Flowers& - July 2013

Page 1

Flowers& JULY 2013 $5.50


Dream Dream Themes fo forr Heave ven nly Holidays Tips and trends for tempting displays Pg 30

All about candles Pg 20 Designs for summer entertaining Pg 50


JULY 2013

56 20

Shop Talk: Flowers by Candlelight Know what to look for when purchasing candles. By Marianne Cotter


Season of Dreams Visual reveries designed to inspire holiday dĂŠcor. Floral design by Bert Ford AIFD, PFCI Photography by Liam Schatten


Summer Fun Fresh ideas for entertaining al fresco. Floral design by Anthony Vigliotta AIFD, Anthos Design, Los Angeles, California Photography by Ron Derhacopian

4 JULY 2013

On the Cover The platinum finish on a pair of pheasants and tree-trunk vases lends a subtle luster to a mini display, crowned with a softly romantic seasonal bouquet. A smaller vase, overturned, serves to elevate the other. For more holiday designs by Bert Ford AIFD, PFCI, see pages 30-49.

contents 10

Focus on Design Use Faux Snow to Disguise Mechanics By Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI


Creative Edge Product Series: Styrofoam Wreaths By Hitomi Gilliam AIFD


Fresh Focus Dahlias By Bill McKinley AIFD and Bruce Wright




A Table Runner for All Seasons By Joan Stam


Where to Buy


Advertiser Links


Net Effects


What Blogging Can Do for You By Sarah Botchick


Wholesaler Connection


What’s in Store


Industry Events

11 Flowers& Volume 34, Number 7 (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

6 JULY 2013


2013 by Teleflora. Printed in U.S.A.

Flowers & teleflora. Publisher

Rich Salvaggio

AIFD, AAF, PFCI Editor Art Director National Advertising Director

Bruce Wright Tony Fox Peter Lymbertos

Publication Coordinator

Elinor Cohen

Contributing Editor

Bill McKinley


U.S. Subscriptions


Foreign Subscriptions




On the Intemet

ADVISORY BOARD Teleflora Education Specialists Susan Ayala AIFD. SAO Professional Design, Lorna Linda, Calif., Tom Bowling AIFD. PFCI. Fairfield. Ohio. Tim Farrell AIFD. AAF. PFCI. Farrell's Florist. Drexel Hill, Penn., Bert Ford

AIFD, PFCI. Ford Flower Co., Salem, N.H .. Jim Ganger AIFD, Kansas City. Mo., Hitomi

Florist.s Best Friend-

Gilliam AIFD, Vancouver, B.c., Canada, Bob Hampton AIFD, AAF, PFCI, Dallas, Texas,

Floral Delivery Trays

John Hosek AIFD, PFCI, Surroundings Events and Floral, Verona, Wisc., Alex Jackson




AIFD. PFCI. Phoenix Flower Shops, Phoenix, Ariz., Vonda LaFever AIFD, PFCI. Niceville, Fla.. Joyce Mason-Monheim AIFD. PFCI. AZMF. Tucson, Ariz., Darla Pawlak AIFD, PFCI. Essexville, Mich., Julie Poeltler AIFD, PFCI. Fountain of Flowers & Gifts, Lone Tree. Iowa. Jerome Raska AIFD, AAF. PFCI, CAFA. MCF. Blumz... by JR Designs. Detroit, Mich..

Tom Simmons AIFD, Three Bunch Palms Productions, Palm Springs, Calif., Gerard Toh AIFD, Garden Trade Services, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Cindy Tole. Botanica Flowers & Gifts, Greensboro, N.C., Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI. Mukwonago, Wisc.

EDI TORIAL COUNCIL Marie Ackerman AIFD, AAF. PFCI. Teleflora, Oklahoma City, Okla., Tom

Buller AAF.

PFCI, Teleflora, Oklahoma City, Okla., Carol J. Caggiano AIFD, PFCI. A. Caggiano, Inc., Jeffersonton, Va., Willon Hardy AIFD, AAF, PFCI, FSMD. JWH Design and Consultant, West

Floral Delivery Tray or Floral Carrier! One carrier holds an average of 20 to 30 arrangements. 48"

48". 33 Ibs. Pins included.

Light-weight, high-impact plastic. Size

Carrier is adjustable to any size (removing or adding blocks as needed).

Large, flat surface, available by moving pins to storage at sides.


No special places; load in the order you wish to deliver.

No tip-overs or broken ends-saves load and unload time.


Sipes Ave, Sanford, FL 32773 1-800-638-3378 • Fax 407-322-6668 outside U.s.A. 407-321-4310 30 Day Mfg. Satisfaction Guarantee! 3710



Palm Beach, Fla., Rocky

Pollitz AIFD, AAF, PFCI, Blue Jay, Calif., Elizabeth Seiji AIFD,

Edelweiss Flower Boutique, Santa Monica, Calif.




address, please write to






magazine subscription. including






change of


enclosing a recent address label. For faster service, call 818-286-3128; Teleflora members call



�AIlJ.:riCl ,.. l 1 •

... Eno:b...- m .. .r. 11



focus on design Floral design by Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI

Photography by Ron Derhacopian

For product information, see Where to Buy, page 64.

Use faux snow to accent a design and disguise your mechanics. The only thing more fascinating than the first snowfall is the illusion of snow—which also makes a handy vase filler for many holiday-themed designs.



1. Place UGlu Strips on the bottom of a tall glass cylinder. Some cylinders are slightly concave on the bottom, in which case you may need to place UGlu Strips widely, so that they come in contact with the edge of the cylinder. 2. Remove the backing on the UGlu Strips and secure the tall, narrow cylinder inside a wide, shallow one. 3. Add artificial snow to the inside cylinder, then stems of sparkly ting ting. Just like real snow, the artificial snow has enough substance to help secure the positioning of these lightweight stems. 4. With snow in the wide cylinder as well, you can add a “snowball”—a floral-foam sphere covered in button spray mums— and hang lightweight acrylic snowflakes from the ting ting. You can even add a big acrylic snowflake to the base, simply by placing it upright in the snow. b

3 10

4 JULY 2013 11

creative edge Floral design by Hitomi Gilliam AIFD

Photography by Philippe Martin-Morice

For product information, see Where to Buy, page 64.

Sturdy and lightweight, Styrofoam forms can make construction of certain types of floral designs much quicker and easier than with any other type of base mechanics. Styrofoam wreaths are available almost everywhere in white, and often in green. In either color the Styrofoam needs to be covered and concealed—but the way this is done becomes a creative part of the design.

A living wreath A 16-inch Styrofoam wreath is sprayed with spray adhesive, and then covered with a light coating of sandy soil. Dry green sphagnum moss is laid over the soil and wrapped around the top and sides of the wreath (not the bottom). The moss is fastened to the wreath with a wrapping of silver bullion wire. Cut succulents of all kinds, some with roots still attached, are inserted into holes punched in the Styrofoam. Some of the succulent rosettes are individually skewered into the wreath, while others, stemmed, are steel-picked in. The collection of succulents includes echeveria and sedum; it is complemented by craspedia, saxifrage and varieties of berzelia for added texture and color. These are picked and skewered into the wreath. The mossed wreath is placed inside a tapered dish. Water fills the middle, which enables watering of the whole wreath by wicking action of the moss. 12

Inside the donut hole An 18-inch Styrofoam wreath is wrapped with half-inch strapping tape (same as bowl or anchor tape), with the sticky side out. You need just enough tape to secure a second wrapping with aspidistra leaves. Next, plastic lacing is wrapped around the wreath, criss-crossed to create a grid—plus some lime green midollino laid across the top for color. Next come ti leaves (cordyline leaves), stretched over the lacing with their tips pointing into the center. Glue the ti leaves to the aspidistra with cold glue (floral adhesive); apply the adhesive to the aspidistra, not the ti leaves, and wait until it’s tacky before adding the ti leaves. The ti leaves are further secured with a neat overlay of crisscrossed silver bullion. Finally, the wreath is set on top of a ceramic dish, and viburnum and Ornithogalum saundersiae are carefully inserted through the grid into the water in the dish.

