Flowers& - May 2018

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Flowers& MAY 2018 $ 6.50

Variety Special


Wild and wonderful proteas come from all over. Let’s go there! Pg 36 Breeding cymbidiums with feedback from designers Pg 12

contents MAY 2018

features 12

Grower Profile: Rudvalis Orchids

pg 16

This California cymbidium grower has created market-changing new varieties.


Variety Special

New blooms sing and dance in a highstepping portfolio of elegant designs. Floral design by Talmage McLaurin AIFD Photography by Ron Derhacopian


Protea Paradise

Where do proteas get that trendy wild look? It’s a story of origins. Text and photography by Bruce Wright


Flower Fairs: Floradecora

A festive combination: flowers and plants with seasonal décor.


Flower Fairs: World Floral Expo Up close and personal with fresh fare.


Industry Profile: Christine Boldt Meet someone who plays a key role in making sure your flowers get to you, fresh and fast.

2 MAY 2018

pg 52

ON THE COVER Bright yellow and soft pink buttercup ranunculus add a trendy “wild” look to a pair of delicious hothouse bouquets featuring fancy tulips, Rossano Dark Orange mums, and golden-yellow Beatrice garden roses, a David Austin variety. For breeder and grower info, turn to page 64. For more designs by Talmage McLaurin AIFD showcasing new and premium varieties, see pages 16-33.


departments 8

Focus on Design By Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI A Wedding Garland


Making the Upgrade

By Vonda LaFever AIFD, PFCI


Meet the Designer


Shop Profile


What’s in Store


Where to Buy


Industry Events


Advertiser Links


Wholesale Connection

pg 10

Flowers& Volume 39, Number 5 (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 MAY 2018

pg 56

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

For quick and easy, yet abundantly romantic wedding décor, start with premade garland. Flower clusters in water tubes and other additions can also be prepared in advance and quickly added on site.

1. Slice kiwi fruits in half and wrap the halves with clear plastic wrap to preserve them. Pull the wrap over the sliced surface of the fruit and twist it together at the back, securing the twist with Bind Wire. Later you can attach the wrapped fruits to the garland with wired wood picks.

2. Create clusters of Pink Piano roses (with side shoots) and Queen Anne’s lace and place them in water tubes. Additional or alternative clusters can feature other flowers, such as Kishi and White Cloud roses or pink callas.




3. Remove premade garland from the box and fluff. The garland seen here, from Wm. F. Puckett Inc., features baby’s breath, Frosted (silvered) silver-dollar eucalyptus, and plumosus tips with added Shimmer. Before placing the garland, measure a piece of ribbon the same length as the mantel and mark the ribbon as a guide for the placement of large and small flower clusters. Here, the garland is accented with flower clusters, wrapped kiwi fruits, pillar candles, and a premade, heart-shaped wreath, also from Puckett, made with baby’s breath and Maine Blue limonium.



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


MAY 2018 9

making the upgrade •

j Floral design by Vonda LaFever AIFD, PFCI


Photography by Ron Derhacopian


The slender, glossy leaves of the rus-

flowers like Roselilies, ranunculus and hy-

sign and draws the eye to the flowers at

cus harmonize with the garden look of the

drangea, you want to make the most of

the low center of the circle. Vonda added

floral selection, with its green collar of pit-

them. And since your price point is already

it quickly and easily, inserting a stem of

tosporum, aralia leaves, and Green Ball

a little bit higher than for an arrangement

Italian ruscus on each side and weaving

dianthus. The arch could also be thought

without them, an upgrade like the one pic-

them together at the top. For secure deliv-

to resemble the handle of a garden basket,

tured here is likely to raise the price by only

ery, lightly bind the stems with wire, tape,

a reference as classic and romantic as the

a small fraction, but with an outsize impact.

or an adhesive.




When you design with special, premium

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

Grower Profile: Rudvalis Orchids After 50 years, this California grower is still producing best-quality cymbidiums and creating market-changing new varieties. By Bruce Wright


xotic yet resilient, elegant yet affordable, cymbidium orchids have become an indispensable staple for professional florists. Designers have discovered that standard cymbidium blooms, in spite of their short stems, can be added individually to all kinds of arrangements. They last well in water tubes, including anchor tubes with hooks in the bottom, which make it easy to insert the orchid blooms into foam, along with flowers that have longer stems. “The cymbidium blossoms are waxy, so they don’t drink up the water as quickly as a rose or a carnation would do,” explains Teleflora Education Specialist David Powers AIFD. “With a mini cymbidium spray, you can put that whole stem into a vase and you almost have a finished piece,” David continues. Whether you’re using cyms as singles or as sprays, David’s advice is to buy whole


sprays, if possible, by the box, to get a better price and to minimize any possible damage from handling. CALIFORNIA GROWN Unlike most commercial cut flowers, cymbidiums bloom naturally during the cooler months of late fall, winter and early spring. During the summer, they are still available, imported from the Southern Hemisphere— New Zealand or South Africa. During the winter, they may also be imported, from Holland. But some of the best in-season cymbidiums are grown in southern California. Last summer, Flowers& had the opportunity to visit with veteran cymbidium grower and adventurous cymbidium breeder Barbara Rudvalis. With her greenhouses resting, she had time to chat with us about growing and hybridizing cymbidiums.

Fifty years ago, Barbara’s late husband Joe started the business that she now owns and operates by selecting and hybridizing his own varieties. “Back then, there were no commercial varieties of cymbidium orchids blooming before the end of December,” Barbara remembers. Joe saw an opportunity. Through hybridizing, he succeeded in extending the season, developing white varieties that would bloom early enough to be sold for Christmas—a revolutionary development, for which he won several breeders’ awards. “My husband always believed that if a customer orders a white orchid, it should be pure white,” says Barbara—”not a blushy white, or with that pink stain on the back that some whites have. Now I’m finding that some designers want the blush.” She began helping Joe with the hybridizing in the late

In many of these photos—especially the shot of Pinkie (above)—you can see elastic string attached to the orchid plants, pulling up on the thick, sturdy stems. “Mostly, the elastic is to make the stem grow as straight as possible, which is what most of my designers want,” explains Barbara Rudvalis—“although some like curvy stems too. The other thing is, it divides the buds from the leaves, which can do damage otherwise. When the buds are in the early stages, they’re very tender. If a leaf brushes against them, the flower is gone.” Rudvalis cymbidium stems are exceptionally tall and well-flowered, as you can see from the photo of Barbara Rudvalis standing next to a green hybrid that is a cross between the varieties Lalantes and Acapulco. Other varieties seen here include Baltic Elegance (below left), Baltic Gold Natalie (at right), and Persian Bronze Feather (below right). Photos courtesy of Rudvalis Orchids.

