Flowers& - October 2014

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Flowers& OCTOBER 2014 $5.50

beauty that comforts Sympathy designs for the service and for the home

Pg 26

Garden of Paradise: owers and plants from Hawaii

Pg 54


departments pg 9 8

Focus on Design A Memory Altar By Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI


Creative Edge Three Wreath Techniques By Hitomi Gilliam AIFD


Profit Boosters How to Buy a Flower Shop


Principles & Elements Harmony and Unity By Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI


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Shop Profile Flowers Make Scents by Anne Bergman


Advertiser Links


What’s In Store


Industry Events


Where to Buy


Wholesaler Connection

Flowers& Volume 35, Number 10 (ISSN 0199-4751). Published monthly by Teleflora, 11444 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064, 800-321-2665, fax 310-966-3610. Subscription rates: U.S., 1 year, $66.00. Canada, 1 year, $90.00 (US currency only); Canadian GST registration number R127851293. Other foreign countries, 1 year, $102.00 (US currency only). Single issues, $5.50 each prepaid. Periodicals postage paid at Los Angeles, Calif., and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Flowers&, PO Box 16029, North Hollywood, CA 91615-9871. Copyright © 2014 by Teleflora. Printed in U.S.A.

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focus on design


Floral design by Rich Salvaggio AIFD, AAF, PFCI


Photography by Ron Derhacopian

A keepsake cross and votive candles turn a sympathy gift into a memory altar. Incorporating the cross and candles into the design simply requires appropriate preparation of the design surface to secure them.






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


1. Fill a low container with foam, and add a disk of Styrofoam to support the cross, securing it into the foam with four Dixon pins. Add a UGlu Strip to the top of the Styrofoam disk. Because Styrofoam is porous and even UGlu won’t adhere to it as securely as you need for the glass cross, reinforce the UGlu Strip with greening pins. 2. Set the cross firmly on top of the Styrofoam disk. 3. Add two votive candles in glass cups. For secure delivery they should be glued in place to foliage, which should itself first be secured to the foam with greening pins.


4. Flowers and more foliage complete the design. Use these to create a landscape around the cross and to frame it with foxtail fern or a similar upright material. b

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creative edge

Sympathy has been an area of declining business for many florists. It is also an area in which design styles have been slow to change. Sympathy wreaths are strongly traditional—but this is a style that can also be given a more contemporary twist. Following are wreaths in three different styles that also exemplify three efficient methods of construction.

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Floral design by Hitomi Gilliam AIFD

Photography by Philippe Martin-Morice


A WIRE FRAME WREATH At left, a wire wreath frame offers the perfect substructure for a rustic modern wreath. To begin, the wreath frame is covered lightly with red huckleberry branches and a few flowing aspidistra leaves to emphasize the wreath form. Onto this structure, two Iglus were attached with Bind Wire. To create a feeling of closeness to nature, a medley of green and white flowers was used; to add a feeling of modern style, the wreath was designed with staggered highs and lows, extending upward with papyrus and downward with hostas. A FLORAL FOAM WREATH Locally grown, garden-style flowers need a water source to hold up well. Thus, for a wreath like the one at right above, a wreath form out of wettable floral foam offers the best mechanics. The most efficient method to prep the wreath is to cover 50% of the foam with foliage—in this case, dusty miller. To casually cover even more surface area, insert the largest flowers flush to the foam—here, the large white dahlias and seafoam statice. Next, add the feature flowers—peonies, scabiosa, campanula and dianthus—at varying depths, to create an airy, gardeny effect. Overlay with mandevilla vines to add the feel of natural growth and to give it life. Sympathy work is not about death, it’s about life! A VINYL WREATH Even though the final result features grasses, succulents and hydrangea, not Christmas greens, an inexpensive vinyl Christmas wreath makes a very efficient and economical foundation for the wreath at lower right. In fact, this is the most efficient and economical of the three design methods illustrated here. First, shape out all the tips of the vinyl pine wreath. Proceed to add bunches of cut laurel, using twist-ties, in sections all the way around the wreath to cover the vinyl layer. Next, twist-tie the soil-less succulents onto the wreath, followed by fountain grass and panicum grass bundles in water tubes. Add mini green hydrangeas and Green Trick dianthus, also in water tubes, and finally the poppy pods to complete the green, organic look. After the service, the succulents can be planted as a keepsake. b

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

by Dan McManus

Thinking of buying or selling? Consider this advice from a mystery insider. YOU COULD SAY that this month’s interviewee became a highly successful florist by accident. He was busy building a successful real estate business, and had already acquired a shopping center, when one of his tenants, a florist, closed the shop doors and defaulted on the lease. The landlord re-opened the shop because he saw it as an opportunity to diversify. After all, he thought, how hard could it be to run a flower shop? Especially one that already had customers coming in every day. The real estate expert took over the shop—and discovered the flower business was not as easy as it looked from the outside! Nonetheless, that launched his career as a florist and kindled his love for the business. When the real estate market crashed, he decided to go into floral full time. Since then, he has built one of the fastest-growing chains of retail shops in his market. In the real estate business, the natural way to expand is by buying new properties. It only seemed logical to our novice florist to grow his floral business that way. So off he went, looking for acquisitions. Over the past eight years, he has tripled the size of his operation by purchasing six shops in his immediate market. For competitive reasons, our interviewee this month did not wish to reveal his identity. He was nonetheless willing to share his methods in a rare inside look at the practice of expanding by acquisition—and offers some advice that will be useful to both buyers and sellers of shops. You invest a lot of time in growing through acquisitions. Why is this such a big a part of your strategy? It works! How else can I add $10,000 a month in sales to a loca-