Quick and easy A party design of this type can be made in any low, round tapered dish—clear glass, ceramic, or as in this case, aluminum. Begin, as in the top design on this page, by wrapping some half-inch strapping tape around a 16-inch Styrofoam wreath, sticky side out. You don’t need to cover the entire wreath; use just enough tape to create points of attachment for the dusty miller leaves. With the dusty miller added to the wreath form, place the wreath inside the dish and pour in gel beads, enough to fill the inside of the wreath and cover the outside. Fill the dish with water about an inch below the level of the gel beads, and insert roses and viburnum, just to the inside and outside of the wreath form. Cut phalaenopsis can be cauterized and cooled overnight inside a moist plastic bag, then pinned to the Styrofoam wreath. This design is best created on site (design time is eight minutes), as the gel beads will roll around in a moving vehicle. b JULY 2013 13

fresh focus By Bill McKinley AIFD and Bruce Wright

Colorful and diverse, dahlias are now enjoying an extended season. HOW DO YOU describe dahlias (to a customer on the phone, for example)? After all, some dahlias resemble anemones, while others are more like chrysanthemums, peonies, or even water lilies. Horticultural authorities recognize 14 dahlia types and more than 18,000 cultivars—garden and cut-flower hybrids sprung from at least 36 natural species. Botanists attribute this diversity to a genetic trait called octoploidy, meaning that dahlias possess eight sets of chromosomes in places of the usual two. Nonetheless, dahlias of all kinds possess a distinctive garden glamour that makes them instantly recognizable to their fans. Rising on a tall, leafy stem, the dahlia inflorescence may face directly upright or tilt its face forward. Its petals may be single or double, fully incurved or relatively flat, but through their shape and shading they typically give an impression of extravagant depth. (In botanical terms, each “petal” is actually a ray floret, a separate flower.) Like other flowers that lack fragrance as a way of attracting pollinators, dahlias compensate with intense, often vivid colors, ranging from yellow, orange and apricot to burgundy to white and palest pink. Many dahlias arrive in the flower shop with long laterDahlia als bearing side buds—which Dahlia spp rarely open, but which add interesting form and texture to Vase life bouquets. And while most dahl4 to 10 days ias are from four to six inches in Bunch size diameter—already a fairly large 5 or 10 stems flower—some range up to a foot across. Native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia, dahlias can be grown Available in many different forms (single or double, and with flat or curved petals, among almost anywhere during the summer. Although it depends on the variety, the vase life of many other variations) and in every color of the rainbow except true blue, dahlias can be purdahlias is relatively short (four to six days). chased year-round; quality and variety, however, are at their peak in the summer and fall. They must be harvested after they have already These came from California-based, nationwide shipper Florabundance opened at least partway; this, along with the (; the photo was taken in November 2012. 14 www.flowersandmagazine.comersand

fresh focus side buds, makes them challenging flowers to package for transport—especially the largest blooms. For all these reasons, dahlias are grown by small flower farmers all over the country in July, August, and September. But they are also a specialty for several expert California growers, including Dramm & Echter in Encinitas.

Good Karma Dramm & Echter has been doing well with Karma dahlias, a relatively new type that is smaller and more compact than others, and easier to ship, according to Dramm & Echter’s Juan Carlos Aguilar. “It’s a matter of cutting them at the right stage as well, not fully

open,” he says. “If you cut them too open, they will get damaged, but if too tight, they won’t open up.” Bred by Verwer Dahlias BV in the Netherlands, the Karma series also has fewer side stems. The breeders claim a vase life of seven to 12 days. Varieties include ‘Corona’, a bright orange flower with pointy petals, like a sea anemone, and vivid ‘Corona Pink’; lemon-yellow ‘Ventura’; red ‘Royal’; burgundy ‘Naomi’; and the strikingly variegated ‘Bon Bini’, red with a yellow heart. Most customers, however, order simply by color. Dramm & Echter begins harvesting Karmas as early as March and April, but in smaller numbers—just a couple hundred a week. Planting increases for spring and summer, then dwindles again as the days grow shorter—but some dahlias are available through the winter. “The goal is to produce year-round,” says Juan Carlos.

Dinner-plate delights Meanwhile, summer and fall remain the peak season for dahlias, especially the large “dinner-plate” varieties like the popular ‘Café au Lait’, an enormous creamy or soft peachy-pink flower with several layers of wavy petals. Such dahlias do require long days and warm nights. “We start shipping ‘Café au Lait’ in late May or early June and continue shipping them nationwide through late October,” says Joost Bongaerts at Florabundance, the California-based wholesale shipper. “Yes, they are challenging to ship, but we manage to do it with very careful packaging.” Dinner-plate dahlias tend to have more side buds than others and in general don’t last as long. The large heads may even be too heavy for the stem, so that the best way to display them is to float them in a bowl.

Although dahlias are grown in greenhouses almost year-round, summer dahlias can also be field grown. Native to Mexico and Central America, dahlias are grown in summer and fall all over North America. Photo courtesy of Florabundance ( 16 www.flowersandmagazine.comersand

fresh focus Clean and sweet Dahlia stems are not necessarily weak— but they are hollow, and very succulent, which means that when they’re cut, they’re especially vulnerable to the growth of stemclogging bacteria. “Those juicy, hollow stems can start to break down very quickly, especially in acidic solutions,” says Gay Smith, a technical consulting manager for Chrysal Americas and a well-known expert on postharvest care. “They’ll bleed enzymes and carbohydrates into the solution”—food for bacteria. The first step with dahlias, Gay advises, is to re-cut the stems with a very sharp, clean knife and let them hydrate in a solution that contains chlorine for controlling bacteria. “You need to get those stems filled up with super-clean water,” she emphasizes. Once the flowers are hydrated, the next thing is to give them a flower food that is high in sugar, like Chrysal Professional 3—a vase solution, not a holding solution. “The sugar is necessary to stabilize the color,” says Gay. “Without it, they’ll start to lose their vibrancy. You won’t see it as much in the

oranges and yellows, but the maroons and purples will start to go blue.” Many people think of high-sugar vase solutions as a way to get tight flowers to open up. But they are useful in prolonging the health and beauty of dahlias, even though dahlias typically are already fairly open when they arrive in the shop. Of course, the vase solution will also continue to help control the growth of bacteria. Dahlias will probably do better if you leave on the stem any foliage that will sit above the water line, along with the side shoots and their buds. Unlike some other flowers that grow from tubers, dahlias do not seem to lose their leaves sooner than the flowers. And the upper leaves may help the flower pump water and nutrients up from the bottom of the stem to the top. That tuberous root, by the way, is edible. Dahlias—the national flower of Mexico— were once grown by the Aztecs, and later in Europe, as a food crop, like potatoes. These early dahlias were, of course, humble flowers—the simple, eight-petaled blooms of a species, Dahlia coccinea, that still grows wild today on the mountainsides of south-central Mexico. Given the fantastic progeny of that unassuming ancestor, we can be grateful today that the hunger for beauty won out over the hunger for starchy vegetables. b

care tips dahlias

• Choose dahlias with the main flower on a stem already at least half open. Petals that are still furled at the center of the bloom indicate decorative life to come. Side buds, if any, likely will not open. • Remove lower leaves, recut stems, and place them in hydration solution, then in a fresh-flower-food solution. • Store in a floral cooler at 34-36 degrees F until ready to use. • While some authorities suggest that dahlias can be arranged in floral foam without prejudice to their decorative life, others advise that they do better in vase arrangements with flower-food solution only.

