Flowers& - April 2018

Page 1

Flowers& APRIL 2018 $ 6.50


Color works together with style to create mood-setting wedding décor Pg 44

A garden rose extravaganza! Visits with a top grower and trend-setting breeder Pg 12

contents APRIL 2018

features 12

A Fragrant Harvest

Let’s pay a visit to garden-rose grower Alexandra Farms. Text and photography by Bruce Wright


Prince of Roses

David J.C. Austin talks about the business that changed the world of wedding roses forever.


Simply Beautiful

Classic bridal bouquets with a couture finish. Floral design by David Powers AIFD Photography by Ron Derhacopian


Color Stories

Wedding dĂŠcor in three sophisticated color schemes. Floral design by Tom Simmons AIFD, CCF Photography by Ron Derhacopian

2 APRIL 2018

pg 35

ON THE COVER Hyacinth florets, nestled within lisianthus blooms, form a fragrant and visually compelling focus for a simple yet distinctively different bouquet. For a how-to photo, turn to page 42. For more classic bouquets with tailored, artistic touches by David Powers AIFD, turn to pages 26-40.


departments 8

Focus on Design By Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI A Garden-Rose Mini Cascade


Making the Upgrade

By Vonda LaFever AIFD, PFCI


Meet the Designers


What’s in Store


Where to Buy


Industry Events


Advertiser Links


Wholesale Connection

pg 26

Flowers& Volume 39, Number 4 (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, $78.00. Canada, 1 year, $102.00 (US currency only); Canadian GST registration number R127851293. Other foreign countries, 1 year, $149.88 (US currency only). Single issues, $6.50 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 © 2018 by Teleflora. Printed in U.S.A.

4 APRIL 2018

pg 10

Flowers& Publisher

Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI


Bruce Wright

Art Director

Kent Bancroft

National Advertising Director

Peter Lymbertos

U.S. Subscriptions


Foreign Subscriptions




On the Internet

ADVISORY BOARD Teleflora Education Specialists Susan Ayala


Riverside, Calif., Tom Bowling

Fairfield, Ohio, Tim Farrell



Syndicate Sales,

Farrell’s Florist, Drexel Hill, Penn.,

Hitomi Gilliam AIFD, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, John Hosek AIFD, PFCI, CF, CAFA, Surroundings Events and Floral, Verona, Wisc., Alex Jackson Denver, Colo., Vonda LaFever AAF, PFCI, AzMF,



Happy Canyon Flowers,

Niceville, Fla., Joyce Mason-Monheim


Designer Destination, Tucson, Ariz., Helen Miller AIFD, CF, CAFA, Flowers and

Such, Adrian, Mich., Darla Pawlak AIFD, PFCI, Essexville, Mich., Julie Poeltler AIFD, PFCI, IMF, CAFA, Julie’s

Fountain of Flowers, Lone Tree, Iowa, David Powers AIFD, Potomac Wholesale,

Silver Spring, Md., Jerome Raska AIFD, AAF, PFCI, CF, Blumz by JR Designs, Ferndale, Mich.,

Tom Simmons Gerard Toh



Three Bunch Palms Productions, Palm Springs, Calif.,

Garden Trade Services, Natchez, Miss., Cindy Tole

Flowers & Gifts, Greensboro, N.C., Jenny Thomasson




Stems, Florissant,

Mo., Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI, CAFA, Mukwonago, Wisc.

EDITORIAL COUNCIL Carol J. Caggiano AIFD, PFCI, A. Caggiano, Inc., Jeffersonton, Va., Bert Ford AIFD, PFCI, Ford Flower Co., Salem, N.H., Bob Hampton AIFD, AAF, PFCI, FSMD, AIFD,


Pompano Beach, Fla., Wilton Hardy

JWH Design and Consultant, West Palm Beach, Fla., 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

1. Using floral adhesive, glue Xanadu philodendron leaves to the back of a Wedding Belle Grande bouquet holder.


Garden roses and flowing lines go beautifully together. Fragrant garden roses are on-trend for bridal bouquets. So are mini cascades with plenty of depth and texture. Why not go for both?

2. Green the top of the holder with springy, flowing flowers and foliage like bupleurum, plumosus, and variegated lily grass, to create an outline that suggests the shape and size of the final bouquet. 3. Begin your floral insertions with the largest blooms—here, Romantic Antike cabbage garden roses. These will define primary points of interest in the bouquet, resting places for the eye. 4. Continue by adding highly fragrant, yet long-lasting white Princess Miyuki roses.




5. Finish the bouquet with Caramel Antike roses, Pink Piano (with side shoots), and accents of white and pink hypericum.



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


APRIL 2018 9

making the upgrade •

j Floral design by Vonda LaFever AIFD, PFCI

Photography by Ron Derhacopian

HEIGHT, LINE AND COLOR ARE KEY TO YOUR UPGRADE STRATEGY. lustrates all three of those ideas, and two

of the carnation and echoes the butterflies,

a design, at minimal cost in materials and

more. The additional butterfly adds still

not only with its color but with its twin but-

labor time, it’s helpful to think about these

more animation to the design, so that the

terfly bows.

three things: How can I make the design a

picture presented seems to tell a story. We

To add the willow, Vonda placed rubber

little taller? What can I add that is low-cost

can imagine one of the butterflies having

bands on the outside of the five-by-five-inch

but enhances the color impact of the design?

just alighted, attracted by the other. And the

cube and tucked the willow into them, add-

And, how can I add line value—something

arch of curly willow, in addition to adding

ing stem ends on both sides and crossing

to lead the eye through the design, lending

line value, has a sheltering effect, as though

the tips, then binding them together. She

motion and depth?

the flowers are blooming under a bower. The

covered the rubber bands with the ribbon

pink ribbon, of course, reinforces the color

and the binding with the butterfly.

This month’s example of an upgrade il-



Anytime you want to add perceived value to

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

WHAT IS A “GARDEN” ROSE? The varieties grown at Alexandra Farms (of which many, but not all, were on display at last year’s international trade fair in Bogotá, Proflora 2017) range widely in color, in form, and in their heritage—whether English, German, or French, with some varieties bred in Japan. But all share certain characteristics that historically have been associated with roses bred for the garden rather than for commercial use as cut flowers. The large heads are pregnant with abundant petals that push the flower open wide and form a richly ruffled display. Colors are often blended, combining a range of tints, tones and shadings in one flower that may evolve over the life of the flower. These “garden roses” are grown in greenhouses—but their subtle hues are just one characteristic that is reminiscent of what happens when roses are grown outdoors, subject to the influence of weather and variable light. Of course, garden roses are also known for their fragrance, whether light and fresh or intoxicating. Fragrance is a quality that is sometimes associated with a shortened vase life—but that is the one way in which the “garden roses” offered to florists as cut flowers do not behave like most roses from a garden. In selecting varieties, Alexandra Farms will grow none that do not promise a 10-day vase life, even after five days of shipping. The performance has as much to do with growing technique, processing and packaging as with the variety.