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tion? There are very few corporate accounts that are anywhere near that size. No advertising vehicle that I’ve found can add that kind of volume. There are very few other options if you want significant growth. Increasing your average sale is one, which we are working on. Boosting web sales is another—but nothing will increase your size as quickly as an acquisition. This is a novel approach for many florists. Yet, it came naturally to you. In real estate, my former business, that was pretty much how you grew. There are some other options, but the main way to increase revenue is to add properties. Once I committed to being a florist (and for me, that was a really great move!), I knew that I wanted to grow. It just made sense to buy out other shops. What I did not realize was how many shops operate at break-even or a loss. When a shop owner goes to sell a business that is not profitable, the business is not really worth anything except its liquidation value. The florist really only owns a job, not a business. What do you mean, they “own a job”? Many of the shop owners I’ve met over the years believe that if they can make a decent salary from the shop, it’s a good business. In reality, earning a salary is not enough. Getting paid for your work and turning a profit on your investment in a business are two different things. It is a hard reality for some to accept. They have put 20 or 30 years into running a shop and believe that they should get something out of it at the end. But if they never made a real profit, what do they have to sell? Who would buy a business with

no hope of getting the investment back? Isn’t the shop’s reputation worth something? Reputation and goodwill are helpful, but when it comes to buying a shop, it has to make sense financially in terms of actual profits. If the shop cannot cover the bills and make a profit for the owner, it is a not a viable investment. I see shops that have been on the market for years because the owner has an unrealistic view of why people buy businesses. The owner hopes that the “right” buyer will come along. It is sad because no one can use a business that is not profitable. It is only worth the value of the used equipment and the customer list. How do you decide how much a shop is worth? It depends on profitability. If the shop is not making a profit, it is only worth 10 percent of sales, not including wire-in business. It is basically a liquidation. I would buy the customer list, the phone number and website address. The store contents, inventory and equipment would not be included in that price; the owner would sell them separately. In the case of a liquidation, I will move the phone line to my nearest branch location and divert the web traffic to that shop’s web site. If a shop is operating at a profit, it is worth three times annual profit. For example, if a shop makes $33,000 per year in profit, the shop is worth three times that or $100,000. If a shop is making $10,000 per year in profit, it’s worth $30,000 and so forth. To calculate profit, I look at the amount of money left over after all expenses to run the shop are paid, including rent, a manager, staff, COGS, etc. If a shop is profitable, I usu-



profit boosters

Mystery Flower Shop Owner Major Market, USA

profit boosters ally keep it open and begin to grow the sales. How do you find shops to purchase? I keep my eyes and ears open. I talk to lots of folks in my market. By now, they all realize I am looking for shops to buy. Sometimes I am contacted by the owner; other times, I hear someone is selling off their inventory and equipment. In those cases, I see if they have sold their customer list and phone number. Sometimes they have not even considered that as an asset—and it is the most valuable part of their shop. I always offer the same price—10 percent of local sales—and help them transition out of the shop. There are some exceptions. If the shop has already been closed, the price naturally

goes down, and if the shop did not have a POS system, it is worthless because there are no customer lists to use for marketing. Some shops believe that their house accounts are the customer list. That is only a small part of the customer base. A shop should have about 1,000 names for every $100,000 in annual sales. What would you advise a shop owner to do if they want to sell their shop? Focus on profit and only on profit. Every dollar of profit the shop makes increases the sale price by $3, so there is a big payoff to get the labor and COGS in order. Make the tough decisions or else you will end up liquidating the shop’s assets—or worse, just closing the door.

In some cases, the owners want to sell because they are tired of not making money. But it is much easier to turn around a shop than to sell one that is not performing. Once the shop is paying a salary and making money, the owner can keep it and enjoy the profit, or sell it and realize a nice return. Any advice for a shop owner looking to acquire a shop? Keep your feelers out. Make sure vendors know that you are always interested. If you hear someone might be selling, contact the person right away. If it is a distressed situation and they are closing, be kind, because they are going through a loss. Offer a fair price (10 percent of sales not including wire-in) and help them transition out. It is hard to lose a business. b

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•M • V

principles & elements

Floral design by Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI

Photography by Ron Derhacopian

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

Harmony & unity These two related principles of design may seem intuitive, but they are surprisingly difficult to master. Do you have a color that doesn’t belong with the rest? In selecting your materials, are you quite sure that they all work together? In the August issue, we examined contrast as a pleasing and desirable element of design. The design shown here blends tropical flowers and foliage with bells of Ireland, which are native to more northern climes. Some would rule this combination out as lacking in harmony, but it works because of the monochromatic color scheme, a powerfully unifying and harmonious factor. Unity and harmony can relate to many different aspects in the choice of floral materials: not only color or tropical versus temperate flowers, but seasonality, style, and cultural or historical associations. There are no strict rules, just overlapping parameters that must be assessed anew for every design. b


shop profile

by Anne Bergman

For New Yorkers transplanted to Virginia, wedding business is key.


heir Long Island accents may give them away as Northerners, but the mother and daughter team behind Flowers Make Scents in Midlothian, Virginia have managed to adapt to the more traditional ways of Southern life while still retaining their New York flair. The duo opened Flowers Make Scents about 13 years ago, after Ellen Stange sold her Long Island florist shop to follow daughter Shari Hoyle, who’d married a Virginian and started a family in the area. Ellen had run her Long Island-based floral business for 20 years—much of that time with daughter Shari. She notes that

Photography by David Abel Photography

Flowers Make Scents

strive to be modern what distinguished and upbeat with a her from her competicolorful cut-flower tion was a constantly Midlothian, Virginia area. At our location, rotating inventory and Owners: Ellen Stange, Shari Hoyle we have great visa contemporary sense ibility; we’re at a fourof style: “I didn’t do Space: 3000 square feet way traffic stop with a the same old designs. Staff: three full-time designers, From the very begintwo part-time designers and sales high daytime population. We’re constantly ning, I used upscale people, two drivers changing our window flowers with modern Retail website: displays and people styling in vases and look forward to seeing containers that set us Wedding website: what they look like.” apart.” She applies that STARTING OVER Shari same forward-looking and her mother Ellen sensibility to the shop in Midlothian, a community founded in 1700 originally set up shop in Midlothian in 2001, as a coal-mining village, a few miles west leasing a 1000-square-foot building. While of Richmond. “People don’t want to see the same mer- Weddings are front and center at Flowchandise over and over,” she says. “You ers Make Scents, which boasts an entire have to keep up with the times.” 1500-square-foot wedding showroom with Daughter Shari agrees. “We definitely wedding-themed window displays.

