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Home Shop Flowers Bloomin' Blog Find Florists About FSN Contact FSN Florists Only!

Giving Flowers a Second Life

Flowers are a wonderful thing.  They add beauty to any situation and are an integral part of weddings and many other occasions.  But what happens after the “I do’s” and events?  

Flower donation is a growing phenomenon.  There are several organizations now who “recycle” gently used flowers from weddings and large events.  They use every part of the designs including the ribbons and vases.  New arrangements are crafted from deconstructing the bouquets and centerpieces. These new arrangements are then delivered to hospitals, assisted living facilities, hospice houses, and nursing homes.  Many times they are also tax deductible depending on what organization you work with.

Random Acts of Flowers is a privately-funded organization that has a vision to improve the emotional health of the community with flowers.

In July 2007, Random Acts of Flowers’ founder, Larsen Jay, was in a near-fatal accident. While confined to his hospital room, the outpouring of support that Larsen received in the form of daily visitors and dozens of floral arrangements immediately aided in his long recovery.

When Larsen was capable of leaving his room he noticed how many of his fellow patients did not have visitors or flowers – the very thing that helped him so much in those early and difficult days. Within moments the first “random act of flowers” delivery was made, repurposing his flowers and delivering them to patients in nearby hospital rooms. The memories of how a simple gesture touched his fellow patients compelled Larsen to form Random Acts of Flowers in 2008.

Random Acts of Flowers recycles and repurposes flowers by engaging dedicated volunteer teams to deliver beautiful bouquets and moments of kindness to individuals in healthcare facilities across the country.

As a recycling “green” nonprofit organization run almost entirely by volunteers, Random Acts of Flowers is committed to nourishing the health of the environment, individuals, and the community.

Are you interested in donating?  If there aren’t any organizations in your region, work with your florist or wedding planner to find a local facility in your area that would be interested in taking the flowers.  We all know flowers have a positive effect on mood, so why not share the joy? Visit your florist today to talk to them about flower donation!


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Florists’ Tools of the Trade

Every job requires some type of tool.  A writer needs a pen and paper (or laptop). An artist needs a brush and paint.  A florist also needs a specific set of tools.  This not only makes life easier, but allows for the proper care of the flowers.  Daydreams

Have you ever tried to cut flower stems and ended up with a horrible mess?  Florists avoid this and are able to have nice clean cuts because they use specific cutters.  Knives, shears, scissors, and wire cutters are all used.  Each one has a different job and serves a unique purpose.  Knives and floral shears are used to cut stems.  They allow for a clean cut without damaging the stem.  Scissors are usually saved for ribbon and wire cutters are used for…wire.lilyrosecarnationdaisy

There are also several ways florists are able to make arrangements stay exactly how they want them.  Floral foam, wire, tape, and glue are just a few examples.  Several flower stems can be taped together to create a fuller look.  Foam can be soaked in water, allowing the flowers to last longer after they are placed.  Wire adds stability, and can also be used to create a unique look in the design.

tropical
Creating beautiful flower arrangements is tough work.  There are many elements of design that are applied.  These tools help florists make sure your arrangement is perfect. Only at your local florist will you find beautifully hand-designed arrangements. Find a florist near you to order some fresh flowers today!


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All the Rage: Floral Culinary

Bring the garden to your kitchen this season! Switch up your normal cooking routine by trying some of our favorite fresh flower recipes. Cooking with flowers has been around for decades but has become very popular over the last few years. There are even several cookbooks specifically for floral culinary. These fun recipes are guaranteed to take your cooking (and your taste buds) to a whole new level.

A few popular edible flowers are: lavender, thyme, dill, cilantro, day lily, squash blossom, lilac, Nasturtiums, chives and basil.

Start creating meals that look as delicious as they taste with these fun edible flower recipes.

Blooming Popsicles
Flower popsicles are the perfect summer treat. Not only are they beautiful but they come packed with natural flavor. Have fun getting creative with your flower choice and enjoy your tasty creation!


Find this recipe and more beautiful photos on Honestly Yum’s site.

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5 Tips To Decorate Your Shop

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the quickest way to market your shop is from the sidewalk. Customers are drawn in from the first look of your shop’s front window display and will remember your store from the chic interior. With that creative mind, you can make your shop look as beautiful as your designs with some easy tips! Sherwood Florist from Dayton, Ohio has shared with us 5 great tips for florist on how to make your store enticing for customers!

The Basics

Who is the main shop decorator?
Jessie Wright, Co-owner of Sherwood Florist is the main decorator and display designer in our shop. However, the team at Sherwood all tend to follow suit and put their own spin on certain displays.

