All in Videos

Video: How to Win at Revenue Streams

In this excerpt from the Team Flower Sustainable Business Growth class, Kelly shares tips on how to be successful when choosing revenue streams. Using a simple and easy-to-use chart, Kelly breaks down how to determine when to say, “yes” and when to say, “no” in order to prevent burnout and encourage profit.

Video: Cocktail Table Centerpiece

Can you really make a beautiful cocktail accent arrangement using only ONE ingredient? Kelly shows you how in this short tutorial! She demonstrates how to maximize both budget and style by purposefully placing every stem, leaf, and bloom, bringing the principles of design to life in this sweet piece. Knowing how to make an impact with a small amount of blooms is a great way to add value to your client's wedding designs.

Video: Foundations of a Wedding Centerpiece

What are the three levels of an arrangement, and why should we be thinking about them as we design? In this video, Kelly walks you through the design principles of balance, shape, and rest and how she used them to guide every piece she creates. These three principles are the building blocks that lead to efficiency, balance, and freedom in design!

Video: Designing a Wedding Arch

In this video, Kelly of Team Flower demonstrates how to create a new shape when designing an arbor. Pay attention to how she widens an arbor with various mechanics and design tips. Ingredients used are Honeysuckle, Burning Bush, Rhododendron, Lilac, Scillia, Foxglove, Wild Geranium, Ferns, Wisteria, and Moss.

Video: Harvesting a Cut Flower Garden

In this video, Kathleen of Primrose Hill Flower Company joins Kelly of Team Flower to discuss the best practices for Harvesting. You'll learn how much stem length to leave, whether or not to strip leaves at harvest, and if flowers should be open or closed when cut.

Video: Comprehensive training on floral supplies

There are so many materials and supplies used in the floral industry, and it can get quite overwhelming to know everything you need as well as how to use them! In this video, Kelly Perry of Team Flower lays out an extensive list of floral supplies used in the industry. From Quick Dip to flower tubes, she walks through each item, detailing what it is and how it is best used. Demonstrations are given for each tool to allow for greater understanding of safe and efficient ways to use the items shown.