A FRAGRANT HARVEST Let’s pay a visit to garden-rose grower Alexandra Farms. Text and photography by Bruce Wright


ut-flower trends don’t just happen all by themselves. The market may be ready for something new, but it takes vision and determination to bring a brandnew product to the market—especially one as demanding as cut garden roses. Not so long ago, the selection of roses available for wedding work consisted of… the same hybrid-tea varieties used for everyday design in white, ivory and pink. Today, an internet search for images of “wedding roses” is sure to yield plenty of deeply cupped, petal-rich varieties that practically waft their heady perfume off the screen. It’s safe to say one of the key players behind this explosion of visibility and popularity has been Joey Azout of Alexandra Farms—one of the pioneers and the largest grower, by far, of cut garden roses in the world, with twice the acreage of any other farm. The trend began with growers in the LA area cutting field-grown roses with gardenvariety characteristics and bringing them to market. “People loved them, even though they were very fragile and short-lived,” says Joey. “Customers would call from New York and ask to have them shipped. But it was a niche market—not anything breeders saw

as having potential.” Around this time, however, Joey was looking for an opportunity, and he thought he saw one in garden roses. He searched out, and found, varieties that he thought could be successful with the right growing, packing, and shipping techniques. “We would go to a potential customer, and the customer would say, ‘We can sell those, but you’re not going to be able to produce them.’ We would go to growers and they would say, ‘You can produce them, but you’ll never be able to sell them.’ So we said, ‘Wow, this might work!’ ” That was in 2005. Today, on three farms totaling 20 hectares (about 50 acres), Alexandra Farms produces more than 50 varieties of cut garden roses, including 12 David Austin varieties. New varieties are constantly being tested and evaluated. “We’re not breeders,” Joey clarifies. “We don’t create new varieties. We test from breeders’ selections.” Keeping up with the trend-sensitive wedding market, however, demands constant innovation along with extraordinary effort and expertise. Come along with us for an up-close look at the attitudes and practices that have made Alexandra Farms a leader in a fast-changing market.

EXPERTISE AND OPPORTUNITY Growing garden roses is more difficult than growing ordinary cut roses by several orders of magnitude. The key is expertise and commitment. Each variety has slightly different requirements. “This is why each rose bed on the farm is assigned to a particular worker,” says farm owner Joey Azout, “which also creates a sense of pride and responsibility in that person.” Attracting and retaining the best workers is important for Joey. It can be challenging in Colombia, where the economy is growing and the labor market is competitive. That’s one reason why Alexandra Farms offers benefits and services to farm workers such as healthy hot lunches and day care for their young children. At Alexandra Farms, as at most Colombian flower farms, about 60% of the work force is female—a factor that has changed the social dynamic in the countryside by offering women the opportunity to earn a good wage. Alexandra Farms is one of many flower farms certified by Florverde Sustainable Flowers, the program that insures compliance with high standards of social along with environmental responsibility.

FOR VARIETIES’ SAKE Although a small number of new varieties has been successful for Alexandra Farms from the beginning (the farm was founded in 2005), testing and selecting new varieties is a constant process, in part to keep up with fast-moving trends in the wedding market. The farm started with six varieties from the famous German rose breeder Tantau (including the stillpopular Piano and Mariatheresia). Developed well before the market for “garden roses” had grown to its current popularity, these German varieties had the qualities of garden roses because they were intended for cut-rose production outdoors rather than in greenhouses. From there, Gallic (French) and David Austin (English) varieties were added. Today some of the most exciting new introductions are roses bred in Japan: for example, the white rose Princess Miyuki (her name means “first snow”), which Joey holds in the photo at right, in his right hand, and Miyabi, still on the stem. Miyabi starts as a medium pink and opens to show a light pink interior. As she matures and opens, her strong petals will increase to a petal count of approximately 100 and form a ruffled rosette of concentric star shapes. Princess Miyuki has a lovely fragrance; Miyabi, however (unusually for a garden rose), has none. Another new variety is Tiara, lavender with green edges, from German breeder Spek. APRIL 2018 13

HEADS AND FEET Pretty much all roses grown for the cut-flower market, whether of the garden-style variety or traditional hybrid teas, are grown from stems grafted onto rootstock. Using a trusted rootstock variety, like Natal Briar, helps to insure a vigorous, healthy plant. The rootstock is adapted to the farm’s soil and climate. It reliably performs the functions of the rose plant’s root system, delivering water and nutrients to the flowering cane. The cane, on the other hand, has been selected for its beauty, disease resistance, shippability and vase performance. Often enough, says Joey, “the rose varieties that have strong roots have ugly flowers, and the varieties with beautiful flowers have weak roots. So, by grafting, it’s like I can keep my head but change my legs for stronger ones.” He explains how it’s done: “We carve a niche in the rootstock bark and insert a budwood stalk from the other variety. Plastic wrap holds it in place. Then we bend the rootstock forward. The plant says, ‘I’m not going to send too much nutrient to the part of me that’s bent over; I’m going to send it mainly to the part that’s growing up toward the sun.’ ” Workers from Ecuador, skilled in grafting, come to the farm once a year just to perform this function for the big planting in September or October that supplies production for the wedding season in the following year. In the photo, the graft is just two weeks old; the red leaves are new.

KID GLOVES One of the labor-intensive strategies employed by growers of premium roses is to cover the buds of certain varieties with mesh mitts or nets. Mesh protects the roses from pests like thrips, without the use of chemical pesticides; it is even fine enough to keep spores of botrytis mold from getting through. Blue mitts (sometimes black, red or green) filter out some of the ultraviolet rays of the sun, protecting red varieties that may otherwise tend to get black around the edges of the petals. Garden-style roses aren’t the only cut roses that might receive such kid-glove treatment. But they are the finickiest of all. “We’ve had to adapt our growing techniques to each variety we produce,” says Joey. “But if it’s a beautiful variety we want to find a way to make it work.”

TALK ING A BOUT GA R DEN ROSES The world of garden roses has its own vocabulary. These aren’t precisely defined technical terms, but they come in handy as a way of describing and becoming familiar with the characteristics of different varieties. Here are a few, not mutually exclusive terms, relating mostly to the shape of the flower.

CABBAGE Broadly describes a large, fat, round, many-petaled rose. Caramel Antike would be a classic example.


CUP The cup shape is a distinctive feature of many garden roses. In its best-defined form, longer petals on the outside of the rose enfold and enclose shorter, ruffled petals in the center. The peach-colored David Austin variety Juliet offers a good example of a deep cup.

QUARTERED Look at Pink O’Hara, and the term “quartered” as applied to garden roses becomes clear: the frilly petals are clearly divided into four sections, each with its own spiral shape.

ROSETTE Some garden roses are of the rosette type, with a flatter, more spreading shape, like the ballet-pink German variety Mariatheresia. The term suggests a multitude of tiny petals arranged with radial symmetry.

THE RIGHT CUT An essential skill for those who harvest cut flowers is knowing exactly when to cut—and if that’s true for cut flowers in general, it’s three times as true for garden roses. “They need a very particular point of cut,” says Joey. “Too soon, the rose will not open. Too late, and it will blow open or bruise

during shipping. Most flower farms cut once a day. We cut three times a day to make sure we get it at the right point.” The right cut point varies from one variety to another. So, to help workers identify when each rose is ready, pictures of the ideal cut point are posted in every greenhouse block.

This set of pictures is in a block where new varieties are being grown in “pre-commercial” quantities of only about 1,000 blooms. “That means the rose isn’t commercially available yet, but we have enough that we can really measure how it will perform and send samples to customers,” Joey explains.

A BETTER WAY Empowering workers to propose innovations and make changes is a strategy that has worked well at Alexandra Farms. “We weren’t satisfied with our system for processing the roses, so we asked our employees for suggestions and solutions to problems,” says Joey—seen here with employees Adriana Calao and Alcira Rojas. “They came up with a whole new system that’s far more productive and efficient. By implementing their ideas, we went from 200 stems bunched per hour to 230. But the biggest benefit was in improved quality. Our flowers are very delicate. Before, we had 7% mechanical damage. That went down to 2%.” Among the changes, employees proposed a work cabinet with a top made of glass so they can see right away where everything is and when supplies are getting low. Everything needed is within reach: rubber bands, tags that identify the rose variety. Metal guides help make the bunching process more efficient; a mirror at one end (a worker’s innovation) makes it easy to check that the bunch is uniform. Every bunch is “signed” like a work of art by the employee who makes it, instilling a sense of pride in the work. 16

BY THE DOZEN “Our bunches are smaller than other farms’, because we don’t want to pack so many roses together,” says Joey. Depending on what the customer wants, some have all the rose heads visible from the top of the bunch, others have the same 12 flowers, but at two levels. Cardboard dividers are wrapped in sheets of thin, flexible Styrene to protect the flowers.