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’70s. “That’s the part of my business that I love the most,” she says: “making new hybrids and getting feedback from designers and customers.” “At one time, green was a color that we could hardly give away,” Barbara remembers. “But today, pure white or mint green seem to be the designer’s choice.” She also has a peach variety—discovered by accident after making a cross between a yellow and a deep burgundy flower, aiming for orange flowers early in the season. “I was going to get rid of it, until I talked with my designers and realized this was something they wanted that wasn’t out there in the market.” A newer phenomenon is “albino” cymbidiums. These actually come in shades of green and yellow as well as white, but have 14

a factor missing in the genetic material so that pink, so often found in the lip of a cymbidium bloom, is entirely absent. SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL Another specialty: mini cymbidium sprays that grow straight up and bear up to 40 flowers on the stem, facing in all directions. “My local designers have shown me how they look really good in a clear glass cylinder,” says Barbara. Listening to designers and special customers to get feedback is a key part of the business for Barbara. “I’ll send off samples to certain people, slip extra things into a box and say, tell me what you think.” Like flower growers and fine florists everywhere, Barbara has a passion for her profes-

Rudvalis is known especially for its bright, pure whites, including Saint Rita (above). The lime green variety at far left is Blue River Thunder; at top right, Persian Bronze Nancye.

sion—and hers is laser-focused on cymbidium orchids. “My husband said, anyone can be a hobbyist and grow a lot of different things, but if you want to be number one, you have to do one thing and aim to be the best. And so that’s what we have always done.” To contact Rudvalis Orchids, visit the farm’s website at To learn more about cymbidium orchids, visit the Flowers& Magazine website, click on the link for the digital library, and scroll down to the article archive.


VARIETY SPECIAL New blooms sing and dance in a high-stepping portfolio of elegant designs. Floral design by Talmage McLaurin AIFD • Photography by Ron Derhacopian

DEEP PURPLE The Nobbio® series is in the vanguard of the shift to carnation varieties in

For product information,


high-fashion hues. Contrasting pink margins give the deep color of Nobbio® Burgundy the look of plush velvet; some of the petals are enriched with glowing flecks of red. This variety has enough complexity and charm to stand on its own, paired with deciduous huckleberry branches in in a collection of Rosa Vases—but it also blends beautifully into a medley of other sophisticated, premium blossoms including Chispa chrysanthemums, brown cymbidiums, bicolor sweet peas, fringed tulips, Strawberry Scoop scabiosa, and blue ageratum. see Where to Buy, page 64. MAY 2018 17


STAR TURN Baby’s breath has become the paradigm of an “old-fashioned” flower that makes a trendy comeback, used in a new and different way. From the creators of the game-changing variety, Million Stars, comes Cosmic, a pure white gypsophila with extra large blooms and a user-friendly resistance to tangling or breaking as you pull apart the stems in a bunch. Yin Yang spray mums make a natural companion: another example of a filler flower ready to take a turn in the spotlight.

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DOWN HOME Although easily associated with elegance, garden-style roses can also shine in an organic, informal presentation. And while they mix beautifully with all kinds of other flowers, nothing complements garden roses better than other garden roses. Talmage has combined Purity, a relatively new David Austin variety, creamy white with central petals dusted in pale apricot and peach, with Princess Maya, a creamy Japanese rose with just a touch of peach, and Sabrina, a French rose with a pink center and, sometimes, a delicate green eye, like a tender tiny leaf in the middle of the blossom. Both are exclusive to Alexandra Farms and new for 2018.

MAY 2018 21

TOWER OF CHOCOLATE Long gone are the days when all anthuriums were red. With their ribbed texture and glossy sheen, anthurium spathes can project a designer’s palette of hues from burnt orange to coral, lime green, and bubblegum pink. Here, Choco anthuriums are featured all by themselves in a sculptural design, and with other flowers in a trio of bubble bowls, where they serve as both filler and liner. “This is something you can do with anthuriums if they arrive with a tear or crease,” says Talmage: “use them as a liner to bring the color down into the bowl.” The anthuriums are paired in the bowl with begonia leaves. Scabiosa pods pull the begonia gray up among the flowers and foliage above the rim: Chispa disbud mums and Picante spray mums, uluhe fern curls, wine-colored ranunculus and spiky grevillea foliage.


MAY 2018 23


WHAT’S UP BUTTERCUP? In the past few years, ranunculus has emerged as a breathtaking hothouse flower, with swelling, smooth Clooneys and ruffled, multicolored Pon Pons. None of those new varieties calls to mind the common name for ranunculus: buttercup. New from Sun Valley are three varieties of what has been appropriately named butterfly ranunculus: Ariadne (pale peachy pink), Theseus (a darker, watermelon pink, seen on page 29) and yellow Phytalos—which indeed looks like a big buttercup, the kind you picked from the lawn as a child and held under your friend’s chin, asking, “Do you like butter?” The butterflies sit on branching stems that twist every which way; this gives them a “wild” look that is one of today’s hottest trends. Ariadne and Theseus have darker tints in the center of the blooms that give them depth. Above, they are beautifully complemented with Beatrice David Austin garden roses, Rossano Dark Orange mums, and fancy tulips. MAY 2018 25


SIMPLY DELICIOUS With their ruffled collars, cushiony centers and candy sprinkles, the Scoop line of scabiosas has been a smash hit with growers all over as well as with consumers. The wide palette includes a number of colors that go well together, like Pink Candy and pink-and-white Strawberry Hoop, combined above with mini green hydrangea. At left, the same Scoops are featured in a design that exemplifies the currently popular horizontal style, with plenty of depth and line. The medley of pinks also includes Rossano Charlotte disbud mums, Tic Tac Pink spray mums, two kinds of David Austin garden roses (Capability in a rich fuchsia, Tess in a deeper red), and waxflower, plus grevillea and Pittosporum nigra foliage.

MAY 2018 27

ORANGE POP The intense, saturated colors of cut kalanchoe (orange, pink, red, white) are one of the selling points for this long-lived, long-stemmed newcomer on the cut-flower scene. The variety called Warm Orange, featured above, can serve as a bass note for a chord of colors in the orange and pink families (as seen at right), including Sweet Pink kalanchoe, double tulips, Theseus butterfly ranunculus, Red Velvet Scoop scabiosa, pink hypericum and Arsenal sweet william, deciduous huckleberry and budding jasmine vine. See Flowers&, September 2017, page 13, for more about cut kalanchoe. 28

MAY 2018 29


BLUE GENES As we know from the Moon series of Florigene carnations, genetic engineering can produce flowers in hues that outdo nature in their brilliant intensity. New from Suntory is the Applause rose, lovely in its own right and versatile in combination with other trendy and distinctive flowers. At left, the round shapes of the roses and lavender lisianthus contrast with swirling sweetpeas and uprising caryopteris. The latter is a perennial recently adapted for the cut-flower market with the Pagoda™ series (Pagoda Lagoon, Pagoda Ocean, and Pagoda Blush), aptly named for the flowers that sit on their stems like tiered roofs in shades of blue and pink. Above, Applause pairs nicely with dusty gray-green kangaroo paws in a collection of wood-tone votive cups. MAY 2018 31

FINE AND FANCY Fancy tulips—doubles, parrots, frilled, fringed, striped and lily-flowering—have been exploding onto the scene in varieties that are just as long-lived as standard tulips. Like the standards, they have a mind of their own in design, growing and twisting sometimes unpredictably. But give them their freedom and they will arrange themselves, in singles or in bunches. Talmage has used tangerine wire to band the necks of Elan Bottles (above) and to bind bunches of tulips that he then piled into the Chateau Vase (at right). In bunches, the tulips form natural groupings with strong color impact. At a special event, the bunches, the bud vases, or both could become much-prized party favors.