Hi, I'm Kelly from Team Flower and I wanted to introduce you to some of the floral supplies that you will be working with. I'm going to go through just a broad overview of all of these different things and then we'll learn how to use them where they fit into the big picture. I'm going to start with this, this is the big chopper. This is something that you may or may not be working with but just in case you are, I just wanted to demonstrate how to use it. So this is primarily used when you're processing flowers. So there's a lot of flowers coming through your studio. This is a really great way to get the stems cut quickly and popped in water. So I have some roses here and you'll see I'm just able to put them underneath, keeping very careful watch that my fingers never get close to that giant blade. And I just bring them down and cut, cut, cut. These are ready to go in water. So that is a, that's the flower chopper. We'll get that off the table here. Now the other cutting tools that are commonly used whenever you're working with flowers are three different types of scissors. So here we have the general all-purpose scissors. These can be used for all kinds of different things right down to really specific detail work. You'll notice that the tip on them is very pointed so whenever you're cleaning flowers, say you have a lot of things that just need to be clipped off and really manicured, these are great. They're also great for general purpose. They can cut through stems, they can cut through branches. It's a really great sharp scissor. So, here's one. And the next one is a little bit different. So you'll notice that this one has a curved blade. So if you are trying to get around, perhaps a bouquet or something like that, to clip it off, these can be really great for something like that. Also, if you have a thicker branch that, maybe, these ones can't get through, this is like, level two. Some people use these as general purpose as well, but they're a little bit heavier than these. So this is something I can hold in my hand for several hours and be fine with. These are a little bit more to hold and to carry around. The other difference is that if these kind of slip off the table and onto the ground, they're not quite as heavy. Where these, the heaviest part is blade on this, so it's more than likely going to fall blade down and could cause some damage to the floor or to your feet. So, I like to keep these ones off the table, only use it when it's necessary, and this is the great general purpose. The last scissor is a ribbon scissor. So these are special, these are only, only used for ribbon. Nice and sharp so that you can get through and make a nice clean cut. So no flower guts on these, really, really important. Those are your three scissors. Now, in keeping with the ribbon, I have a little miniature hair straightener here. If you're asked to prep ribbons you can, and they're a little bit wrinkly, particularly with the silks, you can warm this baby up and do a quick little ironing of the ribbons. So this is another tool in the toolbox. And along with that, the ribbons, you may keep a bulletin board on hand so that you can take the ribbons, maybe you're making, asked to create some streamers that will go onto the bridal bouquets. Let's make one quick. And I'll show you how the bulletin board is helpful. So the specific way that the streamers are made is something that you'll want to ask your supervisor. How they'd like those to look. Of course, the colors, the lengths, all of those things because they'll be very familiar with the client's preferences. Perhaps, even, they can make one for you and then you can copy. So we've got these little ribbon tails here. And that can just get folded together neatly and folded under. And a lot of times with ribbon tails I will actually do the pin underneath, just like that. And so this will go in and the front tails will cover the pin. You could also do it so that the pin goes through the front. Again, just ask your supervisor and go from there. But I like doing this because they can all clip on to the bulletin board. And then you can make sure that all your tails are nice and professional and an even length. So there's a few supplies that you might come across, in terms of ribbon. Next, the rose stripper. So there's a lot of ways to do this and I'm actually, I'm going to demonstrate this whenever I process the flowers. So we'll wait until we have these things cleaned off, but I wanted to introduce you to that. You put the stem of the flower here and do a quick motion down and that gets rid of all the thorns in a really safe, easy way where you don't hit your hand because you're completely covered by this nice, heavy plastic. There's several different kinds of tapes. I'd say flower arranging is about tape and scissors. If you have those two things and a container you can do just about anything. So, tape, there's different sizes and types. So this is one of the quarter inch clear tapes. And this is great if you're working with a container, maybe you're going to, you've been asked to create a grid on the top of the container. This is great to use with glass because you don't see the tape. So what you do is you just take the tape and you do like a tic-tac-toe board. And the type of flowers that you're using and the overall style of the design will determine how wide or how close together this grid goes. So that's something that would be great to do one. Ask your supervisor if it suits them and then repeat and do the whole lot. Or, if you have one that's already done that you can copy, then you know for sure you're on the right track and you can go from there. But I want you to know the general concept of a grid before you even get started. So this one we're going to do four and four. And depending on the end use, some folks like to then take their tape and go around the outside of the rim to catch all of those ends for some extra security. So sometimes I do this and sometimes I don't, just depends on the occasion. That's something that you'll learn as you go. So this is the thin, skinny quarter inch clear Oasis tape. And then we have two other kinds. This is the half inch and then we have the quarter inch in the green. And what's a little bit different about this tape is that it is tackier. So, where this, if it gets water around the edge it can loosen up a little bit easier than one of these more heavy duty tapes. This is like a florist's duct tape as opposed to a florist's scotch tape. So you can see the difference there. This bouquet tape, well I just called it bouquet tape, but this is what I commonly use for bouquets. So whenever you're prepping, maybe you're asked to prep the tape for bouquets. I would want a piece of tape that's about this long, about just a little bit over a foot. And that's enough to wrap around my bouquet once and then to go backwards so that I have a sticky spot for my ribbon to hold onto. So that's a common use. You can also use this in larger arrangements as a grid as well. And then the smaller. I could use that, easily replace this with that over here. This is something that I like to use on boutonnieres as well. These two are interchangeable it just depends how much stick I need, or what's most important. If its most important that I have a transparent background or if I can afford to have a little bit of tape, like if that's going to be covered with ribbon or something like that, then I'll always choose this heavier duty tape, it just sticks a little bit better. So these are our sticky tapes. These are called stem tape. They come in all different kinds of colors and when you unwind it it does not have a sticky surface like this one. So this gets its stick from being stretched. The more you stretch it, the stickier it gets and it also warms up a little bit under the warmth of your fingers. So this is commonly used whenever you're wiring flowers or creating a crown. So I'm going to show you here. Here we have a little flower crown that would go on. So if you're asked to prep something like this what you're going to do is take some of this. This is another one of our supplies. This is just a simple it's just a simple piece of wire. Wire can also come wound on a spool, so this would be called spool or paddle wire. And wire comes in all kinds of different weights. So, the higher the number, the more flexible the wire. So this is like a number 24 and you'll see it's very flexible. And this one is about 20, 18 or 20, and it has a little bit more stability to it. So for flower crowns I think that a little bit of stability is great, particularly if you're going to have quite a lot of flowers on here. They need a nice stable surface to live. So what you do is you take your stem tape and you stretch as much as you can and you pull it really tight. And you twist as you go and now this surface is becoming nice and sticky. And then here at the end if you need it to be an adjustable crown, you can just do a small little hook here and keep your tape going to get these two little ends put together here. And then you wrap around and you can do that little hook. So this is a great size for just a small child, an infant-sized crown. And then this one is better for a full, full, full-sized adult, but it can also be adjusted to whatever size is needed whenever you get there. So just that little hook is helpful to have. And this one just has two pieces of wire that are wound together. So that's a little sample of what you can do and what a commonly used application of the wire is. Now this paddle wire is something that we'll see a lot whenever we're creating garlands. So if we're putting bunches of flowers together and we're doing a lot of, like, whips around, this is the paddle wire. Because this, you would have to, you know, be going back to get more and more each time, but in a pinch, you can certainly use it. This is just a little more economical for the garlands is what I use that for. Okay. Next I have a zip tie. These are great for attaching things to different, you know, pillars or arbors, things like that, if you need to hold quite a lot of weight. You could use wire if you were in a pinch, but these zip ties are great and that's something that you're going to find in your florist's toolbox, more than likely. I also have some pins here. Pins can be used for all kinds of different things, most commonly ribbons and bouquets and attaching those small, detail works and personal flowers and pinning boutonnieres onto jackets and things like that. Just a note about pinning boutonnieres to jackets. They go over the heart and on the lapel of the suit. There'll be a little buttonhole and that's where you're aiming for, that boutonniere to go right on that buttonhole. Then what you do is you take the fabric and you pinch it so you're making a little cocoon around the, let's see here, we could use this as an example. So let's pretend that this is the stem of the boutonniere. You'll, and this is the lapel of their jacket, you'll bend the jacket just like that, and then you'll take your pin and you'll go straight through. So when you're pinning this is something that you'll want to practice and you'll want to get real good at. So you're just, instead of doing one of these numbers where you're going up and around, you're just going to go straight through so the fabric, you'll go behind the fabric and straight through. Great thing to, to just make a couple boutonnieres and that's something great to practice and get really good at. That'll be really helpful to your supervisor. Okay, next we talked about ribbon, so that's good to go. Rose stripper. Just another note about this stem tape. I will show you how to wire a flower once we process the flowers that I have down below. But you'll want to match this to whatever color the stem is that you're using. So, renunculus, I like to use this light green that's a common flower that I'll wire for boutonnieres or flower crowns. Same thing with spray roses. So this is my most commonly used color, but you can just take a quick inventory and see. This darker one works great with tropicals. The brown one for branches. If you're wanting to do branches. Another thing that'll be your friend, Goo Gone. A lot of times the containers come in, they have stickers on them that need to come off and be shined and polished up. So, Goo Gone to get those stickers off or some nice glass cleaner can also sometimes get those stickers off just depends where they're coming from and how sticky they are. So, Goo Gone, Windex, paper towels, those are all going to be a part of the studio experience. I also have some Super Glue. This comes in really handy whenever something breaks on you. So I have this Super Glue. I also have Gorilla Glue. So sometimes, this is aqua strength, so if something breaks that's glass that also needs to hold water, this is a really great fix for that. The other thing that I use the epoxy for is attaching flower frogs to containers. So something that you might be tasked with is setting the containers up to receive the water and the flowers. So right here we did the grid, like I showed you. So this might be, this is one way that you can set your containers up. Another way is using these flower frogs and this varies depending on each job that you're doing, the purposes, what the priorities are, what types of flowers you're using. I use all kinds of different mechanics, it just depends which one is best suited for what I'm doing in the moment. So that's something that you'll see switch up as you're working in the studio. This can get attached down at the base of the container with some of this epoxy. It smells terrible, if you want to use a little, you know, cover your nose with a scarf or something. But it's very fragrant and it does take a little bit of time to set and to get dry. So follow the instructions if that's something that you're going to use. You can also attach these to the containers using a product called Cling, which is basically sticky putty. And the goal with the sticky putty is to not have any spots where water can get underneath and then pop it out. So you just want to go around real carefully and there's detailed instructions on these different ways to prep a container on So, that's a flower frog. Next is chicken wire. This is used in all kinds of different applications in the floral studio. I use it to provide a base for my containers. So I have the frog, the tape graph over top, and then another option would be to take this and to use it wound into a ball in the container. Some floral studios like to use wire clippers for any kind of wire cutting. In my studio we use these Joyce Chen's for just about everything. It