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shop profile in New York, their staff consisted of three full-time designers, two part-time designer– sales people, and two drivers. But for their first year in Virginia, “it was just the two of us doing it all,” Ellen recalls. “We literally had to start all over. We had to drive deliveries and sweep the floors again.” But by 2006, Ellen and Shari had expanded: they were able to purchase their own 3000-square-foot building and their staff had grown to the same level as they had in Long Island. And while Ellen has witnessed other retail shops in their middle-class suburban area wither away, she attributes the resilience of Flowers Make Scents to the shop’s wedding business. “Weddings are our savior,“ she says, noting that weddings generate 80% of their total revenue. “We can’t compete against big box stores like Costco or Home Depot for some other kinds of flower sales. But the big box stores can’t compete with us when it comes to the level of service and detail required for wedding work.” Certainly, weddings are front and center at the shop, which boasts an entire 1500-square-foot wedding showroom. When a customer enters that part of Flowers Make Scents, “they feel like they’re walking into a wedding,” says Ellen. “It’s a complete wedding-themed feel that we only change at Christmas. “We try to make everything exquisite,” Ellen continues. “In today’s business world you have got to be impeccable. You have to make every bride feel she’s so special and that we are special to work with!” And especially in an era where a disappointed customer can quickly post a negative online review, Ellen emphasizes that Ellen Stange and daughter Shari Hoyle ran a successful flower shop together in Long Island; when Shari married a Virginian and moved to Midlothian, her mom followed and the two started over. Clothing and jewelry have turned into a successful sideline—perhaps not surprising considering their emphasis on weddings and prom.


shop profile “customer service is the whole enchilada today. If you don’t have it, you won’t make it. If you get one bride who gives a terrible review, it hurts you. So you have to keep your level of service high.” SNEAK PEEKS Ellen acknowledges that it’s challenging to maintain the necessary high energy level when the shop is producing approximately 120 weddings a year. She couldn’t manage it all without her trusted partner, daughter Shari. If they have six wedding appointments scheduled over three hours, they make sure they divide them up between the two of them. Employing the divide and conquer tactic ensures that each bride gets “all her questions answered,” Ellen says. “We also make them a wedding sample and let them come in and preview the flowers the day before the wedding. We’ll make changes, so that we don’t have to deal with an unhappy bride on her wedding day, because that’s as heartbreaking for us as it is for her.” The wedding-flower “sneak peek” was an innovation they developed in Virginia due to the rural nature of the area. “In New York, we were close to the wedding venues. Here, it’s spread out, with a lot of venues located in the country, about 25 to 30 miles away from my store on rural roads. In other words, they’re not around the block,” she says with a laugh. “So we got to the point where we decided to invite brides to the store the evening or two days before the wedding to preview their wedding flowers.” Another key innovation, according to Ellen, is taking advantage of the social media site Pinterest. “The fact that 90% of brides bring Pinterest images to their consultations makes it so easy for me. I don’t have to start from zero. They already have an array of beautiful pictures that they’ve

Wedding accessories and décor items for sale or rental add to the revenue stream— but fresh flowers remain the core business, one that Ellen says she loves: “They’re better than paints in a box.”


considered, so I know their taste already. They’ve come in with all that in mind.” The beauty of Pinterest, she adds, is that it can also serve as a sales tool. The store maintains its own page on Pinterest (, which Ellen and Shari use in tandem with their website pages. “We have a 27-inch monitor up and going during consultations. I show them the bouquets I’ve pinned. I go back and forth between our website and the Pinterest page,” she says. SHOW TIME To spread the word about their business, Ellen and Shari advertise in local publications as well as radio stations. But they both add that local wedding expos and trade shows are key to their success, another contrast to their New York days. Shari notes that attending trade shows in New York wasn’t worth the return on the investment involved. “But here in Richmond we see a big return after doing the show,” she says. “We put a lot of energy into the ones we do. The booth is a true picture of who we are. We go for the ‘Wow!’—nothing less will do. I was on the fence about how effective the bridal shows were, as we’d been doing them since the 80s. So we skipped one this past summer and it made a difference. We just attended a show in January and we saw an increase in the flow of phone calls and emails versus over the summer when we decided not to attend.” In addition to weddings, another significant market niche for Flowers Make Scents is prom season. “Our community pours out when prom is here,” Shari says. “We’ll have several hundred kids in the store during the season. We think of them as our future customers. It’s an opportunity for us make a lasting impression and a really critical Purses in a flower shop? Why not? “We are first and foremost a florist,” says Shari, but fashion items have turned out to be “a great opportunity. Brides, bridesmaids and their mothers have to walk through the merchandise to get to the event showroom.”

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shop profile sale—even though it’s a small item. When they come in to shop for prom flowers, they’ll remember that experience when they get married and need wedding flowers.” FLOWERS + FASHION To effectively capitalize on the store’s foot traffic, this summer Ellen and Shari experimented with selling purses, jewelry, clothing and other nonfloral retail items. They revamped a part of the store and filled it with items they thought would appeal to younger customers. The move was immediately successful. “As we were unpacking, a man at the counter who was shopping for his wife’s birthday saw a dress that he thought she would love, so he bought it,” Shari recalls. She notes that she and her mother are not marketing Flowers Make Scents “as a boutique. We are first and foremost a florist, but it’s still a great opportunity. We sold absolutely nothing in that space before, and now we make sales there everyday.” “Ninety-nine percent of our business is flowers, but you can’t stay stagnant,” adds Ellen. “And when something like this works, you pat yourself on the back for taking a gamble.” All told, Ellen’s been in the flower business 30 years, but the thrill of working with flowers remains. “After all these years, I’m still enamored. We love doing flowers. They never let us down. It’s been a wonderful career that’s really sustained us.” With her eye on retirement, Ellen feels good about passing the business on to her daughter Shari, noting the challenges they faced together when they opened their new business in Virginia. “It was not easy, but it was worth it,” she says. “And we couldn’t have done it without each other.” b The diversity of merchandise at Flowers Make Scents only serves to underscore the shop’s main focus: flowers, and especially wedding flowers. “Often it’s something else to purchase for that special day,” says Ellen. “We get a kick out of seeing what people pick out to buy.”



in loving memory expressive sympathy tributes set the tone for the service.

For product information,


Floral design by Tim Farrell AIFD, AAF, PFCI

Photography by Ron Derhacopian

see Where to Buy, page 67.