FROM HERE TO THERE Workers who grade the roses for head size and length are also trained to double-check the cut point, ensuring uniformity in the bunch. Grading and bunching are assembly-line work—but the well-lit room where 18

the work is done is hung with colorful flags showing all the countries that Alexandra Farms roses are exported to, and with photos of happy brides from all over the world—a reminder to employees of the meaningful big picture.

PRETTY AS A PICTURE A new Alexandra Farms logo is launching this year, inspired by the renowned botanical illustrator, PierreJoseph Redouté. Joey tells the story: “In the early 1800s, Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte didn’t get along too well, so she was sent to live in the chateau of Malmaison in the south of France, where the climate was perfect for growing roses. She loved them, and she amassed a huge collection of 300 varieties. Only, these were not perpetuals—they would bloom maybe once a year, twice if you’re lucky. Dignitaries would visit her and she was frustrated that she couldn’t show all the varieties in her collection. So she hired Redouté, the best in the world, to make detailed paintings of them, one by one.” Today the work of Redouté is iconic, the classic representation of the allure and variety of garden roses.

BY CONTRAST Golden Mustard is brand new to Alexandra Farms and the first variety they have taken on that is technically not a “garden rose.” Why? “It’s in the shape,” Joey explains. “It’s more of a spiral, with center petals that are longer than the outer petals, which is typical for a hybrid tea rose, even though this is not that. Most of our roses are not spiral but cup shapes, or ball shapes, or cabbage shapes.” (See page 14 for more on the terms used to describe garden roses.) Bred by Interplant, Golden Mustard also has no fragrance to speak of. “But the color is so unique and so perfect for weddings that we just had to have it.”

SPECIAL ROSES, SPECIAL CARE Care and handling for cut gar-

food and move them imme-

cooler. Remove the cellophane

that retailers and designers

den roses is not fundamentally

diately into the cooler. After 2

from the bunches and leave them

make with cut garden roses is

different from how you would

to 3 hours, remove the inner

out at room temperature so they

not giving them enough time to

process other roses. When gar-

packaging—the cardboard and

can begin to open up. Replenish

open fully. Typically, cut garden

den roses arrive in the shop:

Styrene—to give the rose heads

flower food water as needed.

roses should arrive 4 or 5 days

room to breathe and begin

Ideally, separate each variety into

before a wedding. A refer-

out of the box and separate

to open up. Leave the outer

its own clean bucket or vase, and

ence guide is provided on the

them. Leaving the protective

cellophane packaging on the

monitor all varieties as they open.

Alexandra Farms website with

packaging in place, cut the rose

bunches, to protect and support

When flowers reach the desired

photos that show character-

stems individually with a sharp

the flowers. Allow another 4 to 5

stage of development, replace

istic stages of openness, day

knife or clipper.

hours’ slow hydration, up to 12

them into the cooler until you are

by day, for the most popular

hours total.

ready to use them.


• Take the individual bunches

• Place the bunches into cold water mixed with flower

• Remove the roses from the

The most common mistake

APRIL 2018 19

PRINCE OF David J.C. Austin talks about the business that changed the world of wedding roses forever. THE NAME DAVID AUSTIN has been famous in rose-growing and rose-breeding

modern hybrid teas and floribundas. Known collectively as David Austin

roses—not as cut flowers, for the floral industry. It took another 20 years and

circles at least since 1969, when David

roses or simply “English Roses,” the David

more before the firm launched its initia-

C.H. Austin founded the firm that bears

Austin cultivars are fragrant and full-

tive to produce cut roses that possessed

his name. An English rose breeder and

flowering, in a wide range of luminous,

fragrance and the signature David Austin

passionate rose enthusiast, David Austin

delicate hues. It was inevitable that floral

look—and that could also be supplied to

changed the world of garden roses forever

designers and their customers would long

professional florists with an assurance

by introducing a series of varieties that

to use them in wedding work—or for any

of consistent quality, including reliable

successfully combined the character,

sort of romantic, garden-style design.

vase life.

fragrance and beauty of old garden roses

But the original David Austin variet-

with the repeat-flowering performance of

ies were bred for performance as shrub


It should be noted that professional florists have always been the target

ROSES market for David Austin cut roses. “These

David Austin roses like Constance (above left) and Juliet (above) have been in the forefront of the strong trend toward the garden style in wedding roses.

are flowers that never will be in supermarkets,” emphasizes David Austin consultant

grower for us. He does a fabulous job and is

grown in California, in Ecuador, in Kenya. So,

Eleanor Clevenger. “They are not just for

absolutely invaluable. We can always Skype

you want them to have a certain consistency.

weddings—they are equally appropriate

—but, spend two days with him in person

Yet, the environment has to influence how the

for use in special occasion arrangements.

and the ideas really flow.

rose matures.

But to shine as they deserve, they do

F&: So, Joey is a collaborator.

DA: You do see that, but again, this is a trial-

require a professional florist’s touch.”

DA: Yes, we share ideas, feeding off one an-

ing process. The best ones will work in every

other. He has a massive collection of garden

farm on the whole. We know the different

affair, with day-to-day management of

roses, so that helps me to see what’s going

qualities and conditions of each farm. The

the business in the hands of the second

on, what colors are really important—fac-

very best farms can grow a wide range. We

generation, David J.C. Austin. David’s

tors that will influence our breeding program.

want to know we can grow each variety in a

son Richard is also contributing to the

We’ve looked at new varieties on this trip,

number of farms, so we look for roses that

firm’s forward progress. We were fortunate

and we’ve selected four that we think have

will perform well in all the different climates.

to meet with David for a wide-ranging

great potential, which are continuing in the

F&: I was wondering about differences from

interview at the international flower trade

long trial process.

farm to farm, not so much in terms of quality,

Today, David Austin Roses is a family

fair in Colombia, Proflora 2017; an edited

It might seem obvious, but at the end of

but in terms of color or other variables.

the day, test shipping and rigorous trials are

DA: Size is probably the biggest. If I showed

very important. Shipping is everything. The

you a bunch of Kenyan Juliet or Patience,

Flowers&: What do you get out of being here

classic example is a variety which at Joey’s

they’d still be absolutely beautiful, maybe

at Proflora?

farm looks amazing, but when it gets through

a little bit smaller than from Colombia, but

David Austin: At David Austin Roses, we

a cold chain to Europe, it’s nowhere near as

that’s really the main difference. Colors can

have both the shrub roses and cut roses,

good. In my mind, it’s discarded. Transport

actually vary seasonally in every farm, so

and the shrub roses are still a bigger busi-

can do that to a rose: it completely changes

the intensity of color will be affected by the

ness than the cuts. I have to look after all

the look. We’ll go back to the crosses and

amount of light, by the weather conditions.

of it, so I’m extremely busy. I could never do

repeat it, maybe find something that can

So they are all variable, some more so than

everything I could or should be doing! So, I

withstand the harsh realities of the transport

others. But then, it’s a natural product, not

can’t afford to miss an opportunity to come


something coming out of a machine. That’s

here and see so many people at once—to

F&: I would imagine one of the challenges for

part of their overall charm and something we

spend time with people like Joey [Azout, of

you is, you have David Austin branded roses


Alexandra Farms], who is a very important

that are grown in Colombia, others that are

F&: It seems to me there are rose breeders

transcript of the conversation follows.

who come out with more new varieties, and

DAVID J.C. AUSTIN, managing director at David Austin® Roses (on the left in the photo at left), and Joey Azout of Alexandra Farms, together at Proflora 2017.

faster, than David Austin. I assume that’s because you have stricter criteria. APRIL 2018 21


DA: Everything is about

both of those things.

quality, isn’t it? Being the

DA: That’s right. It’s the

best at what you do. Also,

trust factor. Going back to

this is a relatively new mar-

Juliet, the exposure it’s had

ketplace. Ten years ago,

in social media: It’s so well

say, we had three or four

known. People trust it. The

varieties. I’d say, “My vision

wholesalers know it. With

is 20 to 30 varieties,” and

something new, if there’s a

they’d all say, “Do we really

big event coming up, with

need that many?” But now

Constance, they may won-

the growers, particularly the

der, will there be problems?

specialists like Tambuzi in

It takes time.