allows me to clip through really quickly and I just find that the wire cutters are quite heavy so maybe there's a pair, like these are designated for ribbon. Maybe there's a, there will be a pair in your studio that are designated for wire. So, that's something to keep in mind. So I'm just going to remove the grid here. Now prepping with the chicken wire I like to make a little bit of a cylinder. It just depends on the shape that I'm working with. So this time for this one the cylinder actually needs to go in the other direction. The goal is to have the wire create a place for the flowers to go through at the top and the bottom because that's what will hold the flowers in place. So if this is a flower stem and I only have it at the top, this will, this has a lot of flexibility about where it can go. But if I'm trying to get it in this general vicinity, that second one is what keeps it in place and keeps it from going all over. So it's important that you have those two layers. Now, if you're working with some really thick stemmed flowers, amaryllis perhaps, you'll want to do a little bit less so that your stems can fit down in there. But for general purpose, this is a great thickness. You've got lots of great little places for the flowers to catch. So this is an opportunity to take that heavier tape and to do just a small X to keep that sturdy in the container. You'll find that different florists have different preferences about the exact mechanics and how they get set up. Don't become frustrated by that, everybody does it a little bit differently. And um, you'll just want to ask how they'd like you to do it and follow suit. So there is that. Now, I picked one of my containers that had a little piece of flower gunk on it here because I wanted to remind you that in the flower studio there's going to be things that pop up that you can be doing whenever there's, maybe, a lull. And one of those things is cleaning containers. There's always going to be a messy container somewhere that needs to be cleaned up. And I really like to just use a simple dish detergent for that, although there are special bucket cleaners and things that you can use as well. You'll just want to ask about that and know where those supplies are in your studio. So cleaning containers is one thing that we're always happy to have done, counted, organized, even better. Now this is called floral foam and we use this floral foam. This is something that you'll find in most studios no matter where you go because there's some things that floral foam allows us to do that chicken wire and the flower frogs just simply can't. So if we need to attach something, maybe, to the side of a fence or an arbor and we really need that water source, this is a great product for that. So you might be asked to prep this. I use the long wire, that we had demonstrated the flower crown, to cut it. That keeps big knives out of the studio, just in case those might fall and hurt somebody. Wire's pretty easy and it works. I like to do the cutting for this after the foam has soaked. So you'll notice that there was just a little bit of a dust that popped up from that. It's not great for you to breathe, but if you cut it after it's soaked, you don't have that problem. So soaking Oasis, you'll want to follow, as each type of Oasis has a different instruction for soaking on the box. But the key, generally, overall is that you set it in there and you wait for it to sink just below the surface of the water. So you don't want to take it and shove it into the bucket because it will become, you'll find that this area, when you do that, it appears to have been soaked completely, but this area in here will not be fully wet. So a flower could get in there and it could just be in a dry spot in the Oasis and then you have flower loss. So it's really important to give this time and let it soak. The different types soak for different lengths of time. Some of them will say that they can soak in 10 minutes, and I believe that they can, but I still like to soak my Oasis overnight whenever possible just so that they are really full of as much water as possible, especially if I'm going out on a warm day to do my, do my work. So, that is that. You can also use Oasis in containers as well. So, rather than putting this chicken wire in here I could cut a brick that fits perfectly into my container. So this is a great size, I think, for going into the container. And what I would do is pop that down in there and I would still include water in the container. Some people glue this to the base of their container and then add a little bit of water to top it off. But what I do is just pop it in there underneath and then I take this tape and put it across the top so that I have that stability in there as well. This one is a little bit taller so if my Oasis didn't go the whole way down to the floor I could stuff with a little bit of chicken wire down there at the base. Key thing is just to make sure that all the flowers are in water. You know, if they happen to be in there at the side or if you're using flowers that don't do really well in Oasis they can pop down there right in the part that doesn't have Oasis. Staplers are helpful to have whenever you're doing the ribbons. You can just staple this little section together. So there might be some designs where a stapler comes in handy. It's also great to have if you're gathering invoices and flowers to put on that main packet or quote for the client is to keep stapling all of the receipts that are coming in to that particular client's bill. Lighters. That's something that you'll use commonly if you're doing an event install. And then we also have the candle dampener. So this keeps wax from going everywhere, if that's a concern. Also, measuring tapes. This is something you'll find in the floral studio as well. All kinds of uses, of course, measuring different things being the core of those. Another thing that we have here are gloves, white gloves. So whenever you're doing candles or glasswork and maybe installing for an event, if you have something like this it keeps fingerprints from getting on the candle holders that you're working with and the glass. Okay, this little fancy toothpick, these are great for installing on cakes. So you can put your flower on there and then insert it into the cake. So this is something that might find in the toolkit that perhaps needs refreshing or replenishing. I also like to keep these skewers with me as well. These are helpful if I'm doing, like, amaryllis or something like that. I can put this up the hollow stem and trim the stem here and insert this part into the floral foam or whatever it may be. Amaryllis do really great without a direct water source. You can also just put a little cotton ball on the end to have a little bit of moisture up there in the flower head. So this is something you keep in the toolbox. Also have flower tubes. So this is something that you fill. You may be asked to fill a whole bunch of them. Put water in there the whole way up to the top, close it shut and then the flower stem goes in there and this pick can go into garland, it can go into arbors. Anywhere, even maybe a single rose that's going out the door for a delivery. Just a way to have a water source for that flower, but just one flower at a time in these guys. The last thing that we have here is the lazy Susan. And the lazy Susan is great for making arrangements because you can pop your container on there and you can work 360 around the flower arrangement. So, these are some of the general supplies. A few other things that I have down here. A broom, because it's always a welcome sight to see things being cleaned up off the floor. So that's one of those things. And then I wanted to introduce you to the different types of chemicals that are helpful with flower arranging. So this one is called Quick Dip, it allows the flower to take a really quick drink after they're being processed and I'll show you how to use that as we go through the processing flowers demonstration. And then the Floralife flower food. And this has a mixture of sugar and Clorox and it helps keep the water clean and the flowers fed. This goes in buckets. This does not, very important. So the flower food goes in buckets. The Quick Dip is just a quick dip and then the flowers go in the buckets. If you accidentally do Quick Dip in the water, pull it out, start over again, replace it with the flower food. The other thing we have here is Crowning Glory. This is a spray bottle and it is a solution that seals the moisture into the petals. So one of the biggest dangers with cut flowers is dehydration. So waters, flowers can drink from their base and then they also can, but they can lose moisture through their petals. So this is just a solution that seals and keeps all the moisture inside the flowers and helps them to last a little bit longer. You also might have another water bottle filled simply with water and that can be really helpful for flowers that maybe don't prefer to have the Crowning Glory, or if maybe, you don't have Crowning Glory in the studio. It's a way to moisturize those petals. It's great for hydrangeas, they drink through their petals, so a quick little mist on the tops of them is helpful in keeping them nice and fresh. The other thing that the water is helpful for is votives. So if you have a lot of votives going out for an event if you spritz them and then put your votive candle in it will help the wax from sticking to the container which makes clean up a lot easier. And these are my flower claws. So, you can use a dust pan, but I have these claws to pick up the big clumps of flower waste that fall on the floor to keep everything nice and clean. Keeping the trash emptied in the studio, relatively clean while an event is taking place, is so important and welcome. Just to have that clear space and be able to get, you know, maybe tables that roll, in and out and just to keep our feet safe. So, that's what we've got with that. And the last thing I have to show you is a really dirty bucket. It's gross! This is what happens when flowers get left in the buckets too long. You get all kinds of nice stuck on slime. And this one's been outside so it has, like, rain, dirt and grass and all kinds of stuff stuck to it. I'll use, a lot of times, the Dawn in these and a toilet brush bowl, like a nice, sturdy bowl where I can really get in there and scrub, scrub, scrub because the important the about processing flowers is that you have a nice, clean bucket. So, this is an example of something that needs attention. Okay, let me get these things off the table and then I'll show you how to unwrap flowers whenever they come in and get those ready to go out again. Okay, I'm back with a few flowers I wanted to process with you. The first one I have is marigolds and then I also have some roses. Roses are something that I have on almost every single order, so I think this is a good one to practice with. And then these are representative of my specialty seasonal flowers. So this is what I, this is what we're working with here, these little marigolds. Now, flowers, they can be fresh, they can be less than fresh. They have a long life before they actually get to us. Some of them are being shipped in from Holland. So they go from growers in Holland, or in other parts of the world, through the Dutch flower auction and then they come to you. So sometimes flowers can be cut several weeks and they get stored in that cold chain. So it means they're going from the farm, to the auction, to the truck or the plane, and they're kept cold throughout that entire process which is what allows them to then wake up whenever they get to their final destination. So, you are the final destination. You are the point at which these flowers begin to wake up and come to realize their full potential. If it's time for the flowers to not quite reach their full potential yet, it's important to keep them cool. So let's take a little look at these marigolds. I want you to see the difference between some flowers that are really on their way out and then some fresher ones. So you know that these flowers are on their way out because you'll see that the stem, or that the petals have started to dehydrate. So they're starting to turn brown, they feel a little crispy. These are things that obviously need to be removed from the flower before it's used. And if something like this was received in my studio, this is something that I would be requesting a credit on, because they're really, the amount of loss that we have on here is pretty significant. So if you come across flowers that look like this, whenever you're unpacking them, it's important to take a quick picture and take a look at that invoice and notice how many bunches of them were past prime, because you really need fresh product. Now some parts of this can be salvaged. And then other times a lot of times with events in particular, there's just not time to do all of that salvaging work. But I wanted to do a couple stems of these so that you can see what can come off and how different the flower can look whenever you give it a little bit of love. So, you'll notice here that this one doesn't have a flower bud at the top of it. So I'm going to clip that off with these little detailed scissors. And I'm going to just get rid of all of this dehydrated foliage. Sometimes foliage further up on the flowers is not dehydrated. It just depends what stage the flower is in. In this one it's really the whole way up the stem, but sometimes it'll just be, you know, lower in the base of the stem and you can leave some of those pretty little frilly pieces on at the top. But the goal is whenever you're thinking about processing the flowers, the question is, is it beautiful? And if it's beautiful it gets to stay, and if it's not beautiful then it needs to go. So this one, another one without a bud at the end. And when I'm processing I like to leave the stems as long as possible. Unless I know specifically where they're going to go. So that allows the designer optimal flexibility whenever they go to place this flower in an arrangement. So, they may find that this piece needs to come off whenever the flowers are actually being arranged, not when they're being processed, but when they're arranged. And they can use this little guy right here to pop out on a side. So when you're looking at the piece as a whole it might not look like you would necessarily be drawn to this particular piece, but sometimes the way that it bends and gives is the perfect addition to an arrangement. So that's something to keep in mind. Give the designer optimal flexibility with how the flowers are cleaned. So you