LOOKING SKYWARD The colors blue and green evoke the natural world and its place in the cosmos (a theme that is further developed in the casket design on the next page). The memorial wreath at left is covered with blue hydrangea and delphinium, then wrapped with dracaena leaves of the Limelight variety, which provides a fresh, brilliant green. Tim built the wreath on a mâché-backed wreath form, starting with insertions of the blue hydrangea, so he could distribute it evenly and create a pattern. The hydrangea alternates with bright green preserved reindeer moss (partly hidden under the leaves) and with delphinium cut into segments. The delphinium tips suggest a swirling clockwise motion that is reinforced by the angle of dracaena leaves. The cut ends of the leaves were inserted on the inside of the wreath form; when the wreath was almost finished, Tim wrapped each leaf around it, tacking the tips to the back of the mâché with UGlu. Note that a design made with dracaena leaves should not be stored in the cooler, as the dracaena plant is chill-sensitive and the leaves may turn brown.

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in loving memory


PLANET EARTH For the casket spray, a collection of globes reinforces the cosmic theme of earth and sky. The global motif is established with moss orbs and flower-filled foam spheres. Tim has filled two smaller spheres with green spray mums and a larger one with bells of Ireland florets for an intriguing ruffled texture. Stems of viburnum, with their naturally spherical form, then extend the idea, harmonizing beautifully with the larger globes and also with the spreading stems of bells of Ireland. The graceful design is created in a single casket saddle. OCTOBER 2014 29

PASSION AND PEARLS A life lived with passion and style is expressed with purple orchids, resplendent against a radiant background of bright, fresh green. To make the cross, Tim filled a mâchÊbacked form with green Fuji mums before inserting phalaenopsis and dendrobium sprays and, at the center of the cross, two lavish cattleyas. A few larger florets from near the bottom of the dendrobium sprays are strung on thin decorative wire and allowed to dangle along the front of the cross, along with draped Mega Beads, which add line motion and a feminine touch. On the casket spray, purple hydrangea provides visual weight and a resting place for the eye, while viburnum furnishes its fresh green color, and Mega Beads drape down over the casket. 30

in loving memory

OCTOBER AUGUST 2013 2014 41 31

in loving memory

732AUGUST 2010

ETERNAL GARDEN When clematis are in season, they are the perfect flowers for creating a garden look, with their rich colors and flexible woody stems. At left, Tim created an archway setting for a funerary urn based in a wide Lomey dish with foam strapped into it that rises above the rim of the dish. He inserted curly willow stems into the sides of the foam and joined them with Bind Wire at the top. Then he reinforced the arch with bear grass (layering the blades together and inserting them as a bundle) and ruscus, all secured as necessary with Bind Wire. The base is filled in with salal and more ruscus. The clematis, hydrangea, succulents, and viburnum are added last. At right, to showcase a memorial gift of wind chimes, Tim planted a tomato cage into foam in a metallic-toned plastic urn. He secured stems of tall curly willow to the cage with Bind Wire, added some Italian ruscus, and placed lengths of half-inch flat wire in matte silver strategically around the structure, including a crosspiece that stretches across the top of the cage and supports the wooden disk at the top of the chimes. Here the wood components in the chimes have been sprayed silver, but could be left in their natural state, depending on your overall color scheme. AUGUST 201033 8 OCTOBER 2014

FAMILY CIRCLES A photo collage at the service is a popular tradition that can easily be adapted to form part of a floral tribute—for example, from the children or grandchildren of the deceased. Tim filled two mâché-backed wreath forms with white flowers, beginning with hydrangea clusters inserted in such a way that they appear to be spiraling around the wreath; then he added carnations and stock for a medley of soft textures. For the easel wreath at left, glass photo frames were mounted onto picks fashioned out of heavy-gauge wire and secured to the frames with UGlu. Finally, to reinforce the theme of family connectedness, he made a chain from strips of flat cane, forming circles and stapling them together; some of the circles are inserted directly into the foam. On the casket, a similar wreath rests on a felt-backed plastic tablecloth covered with aspidistra leaves. For how-to’s on the photo frame picks and the tablecloth, visit us at


in loving memory

OCTOBER 2014 35

ENDURING LOVE Can true romance ever die? Red flowers, clustered into dense groupings, blend in a rich medley of textures, with light green cymbidiums for contrast. To make the large heart at left, Tim began by framing the outside of a mâchÊbacked form with aspidistra leaves. He inserted the leaves starting from the top down, securing one leaf by piercing it with the stem of the next one. He then filled the center of the heart, working from the outside in, finishing with the green cymbidium orchids. Piercing the aspidistra leaves on one side with light green midollino, he then bent the midollino back toward the center of the heart, pulled it down and bound the strands together to emphasize the heart shape and lend a sense of motion to the design. On the casket spray, in a double saddle, smilax provides a light and elegant veil that emphasizes the spread and drape of gladiolus, anthuriums, roses, gerberas, dahlias, and carnations.


in loving memory

OCTOBER 2014 37

in loving memory

GREEN PEACE Trendy succulent rosettes set a soothing tone, nature-inspired and suitable for a man or woman. For the table design above, Tim mixed two colors of floral sand to get a third color, vibrant and subtle, that harmonizes perfectly with the echeveria. For stability, the pillar candles are mounted with wood picks onto a piece of Styrofoam that is attached with UGlu to the bottom of the low glass cylinder. At right, in the casket saddle, succulents are combined with draping foliages, protea, and rustic raw muslin. Tim took a two-inch-wide roll of the raw muslin and made short snips in one end, then tore the wide strip into narrower ones, leaving the muslin intact at one end so that he could insert the whole bundle of torn streamers at once, using a wood pick. The rough torn edges give the streamers a shabby chic look. b


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homebound ward thoughtful sympathy gifts for the home.

For product information,


Floral design by Joyce Mason-Monheim AIFD, AAF, PFCI, AZMF

Photography by Ron Derhacopian

see Where to Buy, page 67.