Seasonal availability of dahlias has been extended with the Karma line, which begins blooming earlier and continues later. Karma dahlias are typically also more compact, easier to ship without damage, and hardier in the vase than other dahlias. These photos were taken in March at Southern California grower and shipper Dramm & Echter ( Note that in most cases, the flowers are quite open, although the center petals have not yet unfurled. Dahlias must be harvested at a later stage of development than many other cut flowers to open fully and achieve maximum brilliance of color. 18


Know what to look for when you’re purchasing candles for arrangements and events. By Marianne Cotter


WHEN ELECTRICITY BECAME the definitive way to provide light, the candle hardly flickered. It survived this jolt of modernity to reserve a prominent position for itself at the best tables in town and is always seen at the season’s toniest events. When candles and flowers are paired, this power couple exudes a natural synergy that is well known to—and artfully exploited by—every



Shop Talk

successful florist. But not every candle makes the grade. Selecting the best candles for floral and event work is critical. Candles must be strong enough to endure a long reception with nary a drip from start to finish. This can only be achieved by using quality candles that are designed and manufactured to perform well: no dripping wax on the tablecloth, no flame giving off smoke, no sagging in the heat, no heavy scent that fights with the food or a guest’s perfume. The candles, like the bride and her bouquet, must radiate effortless beauty. WHAT MAKES A QUALITY CANDLE? Candle making is an ancient art and fundamentally a simple one. One dips a wick in heated wax and lets it cool. Nonetheless, 22


Scentless, cleanburning candles— often in a variety of shapes and sizes, but matching in color—are an essential component of floral décor for the table. Recent additions to the “standard” assortment include square candles, in any color, and light green candles in every shape. over the years refinements have been made to improve candle quality and reliability. “To get the wick to react with the coloring all the way down, without compromising the color or creating a hazard, is quite a process to master,” says Pete Garcia of The Pete Garcia Company, owner of FloraMart, a major industry showroom in Atlanta. Bob Rumfield of Candle Artisans in Washington, New Jersey, which manufactures the Patrician® brand of candles, concurs. “When you add color, scent and other elements, it’s no longer just a matter of burning paraffin wax; you’ve added a whole new dimension to the process. Balancing the wick with the color pigment is a manufacturing challenge.” Bob, who also serves on the board of directors of the National Candle Association,

outlines the features to look for when buying—and storing—quality candles. Color consistency. Look for consistent color throughout a given candle product line, so that taper colors match pillars, floaters and so on. Clean burning. The candle should burn down without smoking or leaving residue. High melting point. “You want a candle that uses high-melting, fully refined paraffin wax,” says Bob. “You don’t want a candle that is going to burn too quickly or a taper that will wilt in the summer’s heat.” Draft resistant. When candles are exposed to a draft they can drip and burn too quickly. A hard coating applied in the manufacturing process minimizes drip while maximizing the burning time.

Shop Talk Candle strength. Candles should not warp or bend easily, even 24-inch tapers. Special wax additives and a hard coating on the candle exterior serve to reinforce the candle’s strength. Self-trimming wick. The wick should curl as it burns rather than growing long and giving off smoke. Well packaged and easy to handle. Candles need to be strong, not fragile, so they can be shipped and received in good condition. The packaging should be sturdy, and the candles must be easy to unwrap and use. Long-burning life. A flame often symbolizes eternity. While candles will not provide eternal light, they should burn for as long as the manufacturer promises they will. Candles that are sheltered from drafts inside a glass shield should burn to the manufacturer’s maximum specification. Votives that have been poured into glass are an excellent example of this. Store cool and dry. When storing candles in the shop, don’t leave them sitting on a designer’s shelf so long that the color eventually drains out of them. Store candles in a cool, dry place away from heating vents.




CANDLE SHAPES Using candles in arrangements and events generally calls for basic candle shapes. “Florists don’t want novelty candles for use in floral designs,” says Pete. “They want standard geometric shapes that will enhance the arrangement shape. The centerpiece of the arrangement is not the candle; it’s the flowers. The candle is a tool in the designer’s toolbox that can bring color and light to set the mood of the occasion.” The standard candle toolkit includes tapers ranging in length from three to 24 inches, votives that have been poured into glass, round floating candles, pillars and tea lights. Square candles have come into vogue in the past few years, to the point where they might now be considered a new “standard” shape. A square candle was recently added to the Patrician line, but only after receiving clearance from the qualityassurance experts at Candle Artisans: “You can’t just make a candle in any random shape and still make a good candle,” says Bob.

COLOR TRENDS Candles are always available in primary colors, but also in fashion colors including metallic. These fashion colors follow color trends as a whole, for perfect integration with weddings and floral work for home interiors. To stay on top of color trends, Candle Artisans and many other floral-industry suppliers participate in the FloraColor® program sponsored by FloraMart. “They meet to look at the colors being used in floral and weddings to stay ahead of the trends,” says Pete, “and when a trend becomes antiquated, they’ll drop it.” The program helps manufacturers like Candle Artisans match the color trends in ribbons and flowers. For example, the ‘Freedom’ rose is experiencing great popularity at the moment. Now the Patrician line, which features a color palette of over 40 colors, has a candle that matches the color of that rose. “Whether it’s a taper, a round floater, or a pillar, for the most part our candle types are available in the full range of colors,” says Bob. “Over the years I’ve seen a lot of brides requesting candles that match the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses. We keep our product line up to date with those trends.” Like flowers, candles are both staple items with a long decorative tradition, and fashion-sensitive products that reflect upto-the-minute trends. In both aspects, the quality of the candles you use reflects on your own reputation. Candles, like flowers, are a necessary luxury—which means only the best will do. b

Hand dipping remains the technique of choice for adding color to taper candles; the candles hang in pairs from the rack used for dipping in the coating that contains the dye. The process is crucial for producing even, consistent color that will not be compromised as the candle burns.

Thanks to improved safety practices, product labeling and advances in candle technology, fires caused by candles are relatively rare these days. Still, it never hurts to review safety practices, especially for those who may be new to handling candles in floral arrangements and at events. • Use only high-quality candles. Candles used by florists should be scentless and clean burning, with a hard finish and a self-trimming wick. • Shield candles from drafts. When placing candles at events, be aware of air vents, fans, open windows and doors. Locate candles away from high-traffic areas where people passing by may create further drafts and safety issues with open flames. Use hurricane shields wherever safety is an issue. • Secure the candle in the arrangement. Either insert the candle directly into floral foam or, for added convenience and security, use candle holders that are designed to be inserted into the foam. • Keep foliage hydrated. In situations where the surrounding foliage may become dry, use self-extinguishing candles that stop burning at a predetermined point. “We developed a product for a client who uses a lot of evergreens in his designs but finds that his customers don’t always keep them hydrated,” says Candle Artisans’ Bob Rumfield. “You don’t want dry pine needles next to a flame. So we developed the Safer Taper , a self-extinguishing candle that burns to the crest of the materials and then goes out.” • Use candles tall enough to clear the arrangement. • Never leave a lighted candle unattended. “No candle should burn unsupervised,” says the National Candle Association, which cites that 85 percent of candle fires are caused by inattention or misuse. ®

For more information on candle safety, visit the National Candle Association’s website at

Pick 2 Increase Sales by 20%

Increase Salary and ProďŹ t to 20%

What you have now


bloomtube Floral design by Joan Stam of Bloomtube,

A do-ahead base for a table runner can be adapted to any kind of party. A long piece of wood that you have predrilled with holes to accommodate glass cones becomes a versatile table decoration, easily refreshed with ribbon and flowers in different colors.