can see what a difference that looks like. The blooms on here, they're very sturdy. These are still going to be nice and these are going to last for a long time. Just this, this you know, these decapitated pieces and some of this that just is not, not as good. Just that little indicator that they've been through a lot. So that, great for event work, but if I was sending that out for something that needed to last for longer I know that these are, I know that these have been, been out because of that dehydration factor. Okay, so, there's the difference. That's what you're going for with marigolds. When you're thinking about putting them into a bucket you want to find the bucket that suits the length of the flower stem. So there are buckets that are taller, right about this height. That would be a perfect fit for a flower like this. Putting them in here means that they flop around a little bit too much. So you would want a taller bucket like a Home Depot five gallon bucket or one of the square flower buckets for something that's a tall stem like this. Unless they were being used in shallow applications the whole way around, in which case, this would be fine. I wanted to show you some Quick Dip. We talked about this in the supply section. What I'll do is just get a small little container to put it in. And you take your cleaned flower, give it a fresh snip. Whenever you're snipping, you just snip at an angle that allows for more water absorption. You do a quick dip and into the bucket. Now already in the bucket I have some of the Floralife Crystal Clear. And you'll just want to follow the instructions on the container as far as mixing, how much needs to go in the different sizes of the buckets. Okay, let's do roses next. Alright, so this variety is called combo. Oh no, sorry, not combo, Camel, this one's Camel. Most roses will come wrapped up just like this. And when this rose first comes in, when it first pops into your studio, something that you'll want to do is to give it that fresh cut. Give it the Quick Dip and then set it in water upright for about two hours. Now what this does, it allows the flowers to have that initial drink with the support of this covering, which means that they're not going to, if they're a little bit dehydrated whenever they come to you and they have like, a wobbly neck, sometimes they can absorb the water and their necks can stay wobbled. You'll see this with lots of different types of flowers. So sometimes letting them, if they are dehydrated when they come to you, it's not a terrible sin, they can be rehydrated in most cases. But having some little bit of a support when you're processing is helpful. So getting familiar and taking note of when the flowers have a little bit of a weak neck, and whenever they're already hydrated whenever they get to you, is important because sometimes you might need to go grab some newspaper or some craft paper and just add a, you know, stretch the flowers out and wrap them up, give them that little piece of tape and put them in to soak that water up so that the necks can absorb the water fully. So after they've had their initial drink, and these have, you can take them out of their wrapper. There's usually staples in here and a lot of times in the flower boxes themselves that the flowers are being shipped in. Be really careful that you don't cut your fingers on those because they can be very sharp. Okay, so the flowers are packaged in two layers. So whenever you buy them you think, oh, there's only a dozen flowers in there, but you pop open and there is a second layer hidden underneath. Now between each layer there's a piece of cardboard. So this just protects the flowers from bruising. Now, a lot of times with roses I'll grab a pair of gloves if they have a lot of thorns on them and particularly if they're are a true garden grown rose, those thorns can be really nasty. So you might want to have a pair of gloves in your apron or your pocket whenever you're working with processing roses. This is the stem cleaner that I showed you. You just grab it, squeeze it and down you go. All your thorns are taken care of and these few beautiful leaves at the top are fine to leave on. I actually encourage leaving on a few leaves, if they're beautiful, at the top. If they need to come out and they're being, maybe used in a bouquet or something like that where the leaves aren't needed, that's something that you might want to ask your manager. Again, knowing where these flowers are going and what the end goal is that they're being used for. Because if this is going in a bouquet, I'm probably going to want to go ahead and pull these extra petals off and put those in the bouquet pile. You'll just want to give it another cut at an angle, maximum water absorption, Quick Dip and in. And with the Quick Dip you can do multiple flowers at a time. So I'm thinking about efficiency whenever I'm doing something. It's not important to me as a designer that every single thing is perfectly clean, although it might be important to yours. I'm thinking about, usually I'm doing weddings, so I'm marching towards this deadline of needing to get the flowers out and prepped and to their final destination. So for me, speed is important. I want it to be done well. I want it to be done professionally. But, for example, where it may be necessary in some applications to trim this little nib that's here to make the flower perfect, for what I'm doing, that's not necessary. So knowing that final end use, what it's for, important. So as you process these, as they have that little bit of Quick Dip they're going to open up and they're going to be so beautiful. Sometimes the flowers come in and they're very tight and sometimes they are not. And how you can tell is by just squishing this rose head right here. If it's flexible it has give, it's going to open up beautifully in a day or two. So, great for event work. Other times you squeeze this and it's really hard, that means it's going to take a little bit longer or it might not open at all. Some varieties of roses just don't open. So that's something important to keep in mind. Another way that you can handle these stems, if you don't have a rose cleaner like this, is simply clipping them off with your scissors, a nice, clean cut. Another thing that people will do and some people, you know, prefer, there's so many ways to take care of, the goal is clean the stem. There's many ways to clean the stem. Some people use a knife. I don't like to have knives in the studio, I think they're a little bit dangerous, but you just the whole way down the stem to get those off with a knife. So that's, that's what we're looking at here. Okay, so let's go fast, right? The same repetitive motion over and over again is how you can get going really fast at things. So, that one didn't have pretty leaves on it so I took all the leaves off. This one doesn't have pretty leaves on it so all the leaves come off. But it's doing the same thing over and again. So unwrapping all of the staples off the roses. Laying all the roses out. Then going after the rose stripper with all of them. Once you get the hang of it, once your manager is like, oh, it looks great, then you know you can repeat it and just go to town. Get your work environment set up in a way that's really efficient. So right down here, garbage can. All those leaves are just plopping right into a garbage can as they go down. I find that it's so helpful in doing things like this. I mean, it takes a lot of concentration to keep it moving at a quick pace. I love to do stuff like that quick and concentrated and then have time over a break to catch up on, catch up on different things. So you might find that the people that you're working with aren't chatting and that's fine, don't take it personally. And sometimes they do, just depends the, just depends from place to place. So you could also run these through, I showed you the chopper. This would be a great opportunity to run those through if you wanted to handle it that way or you were doing large, large quantities. Dip and done. Another way to get the roses to open is to keep them warm and keep them in light. And whenever you're thinking about filling up your buckets to receive the flowers, again, clean, clean buckets and generally room temperature water will suffice and is a perfect fit for most flowers. Some things like hellebores that grow really cold in the winter. Some varieties really need to be in chilly, chilly water. Maybe they have a hot bath and then they go in chilly water. Other things like sappy flowers, like daffodils and milkweeds, you'll notice that they ooze. These don't ooze, but things like that do, so you'll want to put them in their own bucket while they seal and all that sap comes out and then you'll just transfer them into a bucket of clean water. And then when they're being arranged with they get clipped and swished to let that seal come out again, and then into the arrangement with the rest of the flowers. Just to help keep the water clean. Sometimes even if I'm using a lot of things like that that have sap and that ooze, even though they're hardened off, I might just dump the water and refresh the water after the arrangement is completely made. And I really, I have not seen any major longevity or loss issues that were directly related to that with that process. Sometimes the life of the flowers before they reach you, they just not a super healthy plant or super, an older established plant that holds well. So sometimes there's things that are a little bit outside of your control, but generally I find that that works quite well. So, that is processing flowers. Those, some of those specific things like hot water, cold water, you may just want to ask your manager, is it okay if all these are in lukewarm water today? Or do you need them in cold water? If you're wanting, perhaps peonies, something that you don't want to have open up really quickly, cold water is going to, anything cold is going to keep the flower asleep and anything warm is going to wake the flower up. So those are some core principles that are important to know about processing and handling the cut flowers. I wanted to show you how to wire a flower which is really helpful for prepping for boutonnieres, corsages, flower crowns, things like that. The benefit to wiring flowers is that we can make a thin, flexible stem which keeps some of those things from being really bulky. There's a few ways to wire, I'm going to show you two. The first one you put the wire through this part of the flower right here. You fold it down like a bobby pin. And then you wrap the wire around like this. Now, depending on the application that you are using this particular flower for, you may not want the stem to go down long. You may need it to be short so, you can cut the flower off it just, again, knowing how it's going to be used. You can cut if off nice and short like this which would be nice for corsage. You need that little bit of a lip to get the wire going around, but after that you're all set. Then you take your stem tape wrapping real, real tight to get it nice and sticky. Make a nice, clean line up there around the base of the flower. And bring it down just like that. So this can very easily get attached to the flower crown that we had talked about in the supply section. And it just goes on just like this. And then you build and work and that's a little behind the scenes on how those get created. But it's so helpful to have a part of this ready and prepped to go for the designer that's making all of the pieces. So, that is wiring a rosebud. Another way to wire. If you have something that is a little bit more open like this rose, for example, we can get to open the whole way here. Going to give it a little clip. And what we can do is we can actually, this is helpful for renunculus, for boutonnieres, I like to wire renunculus this way. You make the bobby pin first and that goes down through the actual center of the flower. Right there in the sweet yellow part. So it's piercing both sides. You're bringing it down, you're tugging it until you don't see the wire. You want the wire to be hidden. So just a gentle, but firm tug. And then same thing for finishing like we did with the last one. Just around this small nib there. Making a nice, clean professional border and down we roll. Okay, that's wiring flowers. You might be wondering what should I wear? And I can answer that question for you. On studio days it's really helpful and super duper important anytime there are clippers anywhere that you have closed toed shoes; boots, sneakers, anything like that, that if a blade were to fall on your foot, it would protect your foot and keep your foot nice and safe, really important. There's also a lot of water, leaves, possibility to slip. It's important that they have good, solid traction on your shoes. That's the most important thing about what to wear. On days whenever there's installation work and there's a lot of moving and lifting and all those kinds of things taking place, I think it's really helpful to wear black pants. Black pants are a great friend because if you're carrying a bucket of water and it starts sloshing and gets a little bit out of control, the black, it just blends. You don't look like you peed your pants anymore, it just blends in with the black. So I speak from several times of experience that those black pants are really a lifesaver. The other thing with tops that I really love to do on event day, or really most days, I love to have an undershirt that I can tuck in because there's a lot of bending and all those kind of things. So having an undershirt that's tucked in and has a higher waistline or a higher neckline, modest neckline, it's really helpful. And then I will toss, if it's an event day, I'll toss a fancy, maybe like a little sparkly shirt underneath and then I'll put a button down kind of work shirt. Like maybe a dark chambray or some kind of a, something that can cover my sleeves because you're out, or cover my arms, because you're out in the sun, sun's beating down on you, don't want to get that sunburn. So having that collar and having those sleeves to keep from insects and sun, so helpful. And then if I need to stay and there's a flip happening at the reception or something like that I can pop that one off and it's usually dirty and yucky. And I can have my cute little sparkly shirt underneath with the black pants, switch out the sneakers or the boots for just, like a little flat in the car. That's my quick, quick switch on event day. So I hope that helps whenever you're deciding what would be helpful to wear and what would be most efficient for you to wear on work days.