How do you get inspired?
My inspiration comes from so many different outlets. The building in which our shop is located is inspiration itself. From the exposed brick to the original hardwood floors and the large open space in general. Social media also plays a huge factor for inspiration. Most of all, I like to find fabulous old pieces that are worn or bound for the trash and reinvent them or group them together for an impact display. Most of our display tables, counters and shelves are all from reclaimed wood and salvage warehouses.

Why is it important for a florist to make their flower shop look nice?
Keeping up with trends and reinventing your space is half the battle, but definitely most important for your brand and will absolutely pay off in the long run. Keeping a clean concise shop is appealing for the eye and will draw customers to want to walk through and browse your space.

Do you have a decorating mantra?
Our decorating mantra is keeping it simple. There is no place in a successful shop for clutter. We find it is good to have a few core display areas and keep the rest of your space simple and clean.

Can you tell us about your focal piece chalkboard wall?
Our chalkboard wall came about when we moved into our new space nearly two years ago. It is a wall that we built to hide our walk-in cooler. It is the first thing that your eye is drawn to as you walk into our shop because it is directly 60 feet across from the front door. So we knew we wanted something on there that was bold and a focal, but not too busy. We decided to paint it with chalkboard paint. Our main design table is right in front of the chalk wall so it just made sense to add a few bar stools at the end of the table so that our clients wait on their design to be created at the “Flower Bar.” Not to mention a few tips for them to help decide what type of arrangement they would like to order.

Sherwood Florist’s Top Decorating Tips

Photos courtesy of Sherwood Florist

1. Keep it Clean!

Anything too busy or cluttered is a turn off to customers.

2. Use What You Have

Your shop is probably filled with items that are just waiting to be reinvented.

3. Keep Up with the Trends

I’m not saying completely redecorate your space with each changing season, but certainly add or update a few core “statement” pieces.

4. Identify Who You Are Trying To Appeal To

For instance, it’s the New Year, which means booking season for weddings. We’ve added a soft hint of gold with a bit of eye-catching bling to a portion of our front window for this season.

5. Step Out of Your Box!

Do something that would never normally do. You will end up surprising yourself!

From Left: Jessie Wright, Co-owner and decorator, and Bev Guy, Co-owner.

From Left: Jessie Wright, Co-owner and decorator, and Bev Guy, Co-owner.

Thank you Sherwood Florist for these great tips! Check back with the Bloomin’ Blog for more great ideas!

Preparing for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, which means it is almost time for one of the busiest holidays of the year for flower shops. To help you get ready for the flower-frenzy, we have reached out to a few florists across the country to tell us how they are preparing for the lovey-dovey, weekend holiday!

“Be sure to get the sender and recipient’s home phone, cell phone number and their email. That way, you’re able to get a hold of them at some point in the day since people travel on the weekends.”

-Heather McMinn from Heather’s Way Flowers and Plants in Jonesboro AR

“Get orders early and market early. We make sure to have an in-house special for Friday. There is nothing like a woman getting flowers at the office, so we run a ‘Honey, I couldn’t wait until Valentine’s Day Friday special. What I find works best is spreading our marketing message through many outlets–radio, social and FSN email campaigns.”

-Rodney Canady from Blooms A Million in Pensacola, FL

“We make sure and prepare our vases ahead of time, get our orders in, and come up with a delivery plan.”

-Carolyn Yancey from Your Floral Bouquet Florist in Valdese, NC

“We put out our displays always a month in advanced. That way it reminds the customer, puts it in their face, and tempts them to order now. As the holiday gets closer, we strip the leaves, de-thorn stems, re-stock plush and balloons, and get our extra staff prepared. We make sure to let our customers know it’s never too early to order..”

-Heide Parker from Babe’s Flowers, Inc. in Sheridan, WY

Tell us how you are getting ready for Valentine’s day and check back to the Bloomin’ Blog for more great ideas and tips!

 

 

Suggest an Article: Hydrating Hydrangeas!

In this edition of Suggest an Article, we have a fantastic tip from Jo Ann Evans of JoAnn’s Flowers and Gifts in Indian Trail, NC. Take it away, Jo Ann!nikko-blue-hydrangea

“To keep Hydrangeas hydrated:

Wet tip of stem and place in alum powder, then put the flower in the water bucket. You can also put a small amount of alum powder in the water bucket itself. This simple application keeps the flower fresh. It really works!!” 

Discovering Alum

If you aren’t big into cooking, pickling in particular, you may not be familiar with alum powder. It’s a primary ingredient in the pickling of fruits and vegetables to help maintain freshness. It would stand to reason that if it can keep these items fresh through the pickling process, it could help prolong the life of your freshly cut hydrangeas!

Because alum powder is used in cooking, it can easily be located on the spice aisle of your local grocer. It’s a cheap additive to keep Hydrangeas happy, so there’s no excuse not to use it.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Suggest an Article, and I can’t wait to see what kinds of ideas we’ll find in our comments section. Remember, your ideas do not have to be limited to flower care tips or marketing techniques. If you think something is happening in your local community deserving of an article by Flower Shop Network, let us know!