Exciting news! The instructional videos posted on Bloomtube are now being made available free to registered users. These videos offer professional instruction in European design trends and techniques. Bloomtube is the creation of Dutch master florist Joan Stam and photographer Jan de Koning. To see this month’s Bloomtube lesson in video format, scan the QR code at left with your mobile device, or simply visit

bloomtube 1 and 2. Cut a piece of wood to the desired length and drill holes for glass cones. Use a staple gun to attach accent ribbon to the underside of the wood. Trim the ends of the ribbon as needed with scissors. You may wish to cover any exposed staples with rounds of felt.

3. Place the cones in the openings and fill these with water. (For the cones, see Where to Buy, page 64.) You may also choose to drill extra holes, where you can insert straight stems of red or green dogwood (Cornus) or a similar material, along with the glass cones.

4. If you are using dogwood uprights, you can then create a framework by attaching horizontal lengths of dogwood to the uprights with wire. The horizontal stems not only create a beautiful accent but also ensure that the flowers remain in place.

5. Viburnum makes a beautiful choice for this type of design, with the green spheres protruding loosely above other materials. It should be completely stripped of its leaves, which considerably enhances the durability.

6. Fill the vases with flowers, playing with different heights and color nuances. Keep the composition relatively low and compact to make sure that it won’t completely block the view across a dining table.

7. Flowers, table linen and crockery should be coordinated to achieve an optimal result. A cloth runner underneath the wooden one can harmonize the flowers with the table setting and may also protect your client’s table. b

SEASON OF DREAMS Visual reveries designed to inspire holiday décor. Floral design by Bert Ford AIFD, PFCI

Photography by Liam Schatten

Holiday products available through the Pete Garcia Company (“Simply the best place in the

For product information,


world to buy florist supplies” ®) and its FloraMart showroom in Atlanta,

see Where to Buy, page 64.

“A display like this one shows a commitment to your merchandise,” says Bert. “If you believe

something is a strong seller, like these red berries—go for it!” Sometimes the secret to effective display is not to work so hard, he adds. The massed berries and simple wreath need only a little fluffing. They are coated to make them weatherresistant, a feature with customer appeal. The red-glittered reindeer table makes a nice display item—but don’t neglect to put a price tag on it, Bert advises. The Murano-style glass vases, with their spiral stripes, can sell year-round—and the simple, chop-and-drop bouquet of tulips shows how much a few fresh flowers add to any decorating scheme.


AUGUST 2010 31 JULY 2013

COFFEE AND CREAM A coffee-drinker from Seattle would feel right at home with this look. Like Starbucks, however, it is likely to be popular well beyond the Northwest. Deep browns and creamy whites combine in a calming, homey yet sophisticated style; the palette is subtly enhanced with touches of bright copper. The tree at left comes pre-lit, with what look like the old-fashioned C9 bulbs— but their ethereal illumination comes from energy-efficient LEDs. Bert wired a couple of large reindeer right into the tree, to create an animated focal area. The tree’s height is extended with birch branches, clustered for dramatic impact. A variety of textures blend easily within the narrow color scheme; they include iced pine cone balls, glittered white acorns, snowberries, burlap ribbon (plaid or reindeer-embroidered), silver poinsettias with the look of stamped metal, and icy pine branches added to the tree foliage. At right, reindeer heads in a white gloss finish make a strong statement, each wreathed in icy pine garland and chocolate ribbon. In the table display, pinecone pillar candleholders set the tone for a chic version of a natural woodlands holiday. Fresh flowers sprout from a burlap-wrapped pot, stamped with a simple stag head; a burlap table runner displays a garland rich with rustic textures.



JULY 2013 33


34 JANUARY 2012

INTO THE WOODS The natural, rustic look is a perennial best seller, easily transitioned into any type of interior; here it’s infused with vibrant red. A reindeer holds still, lifelike, in the center of the wreath at left, framed and sheltered by frosted branches that evoke a woodland setting. Glass beading gives an icy effect to the deer’s faux-birch finish and twig antlers; gold-leaf poly pinecones add subtle luster to the wreath. A cone berry ball features the bottoms of pinecones, for a variation on a familiar motif. In the display at right, the surprising choice is to include the oversized, shiny red finial for contrast and graphic impact. “The oversized ornaments do sell, and not everyone has them, so it’s a good way to differentiate your shop,” says Bert. A potted, pre-lit tabletop tree and a plain pine-cone wreath are brightened with fuzzy red loops of wired shag yarn and with red velvet petals from a deconstructed poinsettia. On the tree, to make the most of high-end ribbon with a horizontal design, Bert used it in small, cost-effective tucks.

JULY 2013 35


BRANCH AND VINE Faux manzanita branches, kiwi vine spheres, light green lotus pods, and stars wrapped in a natural bleached rattan lend a woodsy texture to the tall, narrow, pre-lit tree at left. The manzanita branches (less expensive than real and readily available in several different sizes and colors) extend the height of the tree and add a sense of depth as they spiral down around it. Used in Christmas décor, they can also suggest deer antlers.

FALL INTO THE SEASON “People are missing the boat if they don’t do a display with fall colors,” says Bert—especially now that “fall colors” have become year-round favorites. As people come back from family vacations and spend more time indoors, they focus on home décor—and not just for Thanksgiving and Halloween. On a sideboard, fresh orange gerberas serve to promote the Murano-style glass vases that hold them, while bleached gourds and pumpkins stand out like silhouettes against the background of oranges and burgundies. An arrangement of sunflowers and flocked fern foliage bursts from the top of an “empty” wire container; the arrangement sits in a plastic bowl that has been mossed on the outside, then nestled into the top of the container. It’s an effect that dramatizes the abundance of the design, and of the season. This display also functions to merchandise fancy ribbon, spilling from pull-out drawers, including trendy burlap ribbon and the zigzag “flame stitch” that was popular in the ’80s and is currently making a comeback.


JULY 2013 37



VARIATIONS ON A SCHEME This pair of displays gains impact through formal repetition—and sends customers the message, “We have plenty of choices to offer you.” The displays show holiday ornaments in use and make the same ornaments available for impulse buys, right out of the bucket. The backdrops are giftwrap—an easy and inexpensive way to change the look and define the space around a display. At left, glittered gold and chocolate make a rich, trendy combination. For a contemporary edge, add a few accents of black and silver, as in the ornaments piled below. In Bert’s stunning wreath, swagged ribbon and bundled glitter sticks add line movement to the medley of round forms, rich in variety of textures, including gold hydrangeas; poinsettias with metallic fabric, glitter, and beading; and balls and fruits covered with “hedge bark,” made of cardboard that’s been cut into sections, painted and glittered. At right, red and green takes on a brighter shine when the red is a candy-apple red and the green is updated to lime. The style is happy and glitzy, with a lively modern take on snowflakes and reflector ornaments. To give this display plenty of depth, and to bring the ornaments to the fore, Bert hung them on wired, glittered curly tinsel branches. The branches come preshaped with curlicues, but they’re also bendable. Wide striped and sparkly ribbon is displayed to advantage with individual loops and tails inserted throughout.

