Friday, September 20, 2013

Can it be TRUE... lilies with NO pollen???

Exciting News!
I know if you're reading this at some point you've worked with flowers or knows somebody who has.  More specifically, you've work with lilies and their pollen has stained your hands.  Or worse, stained your shirt or your Grandmother's hand made table cloths.
Here’s some exciting news for those of you who would like to work with lilies but are put off by the amount of pollen they produce.  J A & J Moerman cv , Dutch lily growers, have again won an award at the Moscow Flower Expo with their wonderful double oriental lilies.  The great thing about this new range of lilies is that they have no pollen.  Yes – that’s correct – gone is that tricky pollen which has caused debates for so many years as to whether you should leave it on the flower or remove it!  Whatever you decide to do – the pollen can and will stain.  So this new breed of double lilies known as Roselily® allows designers to use them in bridal bouquets and home settings too with no fear of staining!

Moerman has been specializing in oriental lilies for over 25 years.  The family business is now run by brothers Jaap, Jan and Paul Moerman in a convertible glass greenhouse (meaning the entire roof can open up) which allows them to produce lilies year round.  Some years ago Moerman contacted Looff Innovations, a breeder who selected a double oriental to develop and they have worked on this for over 15 years.  Now named Roselily®) they realized that this should be brought to the global market.  The breeder and the grower agreed to work together to bring lots of new and promising varieties of Roselily® to the market over the coming years.  Colors like white, red and pink are already on their way and the great news is that they have now bred a green variety too! 

To the average person this information will probably not mean so much.  Personally, I am yahooing all the way to the bank with all the money I'm going to save not having to buy new clothes!!!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Summer Gone Blues

If you are a lover of summer, Key West, turtles and anything beach related like I am ...  the summer time blues are probably starting to set in.  I found some amazing products that have brighten my day and reminded me of those breezy afternoons at the beach .... 

These items aren't only for home they can be used as unique wedding décor.  See the Capiz garlands used above.  That example is a creative use of this product.  What a perfect way to personalize a beach wedding.

All of these great products were found at Jamali Garden Floral and Garden Supplies.  I highly recommend them to cure your summer time blues!  Go check them out.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Flower meanings gave me a renewed inspiration

A few days ago, a family came into my shop asking for special flowers.  Sadly, their Husband and Step Father had just passed away.  These kind people had tremendous hurt in their hearts that I could feel just by looking into their faces.

They had a special request that caught me off guard.  The variety of flowers really wasn't important to them.  What was important was the Language the flowers represented.  As a person passionate about Floristry, I knew what some of the traditional flowers represented.  However, I wasn't able to encompass a body of flowers that would appropriately represent what these people felt for their loved one.

I tracked down a book that I had purchased many, many years ago.  "The Language of Flowers, Symbols and Myths" by Marina Heilmeyer published by Prestel.

The following is what I found, which was perfect for the family.

With this particular arrangement for Dr. Peace,

The floral meanings were significant to the Family.

We thought you would appreciate them too.

The Iris – Inspiration, Faith, Remembrance Forever

The SunflowerAdoration

The LarkspurBeautiful Spirit

The Red RoseLove

The MagnoliaDignity, Authority

The DelphiniumBoldness

The Calla LilyRegal

The GingerProud

The StockEverlasting Symbol of a Happy Life

The DaisyThe Love Flower

The CarnationBravery, Love, Friendship

The TulipSymbol of Importance
Needless to say, I learned a lot from this research.  I have a renewed passion for not only my flowers but the meaning they represent.
The Author
Marina Heilmeyer is a botanist and art historian working for the Botanical Museum in Berlin, Germany.  She is the author of the botanical commentary to the highly acclaimed work Maria Sibylla Merian: New Book of Flowers, also published by Prestel.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Some Amazing Botanical

Recently, I was fortunate enough to run across these amazing displays of nature.  I am so in love with the fact that these works of art have been cultivated and cared for by both mankind and Mother nature.  I hope that you enjoy seeing them and reading about them as much as I did.  My final thoughts are wondering if the people who get to see these works of art on a daily basis truly appreciate them or if they become second nature and taken for granted as sadly most objects become.   

Cherry Blossom Tunnel, Germany

Photo — Link

Each spring, a peaceful street, located in the German city of Bonn, transforms into an enchanting cherry blossom tunnel. Photographer Marcel Bednarz captured this stunning sight of cherry blossoms in full bloom. He explained to me that there are actually two streets in Bonn where cherry trees are planted. The one you see in the above picture is called Heerstraße. As you may know, the average cherry blossom lasts only between 7 and 10 days, depending on weather conditions.