Kenya and Alexandra Farms

F&: What do retail florists

here in Colombia, they love

need to understand and ap-

diversity. Where we’ve tend-

preciate about David Austin

ed to introduce one or two

roses in order to talk up the

new ones a year, we may

romance to their customers?

now do a few more—but

DA: That comes back to the

without compromising the

David Austin look, doesn’t

quality. We’ve actually got

it? We have a very distinc-

to the point where we have

tive look. Which obviously

a massive bank of variet-

comes from the garden rose

ies going through the sys-

side. My father did not like

tem, and we need to slow

hybrid teas. He loved old-

down, because we need to

fashioned roses. He bred

feed these gradually into the

them together to get the best

market. Something we’ve learned from the shrub rose

With cream petals at the center that shade into delicate pink on the outside, the David Austin rose Constance™ unfolds in a deep cup with fruity fragrance.

performance, but what he loved was an old-fashioned rose with scent. When we

market is that getting awareness of a new variety takes time.

has got to realize that. We all live in an in-

looked 20 years ago at the cut-flower market,

F&: I would imagine growers do want diver-

credibly busy world, where we have to take in

it was dominated by the hybrid tea. But to us,

sity, and especially from you, because you’re

new information all the time. That’s something

a beautiful flower is a flower that’s open, not

one of the few brands where there’s already

we learned from shrub roses. In the horticul-

the bud. You wouldn’t buy a lily in bud; you

a widespread awareness among consum-

ture field, journalists get inundated with new

want a lily to open, obviously. The beauty is

ers—brides in particular—who know the

varieties all the time, so, they tend to stick to

in the form and the fragrance—the whole

names of certain David Austin rose varieties.

what they know. We have a shrub-rose variety

package. That look is everything. There are

But there’s only so many that they are going

called Abraham Darby from 40 years ago. It’s

people who will try and copy what we do.

to understand, and once they get attached

not a very good variety by today’s standards,

And yet, we still seem to stand on our own

to something, they want it to stay in the as-

but you’ll still find the journalist who grew up

as a category within the garden-rose market.


with Abraham Darby calling it a fantastic rose.

We feel it is because of our attention to detail.

DA: Juliet’s a great example of that. It’s been

As you say, the growers want novelty. And the

F&: Floral-industry buyers have needed to be

an incredible rose for us. It’s consistently just

consumer also quite likes novelty, though not

re-educated to understand that when a rose

got more and more popular. Now, there’s

as much as the grower. The journalist says, I

arrives in the shop or in the home and it’s

a variety called Constance that’s been out

don’t mind a bit of novelty, but don’t give me

more open than what they are used to with

maybe three or four years now. This rose

too much—I don’t want to get confused!

hybrid teas, that doesn’t mean it’s old.

is white with pink tones to her outer petals,

F&: It always seems to me that with a flower

DA: That was a big challenge initially. Even

which I think is absolutely amazing, and

or a floral design, what draws people is, it

now you will see some very good design-

we’ve been asking, why is this rose not taking

has to have a bit of novelty but also a degree

ers in the U.K. using Juliet closed, because

off? It takes time, and everybody in the chain

of familiarity. They want the perfect blend of

they do not realize that the beauty is in the


open flower. You need to

DA: It’s the love of nature,

experience the roses and

isn’t it? Flowers are about

understand that when they

nature. If you grow up with

arrive with the florist, they

nature, with gardening, then

need time to open. If you

the floral industry makes



more sense. If you go into it

don’t order for delivery on

without that, you only have

Thursday for a Saturday

10% of the experience.

wedding. You’ll get at best

F&: The look of garden

half-open flowers, and you’ll

roses is in a sense old-

miss 80% of the value in the

fashioned, but in being tied

beauty of the rose. So buy

to nature and the natural

ahead of time and gradu-

world via the gardening

ally open them, be ready to

experience, it’s also very

arrange them at a point of

much on-trend.


DA: The technology of the


F&: The new idea in market-

modern world, where every-

ing is that today’s consum-

thing is instantaneous, has

ers are looking not so much

its plusses and minuses.

to buy a product as to gain

We can communicate and

an experience. In the case of

achieve certain things very

a wedding, the experience

quickly and efficiently. The

is usually just for one day.

world of gardening is a bit

But if you give customers a

slower; the appreciation of

chance to experience gar-

things takes time. These

den roses over several days

are roses that look like they

at home and watch them open, that’s something peo-

A relatively new David Austin rose, Purity™ offers a creamy white dusted in the center with tints of pale apricot and peach.

ple are amazed by.

have been picked from your garden, but in actual fact, you can’t grow them

DA: Absolutely. There are lots of flow-

however, before it became successful—per-

in a garden—they have to be commercially

ers where you buy them and they stay the

haps 15 years of investment before we started

grown. But the look and feel is back to the

same for three weeks. That’s not my idea of

to get a return.

garden—back to nature. That’s the essence

a beautiful flower. I’m a gardener. Garden-

F&: My understanding is that you were the

of what we do.

ing is about watching something bloom and

prime mover behind the cut-rose program.

F&: Everyone is first aware of color, but there


DA: My father liked the cut roses, but he was

are so many other qualities a rose can have:

F&: You must have grown up being sur-

almost worried it would take over the shrub

shape, petal count, fragrance. In developing

rounded by your dad’s business and the pas-

rose business, because that was his creation.

new varieties, do you have certain direc-

sion for roses. At a certain point it took a new

In fact, the two breeding programs run along


tangent with the idea of breeding roses that

nicely together.

DA: You’re looking for something that’s a

could perform well as commercially grown

F&: I would imagine one side of it would feed

little bit different but within the characteris-

cut roses—even though, as you say, that is

the other.

tics that appeal. We looked at a new rose

still only the smaller portion of what you do.

DA: It does. And obviously the brand rec-

this week that’s very different from anything

DA: I joined the business in 1990, 27 years

ognition from the shrub rose business gave

we’ve introduced so far, but somehow it still

ago. It was in a way the logical next step to

us a fantastic start for the cut roses. Florists

belongs to the family. So there’s a connec-

do with the cut roses what we had already

know gardening. They know flowers.

tion: it still has fragrance, is beautiful and

done with shrub roses. A lot of breeders do

F&: A lot of the best designers I know trace

charming, so it ticks all the boxes. There isn’t

both. So about 1992, 1993, we started on the

their passion back to their grandmother’s

a formula, but there’s a principle. It has to

process and introduced a cut-rose breeding

garden. It’s about understanding that a flow-

have scent, but there’s an enormous range of

program at the nursery. It took a long time,

er is part of a plant, not just a blob of color.

