How to Open Poppies

Fear not floral designers, timing poppies to open for your event is easy. In this video, Kelly demonstrates a simple method for opening poppies, and shares a few other related tips like when to cut poppies, how to judge the longevity and vase life of poppies, and a few of her favorite varieties for cutting.

Heather Page

In this podcast we talk with Heather Page, who is a floral designer with Academy Florists in Winnipeg. Academy Florists is a retail flower shop that has been flowering Winnipeg for over 36 years. For 10 of those years, Heather has had the opportunity to work and grow alongside various designers who quickly became her flower family. Her Instagram feed @heather_page is filled with beautiful images that reflect her personality so much — rich, soft, full of welcome and grace.

Workshop Alumni Interview: Giti Gerami

Giti Gerami owns Botanica Wedding Flowers Studio in Rhode Island. She has over 15 years of experience in floral design. Her love for flowers began as a child as she worked dried and silk arrangements into her family's interior design business. Giti worked at a flower shop after she moved to the United States 20 years ago. She eventually purchased the flower shop and turned it into a thriving wedding flower studio. In the midst of the transition, Giti joined us at the 2016 Team Flower Workshop, which helped her navigate the waters of the wedding floral industry. She took some time to share her experience with us.

Fast Flower Video: Ranunculus Arrangement

In this video Kelly demonstrates how to create a flower arrangement step-by-step. As you watch, think about the shape and size of each ingredient and the role it plays in the overall arrangement. Like people, flowers work together like a team, each playing a part. Learning to observe and think through the roles of flowers is a core competency in successful career with flowers.  

Balancing Work and Family as a Mompreneur

In this podcast, we are talking with Katie McDonough of Petal and Print. She is a Team Flower member, a wife, a business owner, and a full-time mother of two precious tots - Afton & Tippett. We are chatting about the importance of family and the significance of including each household member in the flower experiences that make your heart flutter. 

Workshop Alumni Interview: Jackie Gardner

We had the pleasure of meeting Jackie at the 2015 Team Flower Workshop. She and her husband started Moonset Farm in 2007 in Porter, Maine with three rescued Katahdin Hair Sheep, two horses, two dogs, three cats, and a few chickens. As their livestock business grew with each passing year, cut flowers stealthily worked their way into the production of the farm. Now, Moonset Farm not only yields fresh meats but is also a fully functioning flower farm & design studio. We recently spoke with Jackie about her story.

Video: Round Peony Bouquet

In this video Kelly uses blush peonies and sweet peas to create a classic round wedding bouquet with a full stem wrap and no foliage.

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Video transcript:

In this bouquet, I'm using a fragrant blend of springtime peonies and sweetpeas, both in blush. We're going to start by getting the shape of the bouquet using the peonies. First, I'm going to look and I'm going to take the peony that I feel is the most open and the most beautiful. That will be my flower that is at the top center of the bouquet. Toss off these tiny little pieces around and the next step is just surrounding this peony with lots more peonies and each time I add one, I am aligning these stems so that I am creating one big stem at the bottom. We're just going to go around in a circle around that first peony that we placed. Then, I'm going to start adding some of these smaller peonies in the centers. So, you can see I'm going to tuck that right in there to cover in some of that space. I want to make sure that I don't have any foliage showing at all so I'm going to pull these off as I'm going. Okay, so I have a round bouquet here. Now, I'm just going to adjust and tug stems to get it to be perfect round. Next, I'll add the sweetpeas. I'm just going to gently, in between peonies, slide these down in. I don't need this one here so that will get popped off. With each addition of the sweetpeas, I'm just seeking to keep this rounded out. These are so great for filling in just the little holes in these pieces underneath of the bouquet. The way that the flowers are shaped on the sweetpeas allow me to gently bend and fill in and ruffle the underside. Okay, a quick little assessment again. See if there's any that just need to be tugged out just a little bit to get it perfectly round. Even whenever we're doing tighter balls of flowers, it's good to give the flowers a little bit of a tug so that they don't get too compacted. We still want them to have room for their petals to fluff. Then, this one right in the center, I'm going to pop it out just a bit so that we get that little bit of fluff there and now we'll tape. So, I have a piece of the green oasis tape that we've been using throughout the rest of the class. I'm just going to do a simple wrap-around once and then back around the stems again. I have to put a ribbon on here. Wrap it around. You can go around as many times as you like. My ribbon is pretty long and I'm just going to let it as it lays. Then you would just pin and do your simple little tie to get something like that and you still want your stems to be exposed. Sometimes girls that really love this ultra-classic look like to have their full bouquet wrapped, ribbon and all, so I wanted to show you how to do that. We haven't talked about it yet. I'm going to snip the stems pretty short so that whenever they're holding, I have just about an inch, an inch and a half of space at the end of the hand. Then, with that tape that I have put up higher in the bouquet, I'm going to use that to just do a little U-shape around the stems. I'm going to do the same thing on the opposite side so this part with the tape and these yucky ends that I have will be completely covered by the final wrap that I'm doing. You might be wondering, how am I going to keep these flowers hydrated if the stems aren't exposed? You know, that whole piece of it and it is a great question. What, typically, this is done in France a lot and they'll just deliver the whole bouquet with the ribbon. They'll just pop this into the water and the ribbon would actually be wet and then you would towel-dry it before carrying it, carrying it down the aisle. When I have done this in the past, I just had one client that really preferred this look. What we did for her, hers was wrapped with pearls and I did it on site shortly before she was getting ready to carry it for her photos and things. We did put it back into the water before the ceremony took place. So, I've just taken this ribbon at the top, going around until I get to the bottom and then I will secure with a pin. Tucking in those edges. I used a little bit of glue whenever I did the pearls, putting those on the bouquet. You can do that as well, tacking in some of these little ends with that. If you're sensitive to that, you can also take a pin and go around and just secure the edge there with a pin. I'm just doing a simple fold and securing with that little pin. I think we'll go with the pearl pin on this one. A little bit more classic with the ribbons and the peonies. She's probably wearing some pearl earrings. All right. There you have it: the classic Peony and Sweetpea Wrapped Bouquet.