Quick Tips: Sanitizing Those Old Vases

If there’s one thing with which every florist is more than familiar, it’s a dirty vase that seems impossible to get clean. Most of the time, they come to you as part of a vase recycling or re-purposing program, and we all know how important it is to get those vases completely disinfected and sanitized. The bacteria and mildew growing in an old vase can wreak havoc on anything you might wish to place in it! But regardless of its origins, nothing is more annoying than a disgusting vase that just will not come clean!

A Cleaning “Solution”

Crystal Flower Vase

Well, no need to fret. Amy Bishop of Amy’s Flower Basket in Albion, NE has found a brilliant solution! The next time you find yourself with a vase that resists the ministrations of soap and water, just fill it to the brim with hot water and drop in a couple of denture cleaning tablets. Give it a full 24 hours to soak, and then simply clean as normal. The end result will be a bright and sparkling vase, completely sanitized of any residual mildew or bacteria and ready for use!

Thanks Amy, that’s a fantastic idea!

Amateur Application

Of course, this will also work at home. So for any of you non-professionals out there, go grab that old vase from under the sink or off the top of the refrigerator and give this tip a try! Or, if you’d prefer not to reuse your old vase, you should definitely check with your local florists to see if they have a recycling/re-purposing program available in your area. Some even offer a discount on your next flower purchase, so you can get rid of the old, empty and busted to make way for some new hotness!

Do you have an idea or tip that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you! Just leave your idea in the comments below, and who knows, it might be the subject of our next blog post! Also, if you’d like more information on creative ways to use vases, check out this previous post!

Local Florist’s Quick Tips For DIY Flower Arranging

We just found this great video from back in 2007 that features one of our member florists and thought I’d share! Meghan Carter, host of Ask the Decorator visits with Vickey Wenshrup of Amelia Florist Wine & Gift Shop in Amelia, Ohio to learn a few DIY flower arranging pointers.

Don’t miss the video at the bottom of this post!

DIY Flower Arranging

At the beginning of the video, Meghan asks, “How hard can it really be to make a floral arrangement?” By the end, she adds, “flower arranging isn’t as easy and you would think!” There is a whole lot more that goes into flower arranging that just putting flowers into a vase. Florists are truly artists, but also have to be meticulous in their efforts to keep your flowers lasting as long as possible. Sure you can DIY a flower arrangement, but for the absolute best results, give your local florist a call!

If you’re interested in DIY flowers, keep an eye out for workshops available in your area. Florists all over the country offer flower arranging classes where you can learn the ins and outs of creating flowers.

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6 Quick Flower Photography Tips For Florists

Flowers and Photography

It seems like the two just go together. We buy flowers based on photos in a book or online, we photograph them at weddings, and florists brag about their talent with pictures of prior work. Most florists would like to have a portfolio, but don’t feel confident enough to do it themselves. It’s not hard to make professional-looking flower photos, but it does take practice.

Flower Photography Tips

Here are a few hints that will make your photos sparkle.

  • Use natural light. That means sunlight coming into your shop. Many shops have fluorescent lighting, and believe it or not, your camera will see it as ugly, green light. Cameras see incandescent lighting as harsh yellow-red. If you have fluorescent or incandescent lighting, turn it off and just use the light coming through the window. Experiment by placing the arrangement closer or farther away from the light source, and by turning the arrangement until the light produces the most flattering effect. Side-lighting from above produces a nice effect. [Read more…]

7 Great Ways To Keep Up With Trends

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In this fast-paced world, it can be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest floral design trends. Here are 7 easy ways to keep up with the latest in the floral design industry.

1. Attend Design & Trade Shows -Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like attending a design or trade show. Being in the presence of industry leaders and talented designers you are sure to bring home tons of new ideas.
2. Follow Industry Leaders on Social Sites
– Are you into social networking? So are you favorite florists and others involved in floral design! Flower Shop Network on Facebook is a great example of a Facebook Page every florist should follow. We update our page daily with great tips, ideas, pics and even videos. (Our design videos on YouTube are a good way to learn new techniques from expert florists!) Other great Facebook Pages to follow are: AIFD Group, SAF Page or check out Flower Shop Network’s Favorite Pages for more.
3. Attend Workshops & Educational Classes – Just like with any type of art and design, the styles are constantly changing. A floral design class or workshop is a great way to stay in touch with the latest trends in the industry. Floral design schools, universities and even conferences can be a great place to look for floral design classes. Most of these workshops you can finish in a weekend, but you’ll return with a lifetime of new design ideas!
4. Subscribe to Floral Magazines – An easy way to stay up to date with trends is by subscribing to floral design magazines. [Read more…]