JULY 2013 39

ARCTIC LIGHTS A pale color scheme of frosted whites, icy greens, and aqua has a calming effect and stands out in stark contrast to the colors that predominate at Christmastime. A tall branch of long-needled pine reinforces the Zen mood. The arrangement is fashioned in a giftware-quality glass vase. “This is a nice way to showcase an item that can be sold year-round,” notes Bert. The design features white velvet Victoria poinsettias and is punched up with Christmas balls in peacock blue. “Even if you think your customers mostly buy traditional, it’s important to show something trendy and different every year,” Bert advises. “Go in small, and if it’s successful, do it bigger the next year—then move on to the next big thing. But give your customers something to talk about, and show them that you can do trends.”

KALEIDOSCOPE COLORS Touches of teal, orange and cerise add surprising spark to a classic red and gold palette. This collection of ornaments, likewise, feels both traditional and whimsical, with its reflector balls (made of plastic, but looking just like antique German glass) and flattened, wrapped packages. Visually, the wreath achieves both depth and rhythm, but in practical terms it is compact and would be easy to hang in a narrow space.



JULY 2013 41


URBAN GLAM If the combination of black, white and silver doesn’t create enough drama, throw in some bright red roses. It’s one way to make fresh flowers stand out as an indispensable element of holiday décor! Give your candle lanterns (“Always a popular item,” says Bert) a custom creative touch with Amazing Wrapzz and a glittered, sequined Luxe butterfly. A length of Amazing Wrapzz is also incorporated into a tall arrangement, vertically elevated using plant stakes. Zebra stripes— on cones, sheer ribbon, and even poinsettias—lend a playful touch that blends right in with wired starburst ornaments and plastic Christmas ornaments with the popular look of mercury glass.


CELEBRATION TIME “At Christmas, when you have a lot of customers coming through the shop, it’s important to show them what you can do for parties and events,” says Bert. This display harmonizes with the holidays but also suggests décor for a New Year’s Eve party—or even a wedding. The focus is on faux candles, made with real wax (the pillars and votives are made of wax-coated plastic), but lit with LED lights. The original LEDs are amber; here they are enhanced with white Acolytes. The ball candles rest on clear acrylic stands that can also accommodate six- or eight-inch bubble bowls—plus, the stands store flat and can be turned upside down for use as risers. Acrylic butterfly garlands catch the light and cast attractive shadows on the wall. Fresh flowers are displayed on a hurricane candelabrum that comes with a plastic bowl for the flowers.

JULY 2013 43



PINK, PEACH AND PLATINUM Soft and romantic, this palette plays into the popularity of pink year-round, but embraces a wider analogous color family that stretches from pink to coral and can be punched up with persimmon. These colors combine beautifully with champagne and soft gold, a subtle and subdued alternative to bright metallics. At left, sage green offers an organic complement to the palette; plushvelvet poinsettias take center stage in a large, dramatic arrangement accompanied by large props. “Don’t be afraid to build designs and displays on a scale that gets attention and shows people what you can do,” says Bert. The reindeer is a playful, prominent item that customers likely won’t find elsewhere. Champagne-colored Moravian stars—one raised up on a dowel—establish a rhythm in the display, while branches of Illuminating Sequins lend a soft glow. At right, angel candlesticks with glittered wings create the dominant, animated focal point that is so effective in display. Two garlands—one of champagne glitter pine— intertwined and dressed with faux silk ribbon drape over the table. For the pièce de résistance, Bert has created fresh pink rose topiaries to fit inside scroll obelisks—a highly salable idea for mantel or party décor.

JULY 2013 45


SPICE IT UP As spice colors become more and more popular for home décor, even in traditional markets, they are also selling well for Christmas. Not only do they transition nicely from fall to winter—they blend well with today’s interiors year-round. Animal prints—once relegated to a “safari” niche—have become so familiar that they can fit into almost any decorating style, especially when they are combined with other patterns and with shiny textures. Indeed, the variety of available textures, from the natural look of “spice wrap balls” to velvets and metallic, adds to the appeal and versatility of “spice” décor. Bert recommends showing, among the decorated trees in your shop, some lit trees that are undecorated, to let customers know you sell them this way: “Display them with a price tag and you will sell them.”


JULY 2013 47


SPICE TREE As a companion to the vignette on the preceding two pages, Bert has decked a full-size “spice” tree with loops of ribbon, rather than traditional bows, placed in a vertical line for a punch of color in a plain woven texture that balances the busy-ness of the animal prints. Also featured here are a new velvet poinsettia with a thick pile, here in rust tones, glittered at the center and around the edges, faux pheasant feathers, amber gemstone sprays, and branches covered with “Illuminating Sequins” that seem to glow as though lit from within.

KISS KISS Minimalist design, graphic shapes and a predominance of shiny apple red give this display attention-getting impact. Meanwhile, the elements of the display are readily salable. The jumbo ornaments would make festive party or corporate holiday décor. The “kissing balls” above were made right on the branches, fashioned of PVC garland with Christmas balls and various kinds of wide, wired red ribbon hot-glued in, but they could also be made and sold separately. The components of the display are all relatively inexpensive; they include clear glass cylinders that you can use year-round for weddings, parties and display. b


JULY 2013 49

MARGARITAS, ANYONE? Here’s a way to keep the bar beautifully stocked all through the party—with faux margaritas, made with powdered Rainbow Foam, and a bowl of faux guacamole, made with bells of Ireland florets strewn with red gerbera petals. To complete the illusion, Anthony cut “chips” from strips of birch bark. Meanwhile, floral bouquets, in a Mexican-style ceramic vase and pitcher, harmonize in hue with the “margaritas,” featuring viburnum, carnations, and ‘Supergreen’ roses along with craspedia and alstroemeria. 50

Summer Fun Fresh ideas for entertaining al fresco. For product information,


Floral design by Anthony Vigliotta AIFD, Anthos Design, Los Angeles, California

Photography by Ron Derhacopian

see Where to Buy, page 64.

JULY 2013 51

Summer Fun




A platter of summer vegetables makes a hardy, colorful display that’s all the more attractive when it’s perfectly paired with the flowers in a drop-in bouquet. With the vegetables in mind, Anthony selected purple hydrangea for the bouquet along with dark, burnished fern curls, picking up the colors and texture in the eggplant, plus tomato-red gerberas and hypericum. Naturally fanned aralia fronds echo the shape of basil leaves.

Sometimes you need a long, narrow design that fits up against a wall and leaves room in front. Here, stripped solidago offers clean, straight stems topped by a cloud of yellow flowers; to add interest, Anthony planted three pieces of Flexigrass in the foam and looped them across the front of the design, secured with a mini wreath of jeweler’s wire. At the base, striped spray roses share the spotlight with craspedia.

JULY 2013 53

Summer Fun




Tufts of explosion grass lend a summery feel to a mass arrangement of garden flowers, including ‘Phoebe’ David Austin roses, pale lavender roses, ‘Supergreen’ roses, viburnum, lilac, creamcolored carnations, hydrangea, and ‘Green Trick’ dianthus. The design is made in a flared glass bowl, which supports the spreading, overflowing shape; for a more outdoorsy look, the bowl was lowered into a mossed twig basket.

To make the pool float at right, Anthony covered the sides of a large rectangle of Styrofoam with moss mat, and the top with a twiggy table runner made of permanent botanicals. Most of the flowers and foliage—which include leafing dogwood and large anthurium leaves—are arranged in a 21-inch floral-foam wreath, which helps to keep the float nicely balanced. Inside the wreath form is a glass cylinder secured to the Styrofoam with wooden picks and anchor tape. Monofilament, tied to wired wooden picks that are inserted in the underside of the foam, holds the float in place; it can be tied either to anchors on the side of the pool or to weights that rest on the bottom.

