Monthly Archives: September 2011

Which Bouquet?

The Dress…

wedding dress9159

wedding dress9159_x1

…Creme silk duchess satin soft fluted bridal gown…Sweetheart one shoulder neckline…pleated bodice with beaded and embroidered detachable sash at natural waist…sweep train…from Alvina Valenta

The Bouquets…

Bouquet #1 (Karen Tran)

vintage-white-ivory-bouquet-bench1 karen tran

Bouquet #2 (Hunt Littlefield)

Anna Kuperberg Photography

Bouquet #3 (Flora Nova)

purple-orchid-wedding-bridal-bouquet flora nova seattle

Which would you choose?

Have a great weekend!


Color Inspiration: Blue + Hot Pink

504 birch blooms

image via Birch Blooms

23_013n planet flowers

image via Planet Flowers

__9308716_orig flowers on chesnut

image via Flowers on Chestnut

526 birch blooms

image via Birch Blooms

81490004 brown paper design

image via Nancy Liu Chin 

__9678030_orig flowers on chesnut

image via Flowers on Chestnut

81690001 brown paper design

image via Nancy Liu Chin

bridesmaid michael daigian

image via Michael Daigian

DanaEd0255 beautiful blooms events

image via Beautiful Blooms Events

giacanali-lucky-3613-333x456 gia canali photo and sharla flock designs

image via Gia Canali Photography and Sharla Flock Designs

hold2_1 monkey flower group

image via The Monkey Flower Group

IMG_5153  flora fauna image via Flora Fauna

DanaEd0868 beautiful blooms events

image via Beautiful Blooms Events

IMG_9109 flora fauna

image via Flora Fauna

blue and pink stephanie graceStadlen_Taylor_Linda_Lewis_Photography_00564_low

image via Stephanie Grace

Picture 42 david daigian

image via Michael Daigian 

I am really digging this color combination…what about you?

Keep reading….the next post is a response I received to yesterday’s post…


Mimi’s Response To Yesterday’s Post

I got the greatest email from Mimi @ Fly Me to the Moon in Yonkers, NY in response to my post yesterday. I want to share it with you because I think we can learn so much from one another…and I’m so thankful she took the time to sit down and write such a detailed response to my questions….

“We do not have a cooler on the "floor" of our boutique flower shop. We keep the flowers in silver French buckets on display. There are about 20 of them.  We have a walk-in cooler in the back.

The #1 most important thing is that we buy the freshest and best quality flowers possible! They last longer, look better and perform as expected.  I go to the NYC flower district 2-3 times per week at the crack of dawn to select my own flowers. If the flower is not up to par, I don’t buy it.

When flowers begin to show their age we sell them at a discount. When roses are wide open I mark them down and suggest people use them for a dinner party or something. Had a customer who always came in on Monday looking for a few old roses to put on her desk.She said many of our old roses lasted 2 weeks.

We put the flowers in the walk-in cooler at night. It’s a pain in the neck, but crucial for maintaining vase life. We take extremely good care of our flowers and we teach customers how to care for them as well. People are always telling us our flowers last longer than those they’ve purchased elsewhere.

We make all of our arrangements custom. People often want to just grab something and run, but once they realize they can select the flowers themselves they sort of like the idea.

We have a nice ambiance in the shop. Cozy. Nice jazz always playing. Vintage pictures to look at and places to sit. Most people don’t want to leave.

I make arrangements to place in the window and others from broken or left over flowers just for display. The flowers we make for one of our weekly contracts come back looking so good that I often put them on display for a while so people can see our work.

If I have a ton of left over flowers that I know I won’t use, I donate them to a daycare center in the neighborhood for the families to take home. I also give these flowers to kids who come into the shop. The kids feel happy and the parents remember the kind gesture.

Each flower bucket may hold only half the amount of flowers we have. The rest are kept in the cooler. If we feel a flower looks a little sad because it’s been out of the cooler for a while we’ll often offer to give them a fresh one from the cooler. Only half the people we ask take us up on it.

Climate control is a big issue if you don’t have a cooler on the floor. I try to keep the temp in the 60s during the summer. When it was 103 degrees in NY I could only get it down to 79.  Left a lot more flowers in the cooler that week.

In the winter we keep it cooler than I would like. Usually at 59-62 degrees in the shop. That’s cold! But I layer up and try not to complain.

I visited 30 flower shops in NYC before we designed ours. I hated the cooler on the floor look. Spruce has theirs way in the back filled with cool looking vases of flowers. Doro’s Annex, had something similar. In our next shop, I would have a small cooler on the floor for more delicate flowers. Perhaps one of the vintage types with the wooden doors.

Certain flowers we keep in the cooler all the time. Cymbidium orchids, hydrangea, peonies, amaryllis with maybe one on display.”

IMG_1734 fly me to the moon

image via Fly Me to the Moon

Thank you so much, Mimi! If anyone else has advice to offer, please feel free to share!

Working Designer Wednesday: Keeping Flowers Fresh In The Flower Shop


shop DSC_0004  stephanie grace

image via Stephanie Grace

I have a few questions for those of you who operate a retail space. Because I owned a floral design studio dedicated to custom orders, weddings and events, I never had retail traffic and never had to think about these questions….but, now I’m intrigued and wondering…

How long do you hold flowers and arrangements in your retail space before pulling them from the shelves if they don’t sell? All the research I’ve read suggests holding flowers for no longer than three days from the day you receive them. Which brings up another question…what do you do with the flowers/arrangements once you pull them from the shelf? I know we have at least one charity in our town that takes these flowers from florists and arranges them in donated vases to deliver to terminal patients.

Another question…how do you keep track of the flowers to protect their vase life? Do you date the buckets according to arrival date? Or make a note about when to pull them from the cooler? I cringe when I see flowers in a shop with wilted or shedding petals. It’s obvious that these flowers are past their prime and would not last long after purchase. How do you safeguard against selling flowers with only a short vase life left?

One more question…we all love the look of flowers out on the floor (out of the cooler). Do you store these flowers in the cooler at night and have them out on display only during business hours? Do you find that displaying the flowers out of the cooler shortens the vase life?

I hope some of you retail florists will share your thoughts on this subject. It’s much easier to receive a shipment of flowers just in time to design a wedding and feel confident about the freshness of your designs than to order flowers and create an arrangement in the hopes of attracting a buyer within a day or two. I salute the designers who operate retail spaces…it’s not an easy endeavor!

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image via Ovando 

Have a great Wednesday!

Ovando’s Fall Collection & Giveaway

Our friends at Ovando have just debuted their Fall Signature Arrangements and I know you’ll enjoy seeing what they’ve dreamed up…here are a few of my favorites…

ovando floating-flower-ball-500

ovando grass-loop-500

ovando opposites-attract-500

ovando ovandos-pick-500 (1)

ovando textural-expression-500_1



Gorgeous, right? Do you have a favorite? Now, about the giveaway…they need help naming this Fall Signature Dahlia arrangement…

Enter to win an Ovando fall signature arrangement 

To enter, simply email your creative name choice for the dahlia arrangement pictured above to . If your name wins, you’ll be credited for naming the arrangement and you’ll receive a complimentary composition from Ovando (delivery in Manhattan only). Think fast and get your suggestion in because the winner will be announced this Friday, September 16th!

Happy Tuesday!