ANGEL LIGHT At left, tall, tailored stems of baby’s breath and asparagus fern surround an angel lamp with a fluffy forest of white and green; pink garden and spray roses complete a beautifully feminine design. The foundation for this design is an Oasis Floral Foam Round Riser. Created especially for sympathy arrangements, the riser is simply a disk made of floral foam, with a smaller disk made of Styrofoam mounted on top. It’s designed so that the smaller, Styrofoam disk can support a cremation urn, a figurine, or a lamp like this one, which serves as a memorial keepsake. Joyce began by shaving an inch or so all the way around the floral foam part of the riser—just enough so it would fit nicely inside an 11-inch gold ceramic saucer. She pinned salal leaves onto both the floral foam and the Styrofoam disk with corsage pins, then filled the floral foam with flowers.

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homebound ward

SWEET REPOSE An angel in weathered plaster looks right at home, resting atop a textured square planter under the shelter of a gracefully curving forsythia branch. To create the curve, Joyce wired the branch with silver aluminum wire, adding decorative spirals. A burst of yellow spring flowers carries with it a strong feeling of renewal and hope. OCTOBER 2014 43

homebound ward


FLOATING PEARLS Wrapping the root ball of an orchid plant, first with layers of moss, then with wire, is easily accomplished and makes an elegant presentation. Joyce added a patch of bright green reindeer moss for extra color and texture. She used bullion, beaded wire, and finally Mega Beaded Wire in an iridescent color that harmonizes nicely with the clear glass Monroe Vase. To water the plant, simply remove it from the vase, pour water through it, and replace it when it has drained. A LIFE IN BUTTONS Buttons carry sentimental value for all kinds of reasons—and button wire makes it easy to incorporate them into designs. Here, a single sturdy, fibrous blade of flax is quickly slit into six long sections, leaving the bottom of the blade whole for stability, and button wire is woven through. A brick of wet foam is wrapped horizontally, first with another whole blade of flax, then with button wire, and lowered into the Essentials purple tray. The top of the foam then supports flower placements, including the button-wrapped woven flax—which is held aloft and stabilized by folding it around the stand of liatris and wiring it into place, while another blade of flax crosses over it, likewise secured with button wire that pierces it and is twisted into position on the other side.

OCTOBER 2014 45

homebound ward

FROM THE HEART Red is a color of strong emotion, and this design is all that, yet it also has a calm, soothing quality, thanks in part to the horizontal lines of the large Xanadu philodendron leaf and the bundle of bear grass curving around the rim of the vase. Leucadendron blends the red and green together, while dark ti leaves anchor the color scheme with a strong neutral tone. Having removed the top leaves from the twin ginger blossoms, Joyce wrapped the stems at intervals with Bindwire, which covers the place where the leaf was cut while it echoes the binding on the bear grass below. SWEET AND LOW At upper right, long-lasting materials, including plants (echeveria rosettes and a small azalea) and short-stemmed flowers are gathered into the zinc Canister Bowl; the round shape of the design is reinforced by the round shape of the flowers and the circular motion of curly willow tips and jasmine vine. IN FLIGHT Butterflies symbolize the transformation and renewal of life. They’re also a natural addition to almost any floral design. Joyce has given them the appearance of flight by perching the butterflies on curly-willow tips, placed horizontally for a windswept look. Calla stems wired to the curly willow reinforce the movement; monstera leaves on the other side provide visual balance. A basing of statice and Florigene purple carnations complements the orange tones, while uluhe fern curls carry the movement aloft.


OCTOBER 2014 47

homebound ward


COUNTRY LACE Lace-edged burlap ribbon provides the perfect complement to a burlap-covered cylinder vase filled with white flowers; a “bow� made with stripped ivy vine makes a charming accent. Flowers are grouped, so the white flowers can be more easily distinguished from each other and appreciated, each of its kind. This design was made in foam, but could also have been done using the branching hydrangea as a grid to control stem placements. LEAF AND BRANCH Flax leaves bring grace and life to a cross made of birch branches. Joyce laid a tall, full flax leaf on top of the bundle of branches that she used for the upright before wiring the cross-piece onto it with Rustic Wire; then she added split flax leaves to the finished cross, working the tips into the cross to create swelling curves and securing them with UGlu. Grouped flowers and foliage at the base, all in shades of green, offer contrasts in texture within a monochromatic color scheme.

OCTOBER 2014 49

LIVING FOREST Birch branches around the perimeter of the design at left continue, with an upward motion, the lines of the barktextured cylinder that holds it. The feeling of space in the center of the design is emphasized by the placement of a nest high among the branches (and wired to them). Joyce made her insertions working from the bottom up and from the inside out, placing the green hydrangea at the base, then the stems of carnations and roses with their heads all at the same level. A winding strand of variegated ivy reinforces the cylindrical form. LOADED WITH VITAMIN L Piled high inside a lidded glass cylinder, fresh fruit makes a beautiful, protected display. The cylinder rests within a 13-inch Oasis Design Ring (a plastic tray with a ring of floral foam around the outside). Joyce added extra wedges of floral foam to fill the space between the floral-foam ring and the glass cylinder, then filled all of the foam with flowers and leaves. Purple larkspur rises on either side; blades of lily grass arc and intersect; while tufts of orange-tree foliage make an apt addition to the base.


homebound ward

OCTOBER 2014 51

homebound ward


BLUE HEAVEN A Tiffany lamp in the shape of a cross could be incorporated into a floral arrangement in any number of ways. Joyce chose to elevate the lamp atop the silver Element Vase, which she first filled with floral foam. She secured the lamp to the vase with clear anchor tape, wrapped several times around the base of the lamp and the top of the vase, then added flowers to the foam to frame and complement the cross. Joyce created a ruffle of galax leaves by placing a UGlu Dash in the center of each leaf and folding it in on itself, then inserting the stems into the foam. b


aybe you think of Hawaii as a laid-back place where life is slow and nothing much changes. It’s an image carefully fostered by the Hawaiian tourist industry! Then again, if you’ve kept an eye on the everdiversifying, exotic mix of cut flowers and ornamental plants flowing from the islands to the mainland, you know Hawaii’s flower and plant producers are busy innovators. Like others in North America and around the world, they have had to respond dynamically to the economic challenges of the past six years and more. Today, says Eric Tanouye—president of Green Point Nurseries, a grower and shipper, and also president of the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association (HFNA)—“those Hawaiian nurseries that have done what was necessary are doing well. They’ve invested in new varieties and new technology”—which means that floral products from Hawaii are more diverse than ever, more responsive to the market, and of superior quality.


production areas in North America—Hawaii faces increasing competition from growing regions farther south, including Colombia, Costa Rica, Singapore and Thailand. Like its sister states, however, Hawaii possesses some natural advantages. These include microclimates that accommodate many kinds of flowers and plants—warm and cool (some at low, some at high elevations), wet or dry (on the windward or leeward side of the islands). In addition, Hawaiian growers have an especially fruitful relationship with breeders and researchers at the University of Hawaii. For anthurium varieties alone, “in the past 40 years, the breeding program at the University of Hawaii has produced I would say one new variety each year—which is remarkable considering a new variety can take 12 years to develop, to go through the whole system of testing,” says Eric Tanouye. “They really listen to feedback on what the market needs—so, when we go to AIFD Symposium and come back with information about design and market trends, Dr. Amore, who runs the program now, is intrigued and takes that information very seriously.”

