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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!

25 Ways Flower Shops Can Recycle For Earth Day

Earth Day is a unique holiday where we take the time to celebrate the earth and it’s resources that we tend to look over in our busy lives. Everything we have has come from the earth: the wood in our houses, the water in our coffee, the food we’re eating for lunch, and so much more. Isn’t it our time to give back?

This Earth Day, find a new way to use the 3 R’s in your daily life: Reduce Reuse Recycle!

Recycle for Earth DayHere are some great methods florists already use in their flower shops. (If you’re a florist, perhaps you can find a way to start using some of these great, earth-friendly actions.)

  • 1. Recycle and reuse cardboard.
  • 2. Encourage customers to bring in glass vases for reuse or recycling.
  • 3. Give bubblewrap to the local packaging store (UPS).
  • 4. Use terry towels instead of paper towels at your design table.
  • 5. Reuse packing material whenever possible.
  • 6. Use recycled office paper to make notepads for shop use.
  • 7. Use a hybrid or other earth-friendly vehicle to do deliveries.
  • 8. Empty cooler bucket water onto outdoor plants.
  • 9. Recycle stems and other organic waste in a compost, or find a local composter to give it to.
  • 10. Give flower boxes back to wholesalers.
  • 11. Keep mug boxes and other pretty containers to use as ‘economy’ containers by using a plastic liner for small arrangements.
  • 12. Save extra pieces of ribbon, fabric, cardboard tubes and foil to give to local pre-schools for art projects. [Read more…]

Feng Shui: Colors & Flowers

Just what is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui is an ancient art and science developed over 3,000 years ago in China. It is a complex ancient art that reveals how to balance the energies of any given space to assure the health and good fortune for people inhabiting it.

Feng Shui CompassFeng means “wind” and Shui means “water.” Followers of Feng Shui believe the land is alive and filled with Chi, or energy. By focusing that Chi in the right ways, you can live a fuller, healthier, more balanced life. Harmony and balance with life are the major principles of Feng Shui teaching.

Feng Shui can affect every aspect of our lives. By simply adjusting the objects in our homes and lives, we can adjust the energies associated with them. We’ve all heard how color affects moods, well Feng Shui takes that idea to a whole new level. In this post, you will see how by simply ordering an arrangement of fresh flowers in a certain color or shape, you can enhance, balance or reduce specific moods in a space.

Feng Shui and You

Different people have different energy needs. Feng Shui offers a way to narrow down your specific needs. This can get very complicated and it can take a lifetime to master the art of Feng Shui, but with a bit of research, you can start opening up these energies in your life.

First of all, what is your Feng Shui birth element? This is where the research comes in, but it’s very simple! Simply go to this page and locate your birth year on the chart to identify your birth element. I was born in 1986, that makes my element Fire. Now that we know our elements, let’s take a look at how to put them to use!

Feng Shui and Color

Color is one of the easiest ways to shift the energy in your space with Feng Shui. Each color is an expression of one of the Five Feng Shui Elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood.

Remember, scientifically color is light, and light is our number one nutrient. Although you might not believe whole-heartedly in Feng Shui, there is definite logic behind the use of color and moods, aka Chromotheropy.

Let’s take a look at what Feng Shui has to say about colors and moods:

Fire Element

Wedding Inspiration on Pinterest from FSN

Flower Shop Network Wedding Boards on Pinterest

Are you planning a wedding or other big event that needs flower inspiration? Don’t miss out on the resources from FSN! Flower Shop Network has been pinning away some of the best, most-inspirational wedding flower pieces in all the industry!

Whether you need ideas for bouquets or boutonnieres, we’ve got you covered and more. Flower Shop Network on Pinterest!

What is your favorite wedding board on Pinterest? Do you have a wedding board (or several??)? Share a link with us in the comments below!

New to Pinterest? Check out this post all about Pinterest: how it works and how to set up your own account.

Just remember, once you’ve picked out your wedding flowers, always always always order flowers from a real local florist. If you don’t know your local florist, use Flower Shop Network’s handy local florist finder to find a flower shop near you today!

How To Order Flowers And Get Exactly What You Want

Robbin Yelverton on How To Order Flowers

Today we’re going to talk about how to place an order for flowers and actually get what you’re ordering. This article is the transcript from the helpful video by our friend and pro florist, Robbin Yelverton.

Too much to read? Robbin explains it all in the video at the bottom of this post! Don’t miss the video!

Good Clear Communication

A lot of times things seem to get lost in translation. For example, there are 3 words that people use all the time when placing an order, which are: Flowers, Bouquet, & Arrangements. It’s funny how they will use those 3 words, and in a lot of cases think those words mean the same thing. These 3 words are not synonyms. They are not the same thing when you are talking to a florist.

Flowers From Local Florist

  • Flowers refers to the actual flower. If you are talking about tulips, that’s a flower.
  • Bouquet, often people will use the word bouquet in exchange for arrangement, but to us as professional floral designers, a bouquet is something you carry, like a wedding bouquet. In some cases, we refer to an arrangement of loose flowers gathered together and presented as a wrapped bouquet that someone then takes out of the wrap and places in a vase for arranging.
  • Arrangement or design. Now that implies that it is flowers arranged in a container and then sold together in the container.