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MEET the Designer Talmage McLaurin AIFD What is the expertise required of a professional floral designer— what skills and talent, what kinds of insight and perspective? The answer might seem straightforward enough. But the industry offers a greater variety of opportunities to those willing to think outside the box. Our guest designer, Talmage McLaurin AIFD, grew up working in his mother’s Arkansas flower shop (“In junior high school, I would come to the shop after school and stem carnations for the next day’s funeral work before I could go home,” he remembers). He continued to find employment in flower shops during his college years, while majoring in psychology. “We always went to state florist conventions, and I enjoyed that,” Talmage remembers. “All kinds of new things were going on. I would see them at the shows, go home and experiment on the sly in my mom’s shop.” Eventually he started entering competitions and in that way made connections and drew attention to his design work. He applied for membership in 34

the American Institute of Floral Designers. “That was back when, as an applicant, you did your own thing—brought all your own materials and made your own displays, so it was very much a personal expression of you as a designer,” says Talmage. In that year, Bill Harper AIFD was membership chair; Bill was also associated with Florists’ Review magazine. Impressed with his portfolio, Bill asked Talmage to do a wholesale florist program that was photographed and subsequently appeared in Florists’ Review. Not long after that, Talmage was hired as creative director at Florists’ Review. Working at the magazine for 23 years, he ended up as publisher. “What did I learn from that? That it’s important to be flexible in your career and willing to learn new skills,” says Talmage. “I learned how to write. I learned that I wasn’t just a floral designer—that I loved to design pages and layouts in a magazine as much as roses in a vase, maybe even more. I’m

probably a better art director than I am a floral designer. I learned to take more things into perspective—to think about how flowers can fit successfully in a room, on a table.” Today Talmage works for Nature’s Flowers, a company that grows flowers in Colombia and supplies them to the mass market. (Nature’s Flowers grows many of the new varieties showcased in this month’s design feature, “Variety Special,” including Nobbio carnations and the sweet william varieties bred by Selecta Cut Flowers.) “At Nature’s Flowers, I work with putting their bouquet programs together and keeping the growers and the buyers aware of current trends. Even though not all grocery store chains have the kind of service model that a traditional flower shop does, they are very concerned that the colors are related to consumer preferences. From a trends perspective, they are keenly concerned to connect with how consumers feel about flowers.” This is something he plans

to talk about when he delivers a trends program at this summer’s AIFD Symposium (“Discover”) in Washington, D.C.: “Floral design needs to speak across boundaries. Sometimes within the floral industry, we get a little too incestuous with our design ideas. I want my designs to be accepted and appreciated, not just by other florists, but by any sophisticated, design-oriented person who doesn’t know a lot about flowers.” The program will be based in psychology, building on Talmage’s lifelong interest in that field, tying trends to basic human needs. This program will be Talmage’s eighth at a National AIFD Symposium. The author of more than 20 books for retail florists, Talmage currently publishes his own online magazine, aimed at floral enthusiasts, including both professionals and consumers, “Everything I’ve done creatively, I want to redo over and over,” says Talmage. “I never get tired of it. I always want to keep exploring it.” Lucky for us!

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Where do proteas get that trendy wild look? It’s a story of origins—from 90 million years ago right up until today. Text and photography by Bruce Wright

Although they may just recently have been swarming social media in shots of floral designs, proteas have been around for a very long time. The large and extremely diverse family is known to have originated at a time when much of the Earth’s landmass had amalgamated into one supercontinent. Later, sections of the supercontinent drifted apart and formed the continents we know today—which is why we find members of the wide-ranging protea family native to regions as far apart as Australia, South America and South Africa. These are regions neither temperate nor tropical. Typically dry and hot, they have triggered in their flower offspring a wild diversity of adaptations to these harsh conditions. Within that diversity, however, certain characteristics do tend to recur, among them 36

leathery leaves, waxy and furry textures, and flower forms of complex symmetry, often bristling with a multitude of graceful, slender styles (upward extensions of the floral ovary). The protea family includes a number of botanical genera that contribute splendidly to today’s cut-flower market, including banksias, leucadendrons (like Safari Sunset), leucospermums (pincushions), and more. There is only one genus Protea (think king and queen proteas, or the “mink” varieties tipped with dark fur), but florists and their suppliers tend to call all of these proteas. Outliers with a rough beauty reminiscent of their natural habitats, proteas are unlike most other cut flowers in that they are grown outdoors, and not even in hoop houses but under open skies, often on steep slopes where other crops could hardly be

HILLSIDE HARVEST Growing anything on a steep hillside is a challenge, for obvious reasons. “The guys who harvest the flowers have to dig their heels into the soil,” says Resendiz Brothers’ Tracy Easter, “balancing bundles of cut flowers on their backs.” On the other hand, by planting some of the same crop lower down where it’s warmer, some higher up where it’s cooler, Mel Resendiz (above) can stagger the harvest and stretch the season for that crop. And the soil is good for proteas and similar flowers and foliage: sandy, loamy, and rich in minerals. Asked, “What is the hardest thing about being a flower farmer?,” Mel answers, “What’s hardest is, you don’t own the farm, the farm owns you. You have to be here 24-7. You watch the weather,” he adds, laughing softly, “and you sleep like a rabbit with your eyes open.”

cultivated. These are not hothouse flowers that can be tamed into a predictable and consistent sameness. Seasonal by nature, their availability is subject to the whims of nature. Growers and buyers have to learn to roll with this. Fortunately, since proteas ship well, a variety that is out of season in California or Hawaii—primary suppliers to North American markets—can often be obtained from growers in the southern hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed. Today, certain proteas are also grown year-round in Colombia (see page 45) and elsewhere in South and Central America. As a leader in the field, located in southern California, Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers sometimes brings in imported proteas to make sure they can offer customers a balanced assortment. The

farm’s owners and management team are active in the International Protea Association, a professional group with members in 16 countries. Among other benefits, “we’ve been able to trade cuttings with growers from other countries as a way to keep expanding and experimenting with new varieties,” says Resendiz Brothers’ Diana Roy. It’s amazing, isn’t it, to think that genetic strains that parted company 90 million years ago, when a supercontinent divided, might be in that way reunited on the same southern California farm? A visit to Resendiz Brothers is a treat for any flower lover—as seen on the following pages. Short of making the trip, you can find a wealth of additional photos and useful information about proteas on the Resendiz Brothers website, MAY 2018 37



WATERWORKS At Resendiz Brothers, irrigation pipes water the hillside crops, including Serruria florida, often called blushing bride (although Blushing Bride is properly the name of a mostly white variety; the one seen above and below is Sugar & Spice). Two other relatively new crops are the aptly named flannel flower (at right) and Aussie bells (below right).


BIRDS, ANTS, AND BABOONS “When pincushions develop their seeds, they have a very interesting ecology,” says Tracy Easter at Resendiz Brothers. He talks fast, fascinated with the story: “The seed is in the center of the bloom. The bird comes along and he’s looking for nectar. He sticks his beak into the bloom itself, and while he’s doing that, he gathers pollen. He moves onto the next flower, transfers the pollen, and that’s how the flowers get viable seeds. Now, once the seed forms, it’s really attractive to ants and even to baboons. The baboons will rip the head off and eat the seeds. But the ants can’t do that. The seeds are way bigger than the ants; they’re about the size of a popcorn kernel, so one alone can’t carry it. It’s so attractive to them that one ant will go back and get four or five buddies, and together they’ll drag the seed back to their cave and eat the coating off. The coating has protein. Once they’re done, they throw the rest away in their little trash chamber. The seed will then sit there for the next 20 or so years, according to the fire cycle in Africa. The fire comes through and wipes out the plant, turns it to ash, and whenever that first winter rain comes along—I think every 10 years they get a nice really heavy one—it washes whatever chemical component is in the ash down and it activates the seed. So, the plant has to be destroyed in the process, but then it rises again”—like a phoenix.


