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Succulent Inspired Trends

From home decor to fashion and especially weddings, succulents with their unique textures and bold forms have quickly become the hottest new trend. These durable little plants are easy to care for and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Keep reading to see some of the latest surprising succulent trends this season!

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New Beginnings from The About Flowers Blog

Ready for the new year? We are too! Time for new adventures, new ideas, and more reasons to celebrate with flowers! Here is an article about 2016 floral inspiration from our friends at SAF’s blog, aboutflowersblog.com.

Old Rituals and New Beginnings
by J. Robbin Yelverton

Celebrations are used to mark significant dates and occasions and New Year’s Eve is certainly no new face to the party!  In fact, the celebration of Winter Solstice and the beginning of the New Year is one of the oldest. For most Westerners, that day of celebration has evolved and moved from the original December 21 to the beginning of the Gregorian calendar, January 1st. Other cultures celebrate the New Year on various dates, however, with all the diversity, there are some underlying themes.  The New Year is seen as a time to set things straight, wash the slate, out with the old and in with the new, and reflection and renewal.

In recognition of the many symbols and rituals used to usher in the New Year, this arrangement has been carefully and thoughtfully created. A golden long and narrow rectangular container serves as the base of the design to represent the prosperity of the New Year…

To read the full article click the link below! And don’t forget to ask your local florist for an amazing arrangement to start your new year off right!

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Designing With Mannequin Madness

As visual designers, it’s no surprise that we want our shops to draw the eye. Mos of us depend on our visually appealing store front window displays and the pictures of our designs that show off our skills on social media.

Customers are instantly invited in by design, and what better way to showcase your floral abilities than with unique displays from Mannequin Madness.

Recycled Art
Judi Henderson, owner of Mannequin Madness, turned an idea into a business when she found mannequins on Craigslist.

Quickly, her business of selling, renting and repurposing used mannequins turned from an inventory of 50 to 500. What’s unique about Henderson’s business is her use of mannequins as decorative pieces in floral arrangements and even as Christmas trees.

Design Madness
The company’s Pinterest has many floral ideas using mannequins and offers inspiration for customers in the floral industry.

“Many florists use my products for floral centerpieces, holiday arrangements, and fashion forward flower displays,” Henderson said.

Henderson believes that a shop’s display is an important aspect of a flower shop in order to draw customers into a sale.

“Displays catch attention which then turn to high impulse purchases,” she said. “Florists are competing with online all the time, this makes them unique. Your window is a 24-hour ad.”

From heads to torsos to full forms, Mannequin Madness has everything a florist needs to create a truly original work of art for their storefront.

Whether it’s a holiday tree dress display or an arrangement on a mannequin for a modern affair, look no further than Mannequin Madness!

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…]

4 NEW Creative & Unique Vase Ideas

Are you one of the many florists who gets stuck in the hum-drum of day-to-day floral design? Do you need a little push to look outside the box for new, inspirational ideas to get their creative juices flowing! In this article, we look at quick and easy ways to give your vases a little more ‘oomph’ while rediscovering your muse and encouraging new business. (Who wouldn’t want that!?)

Creative, Recycled Vase

Decorative Box Vase

This really cool idea, submitted on our Facebook by Paula from Buds ‘n Bows Flower Shop, uses a decorative box to ‘dress up’ your boring, everyday vases. She used a decorative package one of her coffee mug gifts came in to really dress up this flower arrangement. She just slipped a regular, plain vase inside and glued a blue ribbon to the bottom.

Great job thinking out of the box inside the box, Paula! Using your imagination, how can you make this work in your shop? Keep an eye out for vase inspiration everywhere! Kleenex boxes are usually very decorative. Slip a tissue box over your vase and use the box’s color palette to inspire your floral design.

Buds ‘n Bows does a great job of matching flowers to this box!

Natural Vases

Natural VasesFloral designers everywhere are using nature-inspired elements to bring out the best in their arrangements. One great new trend is stuffing little cubes of floral foam into seashells to create unique arrangements inspired by the sea — great for centerpieces at a nautical themed party.