So most of the time when people call in to order flowers, they’re really calling to order an arrangement. So remember to be clear.

The thing about ordering flowers, it’s sorta like playing the game of 20 Questions. You have to provide enough information that the person taking the order understands what you’re saying and then is able to transfer this information to the designer to make sure it gets created the way you wanted, and then gets delivered to the person it’s supposed to go to correctly.

[Read more…]

Help! I Can’t Get Stephanotis Stems To Stay Fresh!

Stephanotis StemAsk The Expert:

Hi, I can’t get stephanotis stay fresh stems in the UK, so wondered if you could tell me either how to make them or how to wire one. Would cotton wool soaked work at the end? And what gauge wire to use! Thanks so much,
Angela

Flower Shop Network Expert Reply:

For the best possible answer, we asked our florists on Facebook. Here is a great reply:

“Upon arrival, open box & make sure cotton/tissue in base is damp. If they’re looking wilty spray them with water or Crowning Glory, recover, close box & into cooler. Upon using, we use the packaged “stephanotis stems” & spray them good with Crowning Glory, been doing this 30+ years & never a problem.” via Janet Frye of The Enchanted Florist in Asheville, NC.

You might also check out this post: How To Keep Stephanotis Fresh In A Bridal Bouquet

What Is Pinterest & How Can It Work For Florists?

Pinterest Explained

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. It lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

Other reasons people use Pinterest:

  • Express yourself through pictures and images relevant to your life.
  • Remind yourself what you want to do, buy or revisit
  • Share or recommend things you think others should know about
  • Learn and explore specific or random topics.
  • Search and discover new or specific things to do, buy, look at or read.
  • All Pinterest members are active parts of the online word-of-mouth marketing team.

Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

Pinterest Example

[Read more…]

Help! Where Can A UK Florist Find Floral Easels?

Sympathy Wreath On EaselAsk The Expert:

Does anyone know were I can get the green wire easels shipped to the UK? None of the florist suppliers in the UK stock them and I’ve been asked a few times for tribute flowers on them lately. I can get them shipped from China, but minimum order is 4000 I don’t think I will need that many.

Regards
Daiseychains

Flower Shop Network Reply:

One of the best places to turn when looking for any type of floral supply is our sister site, FGmarket. It is an invaluable resource to find trusted vendors for florists all over the US. (Some ship internationally, for our UK and other far-away friends.) Each company provides great resources just for florists and gift shops.

I have called the wholesalers who ship easels and Johnsen Wholesale Florist was willing to ship to the UK. They have a large selection on easels and hopefully you won’t have to buy 4,000 of them! Good luck!
[Read more…]

How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count The Ways… To Relaxation

Sure it’s all hearts, roses and romance for everyone else, but for a florist, Valentine’s Day is a lot of hard work! That’s why Flower Shop Network is bringing you soothing, de-stress and relaxation tips! These are great tips for everyone, but especially our florist friends who have been run ragged over the last few days.

Relaxation, stress relief and mood enhancers

Here are some ideas to help you relax and reduce stress. Remember you know yourself best, so do whatever suits you and makes you happy.

  • Take some time for yourself to just be alone. Practice deep breathing. This is particularly helpful when under a lot of stress. Breathe slowly in through your nose, filling your lungs as you do so, then release the air slowly out through your mouth.
  • Attend a yoga class, or simply look up some basic stretches on YouTube. A good stretch will re-energize and de-stress.
  • Laugh! Nothing beats the power of laughter. If you’ve been stressed to your limit the last few days, take some time to watch funny videos, a comedy movie, play with grand kids or something else that is sure to make you giggle!
  • Listen to a relaxation CD while laying down, preferably in a hot bath.
  • Get a massage. No one deserves it more than you!
  • Take a bath. Use your favorite scented oils (no one will blame you if you choose a scent other than floral! haha) and for maximum relaxation light some candles.
  • Read a book. This is such an easy way to escape the world for a while.
  • Indulge in your favorite hobby. You could always try something new that you know you will enjoy.
  • Eat a healthy diet. You will feel happy and healthy! There is no greater feeling!
  • Go to bed early and sleep well. There is no better way to start the day than with a good night sleep.
  • Wine… florists love wine. When we asked on our Facebook how florists unwind after V-Day, practically everyone’s response was lots and lots of wine!
  • Praise yourself. You deserve it!! For everything you accomplished and will accomplish, you deserve a little congrats! Buy yourself something nice. :)

This post is brought to you by FlowerShopNetwork.com. Your source for real local florists.

Aspects of Design: Floral Design Periods

Thinker - Thinking About Floral DesignPreparing for the future is always easiest when we know from whence we came. In this month’s Aspects of Design from FlowerShopNetwork.com, we focus on popular periods of design and how they can be interpreted into floral designs. Below is a handy, easy-to-print chart with the style and time period in which the style of design was dominant. We also include a brief description of many styles.

In floral design school? Need to brush up on your period pieces for a theme party? Interested in art behind what we do?  Whatever your interest, the information below will help enhance your unique floral design skills. [Read more…]