Hardy flowers and foliage in the protea family last even longer and look even more beautiful with attention to these points. • Proteas and related flowers do last better than some others out of water, after they have been properly conditioned and re-hydrated. But it’s still important, as soon as they arrive in the shop, to re-cut stem ends as usual and place them in water with flower food added. • Proteas and related flowers are not tropical flowers, which should never be refrigerated. But they are also not temperate flowers, like roses and carnations, which do best at 34-36 degrees Fahrenheit. Proteas prefer an in-between temperature. Placing them in a floral refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 85% humidity is ideal. • Keep proteas in a well-lighted area (artificial light is OK). Think of sunny Australia and South Africa: these are flowers that need plenty of light. Without it, black spots may appear on leaves and leaf tips. MAY 2018 39



BANKSIA BARBECUE Most cut-flower crops are propagated in one of two ways: via tissue culture in a lab, or from rooted cuttings. Both are faster and cheaper than growing new plants from seeds. Both methods also produce offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plants—which is what growers usually want. Some cut-flower varieties, however, can’t be propagated from cuttings. Most banksia species fall into this category, as Tracy tells: “Last year Mel said to me, ‘Tracy, we’re going to have a banksia barbecue.’ I asked if I should bring the

beer. But no—this is how we germinate the banksia seeds,” in a way that replicates the natural conditions under which the plant reproduces. “The banksia pods are basically tinder, because the styles dry out and get crispy, just waiting for a fire. You set them on the barbecue, and the moment one catches fire, you leave it for five seconds or so, then pull it out and blow the fire out. You see the little lips on the dried pod? They open up, and it jettisons the seed, which is paper thin and flies away on the wind to start a new plant.”

THE SEX LIFE OF LEUCADENDRONS Leucadendrons are also known as conebushes—a common name that becomes very clear when you look at a sprig of Leucadendron nobile (above). At left, Tracy holds a bright red variety of leucadendron; this bunch happens to have multiple heads on each stem. Usually leucadendrons are sold in bunches of 10 stems, each with a single head, but they may also be marketed as sprays, in bunches that are sold by weight. You might think the singleheaded leucadendrons are perhaps like disbud chrysanthemums, in which the laterals are trimmed away to produce a single large flower— but no. Rather, with leucadendrons the sprays result from trimming. “The rule is that for every cut I make, I get two offshoots, maybe four,” says Tracy. He offers another little-known fact about leucadendrons: unlike most flowering, seed-producing plants, they are dioecious, meaning that each individual plant is either male or female. By contrast, most angiosperms (flower- and seed-producing plants) produce flowers with both male and female organs. You can tell the sex of a leucadendron stem from the cone. These stems, with rough-textured cones, are male; the female cones are smooth like an egg. 40

BLOOMING NOW AT RESENDIZ BROTHERS PROTEA GROWERS Photos courtesy of Resendiz Brothers, At Resendiz Brothers, the seasonal harvest changes from month to month—but there is always something available that’s exotic, eye-catching and long-lasting. Here are just a few of the many kinds of proteas and other flowers likely to be available in May.

LEUCADENDRONS JUBILEE CROWN AND PISA When you think of leucadendrons, do you think of Safari Sunset? The genus Leucadendron has some 80 species, along with numerous subspecies and cultivars, many of which bear spectacular flowers. Jubilee Crown, in a rich raspberry color, offers a good example of why leucadendrons are also known by the common name “conebushes.” Another conebush, Pisa, stands out for its lime green and creamy yellow coloring. It generally comes as a spray, with more than one flower head to a stem.

LEPTOSPERMUM ROTUNDIFOLIUM Leptospermums are not members of the protea family, but like many proteas they are mostly native to South Africa—and like proteas, they flourish in southern California. Like a cross between heather and waxflower, they offer tall spikes thick with buds and fivepetaled blossoms. Usually they are available from California from February to May.

LEUCOSPERMUMS FLAME GIANT, SUNKIST, AND HIGH GOLD Better known as pincushions or simply pins, leucospermums have enjoyed a surge of popularity of late. With that surge, fascinating new varieties have begun to appear on the market, many from a breeding program at the University of Hawaii. Beyond the traditional orange, you will find true red and yellow pincushions, even rose pink. Some varieties change color as they go through different stages of development. Reflexum varieties open all the way and even further, so that the styles, instead of pointing up and curving in, stretch out and down for a completely different look. In some pincushions the ribbon-like petals are prominent; fuzzy white hairs, likewise, may be more or less conspicuous, depending on the variety and the stage of maturity. Spring is generally a good time to find a wide variety of pincushions from California. Check out the leucospermum page on MAY 2018 41



STARTING FRESH Flower growers always need new plants, whether to replace mature plants that are no longer productive, or varieties that are no longer in demand—or, in the case of Resendiz Brothers, to keep expanding. Mel recently acquired another 43 acres of hillside, which will accommodate another 1700 plants. Many growers purchase their new plants from a professional propagator. Or, if they do their own propagating, they do it from cuttings, looking for a fast turnaround and to replicate the existing genetic code. The folks at Resendiz Brothers, on the other hand, are on the lookout for interesting variations. “A lot of times, especially with waxflower, if you plant different kinds in the same area, you’ll get beautiful new varieties that sprout up by themselves, because the bees cross-pollinate them,” says Resendiz’s Diana Roy. “Mel does the same thing with leucadendrons.” So, the shaded propagation area at Resendiz Brothers is filled with young plants that might be propagated from cuttings, but they might also be collected as seedlings from the farm itself. Waxflower, of course, is not a kind of protea, but it hails from Australia and grows well in the same environment. Have you ever looked carefully at a waxflower bud that’s about to pop open? It’s covered with a cap that is like a thin layer of wax. When the cap pops off, you get the bloom. Under certain weather conditions, all the caps pop off at once, and you get a crop that floods the market.


BEFORE AND AFTER The largest and arguably the most spectacular of all proteas, the king protea (Protea cynaroides) has lately been having an Instagram moment, starring in bridal bouquets. Indeed, it is almost a bridal bouquet all by itself. It is available in pink, red and white varieties. Before they open up, king proteas look like giant candles. Here is the same king variety on the bush and (below) just harvested, by Mel himself.

ON THE PREMISES Fresh bouquets and wreaths—like this one just finished, by Mel’s brother Porfirio Resendiz—are made right on the farm, with flowers and foliages that change seasonally. Under the right conditions a wreath made with proteas can dry beautifully in place. MAY 2018 43



HAND-TIED Not every flower farmer is also a designer—but go to any edition of Fun N Sun, the biannual convention of CalFlowers (the California Association of Flower Growers and Shippers), and you’ll see an always-spectacular arrangement created by Mel Resendiz. After completing this hand-tied bouquet, Mel stood it on the table: as sturdy and well balanced as if it came from an old-time Dutch bloemenwinkel.