JULY 2013 55

Summer Fun




Sunflowers are featured in two arrangements, both elevated on tall glass cylinders, one covered with mushroom paper, the other with sunflower stems, bound with thick twine. In each case, the flowers are arranged in foam in a low bowl perched on top of the cylinder. The design on the left also includes yellow waxflower, delphinium, eryngium, fern curls, cascading setaria, and hanging amaranthus.

Dinner for two borrows enchantment from a floral heart, made in a base that combines three heart shapes: First, an open 12-inch Styrofoam heart is glued on top of a solid 12-inch Styrofoam heart, and both are covered with preserved moss mat (here pinned on with corsage pins; this much can be done in advance). Then, a nine-inch, floral-foam heart-shaped wreath form is nestled inside the hollow Styrofoam heart. It is filled with waxflower and spray mums; rose petals are sprinkled in the center. The decorative square below it is covered with dyed, preserved lamb’s-ear foliage.

JULY 2013 57

Summer Fun




This flowing cascade of lilac, dahlias and clematis spills from a container beautifully suited to the outdoors: a cylinder of natural birch bark, which comes reinforced with wire on the inside. Anthony cut slits in one side of the cylinder to make a pair of flaps, which he then folded back, creating an aperture for floral insertions. The flowers drink from soaked foam in a utility tray slipped inside the bark cylinder.

For a quick and easy, outdoor summer wreath that can be filled and re-filled with fresh flowers, Anthony attached water tubes to a mossed twig wreath, wiring them on or simply working them into the body of the wreath. The tubes are easily topped up with fresh flower-food solution and the flowers replaced as necessary. To hang the wreath, he tacked artificial vine to the top of the door and wired it to the wreath, then added decorative loops of ribbon.

JULY 2013 59

Summer Fun




Bursting upward from a low medley of pink and light green flowers—peonies, sweet peas, spray roses, ‘Supergreen’ roses, and viburnum—four bundles of equisetum and lily grass add height and energetic line to the design. They harmonize with the equisetum fence that lines the inside of the low glass cylinder, a tidy counterpoint to the seemingly random, round forms above.

Water tubes are wired to a Styrofoam wreath form that has been covered in advance in wool fabric, then wrapped in yarn and decorative wire. With the colorful wreath in place at the center of the design, elevated by the water tubes, it takes very few flowers to make a striking impact. Pink veronica, loops of Flexigrass, and tendrils of clematis vine add graceful line motion.

JULY 2013 61

Summer Fun

62 JANUARY 2012



Five small vases are bundled in bear grass (the bear grass is tucked into rubber bands, then bound with decorative wire, and the rubber bands are cut off), filled with delicate flowers like veronica, freesia, sweet William, ornithogalum, spray roses, mini callas and ranunculus, and finally, huddled together on a gold tray. The grass accentuates the field-flower effect; if this is sold as a party centerpiece, guests can take the individual vases home.

On the opposite page, explosion grass and clusters of green hypericum contrast nicely with ‘Message roses’ and ‘Macarena’ spray roses in soft apricot—all combined in a hand-tied bouquet collared with fatsia and rolled aspidistra leaves. Tied off with gold ribbon, it makes an elegant hostess gift.

AUGUST 2010 63 JULY 2013

where to buy 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.

ON THE COVER Platinum-finish resin pheasants and tree trunk vases, Plus One Imports / Pete Garcia Company.

Murano-style glass vase and bowl, Giftwares Company. Amazing Wrapzz, Fitz Design. Sheer zebra-striped wired ribbon (“Prrr”), Berwick Offray.

FOCUS ON DESIGN, pages 10-11 SnowReal artificial snow, JRM Chemical. Faux snowflakes, Sullivans.

ROMANTIC NIGHTS, page 57 Styrofoam heart forms, FloraCraft. Floral-foam heart-shaped wreath form, Smithers-Oasis. Dyed, preserved lamb’s ear foliage, Belle d’Avalane. LIKE FALLING OFF A LOG, page 58 Reinforced birch-bark cylinder, Plus One Imports / Pete Garcia Company.

CREATIVE EDGE, pages 12-13

Candle Artisans.

Call 908-689-2000 or visit

pages 26-28 Glass cones, Accent Décor.

Products in this feature are imported or manufactured by the suppliers noted here. All of these products are available through the Pete Garcia Company and its FloraMart showroom; see the listing at right. Ornaments, permanent botanicals, display aids and holiday accents throughout, Plus One Imports™. Everyday glassware, Garcia Group Glass™. Murano-style glass vases and bowls, Giftwares Company, Inc. Candles, Candle Artisans, Inc. Ribbon, Berwick Offray, LLC. INTO THE WOODS, pages 34-35 “Tweet” and “Stitch” wide ribbons, Berwick Offray. Frosted branches, Knud Nielsen. VARIATIONS ON A SCHEME, pages 38-39 Enameled galvanized buckets and round tub, Garcia Group Glass. Glitter grass, Knud Nielsen.

Fitz Design.

CELEBRATION TIME, page 43 Faux wax candles and white tapers, Candle Artisans. Additional LED lighting, Acolyte. Vue2 acrylic stands, metal hurricane stand, acrylic crystal butterfly garlands, Luxe glittered and sequined butterflies with clips, mirrored balls, and metallic tablecloth, Plus One.

Call 800-500-2120 or visit FloraCraft.

Call 800-253-0409 or visit Giftwares Company.

Call 800-535-1300 or visit JRM Chemical.

SUMMER FUN, pages 50-63

Call 800-962-4010 or visit

MARGARITAS, ANYONE?, pages 50-51 Powdered Rainbow Foam, Smithers-Oasis.

Call 800-633-1682 or visit

Knud Nielsen.

A WOODSY WELCOME, page 59 Mossed twig wreath, Plus One Imports / Pete Garcia Company. Artificial vine, Sullivans.

Pete Garcia Company.

Products are available through the company’s Floramart showroom in Atlanta. Retail florists can make an appointment to visit the showroom through their local wholesaler. Call Floramart at 800-241-3733 or visit SuperMoss.

A FLOATING FANTASY, page 55 Styrofoam sheet, FloraCraft. Moss mat, SuperMoss. Permanent twig runner, Plus One Imports / Pete Garcia Company.

SUNNY DAYS, page 56 URBAN GLAM, page 42 Mushroom paper, Plus Stainless steel and nickel-plated One Imports / Pete Garcia metal candle lanterns and Company. 64

Belle d’Avalane.

Email or visit Call 800-327-0350 or visit


pages 30-49


Call 888-ACOLYTE (226-5983) or visit

Berwick Offray.

Styrofoam wreaths, FloraCraft. Gel beads (Water Pearls), Accent Décor.


Accent Décor, Inc.

Call 800-385-5114 or visit

Call 800-677-5777 or visit Smithers-Oasis.

Call 800-321-8286 or visit Sullivans, Inc.

ROUND AND RISING, page 61 Styrofoam wreath form, FloraCraft. Wool fabric, Accent Décor.

Call 800-456-4568 or visit





light-weight plastic decorative Columns These affordable, portable custom height columns are great for special events such as wedding or banquets.