scent, hugely variable. The flower shape and APRIL 2018 23


color also can vary enormously, but you can still, with a consistent eye, produce something that fits the collection. I always think, a fashion designer has a certain consistent look, because one person is in charge of that look. The same principle applies, in a very different way, in rose breeding. F&: With David Austin roses, the colors range widely, but they share a certain subtlety, richness, luminosity. Is that something you have an eye for—you and your father? DA: It’s fascinating that my son is in the business, and he has the same eye. Others have it as well; it’s not unique to us. And anybody can appreciate and see it, but in selecting, it’s a subtle but important point. F&: I always like colors that are blended, so depending on what you pair it with, it brings out the pink or the cream or the coral. I know in the flower business people often say that Americans prefer solid colors to bicolors. In your experience, is there a different reception to color in Europe or America? DA: I think you make the right point that you don’t have to have solid color. Strong colors, particularly, can almost be ugly, harsh, hard. You’re looking for subtlety and pure colors. In general, the softer tones have more appeal. A rose such as Purity is primarily white but has hints of pink and peach at its center. This doesn’t detract from the white—it enhances

Capability™ (named after one of England’s most famous gardeners, Capability Brown) is another recent addition to the David Austin collection, opening into a fragrant rosette.

it and adds a lot to the character of the rose. F&: The words solid and pure mean some-

scent, you know exactly what they mean. Then

F&: It’s nice to know that David Austin Roses

thing similar but with very different connota-

there are fruity scents, citrus, lemon tones. So

is a three-generation business.

tions, don’t they? What about scent?

there are lots of different tones that blend to-

DA: That seems to be the thing with rose

DA: This is quite a complex area. Each rose

gether. All come from the old rose collection.

businesses generally. Meilland in France is

variety has a scent of its own that is very

Any modern hybrid tea is probably always go-

on the fifth generation. The Kordes dynasty

distinct. Some have compared it to wines,

ing to struggle a little with scent.

goes back probably more than five. We’re

where there’s a complex body and a charac-

F&: And back to your point, it takes time. You

relatively new to this! It’s because the roses

ter to different varietals.

need to experience the fragrance slowly to

themselves inspire a passion that makes the

F&: In shrub roses, there is a classic set of

get all of the complexity.

next generation more likely to want to contin-

fragrance categories, right?

DA: Over three or four moments, you’ll detect

ue. What I’ve found is that people in the rose

DA: The most common, distinctive fragrance

one scent, go back, and get something else.

business also tend to be kinder people—like

is myrrh, which has a hint of anise-seed qual-

And that’s interesting. Over time, you asso-

Joey, who looks after his staff so very well.

ity to it. Tea scent is also a common scent in

ciate the fragrance with the variety. It’s like

It’s about connecting with people, and the

roses, typically with lots of other scents mixed

getting to know a person. You look at them,

rose itself is really the inspiration that makes

in. You have what we call the old rose scent,

they’re beautiful. The more you talk to them,

that happen and brings out the best in us. b

which is not a broad category but something

you discover there’s a complexity, a depth to

For more information about David Austin

very specific; when someone says old rose

the beauty.

roses, visit:



SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL Classic bridal bouquets with a couture finish.

Floral design by David Powers AIFD Photography by Ron Derhacopian See how-to photos, page 42.

For product information,


YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE Yellow pincushions, with flame-tipped stamens and petals like curling ribbon, compose a bright bouquet radiant with the addition of oncidium orchids, collared with silver-dollar eucalyptus that has been enhanced with Design Master Copper. David finished the stem bundle with ribbon, then added coils of wire. The wire on top of the ribbon gives a better grip and makes the stem bundle easier to hold. see Where to Buy, page 64. APRIL 2018 27


SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL COOL AND BRIGHT At left, the vivid magenta of dendrobium orchid sprays pops against the delicate lavender-pink of Cool Water roses. The simple yet striking bouquet is made in a Wedding Belle Grande bouquet holder. WINDING WILLOW A curly-willow armature helps to secure the positioning of stems within the handtied bouquet above and loops over the top of the finished bouquet (see page 42 for a how-to). The cymbidium orchids are furnished with wire-and-tape stems; their garnet throats harmonize beautifully with the deep red of Hearts roses. APRIL 2018 29


SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL FERTILE CRESCENT The handtied bouquet on the opposite page was created using the new plastic Egg from Syndicate Sales (see how-to’s, page 42) to control placement of stems, yielding a look that is fashionably airy, yet well balanced and in good proportion. Patience David Austin roses are featured along with white ranunculus, callas, delicate astrantia and two-tone olive foliage. THE FRESHEST HUE In making the handtied bouquet above, David began with mini green hydrangea, which made it easier to secure the placement of Mondial and Super Green roses, plus cymbidium blossoms on taped and wired stems, and hypericum, finishing with a collar of variegated aspidistra.

APRIL 2018 31

SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL LACE COLLAR Above, the concentric circles of flowers in this interpretive Biedermeier bouquet (freesia, parrot tulips, White Lady spray roses) end in a collar of Queen Anne’s lace (“as though you had set the bouquet down on a lace doily,” says David), tailored further with dark, shiny gardenia leaves.

PILLOW TALK Opposite, three heads of white hydrangea make a fine support system for pink and white ranunculus, Quicksand roses, and Moonstone Gem spray roses, collared with gardenia and silver-dollar eucalyptus.


APRIL 2018 33

SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL TWO BECOME ONE Pink hyacinths might easily disappear against a background of pink hydrangea. Above, instead, the florets peep out from purple lisianthus blooms, forming composite flowers with a charm all their own (for a how-to, see page 42).

FULLY, DEEPLY To make the bouquet opposite, David began by binding two heads of hydrangea together with green Bind Wire to create a grid that would guide and support the addition of other stems. A feeling of depth is enhanced by the use of lisianthus (with buds that extend beyond the open flowers) and Ocean Mikado spray roses growing on stems with laterals at slightly different lengths, creating natural clusters of tiered rosettes. 34

APRIL 2018 35


SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL PEARLY WHITES Eight stems of white hyacinth make a ravishingly fragrant bouquet, accented with cascading garlands of hyacinth florets and beaded wire. The handtied bouquet is collared with pittosporum foliage, and the stem bundle wrapped with beaded wire on top of braided ribbon. For how-to’s, see page 42.

IN THE PINK Veronica with twisty, slightly flattened tips adds texture and line movement to a round bouquet of Sweet Unique roses, plus hypericum in bright persimmon and eucalyptus foliage.

APRIL 2018 37

SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL JUST PEACHY Above, to extend the value and popularity of Juliet David Austin garden roses, David has combined them with Blushing Parasol spray roses—a close match in color and form—and Wild Spirit, another rose with a ruffled, many-petaled garden look. Ming adds a fringed texture into the surface of the bouquet.

THE OLIVE AND THE IVY In the holder bouquet at right, green leaves jut, cascade, and contrast beautifully with Babe spray roses and golden mokara orchids.


APRIL 2018 39

SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL SPRING MEDLEY Above, fragrant freesia creates flowing lines within a solid outline of round shapes, while deep blue eryngium lends contrasting color and texture, all in an asymmetrical yet visually balanced bouquet that drapes to one side.




CURLY WILLOW ARMATURE, page 29 An X-shaped armature made with two bundles of curly willow tips can be both decorative and functional in a handtied bouquet: First, it helps to secure the positioning of stems within the bouquet. Then, the loops of willow weave gracefully in and out over the surface of the finished bouquet. Make the two bundles separately, bending the fresh willow into loops and binding each with Bind Wire; then combine them as shown. The bundle that will end up positioned horizontally in your bouquet should have loops on both ends. The other bundle should have loops only on the top, with only the cut ends of stems on the bottom; these will become part of the stem bundle in the finished bouquet.

“THE EGG,” page 32 Offered in two sizes, four and six inches, the Egg is a new product from Syndicate Sales that helps control the positioning of stems in a handtied bouquet and makes it easier to get the airy look, horizontal and spreading, that is popular with many brides today. Simply insert stems through the Egg and add them to the stem bundle held in your hand below. As more flowers and foliage stems are added, the dark green plastic egg quickly disappears.