The Flower Appreciation Society

Anna and Ellie of The Flower Appreciation Society join us for a chat about their book An A to Z on All Things Floral. The book is a bright & cheerful take on various areas of floral design covering everything from types of flowers to arranging a handheld bouquet and everything in between. Uniquely arranged in alphabetical order, Anna and Ellie share their knowledge in a fun, encyclopedic format that would be an excellent addition to any floral library.

Workshop Alumni Interview: Patricia Campos

Ohio based floral designer Patricia Campos began her creative career as a graphic designer. It wasn’t long until the floral world worked its way into her heart, and now she runs a floral design studio in Cincinnati, Una Floral. With a love of muted colors and delicate greenery, her work is textural, thoughtful and artistic. Patricia’s floral journey began shortly before we met her at the 2015 Team Flower Workshop in Asheville, NC. Two years later, she has established her style and is currently working towards merging her two creative loves: graphic design + flowers.

Video: Sweet pea plant training

Growing sweet peas is one of our favorite things to do each year and starting sweet peas indoors is a great way to get a jump on the season. Sweet peas grow quickly and can become tangled before weather permits safe transplanting. In this video, you’ll see a demonstration of how to safely train and trim your sweet pea seedlings without harming the plant. This sweet pea pruning process not only makes it easier to transfer the individual plants to your garden, but it also encourages side-shoot growth making each plant stockier than before.

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Video transcript:

Hey, I'm here to demonstrate snipping back the sweet peas. You'll see that we have, like Kathleen suggested, we have all of our little twigs in here and our sweet peas are trailing up them. Now, if it was time to go ahead and plant these out in the garden, I would just pull these out, plant them, take their little sticks and plant those towards the trellis that they will eventually live on. But I still have several weeks until it's time to plant these. I started them pretty early. Sweet peas aren't something that you need to start early. I was doing a little bit of an experiment and I wanted to have some available here to show you how to snip them back in case yours get ahead of you as well. So, what I am going to do is I'm looking for the first, true set of leaves. So, that is the leaf that looks like a sweet pea leaf. So, if we can get a closeup right here, you'll see that the plant is coming out of the ground and right here is its first set of true leaves. So here is where I can snip it back to tame the growth of it. So these will continue growing down here, more leaves will continue popping out. And by the time it's time to get these out into the garden, it'll be a little bit stockier... Because of what we're doing here. And I won't have a tangled mess. So, I'm going to snip back half of them. And then the other half I'm going to let get wild and crazy and see if I notice any noticeable differences in my garden. So that's just something that I'm choosing to do this year. I tried starting them several different ways. This is my little sweet pea experiment patch. Okay, so we're all set. You can see how this one that I had cut back a few weeks ago has now a second stem coming out down here from the bottom so I'm getting some branching going on. And that will eventually happen with these little guys as well. So there you have it, snipping back your sweet peas.

Alaska Peonies and Peterkort Roses

American growers, Alaska Peony Cooperative and Peterkort Roses join us on this episode of the podcast. We’re talking about what it takes to get a successful flower co-op started, tips for growing peonies, running a family business, pest control and sourcing garden roses.

2018 Conference Recap

The first annual Team Flower Conference has come and gone, but the memories made are ones that will last a lifetime. Over 100 flower friends from 32 states and 8 countries gathered together at the Reunion Resort in Orlando, Florida to grow, to connect, and to celebrate loving the world through flowers.