Video: Encouragement for starting flower seeds

In this video, Kathleen Murphy of Primrose Hill Flower Company joins Kelly to share a few tips for new flower growers. Whether you are starting a small cut garden or a large flower farm, her advice is practical, useful, and encouraging.


Video transcript:

- - Kathleen if you could tell somebody who's brand new to gardening something, what would it be? - Well first of all, you're so fortunate because you're starting out on a journey that is just, I just love flowers and I know you're going to as well and it's just such a great journey. But what I would tell you, my best advice would be, again to start small, to stick to the methods we talked about, to build upon successes, don't jump in to a huge amount of work and things that are going to overwhelm you. Choose that core group of flowers that are easy to grow and really get to know them and know the process. If you can become successful at that the possibilities are endless, the different garden styles that you can do and just everything builds from that core and you'll be a huge success and you'll really enjoy it. - I love that. Keep it simple. - Keep it simple. - Everybody. Keep it simple when you're starting. And what would you tell someone who has maybe tried sewing seeds before or has tried gardening and has just really felt like that they weren't successful at it, that it's not something that they can do or that they're good at. How would you-- - I would say, don't despair, try it again, try it this way. I feel in a way that this part of this industry maybe sets you up for failure. We see these beautiful photos and we get the seed packet, and there really isn't a lot of direction as to how to successfully get from this seed to this beautiful photo that you're seeing. So people have really become discouraged and they don't have the process. They don't know how, the correct watering method, the lighting situation, what we have talked about or what we do talk about in this class, will just, it will enable you to successfully learn how to grow a healthy strong plant and again it all comes back to strong plants equals success, and you can definitely do this. You really can. It's totally possible. So don't despair, and try it again, and try it this way. And you will be successful. And don't give up. I've been doing this 30 years and there are still varieties that I just can't, my Lady's Mantle, I'll have years that a ton of them pop up that can germinate and I had a year, this year I had two, and I think, what did I do wrong? But it makes it challenging. I'm going to try that again next year so don't give up. - Right. - Don't give up.

Video: Growing for Market

In this video, Kelly visits Pressly Williams at her flower farm in North Carolina, Renfrow Farms. Pressly gives a tour of her farm and shares advice to new growers. She's unearthing her secret ingredient in growing flowers, and talking about her experience with growing flowers from seed as well as growing flowers from plugs.


Video transcript:

- - Hey, it's Kelly here with Team Flower. I'm here with my friend Pressly Williams of Renfrow Flower Farm. And we're here in Matthews, North Carolina. Pressly, tell us a little bit about the farm and what was here before and just a little bit about you and your story. - Okay, so this property that we're on is about nine acres and it used to be a farm back in the early 1900's when Matthews was kind of first growing as a little, teeny weeny town out in the outskirts of Charlotte. And the Renfrow family, which is what our farm is named after, lived here and every one of these houses along here had deep lots with big gardens, so this was a big garden, or a small farm, or whatever you want to call it. And then they owned a hardware store in the downtown strip of Matthews, which my family now owns, but come to the mid-1900's-- - So, not your family but, kind of caring on the name. - No, exactly. - And all that. Okay, great. - So, the Renfrow family died out. There was no one left of them in their direct line, so my dad bought the business from the last one in the 80's. And so come to the 1940's or so, this land had grown up, it was all in trees and when we got the land in 2010, we decided to turn it back into a farm. When the last member of the Renfrow's passed away, he left this property to the hardware store, which is what my dad owns and where I work. So, I work both here and there. - And that's just right down the road. - Yep, walking distance right down here. And so we do a whole lot of gardening, so I knew I wanted to be gardener, always, we had a big garden at my parent's house and I was not interested in flowers at all when I started this farm, but got into it when I designed my own flowers for my wedding. - Oh, okay, yeah. - Basically, we have just worked really hard to get this back to what it used to be, which was a farm, even with taking out the trees and doing the drainage and putting up a seven foot tall deer fence around the whole property 'cause there are a lot of deer here. - Yeah. - And yeah, so. - Yeah. - That's where we are now. It's year five. - Okay, that's awesome. So this did back in day used to be used for farming. Did you have to do a lot, once you got into it and you started liked digging in the soil, did you have to do a lot of amendments to it? Was the texture of the soil nice? What kind of nutrients did you need to put back into it? - Yeah, certain ones, we could tell had been farmed years and years ago, but it had been a long time. - How can you tell? - It was not just hard clay completely. - Okay. - So partly that and partly back in the back, we could still see the terracing that farms used to be naturally terraced around the property, so that-- - Now was that for water? - Drainage. - Drainage, okay. - So that it would not pool up and just, yeah for water stuff, so we could see that and the ground had just enough organic matter in it still, so what we do though is we use composted leaves, so a lot of this is composted leaves that we put on top of the soil and mix in and that is our secret weapon. - That's the secret ingredient. - Secret ingredient. - Yeah, it's so fun talking with all the different farmers that we've been interviewing. Everybody has their own special secret weapon. - And that's ours, free leaves from landscapers in the town that suck them up in different places and dump 'em in big piles at the back of the farm. And we let them rot down and mix them in. - Yeah. - And free compost. - Yeah, that's awesome. - So that would probably help keep down on some of the weeds like we were talking. - Weeds. - Mmhm. - Mmhm. - We were talking - It's a good - the other day about it - weed suppressant. Yeah, we do that, we mulch with it in the rows and in between the rows and then when we pull up the zinnias or something, then we'll till those leaves in - Those leaves in. - And so then they're as compost for the next year and then we just re-mulch the next year. - Yeah, that's awesome. And a lot of the things, now this, this area, we're just standing in one of four places. So, there's like another area over here and then across the road, there's like two more behind us, two big kind of larger fields. And most of them, they all look like they're in full sun. So, you've got a lot of plants in here that love to be in sun all the time. - Yes, yes. - Tell us a little bit though, we have had a very, hot year, lots of sun, very little rain. What are some things that you tried to grow this year that didn't go so well? - So, I did not know, just being my second year growing dahlias that they like a lot of water and not so much heat and we had almost no rain and we don't have a well here yet so we could not irrigate. It was just not something that I could do on city water very easily, or just the time it would take without having an irrigation system set up. It just was too much, so they have just now started blooming and here we are, early to mid-October, - It's like time for, yeah, frost is ready to hit. - they're almost finished. So that is one thing that needs a whole lot more water than I could supply. - Yeah, they love that swing between like warm and cool and kind of going back and forth and we just didn't have that, - We were - we didn't have that this year. - 95 plus every day for three months. - Was there anything like, vegetables included, that really thrived in that environment? - We had really good soil for tomatoes, so our tomatoes were wonderful this year and sunflowers have done really well, but there were even some vegetables that didn't like the heat. - Yeah. - Like green beans don't make when it's that hot. - Right. - So we just had plenty of losses, but plenty of successes as well to balance it out. - Yeah. - Yeah, that's good and tomatoes are your faves, so, - They're my favorite. - that was good, it would have been really sad if the tomatoes. - Yes, tomatoes are my favorite and my customer's favorite. - Yeah. - So, that's our biggest crop. - Yeah, tell everybody about your fun tomato day that you have here. - Yeah, once a year, in August, we will be hosting a tomato sandwich day where people come and we just provide the tomatoes and the white bread and both kinds of mayonnaise, so they don't have - Both kinds. - to choose between Duke's and Hellmann's. They get the choice, they don't have to just have one of them and we just let them make a sandwich and hang out on the farm. - Yeah. - We did the first one this year and people just loved it, so it's going to be our annual tradition from now on. - Yeah, that awesome and it's great way too that whenever there's people who want to come and visit the farm, but you have to, there's a lot of work to do on a farm. - Yes. - So, if you can kind of consolidate and make efficient the time that you get to spend with the customers and they get to actually come and experience what you do on a daily basis, it helps to keep your schedule clean so that you can keep moving through with all your things, - Exactly. - which is awesome. - Exactly. - I think that's such a super fun idea and who doesn't love a tomato and mayonnaise white bread sandwich? - Nobody doesn't. Yeah. - Yeah, that's fantastic. - We had some people who had never had one before. - Oh, really? - And it was their first experience. - Oh, wow. - It was great. - Yeah, I think they're great. Tomatoes are wonderful. You'll have to tell me a couple of varieties. I grew a couple this year, but mmm, I didn't like fall in love with the varieties that I had. - Oh, yeah. - So I need to pick some like, better varieties. - Okay, I can, I can help you with that. - You'll help me with that, cool. - Okay, what are some other things, What zone are we in? - This is kind of zone 7b, or 8a, I'm not totally sure which one it is, I think it has changed recently, but zone seven or eight. - Okay, seven or eight. - We typically have our last frost around tax day and then our first frost around Halloween, so that's a pretty long growing season. - Yeah, April through October, that's awesome. Are you, a lot of the things that you're growing, since you do have a longer growing season, you can probably start a lot more from seed than someone who's in like a more northern climate with a shorter growing season, so is most of what you have here things that you start from seed early in the spring or are you going to try to over winter anything this year? What are you, since you do have like a lighter winter, are you going to try to over winter anything? - Great question. So, so far everything I've done is pretty much been from seed, but excuse me, I am trying some plugs this fall and in the spring. I've realized some things from seed are just way too hard and may take, grow too slowly and are just not really worth the time. I'd rather pay to have all 200 of them come in a plug tray and all be ready - And they're all germinating - rather than having so few germinate. - Sure. - So, I'm definitely still learning the seed growing, but certain things like zinnias and stuff, I can direct seed those, I don't need a plug for them because they grow so fast, I can do four, five, or six plantings if I feel like it of zinnias. - Yeah. - So certain hot weather things are easy. - Tell me, tell me about that succession planting with the zinnias 'cause I've thought about that too. Would it be good to part way through, like pull some things out and redo - Yes. - 'cause I have just a very limited amount of space. - Yeah, so if you want to have more blooms. These were probably, I think these were my fourth or fifth planting right here. - Okay. - So my first three are already long gone. - Gone. - There's already broccoli heading up in the same spot where some of those were. - Oh, okay, okay. - So, I just, when they start, stop producing large enough quantity, I just mow 'em down and start over - Start over. - And then these are just here 'cause frost is coming and they look pretty and not really harvesting these specific ones any more much, - But don't want to get rid of those, just 'cause I'm about to not have flowers for the winter. - Yeah. They're there to, for the birds and-- - Yes. - The birds and the butterflies. - Yes. - Oh, that's awesome, so what's the latest date, if you want to do late planting of zinnias, like how close to that last frost date, can you do to actually have something that's worth? - I'd say probably 70 to 75 days. - Okay. - Typically, so these might have been early August, but yeah, I think you could do it all the way to mid-August, and last year we didn't really have a real frost until Thanksgiving so, totally depends on the year. - Yeah, got it. - That's awesome. - Well, it's obviously, it's fall here right now. What are some of the, what's your, are there anything, are there any like showstoppers for fall? Vegetables, fruits included, you can count them all. - Oh okay, so I've got them heirloom mums planted for the first time, so those are budding up. I've never grown them before, so those will be blooming soon. - Oh, fun. - There's a few back there and a whole lot in the next field, so those even if it frosts, I'll cover those and see, see how they do. - See how they do. - But, broccoli and collards are our two main vegetable crops. - Oh, okay. - People stand in line waiting for our brocolli and then there's several barbecue places in town that buy our collards in large quantities, so I can't grow enough of either of them. Not possible. - Yeah, that's awesome. What about in springtime? - So, I just got my anemones and ranunculus corms in, so I'm going to pre-sprout those and plant those within a month. And last year they started, some of them started blooming around Christmas, so that was a little early, 'cause it was so warm, but I'll be excited to grow them. - Yeah, well they come up super early, so whenever it's been like, it's kind of like exciting thing to go out there and see what you've got out there. Do you have any hellebores here? I know, that's more of like - Not yet. - a perennial kind of thing and it's a big investment to get started with those, but-- - I'm working towards those. My grandmother and my aunt have a bunch in their yard, so I do pick those and sell those, but I haven't made my shade garden here yet. - Okay. - I've got some spots laid out, but it's a matter of getting the time. - Yeah, of course. Mom and dad got some. It's been, it was right around the time, I want to say it's been about four years now, but mom and dad just got a couple of plants and it's been amazing to see how, once you get them in, they're very low maintenance and they really take off and you know, it takes a while for the seeds each year to germinate, but now they have lots and lots and lots and lots of babies. Yeah. - Yeah. - It's a big initial investment, but they do, they kind of do their thing. - It's worth it. - They don't take a whole lot of, they come up so early, like Christmas to January, depending on what zone you're in, - Yes, so fun. - so that's always fun. - I know. - And they last for so long throughout the spring, they still had them when I went up to visit in April. - Really? - Yeah. - Nice, yeah. - Yeah, so that's a fun plant. - They're on my, on my to-plant list, for sure. - On the wish list. - Yes. - Okay, what about summer? - Oh, sunflowers are probably-- - Your fave? - My fave. In a way, just because my customers get so excited about them. - That's one of those things that people just really, there's something nostalgic about it. I don't know if like grandma always had sunflowers or what, but it - I don't know what it is. - just makes people really happy. That's awesome. - So I like to grow a lot of different things, feverfew is one of my other favorites, but probably, the showstopper that gets people really excited are the sunflowers, even if mixed in with all sorts of other, other stuff. - Yeah. - That's awesome. Well, Pressly was telling me that she takes a lot of her, this building that you see just over here to our left, is a little farm stand that she has that's open just on Tuesday's, - Tuesday's. - So, she cuts, cuts, cuts, fills everything up and it runs, I mean just a really sweet space, runs like a store in there on Tuesday's. And then on the other days of the week, you said do you take some things up to the hardware store? - Up to the hardware store. Vegetables and flowers. - Yeah, that's awesome. And then she has some really awesome visitors coming to the farm here pretty soon, the big outdoor table, farm-to-table folks that travel all over. Do you know what it's called specifically? - Outstanding in the field. - Outstanding in the field. So they do farm-to-table dinners all over, so they one that's going to be happening here on Pressly's farm this fall, which is really fun, that we're excited about. - We're excited. - And she's going to supply them with all kinds of, probably, are collards on the menu? - Yes, they are. Collards and broccoli and tomatoes and a few other farm items. - Okay, fantastic, that's awesome. - I'm excited. - So, I had asked Pressly about maybe some things that she was over wintering, so we've popped over here to the black-eyed Susan patch and she's showing me some-- - Just various different black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia's, there's a whole row of 'em, they're really small still, but, you know, they'll make it through the winter without really much coverage and look pretty rough but in the spring, they will come back to life. - They'll kind of shed those leaves and come back. What is the earliest, you know, you over winter so you have an earlier bloom, right? - Mmhm. - So about when are you going to start seeing these bud up and produce? - That's a good question. I'm thinking early June. I'm not a hundred percent sure. - Yeah, 'cause usually this is kind of fall, late summer, fall, so now just - I'll be doing some more of these same ones in the spring, so that I have two different plantings to stagger the harvest. - So, then you've got it going all season long. That's awesome. Let's walk over and take a peak at the sweet peas as well. - Yeah. - So, yeah this is our cooler. We keep our flowers or things like our pomegranates in here. - Where are those coming from? - My parents have a few trees that made about 100 pounds of pomegranates. - Oh my goodness, that's awesome. - Oh these are so beautiful. What's the variety? - This is moulin rouge, which is one of my favorites. - Oh, guys, look at these. - This is really, like, this is really black. - Yeah, let's see. - And of course they're all a little bit different. Oh, okay, so branching - And that's one all. - Yeah, look at this one. How fun is that? Mmm, love it. Nice, thanks for saving those for us. Anyway, we're over here by the sweet peas. Both Pressly and I, was this your first year for trying sweet peas? - Yeah. - Yeah, it was my first year too, we both had a similar experience where we got a few awesome blooms that smelled so good that we were just like, yes more of this, but didn't quite have it, I didn't quite have it nailed down. - Oh no, me neither, that's okay. - So we're trying again, and so she's got these. - I have some teeny ones right here. - She's got the little babies in the ground and when I went to go see Linda the other day, she had hers in the ground too. And Pressly has them growing, this is called cattle fencing over from the hardware store, so she was telling me that they had them, the smaller holes are for goats, and you know all those kinds of things, so us girls that didn't grow up anywhere near a farm are like, we just need this metal stuff It has squares, so it's really helpful to know that it's called cattle fencing. That's what she has everything growing up, and then just attached to the zip ties here, I had an arbor that I had up this year that they were growing up, and I just took, I was trying to just use stuff that I had you know, so I had chicken wire from all of the weddings, so I just ran chickenwire the whole way up, and I was attaching them to that. But I think this would work so much better, because you just have a lot more spaces, with sweet peas you really have to keep on, they don't naturally really want to attach to this in the same way that other vines do, you kind of have to like. - Weave them in a little bit. - Coax them in, but they really do need a place to climb, but cup and saucer vine, have you ever seen that? - I haven't seen that. - Oh it's so pretty, it reminds me of this that you have going on over there, but it has real sticky fingers, but the sweet peas don't have that quite as much. Anyway that's our little tidbit about sweet peas, we're trying again. - Yeah try again, who knows. - Okay we are back, Pressly is going to show was her, the dismal dahlia patch she called it, the dismal dahlia patch. - Yes I don't know how to grow everything yet, as is obvious by my fairly short and very slow blooming dahlias. - Yeah it was a real hard year to try and figure it out for sure. - There's a lot of beautiful new weave growth on them now that we have gotten cooler temperatures and rain in the past three weeks, but before that they sat there without changing size for about three months, and I didn't have a way to water them, so I just had to let them-- - Had to let them go. - So next year, trying again. - So mine are coming, but I water them a lot, I water them a lot. - I can't, I don't have time or resources. - You don't have it up here yet, no, no. Well she has them all, like at the other form that we visited, she has the conduit types with the re-bar underneath, and so a precautionary measure, well not a precautionary measure, but a purposeful measure, whenever it frosts, to see if we can get something out of the dahlia patch, - Yeah I'll let them out a little longer and cover them with plastic. - See how the weather shapes up in a month or two. - And I'll end up putting early spring bloomers in this spot, I will dig the dahlia and put them in a new spot next year, and put my anemones and ranunculus here later this fall. - Yeah awesome, Let's see, I wanted to know, what advice would you give to somebody who is kind of starting out new to growing, like what's the most important thing? - Okay to start slow and small would probably be what I would recommend, if you're not a fulltime farmer, and able to just mix the flour crops into your regular job, it's hard to come home from a 40 hour work week and be able to attend a field this size, so I would say if you're looking to start into flour farming to just start small and grow a few rows of something, or a small patch of sunflowers, and a few zinnias and just start with the annuals because those are the cheaper seeds-- - Right to see if you like it. - Smaller investment, see if you like what they do, and just build on that, rather than getting in way over your head and buying all the expensive tulip bulbs and all sorts of stuff that you're not able to justify yet. - Yeah and I feel like plants take a while to get to know them, like when we started planting the garden at home, now that first year, I knew I wasn't in tune enough with them to know that they were maybe planted in a place that had too much sun and not enough water, and then once you know to get to know your plants a little bit more, they start to tell you things, like hey mom over here, I need to move, and plants can't move themselves, especially like I have a lot of perennials, so once they're in there there really in there, and it was so interesting to me how this year I could kind of start to know them a little bit more, so starting small with a low investment, that you can just really start to observe things, like we visited a place where the soil was more alkaline in a particular area, that's not something that I would notice my first year in, but after you kind of do it for a while, you start to notice things, so you can become smarter with your choices, and smarter with growing things that are very well suited for where you are, you might see some really beautiful flower that you're just like I really want to have that, but if it's not well suited for where you are, it's going to be a frustrating process, and their is really, they are truly, in all the different places, there are really special localized things. - You can grow something special everywhere, don't be afraid to mess up, because you will mess up and have failures, and just learn from them, don't be discouraged. - I love making mistakes, I don't like making them more than once. - No but I learn well when I make one. - Yes exactly, me too, I love that. Well is there anything, Pressly next year, she's expanding a little bit more on the flower front, and she's selling to designers more next year, which I'm really excited about, any plans for, I know you've got your sweet peas over here, which designers are going to love those to be able to have, because when we grow, or when we have the sweet peas that come in that are cut from wholesale in a box or whatever, you will get the long stems, particularly when they come from Japan, that's really high tide sweet pea season for somebody like me, but what's so beautiful, and what I love so much about whenever I had my little sweet pea patch, is that you had the whole vine with it, and the scent, and just the whole experience, it was just so nice. So that's something that I'm really excited about for you and for the designers who live nearby. So anything else that you have going on that you would like to share with the viewers? - Just growing a lot of new things, I'm always adding new varieties to the list, and at least doubling the quantity every year so far. - Just double, double, double, double until you get to your optimum size. - Yeah till I've decided I've had enough, max out at a certain point but I'm not there yet. - Yeah that's good, so your website is renfrow-- - R-E-N-F-R-O-W farms, with an S, .com. - .com, okay perfect, so we'll follow along, and do you have little Instagram handle or something? - Yeah it's @Renfrowfarms. - @Renfrowfarms, okay perfect so you can follow along with Pressly's growing adventures. So all right, thank you.