STAYING AHEAD All that was in evidence at this summer’s Hawaii MIDPAC Horticultural Conference & Expo, which included tours for some participants of nurseries on the Big Island. Like California and Florida—two other major

When Hawaii first started to ship anthuriums to the mainland, there were only a handful of varieties available—all red. Today the Neotropica Hawaii Flower and Plant Guide lists more than 100 varieties of anthurium alone.


JULY 2010 2 55 OCTOBER 2014

PARADISE CLOSER THAN EVER Today’s world of global shipping brings Hawaii’s competition closer to the mainland market—but it also has created new opportunities for Hawaiian flower and plant producers. “Hawaii is seven days closer to the mainland than Singapore or Thailand,” says Eric. “Back in the days of cargo flights only, we could only ship to major cities. Now with courier service, we can ship five days a week out of Hilo, and we can get product from Hilo to any ZIP code in the US within two days. We can cut flowers this morning and they can be delivered by 10:30 on the West Coast, or by 10:30 the next day to points farther east.” Courier service has also opened up Canada for Hawaiian producers. And thanks to a contract agreement with Fed Ex, it is an affordable option. With the potential to serve new customers, and to serve them more efficiently, comes an added incentive to grow flowers and plants corresponding to the needs of a diversified market. PASSION AND PATIENCE “You have to be passionate to succeed in this business,” notes Jeff Newman of Newman’s Nursery, one of the biggest orchid producers in the state. Jeff started out 27 years ago as a grower of cut dendrobium orchids, but quickly realized that his passion for orchids would not be satisfied until he branched out LOOK TO THE RAINBOW Florists who aren’t familiar with Hawaii’s product diversity may want to take a look at the tropical flower and plant guide, Neotropica, organized by flower type and color (available for purchase at and Although many Hawaiian cut flowers are available year-round, there are also steady seasonal shifts. At Green Point Nurseries in July, the array of anthurium colors was breathtaking. A consolidated shipper as well as a grower, Green Point brings in a range of products from the extraordinary pincushions with exposed centers (at right) to fresh, light-green lycopodium—harvested from the wild, thoroughly cleaned and processed before it leaves the Big Island. 56

NEWMAN’S OWN For growers, as for retail florists, it helps to have something no one else has—which is why Jeff Newman of Newman’s Nursery became a breeder as well as a grower. Among his specialties are lavish, ruffled, richly hued cattleyas. At far left on this page, the staging area at Newman’s holds magnificent specimen plants that are very likely larger than any orchids you have ever seen. NURTURING NATURE Orchids can be grown successfully in many places, but it takes the ideal environment—with just the right temperature and humidity, and a gentle off-shore breeze—to nurture baby orchid plants through the most critical stage of development. At The OrchidWorks, on the windward side of the Big Island, orchids arrive as tiny slips of plant tissue in a plastic flask. They are cultivated in trays with floral foam—which delivers a nice, even amount of moisture—as a medium. The greenhouse features roof vents and shade-cloth walls that open and close in accord with changes in light, temperature, wind speed and direction, measured by sensitive monitors. Workers in the nursery clean their tools constantly and wash their hands or wear gloves to prevent spreading any virus, to which orchids are susceptible. EXOTIC BEAUTIES The owners at The OrchidWorks are not only plug producers but also breeders, specializing in distinctive varieties in the orchid subtribe Oncidiinae. Seen at near left is a white orchid with accents of apricot on a flowering stalk reminiscent of snapdragons, Doritis pulcherrima var. champorensis.

OCTOBER 2014 57

PARADISE into breeding and began to develop his own varieties, from speckled lady’s slippers to colorful, diminutive, pansy-like tolumnias. That was long before mass marketers on every corner had a section of the store devoted to cut-rate phalaenopsis plants. Fortunately for Jeff, his passion led him toward a competitive edge: diversity and novelty in his product mix. Of course, it does no good to have “something different” if it is not of high quality. And while Hawaiian growers (those who have survived the slower economy of the past six years) do tend to be passionate, they also show another characteristic that helps on the quality side: patience. “Growing means you need to look to the long term,” says Eric. “A good nursery requires a lot of capital investment in the right equipment and infrastructure; that’s what I learned from my father.” And, a plant that grows more slowly—well shaded and not harvested before its time—is a stronger plant, he explains. It needs time to develop healthy roots. This is the part of the plant you don’t see—but it means the part you do see is brighter, better, stronger, longerlasting. Maybe there’s some truth after all to that notion that in Hawai, life is a little slower— with a longer perspective on getting the best possible results.