COMPOSITE FLOWERS WITH HYACINTH FLORETS, page 36 Hyacinth florets can be strung on wire and fashioned into a cluster that nestles in the interior of a lisianthus blossom. The effect is most striking when the hyacinth and lisianthus are in contrasting colors. Cut the hyacinth florets from the stem and string them onto narrow-gauge florist wire, then bend the wire to make a cluster of the florets, like a tiny bouquet. Bend the two ends of the wire down and insert them together through the center of the lisianthus bloom. Wind the wires around the stem, then cover them with floral tape. Because they are waxy to begin with, the hyacinth florets will last well (up to two days) out of water. But you should also spray the florets and the entire composite flower with a sealant, like Crowning Glory. Be sure to let the sealant dry well, for at least 20 minutes, before moving the flowers into the cooler, or they can become stained or discolored.

HYACINTH GARLAND, page 38 To make a simple garland of hyacinth florets and beaded wire, wrap the wire around the florets, securely but not so tightly that the wire cuts into them. Begin each wrapping near one of the pearly beads. Keep wrapping the wire around the center of the floret until you get to the next bead; then, wrap the wire around the first bead to make it really secure. The effect is to twist the two beads together, which locks the wire in place. To prepare the garland for insertion into a bouquet, wrap the end of the beaded wire around a loop of dark green florist wire. Then, to add the garland to a bouquet in a holder, attach it to a wood pick. To add it to a handtied bouquet, wrap the florist wire with floral tape and add it to the bouquet like a stem. 42

STEM BUNDLE TREATMENT, page 38 To bind soft stems like hyacinth stems, it’s helpful to collar the bouquet with a foliage like pittosporum, which has a strong, woody stem. The woody stems protect the soft ones as you wrap them with anchor tape (also known as bowl tape or Davey tape). In the finished bouquet, the tape is covered with ribbon.



Wedding dĂŠcor in three sophisticated color schemes. Floral design by Tom Simmons AIFD, CCF Photography by Ron Derhacopian See how-to photos, page 59.

GREEN PLANET With the surging demand for green flowers, succulents and distinctive foliage,

For product information,


florists today have a wider range of materials available than ever before in every shade of green, and in a rich variety of textures. The palette lends itself beautifully to earthy looks that recall summer woods or a tropical rainforest. At left, Tom filled the Temple Pot with obake anthuriums, orbited by curly willow tips, which he wired together here and there, then added Flexi Grass and knotted lily grass into the weave. The Geode Terrariums echo the shape of the faceted pot. see Where to Buy, page 64. APRIL 2018 45

COLOR STORIES At left, for an intriguing focal, Tom hollowed out the center of a queen protea (as he did also for one of the designs on page 52, resulting in a quite different effect), sprayed it green and filled it with a succulent rosette. The flat-topped flowers of bright green anastasia mums seem to float on stems stripped of their leaves, surrounded and framed by forked mitsumata. A tall ceramic rectangle, textured to look like vines are creeping up the sides, nicely supports the palette and the mood. Likewise, in the two designs on the opposite page, smooth, coffee-colored ceramic cubes harmonize with the rich redbrown of uluhe fern curls. To keep the fern curls fresh and tight until the day of the wedding, Tom offers this tip: after re-cutting, re-cover them in their protective paper wrappings, and—if you have cooler space that is a bit warmer than the 34 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit recommended for most nontropical flowers—keep them in the cooler.


APRIL 2018 47

Featured in the designs at top left and on the opposite page, lepidium—also marketed by the trade name Emerald Beads™— is a delicate, light green filler, introduced to the cut-flower market just two years ago. It adds delicious texture to the design at left, combined with Super Green roses, Green Trick dianthus, olive branches with their slender, reversible light and dark green leaves, silver-dollar eucalyptus, and variegated Pittosporum nigra. At center left, Xanadu philodendron leaves create a terraced, sheltering effect, lending depth and line movement to a bed of green flowers, succulents, hypericum, and reindeer moss. Below left, the drape of obake anthuriums is seen to advantage in an inverse-proportion design supported by a tall, textured ceramic rectangle and surrounded by votive candles nestled among islands of mood moss.


COLOR STORIES Terraced and layered, Xanadu leaves and obake anthuriums emphasize the feeling of luxuriant abundance in the design below. These and the mounded materials in the ceramic bowl, including fresh lotus pods, seem to be pushing up and outward—an effect enhanced by the spray of lepidium to one side and the loops of Flexi Grass that cut graceful arcs in the center.

APRIL 2018 49



A RAY OF SUNSHINE Ranging from lemon to saffron and creamy butter-yellow, harmonizing with pale gold (like the gilded eucalyptus at far left) and with rustic tones of pickled wood and pebble gray, yellow provides the cheerful, versatile keynote of a palette perfect for daytime weddings.

APRIL 2018 51



Top left, succulents sprayed with Design Master 24KT Pure Gold nestle in Gold Lanterns, their gleam picked up by leaves of Gilded Italian Ruscus—festive accents to a trio of boxes filled with bright yellow flowers. At left, queen proteas serve as receptacles for golden fountains of oncidium orchids from Hawaii, along with a spray of light green lycopodium. For a how-to photos, see page 59. Above, Tom created a sheltering structure of Flexi Grass wrapped with beaded wire that arches over a bed of yellow flowers. He snipped yellow globes of craspedia from the stem and allowed them to dry a little, so they would become more lightweight, before adding them to the arcs with floral adhesive. APRIL 2018 53



WHITE ON WHITE Classic bridal white invites a celebration of texture (think linen, satin, lace, brocade). Like the shells of sea urchins with their grooves and raised tubercles, Rhea Budvases make a lovely foil for petite bouquets of ranunculus, anemones, and dusty miller—a composite design that can yield party favors for special guests.

APRIL 2018 55



Wedding work is all about ringing variations on a theme. At left and right, Tom has done just that, working with ceramic basketweave ovals and flared square planters, with ribbed ceramic vases, and with classic bulb flowers, gerberas, spray mums, sweet peas, roses, hydrangea, and fragrant Oriental lilies. Frosted (silvered) salal adds a gleaming touch of elegance. The tall design at right was made in a mâchÊ pot that can be transported separately and placed inside the 16-inch white ribbed cylinder on site.

APRIL 2018 57


COLOR STORIES Above, Tom covered clear glass cylinders with steel grass to create distinctive, organic containers. Below, two more variations feature an egg-shaped ceramic vase with a narrow opening and, on the right, the Haven Vase, topped with Frosted Plumosus, Salal, and a jazzy midollino triangle, bound with silver bullion. For how-to’s on the steel-grass cylinders and midollino triangle, look on the opposite page!


QUEEN PROTEA CUP, pages 46 and 52 A queen protea can be hollowed out and used as an organic floral container with a natural stem. Carefully remove the inside petals with your design knife and replace them with two wood picks. From here, if desired, you can spray the outside of the protea green or gold. When it is dry, you can either fill the cup with a succulent (as on page 46) or prepare it for adding cut flower stems by adding floral adhesive to the inside at the base of the cup: Cut a chunk of floral foam to the size of the cup and impale it (not yet soaked) onto the wood picks. Add water with flower food mixed in to the foam, soaking it thoroughly. Whenever possible during this process, keep the protea itself also in water, re-cutting the stem end as needed.