Video: Making bouquets for retail or farmer's market

In this video, Kelly shares how she thinks about creating bouquets for retail vs. bridal work using American Grown flowers.



- - We're back in the studio to put together a quick little farmer's market bouquet. I like to work one ingredient at a time, so I'm going to use five apple mint leaves, and just like when I'm creating a bridal bouquet, the apple mint leaves are giving me the shape and the structure that I'm going to use, but since the bouquets are going to be displayed in buckets, and people are walking up to them and looking down on them, the perspective that you arrange from is a little bit different than if you're doing a bridal bouquet that's going to be held here. So, I'm focusing on working, I'm just going to spiral the whole way around, and continue that with each of the ingredients that I have, celosia, and I'm working in layers because I do still want to have a little bit of ends and outs in my bouquet, and a variety of shapes and sizes. I'm going to add a little bit of cosmos in here, next. It gives me a completely different texture, really interesting. Now rather than using five, I'm just going to use three. And then I have a couple of pieces of basil we're working here, again three. Farmer's market bouquets, a lot of times you're doing, doing 'em all and doing 'em real quick, and you have a whole bunch to make, so if you can get yourself lined up, and you've got your pattern that you're working in, it's really easy to move quickly through the placement of the flowers. Last, but not least, I have zinnias, and these are our big, these are our big focal moment, and they're great because they're flat on top, and they have that nice face that's going to look up at all the passersby. Going to put the three smaller ones in, and then my three larger ones. That little bit of basil adds nice fragrance. Something, too, about farmer's market bouquets that are a little different than bridals, I think sometimes is that they're looking for something that's very bright and cheery, so color is very important in those types of settings, something that's very eye-catching and that people can see from far away, something that draws them in and over to your table. Made a lot of bouquets on the sidewalk last week. I'm just with some leftover flowers that I had from the workshop and the number one request was I want all colors, so it's different selling on the street than it is for bridals, so perhaps you're a wedding florist and not a farmer, but you want to do a pop-up shop or something like that, it's something to consider. It's so funny, some of the first bouquets I made whenever I started work for my friend that was a flower farmer, Mary Ellen, and she said, "No, really Kelly, like the first person "who comes up and buys flowers for his wife, "like he will want a really bright bouquet," and I was like, "Really?" 'Cause I'm the lady who wants the all-white bouquet, or something that's monochromatic, and sure enough, there I was at the market, and a man comes up, and he wanted the one with all the colors , and so I'd be curious to know what your experiences are, what your experiences are in that regard, since wow. I'm just going to give this a little clip here, tough to do, tough to do that with one hand There we go. So this is just a simple butcher's paper, and you can get it that it's wax side, a little bit water resistant, which is a little bit of water resistance, which is nice, and then also having this stand that you can tear from, I think, is really helpful as well. All kinds of ways that you can wrap, you're going to find the one that works the best for you and for your business, coordinates with the look of what you're going for. I have this cute little stand with some twine that I'll take with me when I do the little popups, but if you're doing farmer's market, you might want to get some clear sleeves, or you might want to have little baggies with water that you can have them sent home in, or something like that but that is up to you, but whenever I'm doing little sidewalk bouquets, that's what I like to do . There you go! Thanks for watching, and for taking a little tour through my seed patch.

Fast Flower Video: Using the iris flower for arranging

In this video, Kelly creates an arrangement step-by-step in this video. As you watch, pay close attention to how the colors compliment one another. Can you find the common color between each of flowers? Each one highlights the other as they work together to create a beautiful arrangement that draws the eye from one ingredient to another. Learning to understand the principles of color in an arrangement will take you one step further in your floral design.

Video: How to Stake Dahlias

In this video, Linda Doan, Specialty Cut Flower Grower from Aunt Willies Wildflowers in East Tennessee shows you how she cares for 700 dahlias, a backbone in her wedding-based growing business. Cutting and staking dahlias easily is a priority for Linda and her husband Roy and this is a quick peek inside how they do it. You can modify this double-row staking technique for other farm and garden flowers.



Hello Team Flower, my name is Linda Doan. I own Aunt Lily's Wildflowers here in east Tennessee, and I'm about to tell you all you need to know about netting dahlias. Okay, this is our dahlia set up, and the supplies that you need are T posts, which are heavy duty posts. We drive in with a post hole driver, where we just pound it on the post hole, and down in the post, and we have these. These are actually tobacco stakes. We have this Hortanova or tenax netting that you can Google online or you can find it at Nolts, N O L T S. It has six inch squares and we separate it with this tobacco stake at the end to keep it wide. We have a lower row and a higher row, and these dahlias, these are just starting to bloom and you can see they're already up through the second row, so when wind comes and blows, we don't have to worry. They come up through the first row, through the second row of netting, and will not topple. We will deep cut them or they might even topple. We've had 'em get so big that they'll topple two rows of netting, so we try to keep 'em at a workable length, but a very good system when you have 700 dahlias in the ground, you don't want to have to be staking each one. This allows you to mass stake and does it very well and allows you to cut very easily.

Video: Real Flower Necklace Using Hyacinths

In this video Kelly shows how to make necklace of flowers with a needle and thread. Use this foundational floral design skill to create beyond the necklace — floral installations, flower chains for fashion, chair backs, and more are possible.