For more on Hawaiian-grown flowers and plants:


MADE IN THE SHADE Why do anthuriums—an iconic Hawaiian flower—grow so well here? One reason is that lava flows from Hawaii’s volcanoes produce the perfect growing medium: a clean, well-draining cinder that can be dug up, fumigated and re-used indefinitely. At Green Point Nurseries, the cinder was trucked in from about 25 miles away in the mid 1970s, and it’s still in use! “In the early days, growers mixed organic matter with the cinder to retain moisture,” says Green Point’s Eric Tanouye. “But pure cinder is better, because the organic matter can attract nematodes.” Moisture-retaining organic matter is unnecessary with the abundant rainfall in the Hilo area, supplemented by irrigation (and fertilizer). “Anthurium plants are healthier when they drink more water—just like humans,” says Eric. Polypropylene shade cloth is another critical factor. Simulating the natural shade of the rainforest, the shade means longer, thicker stems, bigger leaves and bigger flowers. PARTY PLANTS Hawaiian foliage plants have a high reputation for quality among interiorscapers—but they also have a lot to offer florists, especially event designers. Imagine what you could do with kentia palms, trimmed as they grow upward so that a crown of umbrella foliage emerges at the top of a long, ringed trunk like a coconut or date palm’s (from Kohala Kentia)? No more expensive than regular kentia palms, they make a rental item that can be used over and over again. Foliage plants can also provide a readymade, organic foundation for tall, impressive party designs, as seen on the following pages. GOOD THINGS COME IN STURDY PACKAGES Standardized protective packaging for anthuriums is one of the innovations that can be credited to Harold Tanouye (Eric’s dad, who passed away earlier this year) of Green Point Nurseries. Single-layer tray packs like this one are well adapted to shipping smaller, mixed assortments by courier. They’re lightweight, which helps keep shipping costs down, and they’re just as good for lighter colors (which bruise more easily) as for reds. “In my father’s time most people bought 60 or 70% red and a little bit of color,” says Eric. “Today more and more it’s one dozen red, one dozen pink, one dozen white, one dozen green, one dozen purple. With this type of packaging we can ship smaller amounts— whatever customers can sell within a couple of days—and then re-ship as needed for maximum freshness.” b


“WHY WOULD YOU come to Hawaii to get married and insist on a bouquet of all roses and peonies?” asks Hitomi Gilliam AIFD. It happens all the time— but only because brides aren’t exposed to the romantic potential of Hawaiian tropicals. That potential was ably demonstrated in a program presented at the 2014 Hawaii MIDPAC Horticultural Conference by Hitomi and Lois Hiranaga AIFD. These two extraordinary designers placed special emphasis on how using tropical plants, including orchids and large foliage plants, as design material for event décor can be a time-saving, cost-effective strategy—with stunning results.

PINEAPPLE SURPRISE Hitomi demonstrated on stage the secret to this and many other tall designs created in floral foam: Sections of foam are stacked one on top of the other, but not skewered together; rather, stakes are placed on the outside of the tower of foam and wrapped with floral tape to secure the structure. Each section of foam sits in its own plastic liner, so that water only drains down to there, and the topmost section of foam doesn’t go dry. (For a how-to photo illustrating this technique, visit With the interior architecture in place, it’s easy to make the pineapple shape by adding cut bromeliad blooms and variegated hala leaves; the outside is caged with Asian willow. Other flowers could be used, but the bromeliad blooms are perfect and can last up to three weeks.

OCTOBER 2014 59


SUNSHINE FLASH Above, the dracaena variety called Randy is variegated with yellow, which makes it the perfect foundation for a tall and striking design that combines yellow tropical flowers—oncidiums and heliconias—with a basing of temperate-zone sunflowers. Using the plant as a base makes the design quick and easy to create, with an orbiting frame of monstera roots to tie it all together. 60

TALL AND CURVY Dendrobium, oncidium, and intergeneric orchid plants offer a simple way to get dramatic height in a design; bamboo supports and glass cylinder vases can be used to elevate them further. Cover the roots with a ball of moss wrapped in bullion wire, and you have a design component that is long lasting, reusable, easy to incorporate within the design and easy to water. In many of their designs Hitomi and Lois used monstera roots to add sinuous line and an intriguing organic texture, at once nubbly and silken. A curling, curving armature of white midollino (at upper left on the opposite page), soaked and bundled, shaped and secured in advance, makes another graceful framework for orchid display. The key to these very tall, impressive designs for special events is that they must be completed on site— which can be done in minutes, with materials prepared in advance, as a demonstration of your professional skill and artistry.

PURPLE PASSION Above, a tall and slender cylinder vase serves as the “stem” for a bouquet of phalaenopsis and vanda orchids, Tropic Lime anthuriums, passion vine, and dramatic alocasia leaves. The cylinder is filled first with Water Pearls (gel beads), then with water; eventually the Water Pearls disappear, so that the vanda orchid blooms appear to be suspended in the clear column. “I always buy phalaenopsis plants rather than cuts,” says Lois. “They last longer, and eventually I get a second set of blooms.” OCTOBER 2014 61


TO HAVE AND TO HOLD “I do a lot of destination weddings,” says Lois. “People do want tropical flowers, but they also want it soft and romantic.” No problem! Torch ginger in white or peach; folded, rolled and layered anthuriums, also available in white and blush hues, tuberoses and of course orchids all fill the bill, along with (directly below) “dancing ladies” (Globba winitii)—a delicate cascade of bracts (here white) with tiny jutting flowers. Passion or jasmine vine softens two of these round bouquets; one (at right above) is graced with trailing leis made of fragrant tuberoses. b


advertiser links

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


OCTOBER 15, PENNSAUKEN, NJ Penn Jersey Unit, Tropicals for Everyday, Pennock Company. Call Renee Tucci at 215-699-2207.


OCTOBER 1, TORONTO, ONTARIO Canadian Academy of Floral Art (CAFA), program includes Party Designs (stage program and hands-on workshop) with Rich Salvaggio, The Latvian Center. Call Patricia Patrick at 519-856-9237 or visit

North Texas Unit, Profitable Event Designs with Tom Simmons, Botanica. Call Lauren Darr at 903-746-3615.


CENTRAL REGION OCTOBER 11-12, OMAHA, NE Nebraska Florist Society’s Heartland Floral Convention, program includes “Winning Everyday” with Gerard Toh, Comfort Inn & Suites. Call Sylvia Samuel at 402-731-5253 or visit


South Carolina Unit, Holiday Designs with Tim Farrell, Tommy’s Wholesale. Call Kimberly Harper at 743-572-3222.

OCTOBER 5, ROANOAKE, VA Blue Ridge Unit, Holiday Designs with Alex Jackson, TFS Wholesale. Call Karen Peery at 540-473-2601.


Indiana Unit, Holiday Designs with Julie Poeltler, Marvin’s Wholesale. Call Jackie Poe at 317-887-2777.

North Carolina Unit, Fall & Christmas Designs with Darla Pawlak, Lihmil Wholesale. Call Bill McPhail at 910-867-2900.