Rua Gonçalo de Carvalho, Brasil

Brazil’s green tunnel from Porto Alegre, Rua Gonçalo de Carvalho. According to a decree signed in 2006 by former mayor Joseph Fogaça, this beautiful street is part of the country’s historical, cultural, ecological and environmental heritage.There are more than one hundred towering Tipuana (Rosewood) trees along Rua Gonçalo de Carvalho. The great shade trees stretch over three city blocks, which is a good thing for the city’s overall health. Did you know that trees, properly planted around buildings, can reduce air conditioning demands by up to 30%?

Autumn Tree Tunnel, USA

Photographed in glorious autumn colors by Kevin McNeal, this tree tunnel is simply astonishing! The picture was taken on the way up to Smuggler’s Notch, a Vermont state park.

The eye-catching foliage starts changing its color in the northern region, in response to many environmental factors, and spreads south as the fall season advances.

Ginkgo Tree Tunnel, Japan

Gingko biloba is a highly venerated tree in Japanese culture. Six ginkgo trees survived the Hiroshima bombing, continuing to grow despite facing so many challenges, and are still alive today. Therefore, the Japanese regard the gingko as “the bearer of hope”. It is also known as “the survivor” or “the living fossil.”

Around 65,000 ginkgoes grace Tokyo’s streets, gardens and parks today. According to some people who visited Tokyo, the tunnel you see in the above picture is located in the outer garden of Meiji Shrine.

Yew Tree Tunnel, UK

The medieval Aberglasney House features one of the most beautiful gardens in Wales, UK. They have been an inspiration to writers since 1470. The Yew Tunnel is a popular tourist attraction in this area. Believe it or not, it took nine years of pruning to restore this unique archway. “Years of neglect had left it unsafe and with a perilous future, as the once formally clipped structure had grown even higher than the top of the mansion itself It is so nice to see it looking invigorated and healthy again. I had every confidence that with careful restoration it would help its future longevity, but I have to confess that it did look drastic at the time,” declared Graham Rankin, one of Aberglasney’s directors.

The Yew Tunnel is thought to have been planted by the Dyer family of Aberglasney, during the 18th century.

The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland

Photo — Link

Tucked away in the county of Antrim, these beautiful beech trees are thought to be around 300 years old. According to local records, James Stuart planted the 150 beech trees in the 18th century in order to impress guests as they approached his splendid property, Gracehill House.

Legend tells that the spirit of a maid, who lived in a neighboring mansion and died in mysterious circumstances hundreds of years ago, haunts the country road. “Grey Lady” silently floats along the road and quickly disappears as she reaches the last beech tree.

 Bamboo Path, Japan

The Sagano Bamboo Forest is located in Arashiyama, a nationally-designated historic site. The pathway you see in the above picture is 500 meters long and runs through one of Japan’s most beautiful bamboo forests. No wonder the Agency for Cultural Affairs declared Arashiyama a “Place of Scenic Beauty”. This forest is close to many famous temple and shrines, including the Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple.

The sound the wind makes, as it blows through the tall bamboo trees, has been voted by the Japanese authorities as one of 100 must-preserve sounds of Japan.

 Tunnel of Love, Ukraine

The Ukrainian Tunnel of Love is actually a two-mile sector of private railway that serves a woodworking plant near Klevan, a small city located in western Ukraine. I read somewhere that couples pass through this romantic tunnel to make a wish. The myth goes that, if their love is strong and pure, the wish will come true.

May all of your wishes come true, but watch out for the train! It runs three times a day through the leafy tunnel.

 Jacarandas Walk, South Africa

Over 10 million trees keep South Africa’s largest city green. According to several unofficial sources, Johannesburg is home to the world’s largest man-made forest.

There are at least 49 species of Jacaranda, most of them native to South America (particularly in Uruguay, Brazil, Peru & Argentina), and the Caribbean basin. The tropical trees were imported to South Africa more than one hundred years ago.

October is the month when the flowers of thousands of Jacaranda trees are in full blossom. This spectacular tree tunnel is located either in Johannesburg or Pretoria, the Jacaranda City where 70,000+ Jacarandas add vivid splashes of purple-blue to the urban landscape.
 Wisteria Tunnel, Japan

As soon as the cherry blossom season ends, the gorgeous Wisteria flowers that hang in grape-like clusters, take their turn on the Japanese floral calendar. The Fuji Matsuri, or Wisteria Festival, is celebrated each spring in Tokyo, Shizuoka, and Okazaki.