STEEL-GRASS CYLINDERS, opposite page This photo shows a technique for covering a clear glass cylinder with steel grass—but what you see in the photo is not what you will see if you do it yourself, and do it right! We left a space at the back of the cylinder so you can visualize the technique. In reality, however, you would cover the cylinder all the way around, right away. The trick is to use the UGlu Roll and measure as much as you will need to go all the way around the circumference of the cylinder. (Use a piece of string or ribbon as a measuring stick.) Lay the section of UGlu Roll flat on your work table; then, with the glue still on the paper tape, lay the steel grass on top of the UGlu Roll. Remove the tape and adhere the grass to the cylinder—all the way around. This is far easier than trying to place UGlu on the cylinder first and then adding the grass. Steel grass does shrink a little as it dries. So, ideally, leave it out of water for a bit before you glue it to the vase. You can also try this technique with bear grass, but steel grass has more substance, and is easier to find in the length that you may need for this application. With the grass in place, you can either cinch it with floral tape above the rim of the cylinder and trim it on top, or reinforce the top band of UGlu with floral tape on the outside of the grass. In either case, as seen on the opposite page, finish by covering the tape with ribbon and beaded wire. Insert flower stems into the cylinder between the blades of grass.

MIDOLLINO TRIANGLE, opposite page To make a triangle of midollino for a decorative accent, start with a longer piece of midollino and bend it (rather than cutting it) into shorter sections. At the two sharp bends, and to join the ends together, wrap the midollino with bullion wire: this can be done swiftly and efficiently by holding the wire against the midollino and rotating the midollino between thumb and forefinger. The how-to photo shows a triangle of single thickness; in the finished design opposite, Tom made the triangles with two canes of midollino held together. APRIL 2018 59

MEET the Designers David Powers AIFD Like so many designers who are passionate about flowers, David Powers AIFD grew up surrounded by them. “My mother worked in a nursery for perennials,” he tells. “I used to get dropped off there after school and do my homework in the orchid greenhouse.” During holidays, the nursery had a small flower shop: “That’s where I had my first job and learned how to make a bow.” Driven by the love he had discovered for flowers and for growing things, David started taking greenhouse and landscape management courses while he was still in high school in Baltimore County, Maryland. After working in that field for a time, however, he knew he hadn’t quite found his niche. He applied for a position at a local flower


shop—starting as a driver, with the opportunity also to create designs for the shop’s hospital outlet. “From there I went to every design show I could get to,” David remembers. “At one of the very first shows, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, I saw Rich Salvaggio do a wedding program that really inspired me. At that show I entered a design competition, where someone saw my work and subsequently hired me as a designer.” From there, over time David worked in six different flower shops—gaining a wide range of experience with different kinds of floral retail operations—and became a shop manager before he eventually bought his own shop. After seven years of owning the shop, he had boosted sales from about $115,000 a year to $730,000. “I was not the cheapest guy in town. Everyone told me my prices were high, but I had no problem with that,” he says. “Like a doctor or lawyer who can charge a lot because they have been to school, I figured I could do the same, because I had educated myself.” Having sold the business, David was working as a freelancer when he was offered a job at a wholesale florist selling flowers. “I’ve been with Potomac Wholesale for nine years now,

and I love it. I have some great clients”—again, working in a wide range of floral operations, which helps David to keep abreast of trends and aware of a variety of business models. All of which comes in handy for his role as a Teleflora Education Specialist: “To me, it’s important to be able to teach, not just about how to put a design together, but also how to sell it and make a profit.” Tom Simmons AIFD, CCF Tom is one of two Teleflora Education Specialists who came to floral design with a background in engineering. “My training as an engineer helps me to be detail oriented, to think in terms of clean lines and a methodical approach,” says Tom. “Sound construction is the key to a lot of floral design—plus, figuring out the fastest, easiest, most economical way to put something together so you can be sure it won’t fall apart.” Working in the textile industry in North Carolina, Tom got his first job with a flower shop when he was looking to pick up some extra money as a part-time, weekend driver. When he saw factories closing and the textile manufacturing business going overseas or to Mexico, he decided to switch fields. At this point he had already begun to pick up new skills and take on new responsibilities in the flower shop. “In most shops, you can’t keep working for long without learning at least some design skills. The first thing I learned was how to wire and tape— which I picked up pretty fast. The owner also asked me to help her with wedding consultations and discovered I was good at selling, coordinating, setup.”

Once working full-time at a flower shop, Tom started going to floral-industry events that were happening at the time, like the Southern Retail Conference and a Teleflora Showcase. “I was shy,” he recalls, “but I met some great people who encouraged me: Rocky Pollitz, Joe Smith, Michael Polychrones, Ralph Null.” With the offer of a position managing flower shops in Washington, D.C., Tom made the move first to the capital, later to southern California. Today he has owned his own special-event business,

Three Bunch Palms in Palm Springs, California, for more than 10 years. With that focus for his business, weddings and special events are a natural as a teaching topic, but Tom enjoys sharing on a wide range of subjects. Recently, he taught well-received sympathy design programs at a Teleflora Scholarship Academy in Los Angeles and at the Great Lakes Floral and Event Expo in Michigan. “Everybody loves the wow factor, but I like the everyday stuff too,” says Tom. “I believe every occasion is special—and every flower business is about celebrating occasions and emotions, happy and sad.”

what’s in store

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT For Mother’s Day 2018, and for extra-special occasions yearround, the Heart’s Pirouette vase adds stunning sky blue to the range of color options now available in Teleflora’s new, larger-format line of high-end, hand-blown glass vases with an elegant swirl. Call 800-333-0205 or visit

TREND REPORT AZURE ELEGANCE Sapphire and cool ocean blue with white and lavender accents provide an unmatched elegance.


62 APRIL 2018

SHADES OF PALE Tints of dusty blue and peachy pink dominate the Quiet Luxury Collection from Pioneer Imports and Wholesale, with products that include hydrangeas, anemones, vases, votive holders, and more. It’s one of many Pioneer collections that reflect trends and help retailers mix and match to achieve designer looks. Call 888-234-5400 or visit


On-Line Floral Design Education

on the Flowers& Magazine Channel

Go to and type

Flowers& Magazine in the search window to view our video library of instructional & inspirational videos!

APRIL 2018 63

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, www. 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.

F O C U S O N D E S I GN, page 8

Garden roses, Alexandra Farms.


Ribbon and butterflies, Reliant Ribbon.


Ribbon throughout, Berwick-Offray. Wedding Belle Grande bouquet holders, Smithers-Oasis.


Metallic Copper Colortool Spray, Design Master.


The Egg, Syndicate Sales.


Beaded wire, Smithers-Oasis.

COLOR STORIES, pages 44-59

Tropical flowers and foliage throughout (anthuriums, uluhe,

pg 49 64

lycopodium, oncidium and phalaenopsis orchids), Green Point.

GREEN PLANET, pages 44-49

Obake anthuriums (green and white, green and pink), uluhe fern curls, lycopodium, Green Point. Temple Pot, Geode Terrariums, green mitsumata, and long-stemmed Monet Glass (used with floating candles), Accent Décor. Green rectangles and cube (textured like vines growing up the sides), UCI. Coffee-colored ceramic cubes and green ceramic bowl, Vasesource. Clear glass cylinders, Syndicate Sales. Votive, floating and pillar candles, Candle Artisans via Pete Garcia Company.

A RAY OF SUNSHINE, pages 50-53

Oncidium orchids, Green Point. Gilded foliage (seeded eucalyptus, Italian ruscus), Wm. F. Puckett. Woodland Planters, Golden Lanterns, and Newport Bowls, Accent Décor. Gold beaded wire, Smithers-Oasis.

pg 10

WHITE ON WHITE, pages 54-58

Rhea Budvases, Monet Glass, and Haven Vases, Accent Décor. Ceramic basket-weave ovals and flared square planters, Modern Collections. Clear glass cylinders, Syndicate Sales. White Ribbed Ceramic Cylinder (16 inches high) and White Egg-Shaped Ceramic Vase (15 inches high, 2-inch opening), Vasesource. Frosted (silvered) salal, Wm. F. Puckett.

pg 54


Call 770-346-0707 or visit

Alexandra Farms

Call 305-528-3657 or visit

Berwick Offray

Call 800-327-0350 or visit

Candle Artisans

Call 908-689-2000 or visit

Design Master Color Tool

Call 800-525-2644 or visit

Green Point Nurseries

Call 800-717-4456 or visit

Modern Collections

Call 818-718-1400 or visit

Pete Garcia Company

Call 800-241-3733 or visit

pg 26

Reliant Ribbon

Call 800-886-2697 or visit


Call 800-321-8286 or visit

Syndicate Sales

Call 800-428-0515 or visit

UCI (Unlimited Containers, Inc.)

