with Julie Poeltler, Merchandise Mart. Call Sandi Sniff at 303-710-6697.

SEPTEMBER 13-14, QUAPAW, OK Ozark Florist Association, program includes Sympathy Designs with Kevin Ylvisaker, Downstream Casino & Convention Center. Call Frances Davis at 417-883-8580.




Central Texas Unit, Everyday Designs with Tom Bowling, Greenleaf Wholesale. Call Becky Stirnkorb at 254-547-6321.

United Wholesale Florist, Sympathy Designs with Tom Simmons. Call Minnie Uyen Thai at 408-910-6414.

SOUTHEAST REGION AUGUST 1-3, MURFREESBORO, TN Tennessee State Florist Association, program includes Sympathy Designs with Gerard Toh, Embassy Suites. Call Kevin Coble at 901-683-4313.

Montana Big Sky Unit, Holiday Designs with Cindy Tole, Missoula Event Center. Call Leslie Darling at 406-892-7617.

SEPTEMBER 14, WINDSOR, CO Rocky Mountain Unit, Sympathy Designs with Jim Ganger, Mark’s Funeral Home. Call Peggie Lipps at 970-686-2400.

SEPTEMBER 28, BURNABY, BC Kirby/Signature Floral Supply, program includes Holiday Business and Design with Marie Ackerman. Call Tony Graaf at 604-430-6300.

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