AGAINST THE ODDS A Colombian farm helps meet the growing demand for proteas year-round. If you were looking for an environment where other cut flowers are grown, but where proteas would not be expected to thrive, you might think of the savannah of Bogotá in Colombia. Rosamina, as the name implies, used to grow roses—the more typical product of this region. At an elevation of 9,500 feet, it is neither dry nor hot. The weather changes very little from one season to the next, with even sunlight and temperatures throughout the year—the very factors that give Colombian flower growers a big advantage with some crops, but that pose a challenge with others. “We started out nine years ago with Safari Sunset leucadendron,” says manager Eli Pérez. “We had success in selling that crop to Holland, so we began to think, why not try pincushions, proteas? Six years ago, we got new material from California and started to plant. Today Rosamina is no longer a rose farm.” Selling to markets both in Holland and in the U.S., Rosamina is not the only farm with an atypical growing environment to hop on the protea bandwagon. It has competitors in Ecuador, Peru, and Central America as well as, of course, in the USA, South Africa, and Australia. But Rosamina has enjoyed success with the ability to supply the same high-quality product year-round. In addition to bulk sales, the farm has a bouquet-making operation on the premises. Eli brings in products from third-party growers to round out the bouquets. Learning to grow proteas here did require some experimentation. At first some crops refused to flower. Frost and even hail pose potential dangers. But in the end, with 42 hectares (more than 100 acres) of leucadendron, pincushions, proteas and foliages, Rosamina has created a niche in a market that appears to be expanding. “I think the protea is becoming an everyday flower,” says Eli—everyday, but still exotic, with an elegance all its own.

At Rosamina, yellow pincushions grow on a hillside that overlooks a dark red field of Safari Sunset leucadendron and a valley below, dotted with homes and farms. Safari Sunset was Rosamina’s first successful proteaceous crop. Above, Eli Pérez shows how this leucadendron can be supplied as a single stem or as a spray product—which might appeal especially to bouquet makers, since it means a very full bouquet can be created with less labor time. Eli is especially proud that Rosamina has received certification from the Rainforest Alliance. “We do everything we can to recycle, make the best use of water, take care of the environment, and treat our people well,” he says. MAY 2018 45




A festive combination: flowers and plants with seasonal décor. Text and photography by Bruce Wright


resh flowers and seasonal decorations go together like— well, like Christmas and holly, or like Easter and Easter lilies. That’s why the organizers of the world’s largest trade fair for seasonal decoration, Christmasworld, launched Floradecora as a companion fair in 2017. The idea is to give the buyers who attend Christmasworld—held each January in Frankfurt, Germany—an opportunity to learn about what’s new in the world of fresh cut flowers and plants. Many of those buyers already go to the fair expecting to find florist hard goods, from candles and vases to artificial flowers and foliage. Adding fresh to the mix, Floradecora was launched last year as an independent show concurrent with Christmasworld. The fair has a unique concept and presentation, with translucent tents and partitions that separate and define the space for each exhibitor. Products are also displayed in groupings out-


side the suppliers’ exhibits, so that visitors can easily discover and compare them. This year, overall attendance at Christmasworld and Floradecora was slightly higher than in 2017—and significantly more international in flavor, with visitors from no less than 19 new countries. Floradecora also benefited from a new location within the vast Messe Frankfurt exhibition center. Last year it occupied its own separate hall; this year it was moved to the Galleria, a central staging area with two levels and a high domed ceiling. Cross traffic from different exhibit halls of Christmasworld meant that many more buyers passed through Floradecora. As in 2017, innovation and high quality were hallmarks at Floradecora. Here, a few highlights from the show—which takes place again next year, January 25-29, 2019. For more information, visit

SO INCLINED In 2017, one of the outstanding Floradecora displays was at Van der Lugt Lisianthus, with lisianthus varieties showcased in tall bouquets of layered stems, displayed at an angle. The effect works especially well with lisianthus, because of how the green furled buds extend beyond the open flowers. This year, the same concept appeared, not only at Van der Lugt and not only with lisianthus by itself, but also with other flowers mixed in or featured on their own—as seen at the exhibit of Dßmmen Orange, a company that owns and represents many different breeders., MAY 2018 47


ORCHID IDEAS As popular as orchids have become, fresh twists are always welcome. A joint exhibit from breeder Anthura and grower Opti-flor featured potted mini phalaenopsis orchids in an unusual gold color (top right); the variety is appropriately named Las Vegas. “Formidablos” (at left) are white phales in a variety that can be trained with a guide wire to display many blooms on one long, very straight stem—a specialty item that has a striking impact when multiples are displayed together. The Singolo (above) is a long-lasting plant (not a cut) with text imprinted on one of the petals. The Garden Orchids line introduces varieties that can be given as gifts and enjoyed as houseplants, but that also can do well outdoors in a garden, year after year. “They are popular with event planners, as decorations and party favors that can be recycled into the garden,” says Opti-Flor’s Matthijs Bodegom. 48


BEWITCHING BEGONIAS A visit to any sophisticated European market, flower shop, or trade fair can reverse all expectations for just how exciting houseplants can be, with intriguing varieties and artistic presentations. Case in point: the trade association representing Danish growers of ornamental plants, Flora Dania, showed (among other novelties) begonias with spangled, striped, and spiraling foliage.

BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL Would you like to have the option of designing in black floral foam? Looking something like porous stone, Oasis® Eychenne® All Black™ floral foam is now available in Europe in a variety of forms (pillow, cross, heart, Raquette). It’s thought to be especially useful for sympathy work, but with other potential applications as well. One advantage is that in the right design application, it does not need to be fully covered, saving flower costs and labor time. It does also cost a little more than green foam. The All Black™ foam absorbs water more slowly than green foam but (in contrast to Oasis® Rainbow® Foam) retains the moisture well once it is thoroughly wet. Design ideas featuring the new foam were demonstrated at Floradecora by Dutch designer Lily Beelen.

MAY 2018 49

GORGEOUS GERBERAS If you love gerbera daisies—or maybe even more so if you’re ambivalent—you’ll want to visit the website of the Dutch “gerbera promotion committee,” Coloured By Gerbera (this group uses British spelling)—loaded with photos of inspirational designs and unusual varieties. These could also be seen at Floradecora, including gerberas in the Pasta series, with curly petals, and a display that combined the round shapes of gerbera flowers with the soft long lines of hanging ribbons and other decorative accents.



TREND BOUQUETS A regular feature of Christmasworld is a display and lecture series that defines current trend themes, nodding toward Christmas but based in year-round lifestyle trends. At Floradecora, these trends and palettes were interpreted in bouquets at the exhibit sponsored by DĂźmmen Orange. www.dummenorange. com

MAY 2018 51

Flower Fairs:

World Floral Expo Up close and personal with fresh fare. Text and photography by Bruce Wright Unless you’re lucky enough to have an innovative wholesale florist close enough to visit—one who brings in new and unusual varieties for customers to see—a cut-flower trade fair is your best chance to find exciting new products. At a typical fair you also get to meet the growers, enjoy design demonstrations, and hear well-informed speakers. Fortunately for U.S. florists, the World Floral Expo, sponsored annually in March, is not only free to qualified buyers, but has shifted venues over the past few years, from New York to Chicago to Los 52

Angeles to Las Vegas, giving opportunity to local and regional visitors in different parts of the country. This year the expo returned to Chicago. Rose growers from Africa and South America are always well represented. But for many visitors the most intriguing discoveries tend to be in less familiar categories. Here is a small sampling of those from this year’s expo. For more information about next year’s fair (at press time, the city had not yet been announced), visit

Clockwise starting from the opposite page: From Ecuadorian grower Agrogana, a striking variety of eryngium called Green Light Jackpot; fritillaria and ruffled green ranunculus from Dutch exporter Holex Flower; garden-style roses from Ecuadorian grower Royal Flowers, rosy orange Carabella and watermelon pink Caralinda; dogwood in vibrant red and yellow from Wisconsin grower Star Valley Flowers; white and purple phalaenopsis orchids from California grower South Pacific Orchids; and ivory amaranthus, plus kangaroo paws in silvery gray-green and purple, from Illinois-based importer Shlomo Danieli.,,,,, MAY 2018 53


CHRISTINE BOLDT Meet someone who plays a key role in making sure your flowers get to you, fast and fresh.


sources products from all over the world,

deal if they jump over the importer and buy

typical retail florist, of the flowers you’ll

looking for those that can succeed in the


find there, three out of four were grown by

market. Importers work with the farms to

Christine Boldt: There are so many ways

flower farmers in other countries, mainly

make sure they are keeping up with the

that importers add value. Number one,

in South America. They’re imports. That

trends. They are the first line of quality

because they can buy in volume, they can

means they could not have made it here

control for the flowers that are sold.”

actually get better prices. They can have

without the services of a floral importer.