How to Make a Flower Wall

Believe it or not, building a reusable floral backdrop is super straightforward. If you’ve never built anything before and the idea is stressing you out, don’t run for the tension-taming tea just yet — you can totally handle this! All you need to create a professional-grade backdrop which folds easily in half for storage are the handful of materials and tools listed here.

Video: How to Prune a Limelight Hydrangea

In this video you'll learn how to quickly prune limelight hydrangeas for optimal health. Limelight hydrangea is a staple in my small cutting garden. I use this plant fresh in both large floral installation projects and as a base layer in centerpieces and bouquets. Just edit the blossom as needed for the scale you are working on. It’s also a great plant to use dried in wreaths, permanent arrangements, and petal confetti.

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Video transcript:

Today, I'm going to show you how to prune a limelight hydrangea bush. It's springtime here in Boone and limelight hydrangeas bloom on new growth. So that means that I can leave the flower heads on them all winter long and have that nice winter interest in my garden, and then I can go ahead and prune in the springtime because it's not going to affect the buds. There aren't any buds on this bush yet. So what I'm going to do is three steps, I'm going to trim the bush down, and that is going to help me have uniform sizing. It's also going to create a nice, sturdy base for all of these big blooms to come out and away from. The next thing I'm going to do is thin out some of the stragglers, the ones that aren't quite as strong, that won't support the blooms quite as well as some of the sturdier branches. Now, as I'm doing that, it means that I'm going to get less blooms but I'm going to get a higher quality bloom, I'm going to get a bigger bloom. So that's why I'm going in and clipping out some of those side shoots. Then, I'm going to clip anything that's crossing over one another. So that, kind of, crowding that happens, I want all of my branches to have some elbow room, I want them to have space for water to drip down and through, I don't want them growing all in and around each other. So I'm going to thin and trim in that area as well. To get started here today, I have a pair of pruners. And the important thing with pruning is to make sure that your clippers are very clean before you get started because you're basically doing plant surgery, right? So I have a Chlorox solution that I'm dipping my clippers in and just sanitizing and cleaning them off. The first step is measuring to 18 inches, that's what I've chosen for where I'm going to do my cuts on this particular bush due to its size. So I'm going to go ahead and measure to 18 and then I'm going to clip on an angle. Just like this, so this keeps the water from sitting in there and the water just can run off the sides. And I'm going to continue doing this using that as a general guide. And as I clip, I'm looking for these little areas of three. These two types of hydrangea, the limelights and the pink diamond, bloom on new growth. It's very important to know the distinction between the different types of hydrangeas because some bloom on woody growth. So this type of pruning would affect the bloom for you if it was another variety of hydrangea. So I'm going to continue doing this the whole way around. Now, what we've just done is created a strong base for the new growth to come up and out on. Now, we're at a point here where you have to make a decision. Do you want bigger blooms? Or do you want smaller blooms and more of them? If you want bigger blooms, it's important to go back down into the plant and to clip out some of these smaller, weaker stems. So that's what I'm going to do, I'm going to clip out some of these because these aren't really, these ones that are curved and wonky aren't really supporting... New growth that will come up. And I want to use strong stems like this that have a really great base, so I'm just going to cut some of these... out... Of the plant. But I'm not going to prune quite as hard as some people may who are searching for bigger flowers because in design work for me, unless I'm doing a really large scale piece, really giant limelight hydrangea blooms, they're kind of giant, even the small ones are a little bit giant. So I would prefer to have more blooms and less of them. But right now I'm just going to get rid of these smaller stems that aren't going to be a big support for the plant. The other thing I'm paying close attention to is some of these stems that are inner-locking. I want them to have a little bit of room, so I'm going to trim out any that are crossing over each other. Thanks so much for tuning in. I'm looking forward to seeing your nice, healthy, strong hydrangea bushes.

Antonio Valente Flowers

In this episode, Antonio answers various questions about everything from planting snaps in the winter to profitable farming investments and much, much more! Learn about best practices, challenges growers face in the industry, and the top five best cut flowers.

Sierra Flower Finder

In an era of the industry in which practically any cut flower can be shipped from any corner of the world, our vocabulary for the botanical materials we use is becoming ginormous, and the sheer amount of information about each flower we use in a given project can be overwhelming! That's where tools like Sierra Flower Finder can help solidify vocabulary and serve as a handy resource for looking up specs on flowers when you have questions about how they perform after cutting.

Best Roses for Floral Design

Today, you can find roses in numerous shades of oranges, pinks, yellows, reds, purples, whites, and countless colors in between! But with so many options, how do we even begin to choose?! To help with this, we reached out to Laurel Munro from Mint Floral Co. as well as Team Flower members and other industry experts.