The Ashikaga Flower Park is one of the best places to admire different varieties of wisteria, including double-petaled wisteria, giant wisteria and yellow, white, light pink or purple variants of wisteria.




Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Florabundance Inspirational Design Days

On January 28th, I was 1 of 38 guests welcomed to the beautiful Dos Peublos Ranch in Santa Barbara, California.  I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the 1st Annual Inspirational Design Days sponsored by Florabundance.  The speakers were Holly Heider Chapple (, Ian Prosser, AIFD (; Alicia Schwede and Chuck Graham (, Tricia Fountaine (

My journey began on Sunday, January 27th.  I flew into LAX, rented a car and started my drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Barbara. 

It was quite an experience negotiating through Los Angeles traffic.  I felt like a tight ball of nerves with a death grip on the steering wheel.  Once I was done playing Speed Racer, I exited the highway at the Santa Monica Mountains.  It was just like being in Big Bend.  Amazing.  When I finally reached the Pacific Ocean, I couldn't believe the beauty.  What I saw was just like in every picture that I've ever seen of this area.  Rugged mountain cliffs sliding on to graveled medians connected to paved highway and just on the other side, cliffs that drop off into deep blue seas, waves crashing against them.  I didn't believe it existed until that very moment.

The sides of the Pacific Coast Highway were packed with cars..  stacked on top of each other.  All wanting to get to the pristine beaches.  I didn't blame them. 

I stopped in Carpinteria for my first night.  Carpinteria is a quaint little city right outside of Santa Barbara that reminded me so much of Port Aransas.  I stopped at a beach side café  and had my first beer.  Life didn't get any better than that at that moment. 

The next day I headed off to Santa Barbara, and landed at the Fess Parker Doubletree Hotel...  it was to be my home base for the next few days. 

It was a pretty amazing place.  It was hard to leave when my visit came to an end. 

It was finally time for the purpose of  my trip...  The 1st Annual Inspirational Design Days.

Day one greeted us with a tour of Florabundance’s Carpinteria based location. After a tour of their location the participants boarded a trolley and headed out to Dos Pueblos Ranch.
This is what greeted us upon arrival:
Dos Pueblos Ranch Santa Barbara
Dos Pueblos Ranch Santa Barbara
Amazing interior of the Dos Pueblos Ranch barn, filled with rows and rows of gorgeous floral product by Florabundance.


 me and Alicia Schwede

me and Chuck Graham

Ian Prosser...  I've never met a more gracious man...
me and Holly Heider Chapple...  AWESOME...
  Ok...  this last one, not so great a picture but I put it in here because I want to memorialize meeting these industry leaders that I have tremendous respect for and have learned so much from through the years.   You may notice that I'm wearing the same clothes in all of these pictures...  I swear that I had a change of clothes between all the days of the conference.  Long story......

It amazed me how all of these professionals were so gracious and so willing to pass on information about business so that we could learn and grow.  It was overwhelming and I was so fortunate to be a part of this magical time.

Some of our creations!!!

Flower covered arch for a wedding
The Elegant Ceremony Team showing off their creation – WOW, ladies!!
Rustic flower chuppah
The Rustic Chuppah Team – gorgeous use of color, ladies!!
Holly lead the ladies in a session on how to create a tablescape for a farm style long table. All of us got to enjoy the creation later that night when we all gathered at the table for a fantastic dinner.
farm table floral design
farm table floral design
Joost Bongaerts
Joost thanking everyone for participating in the first Florabundance Inspirational Design Days.
Some of this post and some of the photos are by Alicia Schwede of Flirty Fleurs.  Finally, I want to mention all of the participants and sponsors that made this event a huge success.  This list was compiled by Alicia Schwede.
Tricia Fountaine & Dos Pueblos Ranch
Zohe Felici & Event Production
Holly Heider Chapple, Holly Heider Chapple Flowers LTD
Ian Prosser AIFD, PFCI, Botanica Events
Alicia Schwede & Chuck Graham, Flirty Fleurs
Kelly Oshiro, SB Chic
Graphic Design by Christine Cowles
Alexandra Farms Garden Roses
Floral Supply Syndicate
Katie Noonan / Tolosa Vineyard
Mon Cheri Bridal Wear
Myriad Flowers
Pyramid Flowers
Roseville Farms
Sunburst Farm
Absolutely Fabulous…Glamour on the Go!
Makeup – Adrienne Esposito
Partial sponsors:
Ambient Event Design
Anthony Ybarra, Guitar Music (Tuesday evening beach reception)
Music by The Aurora Ensemble (Wednesday evening)
Pure Joy Catering
Town & Country Event Rentals