Now in its 35th year, AFIF is celebrat-

opportunities to get the newest products as

ing that milestone with a new logo that

they come to the market, because they al-

ness and appreciation for what growers

incorporates the tagline, America’s Flower

ready have an established relationship with

and wholesalers do, importers typically

Connection. Christine has been executive

those suppliers. Plus, if a product comes

don’t get much love. “I think florists, and

director since 2004, and well acquainted

in and there’s a problem, or the farm at

sometimes wholesalers too, often think

with the import business since long before

the last minute says they don’t have it or

of importers as just a link in the chain,

that. She is one of the industry’s key lead-

can’t fulfill it, the importer has the ability to

someone else taking a cut,” says Christine

ers, in a position where her depth of experi-

source whatever the customer wants from

Boldt, executive vice president of AFIF, the

ence counts for a lot. Flowers& sat down

other places. Importers have relationships

Association of Floral Importers of Florida.

for a fascinating chat with her that makes

with cargo agents, such that sometimes

all of these points abundantly clear.

they can get products shipped that another

And while florists have some aware-

If anyone understands the value of

type of buyer could not. Importers also

what importers do, it’s Christine. “They really look out for the whole industry,” she

Flowers&: Explain what an importer does.

provide a service to farms that might have

explains. “The importer is the one who

Can’t wholesalers and retailers get a better

a new product but no way to introduce it or market it. Some importers, not all, have direct and close relationships with particular farms. F&: Give some examples of how you work with governmental agencies. CB: Our mission is to ensure the free flow of flowers. The two agencies we work with are USDA [the U.S. Department of Agriculture] and USCBP, Customs and Border Protection.


Over the years we have accomplished a

said, “Listen, we have two busy seasons

degree in accounting, she would call me

lot, although at times the going is tough.

a year. The truck’s only there because the

and we would talk about how the busi-

We worked with the government to make it

place they’re delivering to doesn’t have

ness was going. She helped start AFIF in

so customs inspectors could have tablets,

enough dock space. What compromise

1982 and was on the board for 22 years.

so when they do the inspections they can

can we work out?” We got an agreement

After college I worked different jobs but

immediately release the product, instead

that during the two or three weeks prior to

then came back to help my mom in her

of us having to wait for them to go back

the busiest holidays, as long as the trucks

business. Working for a small, family-

to the office to push a button on their

are not blocking driveways, they will not

owned company gives you the advantage

computer. We have something called the

be ticketed.

that you do a lot of the jobs. When it was

line release program, which means that for

a holiday time and we didn’t have enough

high-volume, low-risk products like roses

drivers, guess who went to the airport? If

from Colombia, where it’s extremely rare

we were behind and didn’t have enough

that a pest is found, USDA now sends those

people pulling orders, guess who was

products to customs randomly three times a

pulling orders in the cooler? Who did the

month instead of every day, every shipment,

farm reports? If we had a sales person

from every farm. Now they can spend that

that left, who picked up the sales? All that

time instead looking harder at the products

experience helped me later in representing

that pose a greater risk. We negotiated that

the industry. When I first started, I would

with the USDA.

go to Customs or USDA with a problem,

When pests come in on flowers, it hurts the importers along with everyone

and they would say, “This is how it is.” And It does take the right strategy to get

I would say, “No, I know how it is, because

else in the chain. So, I also work with the

these things done. You can’t walk into a

I’ve been with the truck, I’ve picked up the

countries of origin to find ways to reduce

government office and just complain and

product. Let’s start again and work on how

the number of pests.

yell. I’ve always taken the approach, “We’re

we can come up with a solution.”

F&: I can imagine that you have devel-

faced with a problem; let’s talk about

oped negotiating skills and relationships

potential solutions.”

AFIF invites qualified buyers to attend the

that make a big difference in resolving

F&: You started out working in your mom’s

Miami Flower Experience, May 31-June 1,


floral import business, right?

2018. This fully sponsored, two-day event

CB: An example is, two years ago at Val-

CB: She was the first woman to open

will bring together wholesalers, importers

entine’s Day, some of the importers were

her own import company in Miami, in

and hard goods vendors. To reserve, con-

getting tickets for having their trucks sit on

1979. I worked for her in high school and

tact Christine Boldt at 305-593-2383 or

the road, waiting in long lines to get to the

maintained a close relationship with her so For more about AFIF

docks. I went to the police department and

that even when I was at college, getting a

and what it does, visit

MAY 2018 55

shop profile

By Christy O’Farrell

Photography by Jenna Sparks

A seasoned professional takes on a legacy shop—and adds a few twists.


hile Alex Jackson climbed the career ladder at various flower shops, he watched for the right opportunity to buy a business of his own. In January 2017, Alex took over at Happy Canyon Flowers in Denver, attracted by its two-pronged strategy for success—strong fresh and artificial flower orders balanced with home décor and gift sales. With 55 percent of its business in home accessories and gifts, and 45 percent in fresh flowers, Happy Canyon “proved to be that perfect combination,” he says. But it took him a while to figure out that’s what he was looking for. When Alex first started perusing business listings about 10 years before buying Happy Canyon, he wasn’t certain what type of shop he wanted. He thought maybe he wasn’t brave enough to start his own business, and he began to rationalize that he was getting too old to take that leap (he’s 44 now). The 2008-2009 recession taught him that selling a combination of perishable and nonperishable goods would be safest and smartest. During the economic downturn, consumers might still spend $100 on a special-occasion gift, but they were less likely to purchase fresh flowers, opting for something like candles or a scarf instead, he says. Once he defined the kind of floristry he wanted to practice, he ruled out buying a struggling business that would have cost less, narrowing his search to shops that had built a strong reputation serving a wide, loyal customer base. Happy Canyon, which has a steady stream of high-end clients, met those criteria too. BUILDING ON STRENGTH Alex, who has his AIFD, AAF and PFCI credentials, felt lucky that the previous owner wanted to sell to a qualified professional florist. She had built a profitable business over


Happy Canyon Flowers Denver, Colorado Owner: Alex Jackson AIFD, AAF, PFCI Employees: 6 full-time, 12 part-time Square footage: 5,000

33 years, he says: “My job is just to continue the legacy. I’m smart enough to know not to come into a business that is successful and well established and make a whole bunch of changes right away.” Still, he has started to add his mark. For example, Happy Canyon cut costs by buying some of its fresh flowers directly from growers. The shop also still purchases some flowers weekly from local wholesalers, who he says are a great resource. But the change allows designers to use more stems in arrangements, pleasing customers and generating more profit. Alex approaches the business with a different attitude and energy than the previous owner, who is in her mid-70s: “I have to be very concerned for tomorrow and 20 years down the road.” Several months ago, Alex hired a marketing company to help the shop with Google AdWord advertising and search engine optimization, admitting that it is not his forte. “I understand the importance of it—so I hired

some experts.” As a result, he says, “we’ve had some nice steady growth,” and the shop’s online presence is small but improving every month: “We’re making progress.” MORE BUSINESS, MORE WORK Happy Canyon is a full-service florist that has started to do more events and weddings since the change in ownership. Such work requires later nights. “I have no qualms about that at all,” Alex says. “I have no problems going to work at midnight to tear down a wedding. “We do everything,” he says, including weekly deliveries to businesses and corporations. “Plants are a big part of what we do.” The shop also sells products for babies and kids because the neighborhood has a lot of grandmothers and parents of young children. To enhance the baby section, “we opened it up so you can push a stroller through it,” Alex says, adding “there’s lots of wonderful, interesting little toys, books and games that are right at eye level for those little wee ones.”