Call 888-880-8998 or visit


Call 718-752-0424 or visit

Wm. F. Puckett

Call 800-426-3376 or visit

pg 37

pg 8 APRIL 2018 65


emporium APRIL 10, WARREN, MI

International Floriculture Expo, McCormick Place. Visit

Michigan Unit, Wedding and Prom with Joyce MasonMonheim, Nordlie Inc. Contact Jeanette Ballien at 989-7992121 or




National AIFD Symposium 2018, Washington Marriott Wardman Park. Call the American Institute of Floral Designers at 443-9663850 or visit


Cultivate ’18. Visit www.

SEPTEMBER 12-15, PALM SPRINGS, CA Annual SAF Convention, Westin Mission Hills Resort. Call the Society of American Florists at 800-336-4743 or visit

SEPTEMBER 19-21, QUITO, ECUADOR Expo FlorEcuador. Visit

SEPTEMBER 19-21, QUITO, ECUADOR Agriflor 2018. Visit


International Floriculture & Horticulture Trade Fair (IFTF). Visit

MARCH 11-12, 2019, WASHINGTON, DC Congressional Action Days 2019. Conference hotel: RitzCarlton Pentagon City, Arlington, VA. Call the Society of American Florists at 800-336-4743 or visit

JULY 6-11, 2019, LAS VEGAS, NV

National AIFD Symposium 2019, Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. Call the American Institute of Floral Designers at 443-9663850 or visit


Wisconsin Upper Michigan Florist Association Convention, program includes Finding the Green hands-on workshop (4/4) and stage show (4/6) with Jenny Thomasson, Chula Vista Resort. Call WUMFA at 844400-9554 or visit


Indiana Unit, Everyday Designs (plus facility tour) with Tom Bowling, Syndicate Sales. Contact Lana Hale at 765-4821130 or


Minndakota Unit, Plants with Kevin Ylvisaker, North American Wholesale. Contact Laura Baker at 605-539-9800 or


Teleflora Scholarship Academy, Testing, Testing 1-2-3 with Kevin Ylvisaker, Chicago Marriott O’Hare. Contact Lottie McKinnon or Jennifer Zeidman at teleflorascholarship@


Wisconsin – Upper Michigan Unit, Design Program with Gerard Toh, The Florian Gardens Conference Center. Contact Sharon Spindell-Wojnarowitz at 414-429-9426 or 262-320-4114.


Western Pennsylvania Unit, Hands-On Workshop (Armatures Made Easy) and Stage Show (The Business of Spring Holidays) with Vonda LaFever, DBEC Wholesale Co. Contact John Lechliter at 412-824-2388 or


Big Apple Unit, Farm to Table with Helen Miller, East Meadow Garden Club Co-op. Contact Theresa Soto at 516-481-1277 or


Teleflora Scholarship Academy, Profitable Everyday Designs with David Powers, Phoenix Airport Marriott. Contact Lottie McKinnon or Jennifer Zeidman at


Arkansas Unit, Everyday Silks with Style with Tim Farrell, Betty’s Wholesale. Contact Kay Schlaefli at 479-783-3210 or

EMPLOYMENT Florasearch, Inc.

In our third decade of performing confidential key employee searches for the floriculture industry and allied trades worldwide. Retained basis only. Candi­date contact welcome, confidential, and always free. 1740 Lake Markham Rd., Sanford, FL 32771 Phone: (407) 320-8177 / Fax: (407) 320-8083 E-mail: Website:

EQUIPMENT Refrigerators For Flowers


Texas Floral Showcase, City Club Fort Worth. Visit


Texas Floral Forum. Visit

Combo walkins, storage, reach-ins 800-729-5964


Texas Floral Showcase, McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. Visit


West Virginia Unit, Prom & Wedding Designs with Joyce Mason-Monheim, Wholesale House of Flowers. Contact Sheila Larew at 304-265-4260 or


Blue Ridge Unit, Weddings with Hitomi Gilliam, TFS Roanoke. Contact Karen Peery at 540473-2601 or cahoonsflowers@


Oregon-Southwest Washington Unit, Weddings with John Hosek, Greenleaf & Floral Supply Syndicate. Contact Kris Boley at 541-593-1300.


Montana Big Sky Unit, Profitable Mother’s Day & Spring Holidays with Gerard Toh, Bitterroot Flower Shop Classroom. Contact Lindsay Irwin at 406542-0309 or accounts@

Advertise in

emporium For rates and info, call

Peter Lymbertos at 800-421-4921

advertiser links SCHOOLS

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APRIL 2018 67

wholesaler connection Flowers& magazine distributors ARIZONA PHOENIX Floral Supply Syndicate

GEORGIA OMEGA Hornbuckle Wholesale Florist

CALIFORNIA CAMARILLO Floral Supply Syndicate FRESNO Designer Flower Center LOS ANGELES Floral Supply Syndicate SACRAMENTO Flora Fresh Floral Supply Syndicate SAN BERNARDINO Floral Supply Syndicate SAN DIEGO Floral Supply Syndicate San Diego Florist Supplies SAN FRANCISCO Floral Supply Syndicate SAN JOSE Floral Supply Syndicate SANTA ANA Floral Supply Syndicate SANTA ROSA Sequoia Floral International UPLAND Floral Supply Syndicate VAN NUYS Floral Supply Syndicate


COLORADO DENVER Floral Supply Syndicate CONNECTICUT NORWALK East Coast Wholesale Flowers FLORIDA JACKSONVILLE Floral Supply Syndicate PENSACOLA American Floral Wholesale of Pensacola Carlstedt’s, LLC

ILLINOIS CHICAGO The Roy Houff Company MILAN Bonnett Wholesale Florist NORMAL The Roy Houff Company Wheeling The Roy Houff Company KANSAS WICHITA Valley Floral Company KENTUCKY LOUISVILLE The Roy Houff Company LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE Louisiana Wholesale Florists MASSACHUSETTS BOSTON Jacobson Floral Supply MICHIGAN WARREN Nordlie, Inc. MINNESOTA MINNEAPOLIS Koehler and Dramm MISSOURI ST LOUIS Floral Supply Syndicate LaSalle Wholesale Florist NEVADA LAS VEGAS Floral Supply Syndicate RENO Floral Supply Syndicate NEW YORK CAMPBELL HALL Alders Wholesale Florist



OHIO DAYTON Nordlie, Inc. NORTH CANTON Canton Wholesale Floral OREGON PORTLAND Floral Design Institute Floral Supply Syndicate SOUTH DAKOTA SIOUX FALLS North American Wholesale Florist, Inc.


Reward without the Risk we promise!

TENNESSEE NASHVILLE The Roy Houff Company TEXAS DALLAS Floral Supply Syndicate UTAH SALT LAKE CITY Floral Supply Syndicate VIRGINIA NORFOLK The Roy Houff Company RICHMOND The Roy Houff Company WASHINGTON SEATTLE Floral Supply Syndicate TACOMA Washington Floral Service CANADA BURNABY, BC United Floral Inc.

Sell Flowers& in your store! for extra profits Select any quantity— no minimum Whatever you don’t sell we buy back! Yes, it really is that simple.

Call 800-321-2665

MALAYSIA SELANGOR Worldwide Floral Services SINGAPORE Worldwide Floral Services

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