- In this video, we're going to create a little hyacinth necklace that would be really fantastic to use as a little flower girls piece, or you could have chains that the girls are holding, backs of bride and groom chairs. There's so many different ways that you can use these sweet little chains. What I have is some silk bead cord, and a little needle that is used whenever you're creating jewelry. So, this is by the company, Beadalon. And I just picked it up at a local craft store. Now, whenever we're using needles and going through flowers, particularly with these fragile hyacinth, it's important that we have something that has a little bit of give to it, and so, that's why I really love using these needles and this nice silk, so that nothing's going to be torn or stretched. It's all a very smooth experience. So, to get started, I'm going to take the hyacinth, and I'm going to snip it off, leaving this little piece, that if you were wiring the hyacinth, you would want to leave that on. But for this application, we're going to snip it off. And each one of these little petals is a bead in our necklace. Now that all our little beads are ready to go, we're going to go ahead and start threading. So, I have the most of this blue color, so I'm going to go two blues, and then a purple, and a dark purple, and two blues, but you can do whatever kinds of color combinations you want, of course. Just going to get a general idea of like, how long I'd like it to be. And then, I'm just going to leave the rest of my thread. So, that'll be my little stopping point. So, whenever you're threading them, you are just going straight through the center of the flower, and coming out as close to that little part that we snipped from as possible. And when you get down here, you just want them to layer on top of each other, just like that. So, here we go. Speed it up. Okay, here we go! We've got our necklace all strung together. And to finish it off, we are just going to snip, and tie the ends, end to end. I'm going to get it as close as I can, so it looks like one continuous piece. I'm just going to tie it in a simple knot. Now, if you weren't quite sure who is wearing this, or the exact size that it needed to be, you can just leave the ends, and tie them in place, or you could even put a little jewelry style kind of hook on it if you wanted to. And there you have it.

Video: 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.



All right, in this video, I am going to help you take your poppies from here to here. It's a really common thing to be in a situation where, ooh, all my poppies look like this and my event is coming up very soon. I need them to be open and beautiful and ready to go. So I'm going to just teach you a simple little technique that I like to call poppy peeling. So poppies, whenever they are cut, wholesale or from the garden, you're going to want to have the kind that have just a little bit of a crack where you can see some color coming through. That lets you know that the petals inside your poppy have, you know, developed. If this crack hadn't happened yet, you can still peel the poppies. You might just have a petal that hasn't quite grown the whole way or you might have a poppy that's a bit misshapen or just not ready to, not ready to hatch yet. So you want to look for that little bit of a crack. Then down here at the base of the poppy, right where you have one of these cracks, just very gently with your fingernail, you're going to start peeling away at this base. Now what's tricky about this and what you have to be careful about is that if you're too, well, if you're too gentle, you won't get the pod off, and if you're too forceful about it, you could damage this delicate petal that lays right underneath the pod. So this takes just a little bit of practice. You might lose a few flowers in the process as you're practicing getting the hang of the amount of pressure to apply, things like that. So we are just, we're just pulling this pod off very gently until we have the whole pod off and the flower is set free. It's amazing to me how the petals are so delicate and this pod is so tough, yet somehow those delicate petals push that pod off of there when they're ready to come out. So is it a time-consuming process? Yes, it is. But it's definitely worth it. So now your, it's kind of like a butterfly that needs to dry off its wings. So it needs to just sit a little bit in this kind of a state before it will pop open. So these poppies I peeled two days ago, and this is what you're looking at, how they've gone from here to there. If you want to give 'em a little bit of a head start, you can gently put a little air so you can see that center that's exposed and that will help. So for an event, you're of course going to want them at their optimal peak openness. If you're doing something retail, you might want to just pop them shortly before you're going to put them in the piece. Maybe you have one open poppy like this that is a focal point, so whenever your client picks up, you can say, "This one here is going to open, "and this is going to give you a longer vase life." So that's something that you can explain to your retail clients if you decide you'd like to use poppies. These are Icelandic. They do very well as cuts. I know some people are little bit shy of poppies because of shattering and their vase life but these are pretty tough. They are a single-petaled flower though, so those flowers do tend to have a shorter vase life but they're so fun and people love them. You can see how this one was in a place where it was a little bit more ready to pop open. It came out very easily. When the pod starts feeling dry, you know that it's just, just about to let go. So this one does. It feels quite dry compared to the other. Feeling flowers and getting a sense, you know, not being afraid to touch them I feel like is very important for a floral professional and any kind of person who's interested in flowers because it tells you a lot about the flower and where they are in the course of their life, those types of things. So one last little, let's finish peeling this one so you can tell, you can see how thin this is. This means it's just about ready to pop on its own and how it comes and it has a little bit of spring to it. So by really getting a sense of the different, like this one was tough and this one is nice and thin, so that tells you a little bit about where the flower is. So this one that popped right open, this is going to open a little bit faster than this one that we had to give a little bit of force to. So that is it. And that is how you pop poppies. Wishing you the best on your next event where you are using them. There are so many great varieties of cut poppies out there. I love the peony poppies, the mother-of-pearls, they're so great for blush palettes, and then of course here we have the Icelandics, nice, bright, and super cheerful. Wishing you a wonderful day. Thanks so much for tuning in.

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.  

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

Video: Reflexing Tulips and Roses

Reflexing flowers like roses and tulips is one of my favorite ways to enhance their natural beauty. It’s an old-school idea making a lovely comeback. In my floral design work, I seek to emulate the natural ebb and flow of nature. I find it comforting. As flowers reach their peak of beauty in nature the outer petals of many flowers unfurl, bending back towards the stem before surrendering their petals. That fully open point, right before surrender is so beautiful.



Video transcript:

- Hi, I just wanted to pop in and demonstrate reflexing flowers. It's one of my favorite things to do with tulips, and since we're chatting about tulips on the blog today I thought it'd be fun to do just a quick little demo with some flowers I have in the studio. It's amazing how you can take a tulip from looking like this to looking like this. This would be something that would be fantastic to drape off the edge of an arrangement, but here we have all of a sudden a focal point flower. So, in springtime sometimes it can be difficult to find that, like, nice little spring focal flower, and so here is a way that you can transform a tulip into that capacity. The important thing about reflexing flowers is that you use ones that have aged just a bit. You don't wanna reflex flower petals that are real crispy, or brand new, because often they will crack here at the base and then you really shorten the life of your flower. The important thing with reflexing also is to make sure that the petals are nice and moist, so I'm gonna use a little bit of Crowning Glory on this. And I'm going to take my thumb, right here, and you're gonna hear it. Very quietly, it pops. This takes a little bit of practice, it takes a little bit of feeling it and being able to sense it, but once you get the hang of it it's very quick, it's very easy. If you're concerned about vase life on your flowers, things like this, or you're just thinking about, ooh, I don't know if I wanna try that for something, I wouldn't recommend, I don't reflex every tulip that comes in. It's just if in arrangement there's the perfect place that it's like oh, I could really use a little bit of an extra punch, I'll pop it in up there. What I would not recommend doing is getting in flowers for the first time, reflexing every single one, you know, putting them out there, and it being the first time that you've ever experimented or practiced with it. This is something you need to get comfortable with and you need to practice just a bit. So I've sprayed it again with some Crowning Glory on the top of the petals because what I've done, if you look here the petals are only losing moisture right here on this outside part. This is pretty protected in here, so now I've just flipped them open and I wanna make sure that the moisture that was inside those petals stays there, so that's what I'm doing with the Crowning Glory, I'm sealing it inside. Let's do one more tulip and then I also thought I would show you a couple of roses, that's another one of my favorite flowers to reflex. So we'll just give it a little spritz. And final spritz. So those are all ready to go, let's take a peek at these roses. This variety is called Sandy Femma, it has a lower petal count which makes it easy to reflex. And these have been aged for about six days. It's Tuesday, they came in last Wednesday. So I'm just going around the base and very gently tugging them back. You can do this with roses that are maybe at that three, four day stage but much earlier than that and they just look very obviously reflexed, they don't look like a natural reflex. You can still do it, it's pretty, just depends what you're going for, I think they're a little bit easier at this point. What I love about reflexing flowers, this is a standard rose, so, I think these were about 90 cents a stem. But I can get a garden rose feel by reflexing the petals and exposing this beautiful center. So I've taken them from this, which is pretty, to this, which really is fantastic, look at how much bigger, how much more room and real estate that's gonna take up in arrangement. Really ups the perceived value of the flower. Just like I did with the tulips it's important to keep the insides of these petals moist as well, because they were protected previously. These have a nice, it's faint but it has a nice little scent to it. Again, just be very careful of not cracking low in the petals, that's the most common thing that can happen. It can cause browning and petal wilting, things like that. Mostly it's because it's done too early. Once you get the hang of this you'll be able to just touch your rose and know, well, is it ready or not? So see how this one doesn't look quite as natural in terms of the openness of it? So these petals right here, this is where I'm seeing the defined difference, so I'm just gonna loosen these up a little bit, I'm gonna bring this back, fluff them out just a little bit. So I still get that look, but it doesn't look like that I really peeled them back too hard or in a way that would be different than they would naturally do it as they age. And just gentle movements like this if you're working with ranunculus or some other flowers like that, just gently opening them is an important part of helping the flowers become their best, that's our job is to take the flower and to just make subtle adjustments. It's been through a lot, maybe it's been shipped or traveled across the world, needs a little bit of a pick-me-up. So there we go. I'm just reflexing them back a bit, it's more open than it was before, but it doesn't look unnatural. So there you have it, the reflexed roses and the reflexed tulips.