The showroom at Happy Canyon offers an inviting pathway for customers to explore what lies beyond. Merchandising artfully mingles fresh flowers and a wide range of decorative and personal items. Shoppers also can find a large selection of kitchen items such as gadgets, jams and sauces, along with everything from lamps and chandeliers to hats and mittens. A bestseller this past Christmas was slipper socks. The shop sold 350 pair. Natural-smelling home fragrance is hot right now, such as essential oils, candles and diffusers. Alex added products after analyzing merchandising and how to maximize the 5,000 square feet, including 40 feet of window space. “The store looks and operates and functions much more efficiently,” he says. “Every single vignette is shoppable.” PULLING TOGETHER An excellent staff—12 part-time and six fulltime—was part of the deal when Alex ac

MAY 2018 57

Finding a shop with the right mix of fresh flowers and upscale home accessories was a priority for Alex when he was looking for one to buy. Happy Canyon hit it just right.

quired the shop. “I am 1 percent of the success that we have here at Happy Canyon,” he says. “I thank the good Lord for blessing me with a group of people who row the boat in the same direction.” Since he’s there 12 hours a day, he wants to surround himself with people who are kind and generous. Often, Alex will ask staff members to do something, and they respond that they already took care of it. He relies on staff members to handle social media, and to choose some of the right products to sell in the store, such as jewelry. “I understand


my limitations, especially in the kitchen and baby departments,” Alex says. “I count on the staff and their unique perspectives as individuals on everything, how they look at every product that we bring in.” Alex is also thankful Happy Canyon is in a high-traffic area. “We’re very fortunate we have a lovely Starbucks 100 feet away— that’s a nice little advantage.” The strip mall has other businesses that attract consumers, including fitness centers and a women’s clothing store. “All of those are great partners for us, and we are really great partners for

them as well. I don’t take a back seat to any of them.” Occasionally, the mall’s owners coordinate on open houses and other special events. “As merchants, we all work fairly closely together on that,” he says. CARVING A NICHE While his previous employers had different business models that relied on taking every order, and were successful and profitable, Alex takes a different approach. “I’m not really interested in the $35 order,” he says. “I value the reputation of

UP THE LADDER, STEP BY STEP Alex Jackson traces his roots in the floral industry to noticing how pleased his mother would be when his father presented her with flowers from their home garden. At the impressionable age of 12, he understood “the impact flowers can have on people.” At age 17, Alex began his floristry career when he helped Mike Sinanovic, a Phoenix florist who later became a mentor, move his store from one location to another: “I didn’t know flowers, but I could pick up a filing cabinet and move it.” The following month, Sinanovic asked Alex to stay on and help during the busy holiday season. Alex learned how to prep containers for Thanksgiving centerpieces, as well as lighting and decorating Christmas trees. Next thing he knew, he was cleaning thousands of flowers for Valentine’s Day. “I kind of fell in love with the whole idea of working in a creative environment,” he says. Thinking he wanted a career in teaching, Alex took a degree in secondary education and taught middle-school English for two years. “I loved it. It was great, but it wasn’t where my passion was.” Today, as a Teleflora Education Specialist, Alex still indulges his love of teaching at conferences and events around the country. After Alex worked for Sinanovic for two years, he started at a chain with 10 locations, Phoenix Flower Shops. Over 21 years, he rose to become a shop manager and, later, director of operations. He credits the owners there, Elmer Schienbein and Ken Young, as mentors who allowed him to learn from his mistakes. In 2014, Alex moved 900 miles to Denver to work for Veldkamp’s, which hired him to help run their design room and operations. At Veldkamp’s, Alex is especially proud that he was able to encourage a change in the culture among staff, such that employees bonded in their common goals. “I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with people who encouraged me to pursue my dreams, understanding that floristry can be a profitable career,” Alex said. “It can’t always be about the pretty things. There are times when it just has to be about business.”

MAY 2018 59

How do you let customers browse your ready-to-go arrangements and loose fresh flowers while keeping those flowers properly refrigerated? Here’s one answer (at top left): a beautifully merchandised walk-in cooler. At near left, one of several displays featuring products with natural fragrance.

our company. I value what the perception of our company is, and I don’t want to lessen our reputation in order to meet the needs of every single order. “When you call Happy Canyon Flowers, you’re going to get a premium flower. It’s going to be beautifully designed, professionally designed,” Alex continues. “Denver’s a fairly expensive city. I understand that we are not the least expensive florist in town. We charge a little bit more. I stand by the quality, the freshness, the longevity of our flowers. How we deliver them, the entire presentation of


what we do all goes into that.” Some people might be surprised to learn that 12 percent of Happy Canyon’s business is selling artificial flowers. “We have a very robust and healthy artificial department.” One full-time designer spends about 32 of her 40 hours a week designing arrangements with high-grade artificial flowers. “We’re doing design with artificial that mimics fresh flowers. We want to be able to fool somebody into thinking it’s a real product.” But “the most important thing that we offer at Happy Canyon Flowers is service,”

Alex says. “What is it that you need? How can we help you? Because you can get flowers anywhere.” Alex doesn’t mind that grocery stores and other mass marketers sell flowers. “I think that the world should have more flowers available anywhere and everywhere,” he says. “I’m a designer. I can do something that no box can duplicate.” The difference turns roses from lovely to extraordinary, he says: “Just because flowers are available, it doesn’t mean that they’re put together beautifully.”

what’s in store

DREAM MACHINE Meticulously detailed in hand-glazed, hand-painted ceramic, Teleflora’s ’55 Chevy Pickup celebrates Dad on Father’s Day and then swings into year-round service for any occasion that calls for a touch of casual fun. Call 800-333-0205 or visit

TREND REPORT CLASSIC COOL Sunflowers, classic cars and country chic reflect laid-back summer fun.



WOVEN LUXURY A new collection from Offray Ribbon Company combines today’s trend colors with vintage weaves: richly textured Satin Grosgrain; Antonia ribbon with a delicate stripe and monofilament edge; Teagan ribbon with the look of fine linen and the lightness of a sheer fabric. Call 800-237-9425 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!


A Teleflora Scholarship Academy is coming soon to a city near you. Just five classes remain on this year’s schedule—each one with four unique sessions, each including hands-on instruction. For more information, visit

Vancouver, BC Orlando, FL Baltimore, MD Cleveland, OH Denver, CO June 1-3, Everything but the Bouquet with Tom Simmons AIFD, CCF

June 22-24, The Business of Design with Vonda LaFever AIFD, PFCI

July 13-15, Extraordinary Events with John Hosek AIFD, PFCI, CF, CAFA

August 3-5, September 21-23, Growing your Wedding Bouquets Design IQ with with Joyce MasonTim Farrell AIFD, Monheim AIFD, AAF, PFCI AAF, PFCI, AzMF MAY 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, 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

Premade garland with Baby’s Breath, Frosted (silvered) Silver Dollar Eucalyptus, and Plumosus Tips with Shimmer; 24-inch Maine Blue Limonium and Baby’s Breath Heart Wreath, plus additional baby’s breath and Maine Blue limonium, Wm. F. Puckett.