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Swan Bud Vase Hand Blown Glass Call Don Hauslik 800.537. 0273


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(800) 421-0052

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advertising in Emporium call Peter Lymbertos at 800-421-4921 JULY 2013 65

Congratulating the


Congratulations to the 12 Certified Floral Designers ® (CFD ) who have distinguished themselves as professional floral design artists and who are being inducted as Accredited Members into the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). Jacqueline Ahne Davis CFD

Mirae Kim CFD

Sunset Beach, CA

Seoul, South Korea

Tricia Fillingim CFD

Jessica Wai Mui Li CFD

Aurora, CO

San Francisco, CA

Leanna Gearhart-Theye CFD

Bogar Mayol Marin CFD

Kentwood, MI

Estado de Mexico, Mexico

Tammy J. Gibson CFD

Jenna Naylor CFD

Louisville, KY

Snellville, GA

Marisa Chanel Guerrero CFD

Iris Salmon CFD

El Paso, TX

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Sharon Sabin Ivey CFD

Debra J. Schwarze CFD

Athens, GA

Minneapolis, MN

AIFD is committed to establishing and maintaining the highest standards in the floral industry as the leading non-profit organization dedicated to the art of professional floral design. With nearly 1,300 accredited members worldwide, AIFD and its members are in the forefront of the industry in advancing education and design programs. Accreditation in AIFD is selective. To be accredited, design artists must first become a Certified Floral Designer (CFD® ) through AIFD’s Professional Floral Designer Evaluation process.

For Information on Becoming a Certified Floral Designer and AIFD Accreditation American Institute of Floral Designers 720 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230 410-752-3318 | Fax 410-752-8295 e-mail: |

advertising links For easy access to many of our advertisers’ websites, go to and click on the Advertisers link.

AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF FLORAL DESIGNERS (AIFD) .......................................... 66 410-752-3318

BRIGHT SIDE CRAFTS ......................................................................................... 21 208-932-0205

DESIGN MASTER COLOR TOOL ............................................................................ 23 800-525-2644

DOLLAR TREE DIRECT .............................................................INSIDE FRONT COVER 877-530-TREE (8733)

DRAMM & ECHTER............................................................................................. 69 800-854-7021

GIFT BASKET DROP SHIPPING .............................................................................. 7 573-204-8111

HARVEST IMPORT ................................................................................................ 8 949-833-7738

HORTICA INSURANCE AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS ................................................. 15 800-851-7740

KURT S. ADLER, INC........................................................................................... 29 800-243-9627

MILTON ADLER COMPANY .................................................................................. 70 800-651-0113

NASHVILLE WRAPS, LLC..................................................................................... 69 800-547-9727

PETE GARCIA COMPANY .............................................. 17, 27, INSIDE BACK COVER 800-241-3733

RELIANT RIBBON .................................................................................................. 2 973-881-0404

ROYAL FLOWERS .................................................................................................. 1 800-977-4483

SEMINOLE ........................................................................................................... 8 800-638-3378

SMITHERS-OASIS ................................................................................................. 5 800-321-8286

THE SUN VALLEY GROUP ...................................................................................... 9 800-747-0396

SYNDICATE SALES ..............................................................................BACK COVER 800-428-0515

TEAMFLORAL ..................................................................................................... 25 800-342-2251

TELEFLORA .................................................................................................... 3, 19 800-421-2815

TEXAS STATE FLORISTS ASSOCIATION ................................................................. 67 800-375-0361

VASE VALET ....................................................................................................... 69 316-747-2579

JULY 2013 67

net effects By Sarah Botchick

Blogging is the red rose of the internet marketing bouquet. A few years back, blogging was all the rage. Then, with so many other forms of internet marketing showing up to take the spotlight, blogging appeared to be taking a back seat. For sales and profit, however, blogging still rules. In our internet marketing bouquet, blogs are like traditional red roses, while the other new forms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, could be compared to Rainbow Roses. Rainbow Roses are fun and attract attention, but traditional red roses are staples that will bring you more money in the long run. WHAT IS BLOGGING? The word “blog” is a shortened form of the official term, “weblog.” A blog is either a website or a section of a website that is made up of a series of “posts.” Posts are short stories or articles on a given topic. WHY BLOG? • Educate your customers. Blogs allow you to present valuable information to your readers (customers). This is an opportunity to educate your customers. The more valuable you make your site, the more your customers will return to it. The more they return, the more they buy. • Raise your search engine rankings. I know I sound like a broken record when I talk about search engine optimization— SEO—in every article. But that’s because it is critical for the continued success of your business. Your blogs are made up of words, developed into sentences on a topic that is central to your business. These masses of words are “read” and then indexed by the 68

search engines, therefore increasing your search engine ranking (so that your shop appears higher in the search results). Your customers are searching for you—and your blog helps them find you. • Establish yourself as an expert. Just yesterday one of my favorite florist bloggers, located in a small town, was quoted in an article written for ABC News... all because someone at ABC News came across her blog. HOW TO SET UP A BLOG Most website systems today have a blog feature built in. It is usually a module that you need to enable (turn on). Once it is enabled it is very easy to start blogging. It will likely have a “New Post” button. You click it and start writing! If your website system does not have a blog option, or if (gasp) you don’t have a website, you can create a free blog through a blogging website like or GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR BLOG • Plan your work. The speed and simplicity of social media in general make it easy to just post or write whatever happens to come to your mind at the time. But when you blog, while some of that spontaneity is great to sprinkle in, it should be the salt on your meal, used sparingly and only to add flavor. For blogs to be effective your topics should be planned out and outlined so that you are speaking with a purpose. • A picture is worth 1,000 words. Readers love blogs with pictures. Make sure you include images that correspond with your posts. • Make it count—for SEO that is. Use descriptive titles and reference your location. Instead of titling your post “Flowers,” say “Wedding Flowers in Cleveland, Ohio.” Remember that search engines don’t have eyes, so they can’t see your pictures. Be sure to add descriptive titles for your images, both as a caption in the blog and in the “alt text” (an option to add this usually appears whenever you insert an image in most blogging software).

• Make links easy to find. If your blog is not part of your website, be sure that it has prominent links to your website. Always make it easy for people to buy from you! • Offer to be a guest blogger. Talk with other wedding vendors in your area such as venues, photographers, and caterers. Are you part of a networking group? Check with other members and see if you can guest blog for them around specific holiday times. Most bloggers welcome another voice on their blog from time to time because it adds interest to their site. It helps you reach new customers who may never have heard of you. • Recruit other bloggers for your blog. The same principle applies to guest bloggers on your site. And the best news is—if these bloggers tweet or post on Facebook about writing on your blog, all of their followers will be directed to your site, leading to great referral traffic. • Blog regularly. I heard one marketing expert say that if you don’t have something to blog about in your work everyday, you need to find a new job. That may not be practical for most florists—but we can all apply the principle: post regularly and keep your blog fresh. Looking for a little inspiration to get you started? We have a lot of great blogs and bloggers in our industry. Check out a couple of my favorites: • Flirty Fleurs, by Alicia Schwede and Chuck Graham: • Prom Flowers, a blog by Tracey Foster: If you wait until you understand the technology perfectly or until you have time to plan out the next three months of blogs you will never start. So take the little bit of slow time you have this month, and just start your blog!

Sarah Botchick is Marketing Director for Pioneer Imports & Wholesale in Berea, Ohio and the owner of Stellar Marketing & Consulting ( b

Now We’re Everywhere... Run an Ad in Flowers& errs& and Join Us!

Call 800-421-4921 i d fl

JULY 2013 69

wholesaler connection The following leading wholesale florists are distributors of Flowers& magazine.






PHOENIX Conroy Wholesale Florist The Roy Houff Company

LOUISVILLE The Roy Houff Company


BATON ROUGE Louisiana Wholesale Florists LAFAYETTE Louisiana Wholesale Florists

PITTSBURGH Keystone Ribbon & Floral Pittsburgh Cut Flower Company

HOUSTON Pikes Peak of Texas Southern Floral Company LUBBOCK Lubbock Wholesale Florist

BURNABY, BC Signature Floral Supply (division of Kirby Floral Inc.)



SIOUX FALLS North American Wholesale Florist, Inc.