LD Trading Floral Wholesale Open House, program includes Fall and Christmas Designs with Kevin Ylvisaker, LD Trading. Call Sue Marolt at 847-504-8600, extension 105.

DC-MD-VA Unit, Weddings and Special Events with Hitomi Gilliam, Potomac Wholesale. Call Christine Spielman at 301-834-8200.


OCTOBER 22, MILWAUKEE, WI Wisconsin-Upper Michigan Unit, Wedding Designs with Joyce Mason-Monheim, Milwaukee Floral Supply. Call Joe Divine at 414-803-7676.

NORTHEAST REGION OCTOBER 1, EAST HARTFORD, CT Connecticut Unit, Holiday Designs with Bert Ford, Mt. Carmel Banquet Hall. Call Jennifer Martone at 860-522-1455.

OCTOBER 12, WATERVILLE, ME Maine Unit, Marketing for the Holidays with Bert Ford, T&B Celebration Center. Call Barbara Courchesne at 209-667-9595.

OCTOBER 15, ALBANY, NY New York Capitol District Unit, Holiday Designs with Tim Farrell, Bill Doran Company. Call Cheryl Knott at 518-237-4622.

See Us In Action On

OCTOBER 5, SACRAMENTO, CA Northern California-Nevada Unit, Holiday Designs with Kevin Ylvisaker, FloraFresh. Call Nita Robertson at 831-458-9232.

OCTOBER 10-12, BILLINGS, MT Montana Florist Association, program includes Wedding Designs with Tom Simmons, Crowne Plaza. Call Nikki Anderson at 406-434-2662.


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Calif Flora 2014, program includes Contemporary Trends with John Hosek, Mayesh Wholesale. Call Ann Quinn at the California State Florist Association at 916-448-5266 or visit

OCTOBER 26, DENVER, CO AIFD South Central Region and DWF Wholesale Florists, Funeral Tributes for Today, DWF. Call Lisa Weddel at 303-587-7912.

OCTOBER 2014 65


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where to buy

continued on page 70

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.

FEATURED SUPPLIERS Accent Décor, Inc. Call 800-385-5114 or visit

Baisch and Skinner. Call 800-264-4617 or visit

Berwick Offray.

ON THE COVER Canister Bowl, Accent Décor.

pg 47


Dixon Products.

pages 8-9 Glass cross, Fitz Design. UGlu Strip, Smithers-Oasis. Dixon® Pin, Dixon Products. Boat container, UCI.

PRINCIPLES & ELEMENTS, page 16 Berkely Pot in dark green and lime mitsumata, Accent Décor.

IN LOVING MEMORY, pages 26-39 Casket saddles throughout, Syndicate Sales.

LOOKING SKYWARD, page 26 24-inch Mâché Wreath, Smithers-Oasis.

PASSION AND PEARLS, pages 30-31 Mâché-backed foam cross and Mega Beaded Wire, Smithers-Oasis.


page 47

Mâché-backed wreath forms and flat cane, Smithers-Oasis.

Canister Bowl, Accent Décor.

page 47

Mâché-backed heart, Smithers-Oasis.

Large bamboo cube, Teleflora. Butterflies, Baisch and Skinner.



pages 38-39

page 48 Burlap cylinder, Syndicate Sales. Thelma No. 40 ribbon, Berwick Offray.



Roseville Farms.

Grecian Garden Urn, Teleflora.

Call 800-370-9403 or visit

LIVING FOREST, page 50 Timber Vase, Accent Décor.

Sandtastik Products Inc.


Call 800-845-3845 or visit

page 51 13-inch Design Ring, Smithers-Oasis. Moda Vase and 8½-inch lid, Syndicate Sales.

page 44 Monroe Vase, Syndicate Sales.

A LIFE IN BUTTONS, page 45 Button wire and Essentials Rectangle Bowl, Smithers-Oasis.

Fitz Design. Call 800-500-2120 or visit



Dramm & Echter.

page 49

pages 40-52

page 42 Call 800-854-7021 or visit

Floral sand in Caribbean Mist and Woodbine colors mixed together, Sandtastik. Echeveria, Dramm & Echter. River rocks, Dollar Tree. Raw muslin in moss color, Smithers-Oasis. Manzanita, Schusters.

Weathered Slate Square, Syndicate Sales. Aluminum wire, Smithers-Oasis.

Cut clematis, Roseville Farms. Echeveria, Dramm & Echter. Wind chimes, Fitz Design. 9½-inch plastic Designer Urn in graphite, Syndicate Sales. Half-inch flat wire, Smithers-Oasis.


pages 36-37


pages 32-33

Dollar Tree Direct. Call 877-530-TREE (8733) or visit


Pink Prayer Angel Lamp, Fitz Design. Floral Foam Round Riser, Smithers-Oasis. Luna Saucer in champagne color, Accent Décor.

pg 32

Call 800-671-7570 or visit


pages 34-35

page 40


Call 800-327-0350 or visit


Schusters of Texas. Call 800-351-1493 or visit


page 52 Flowers and Vines Cross Lamp, Fitz Design. Element Vase, Accent Décor.

pg 47

Call 800-321-8286 or visit

Syndicate Sales. Call 800-428-0515 or visit

Teleflora. Call 800-333-0205 or visit

UCI (Unlimited Containers, Inc.). Call 888-880-8998 or visit

FROM THE HEART, page 46 Marvel Pot in tomato red, Accent Décor.

OCTOBER 2014 67

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

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PENNSYLVANIA PITTSBURGH Keystone Ribbon & Floral Pittsburgh Cut Flower Company SOUTH DAKOTA SIOUX FALLS North American Wholesale Florist, Inc. TENNESSEE NASHVILLE The Roy Houff Company


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TEXAS DALLAS American Agroproducts, Inc. HOUSTON Pikes Peak of Texas Southern Floral Company LUBBOCK Lubbock Wholesale Florist UTAH SALT LAKE CITY Ensign Wholesale Floral VIRGINIA NORFOLK The Roy Houff Company RICHMOND The Roy Houff Company WASHINGTON TACOMA Washington Floral Service CANADA BURNABY, BC Kirby/Signature Floral Supply

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