Italian ruscus, pittosporum foliage, and aralia leaves, Wm. F. Puckett. Color Splash Cube in amethyst, Teleflora.

VARIETY SPECIAL, pages 16-33

DEEP PURPLE, pages 16-17

Nobbio® Burgundy carnations, bred by Selecta One. Chispa chrysanthemums, bred by Deliflor. Strawberry Scoop scabiosa, bred by Danziger. Purple tulips, Sun Valley. Rosa Vases and Lita Compote, Accent Décor.

STAR TURN, pages 18-19 Cosmic gypsophila, bred by Danziger. Yin Yang spray mums, bred by Deliflor. White ceramic vase, Vasesource. Set of milk glass bud vases, Syndicate Sales. DOWN HOME, pages 20-21 Garden roses, Alexandra Farms. Lady Ingreen dianthus, bred by Selecta One. Barewood Candleholders and Tejida Basket, Accent Décor. TOWER OF CHOCOLATE, pages 22-23

Choco anthuriums and uluhe fern curls, Green Point. Chispa disbud mums and Picante spray mums, bred by Deliflor. Prive Compote, Accent Décor.

WHAT’S UP BUTTERCUP?, pages 24-25

Butterfly ranunculus, Sun Valley. Rossano Dark Orange mums, bred by Deliflor. Beatrice garden roses, Alexandra Farms. Tulips, Sun Valley. Delft-style vases in the Eleanor Collection, Accent Décor.

pg 10


Rossano Charlotte disbuds and Tic Tac Pink spray mums, bred by Deliflor. Capability garden rose, Alexandra Farms. Tulips, Sun Valley. Square Elan Bottles, Accent Décor. Versailles Vase, Syndicate Sales.

ORANGE POP, pages 28-29 Cut kalanchoe in Warm Orange and Sweet Pink and Red Velvet Scoop scabiosa, bred by Danziger. Double tulips and butterfly ranunculus, Sun Valley. Sweet william, bred by Selecta One. Monarch butterfly, Reliant Ribbon. BLUE GENES, pages 30-31 Applause roses, bred by Suntory. Sassi Votives, Accent Décor. FINE AND FANCY, pages 32-33

pg 16 64

Fancy tulips, Sun Valley. Round Elan Bottles and Chateau Vase, Accent Décor.

pg 8


Call 770-346-0707 or visit

Alexandra Farms

Call 305-528-3657 or visit

Danziger Flower Farm Visit


pg 29


pg 19

Green Point Nurseries

Call 800-717-4456 or visit

Pete Garcia Company

Call 800-241-3733 or visit

Reliant Ribbon

Call 800-886-2697 or visit

Selecta One



pg 21

Call Fresca Farms at 305-591-1990 or visit

Sun Valley Floral Farms Call 800-747-0396 or visit

Syndicate Sales

Call 800-428-0515 or visit


Call 800-333-0205 or visit


Call 718-752-0424 or visit

Wm. F. Puckett

Call 800-426-3376 or visit

pg 31

pg 24 MAY 2018 65


International Floriculture Expo, McCormick Place. Visit


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


Congressional Action Days 2019. Conference hotel: Ritz-Carlton 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


Ohio Buckeye Unit, Everyday Designs with Tim Farrell, Canton Wholesale Floral. Contact Patricia Huggins at 330-4994959 or ohiobuckeyeunit.


Lewis & Clark Unit, Color, Trends and Contemporary Designs with Hitomi Gilliam, Tiger Garden (2-34 Agriculture Building). Contact Leslieghan Kraft at 573-882-2625 or cravensle@


Teleflora Scholarship Academy, Growing Your Design IQ with Tim Farrell, Sheraton Cleveland Airport. Contact Lottie McKinnon or Jennifer Zeidman at teleflorascholarship@


South Dakota State Florist Association, program includes Body Flowers/Wedding with


emporium SOUTHEAST REGION Joyce Mason-Monheim, Cedar Short Resort. Contact Chad Kruse at 604-854-3773 or chad@


Upstate New York Unit, Wedding Designs with John Hosek, Barbagallo’s. Contact Vicky Munson at 315-789-2554 or


Big Apple Unit, “What to Do with Weekly Specials” with Tim Farrell, Black Forest Haus. Contact Sue Feldis at 516-771-1070.


Penn Jersey Unit, Wedding Designs with Jenny Thomasson, Pennock Co. Contact Debra Brown at 610-842-1420 or


Texas Floral Forum. Visit


Oklahoma State Florist Association, program includes Events with John Hosek, Conoco Phillips OSU Alumni Center. Contact Lenzee or Lacee Bilke at 405-834-2220 (Lenzee), 405-834-2224 (Lacee), or, or visit


Arizona State Florist Association, program includes Back to our Roots…Bloom & Grow with Gerard Toh, Black Canyon Conference Center. Contact Brian Vetter at 602-908-9024 or, or visit


WesTexas-New Mexico Florist Association, program includes “Tapestry” with Jenny Thomasson, MCM Eleganté Hotel & Suites. Contact Jan Brush at 806-788-0607 or Donice Strickland at 575-309-5888.


Arkansas State Florist Association, Hot Springs Convention Center. Contact Shane Cranford at 501-837-0647 or


Florida State Florist Association Annual Convention, program includes (6/10) A Celebration of Life with Jerome Raska, Marriott Orlando Airport Lakeside. Contact Bob Tucker at 352-7876806 or eventsbymissdaisy@, or visit www.


Teleflora Scholarship Academy, The Business of Design with Vonda LaFever, Renaissance Orlando Airport. Contact Lottie McKinnon or Jennifer Zeidman at


Teleflora Scholarship Academy, Extraordinary Events with John Hosek, Westin Baltimore Washington Airport. Contact Lottie McKinnon or Jennifer Zeidman at teleflorascholarship@

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

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


Kentucky Florist Association Convention, program includes Everyday for Less with John Hosek (3/5), Holiday Inn Hurstbourne-Louisville East. Contact Michael Gaddie at 502777-8578 or lloydsflorist@aol. com or visit


North Carolina State Florist Association, program includes Look to the Future with Kevin Ylvisaker, Embassy Suites Hotel. Contact Bill McPhail at 910-9888637 or


Tennessee State Florist Association, program includes “Root 66” with Tim Farrell, Cool Springs Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. Contact Kevin Coble at 901-834-8347 or


Tennessee Unit, Holiday Fresh & Permanent with Kevin Ylvisaker, Flowers Direct. Contact Susan Holt at 423-312-8448 or



Texas Floral Showcase, McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. Visit

Teleflora Scholarship Academy, Everything but the Bouquet with Tom Simmons, Sheraton Vancouver Airport. Contact Lottie McKinnon or Jennifer Zeidman at



New Mexico-WesTexas Unit, “Pure Imagination” with Hitomi Gilliam, DWF. Contact Thia Smith at 505-242-7818 or tsmith@


Teleflora Scholarship Academy, Wedding Bouquets with Joyce Mason-Monheim, Denver Airport Marriott at Gateway Park. Contact Lottie McKinnon or Jennifer Zeidman at teleflorascholarship@

Advertise in

emporium For rates and info, call

Peter Lymbertos at 800-421-4921

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