SALT LAKE CITY Ensign Wholesale Floral

SELANGOR Worldwide Floral Services



BOSTON Jacobson Floral Supply

NASHVILLE The Roy Houff Company



WARREN Nordlie, Inc.

DALLAS American Agroproducts, Inc.

NORFOLK The Roy Houff Company RICHMOND The Roy Houff Company

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 Hall’s Pensacola Wholesale Oscar G. Carlstedt Company

GEORGIA OMEGA Hornbuckle Wholesale Florist


ILLINOIS CHICAGO Bill Doran Company The Roy Houff Company NORMAL The Roy Houff Company PEORIA HEIGHTS Bill Doran Company WHEELING The Roy Houff Company

KANSAS WICHITA Valley Floral Company



MINNESOTA MINNEAPOLIS Koehler and Dramm ROSEVILLE North American Wholesale Florist, Inc.

MISSOURI ST LOUIS LaSalle Wholesale Florist


OHIO BEREA Pioneer Imports and Wholesale DAYTON Nordlie, Inc. NORTH CANTON Canton Wholesale Floral PARMA Cleveland Plant & Flower Company


WASHINGTON TACOMA Washington Floral Service


SINGAPORE Worldwide Floral Services

what’s in store

BEAR HUG The latest in Teleflora’s best-selling Send a Hug® Collection, the Cuddle Bears Bouquet comes in a hand-painted, sculpted ceramic container that has received top scores from consumers and florists alike. It’s a nationally advertised “star” bouquet for Christmas 2013. Call 800-333-0205 or visit

TEMPTING MINIATURES Colorful, lifelike mini fruit comes in five packs: 25 cherries, 15 green apples, 15 red apples, nine green or yellow pears, and 13 lemons and limes. Pears and green apples have realistic spots and color variations. The mini fruit packs are part of FloraCraft’s Design It ®: Simple Style® collection. Ask your local wholesaler, call 800-253-0409, or visit

GIFTS FROM THE GARDEN Cork-backed, plastic-laminated coasters are printed with details taken from rare books in the library at The New York Botanical Garden. Boxed in packs of six, they coordinate with note cards, gift bags, and other products from Ray Hooper Design, LLC. Call 212-4140-1387 or visit

BURLAP TO GO Looking for a different option for your pot covers? With handles and rivets, these burlap pot covers from Pioneer Imports & Wholesale are a trendy choice at a great price! See the complete collection: call 888-234-5400 or visit

JULY 2013 71

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

July 28, Frankfort, KY

FloraMart 2014 Spring/Summer Market. Contact for details.

Kentucky Florists Association, program includes Sympathy Designs with Jerome Raska, Capitol Plaza Hotel and Conference Center. Call Tammy Gibson at 502-367-6172.

July 10-17, Atlanta, GA

August 6, Louisville, KY

Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, Americasmart. Call 800-ATL-MART or visit

Kentucky Derby Unit, Everyday Designs with Jim Ganger, Dreisbach Wholesale. Call Tammy Gibson at 502-802-0376.

July 13-16, Columbus, OH

August 11, Minneapolis, MN

OFA Short Course, program includes Design and Proper Prep of Flowers (7/14) with Darla Pawlak, Greater Columbus Convention Center. Call Libby Streamer at 614-884-1152 or visit

Minndakota Unit, Holiday Designs with Bob Hampton, Koehler & Dramm. Call Patience Pickner at 605-234-6365.

July 17-20, Santa Barbara, CA

Northeast Region

July 8-19, Atlanta, GA

California Association of Flower Growers and Shippers (NORCAL), Fun ’N Sun Weekend, Fess Parker’s Double Tree Resort. Call 831-479-4912 or visit

July 17, Pittsburgh, PA

August 17-21, New York, NY NY NOW (formerly New York International Gift Fair), Jacob K. Javits Convention Center - Piers 92 & 94. Call 800-272-SHOW or visit

July 16, Knoxville, TN Tennessee Unit, Wedding Designs with John Hosek, Tennessee Florist Supply. Call Phil Chandler at 615-336-9470.

July 24, Norfolk, VA Colonial Virginia Unit, Profitable Everyday Designs with Kevin Ylvisaker, Roy Houff Company. Call Steve Morrin at 757-404-2747.

August 2-4, Columbia, SC South Carolina Florist Association, program includes Cost Effective Everyday Designs (8/4) with Vonda LaFever, Clarion Hotel & Conference Center. Call Bud Hornburg at 843-450-9804.

August 2-4, Murfreesboro, TN

Western Pennsylvania Unit, Sympathy Designs with Tom Bowling, Pittsburgh Cut Flower Co. Call Janet Woloszyk at 412-367-8708.

Tennessee State Florist Association, program includes Christmas Designs (8/4) with Hitomi Gilliam, Embassy Suites. Call Kevin Coble at 901683-4313.

South Central Region

August 4, Charlottesville, VA

July 18-23, Chicago, IL Chicago Market, Merchandise Mart Plaza. Call 312-527-7561 or visit www.shopchicagomarket. com.

Southeast Region

July 12-14, Mesquite, TX Texas State Florists’ Association, Annual Convention, program includes Finale Program (7/14) with Marie Ackerman, The Hampton Inn & Conference Center. Call Dianna Nordman at 512834-0361 or visit

Virginia Professional Florist Association, program includes Asian Flair with Tim Farrell, Doubletree Hilton. Call Rhonda Burnett at 540-250-8864.

August 11, Atlanta, GA Georgia Unit, Everyday Party Designs with John Hosek, Oscar G. Carlstedt Co. Call Randy Stone at 478-272-7681.

July 21, Fort Smith, AR September 5-8, Sapporo, Japan World Flower Council Summit, Sapporo Park Hotel. Visit

Arkansas Unit, Wedding and Corsage Designs with Hitomi Gilliam, River Valley Floral. Call Chelle Gerhardt at 479-636-0118.

September 18-21, Phoenix, AZ

July 28, Phoenix, AZ

SAF Annual Convention, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass. Call Laura Weaver at the Society of American Florists, 800-336-4743, or visit

Arizona State Florist Association, program includes Four Seasons of Merchandising and Design with Cindy Tole, Black Canyon Conference Center. Call Brian Vetter at 602-908-9024 or visit

Central Region July 14, St. Louis, MO

July 27-28, Norman, OK

Lewis & Clark Unit, Wedding Designs with Hitomi Gilliam, Baisch & Skinner. Call Jenny Thomasson at 314-972-7836.

Oklahoma State Florist Association, program includes Sympathy Designs (7/28) with Jim Ganger, Embassy Suites. Call Sheila Bebee at 918-616-1200.

July 24, Germantown, WI

August 3-4, Ruidoso, NM

Wisconsin-Upper Michigan Unit, Everyday Designs with Marketing and Management Tips with Jerome Raska, Karthauser & Sons. Call Denise Gehrke at 262-542-8152.

West Texas New Mexico Florist Association, program includes Everyday Designs (8/4) with Kevin Ylvisaker, Ruidoso Convention Center. Call Anee Hilling at 575-910-1565.


Western Region July 14, Murray, UT Idaho-Utah Unit, Everyday Designs with Joyce Mason-Monheim, DWF. Call Brady Prescott at 208-238-0144.

July 17-20, Santa Barbara, CA California Association of Flower Growers and Shippers (NORCAL), Fun ’N Sun Weekend, Fess Parker’s Double Tree Resort. Call 831-479-4912 or visit

July 26, Waikoloa, HI MIDPAC Horticultural Conference, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Call 808-969-2088 or visit

July 28, Portland, OR Oregon-SW Washington Unit, Everyday Designs with Alex Jackson, Frank Adams Wholesale. Call Kris Boley at 541-593-1300.

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