Wood is also an incredibly hot trend right now! Floral designers are gluing bark and cork sheets to vases (and even plain cups) to create a look that is rustic and inspiring. One cool vase design technique I saw at the AIFDSC involved using highly textured cork bark wired to the outside of beautiful glass.

Other natural vase ideas: slipping a smaller vase into a hollowed log, covering your vase in moss or lichen, gluing or weaving twigs along the outside of your container… the possibilities are endless!

Upcycled Thrift Store Vases

Take a quick field trip to your local thrift store with new vases/containers in mind — you’d be surprised what sorts of inspirational things you will find for next to nothing!

Thrift stores generally have a large selection of unique glass in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Buy a box full of cute, summer teacups for your spring wedding centerpieces. Find an old Victorian lamp with no shade and pull the wires out for a huge, uniquely shaped vase.

Buy a bag or jar of vintage buttons or marbles to use as vase filler. You can find small ceramics or other interesting treasures to use inside your design itself.

A little creative thinking and thrift store items will become your new best friend!

Recycled Vase Project

One cool way to promote recycling in your city is by starting a recycled vase project. (This is another great idea we heard about at the AIFDSC.) Offer a $15 coupon of store credit to anyone who brings you an old glass vase from home and it is usable. Give them a $10 coupon if it needs cleaning/fixing in any way, and a $5 coupon for something brought in that is unusable. For the unusable glass, carry it to your local recycling center.

This is a great way to promote recycling in your city and make it easier for those who may not have the opportunity to go to a recycling center. The coupons are also a great incentive to your patrons return business with your flower shop. Send a little note with your orders about the recycling program and start seeing your vases come back for fresh flowers!

What new vase techniques are you trying in your shop?

We would love to hear what new things you are trying in your shop to give your designs a little more character. Leave us a comment below!

This article is brought to you by Crawford, GA Florists

5 Components of Flemish Style Floral Design

Flemish Style Flower Arrangement

Flemish Style Inspired Flower Arrangement

History: Flemish designs are inspired by the Flemish paintings of artists during the medieval period between the 15th, 16th and early 17th centuries. “Flemish” refers to people from the medieval country of Flanders which is now covers parts of Belgium, France and Holland. Flemish painters depicted a wide variety of flowers that were gathered by British and Dutch merchants during their travels.

Typically, Flemish paintings depicted many different types of flowers and placed the most important blooms at the top of the arrangement. Paintings were done from models as Flemish arrangements disregarded seasonal availability and compatibility.

Style: Flemish style flower arrangements are almost always created in an oval shape. These arrangements feature a wide variety of different, mismatched flowers. Flemish designs are regarded for the excellent use of many different shapes, colors and textures.

Flowers Used: It is common to see only one or two stems of a particular flower in a Flemish flower arrangement. Though anything is permissible now, flowers commonly seen in Flemish paintings (the inspiration for these designs) are tulips, peonies, roses, marigolds, snowballs (Viburnum), iris and crown imperials (Fritillaria).

Foliage plays a smaller role (used only sparingly) in Flemish designs but soft, “weeping” grasses and other foliage are seen in Flemish designs. Bulb flowers are mandatory in a Flemish flower arrangement. Tropical flowers, wild flowers, fruit and accessories are also encouraged. Examples of popularly used accessories are birds’ nests, insects, reptiles, and shells. Also jewelry, rich fabrics and other things denoting wealth are seen in many Flemish arrangements.

Basic Characteristics: Flemish style flower designs are very lavish, full, and unique. Since any flower can be used, the flower vary widely.

Prominent flowers are placed in positions within the arrangement where they would receive the most attention. Slight breaks from the general oval shape draw the eye’s attention quickly, so Flemish flower design features prominent flowers at the tops and sides of the arrangement. Flowers may face all directions because Flemish painters wanted to show that many flowers also have beautiful profiles.

Depth is important in Flemish flower arrangements. Flowers can cascade over the edges of the container. This also adds to the dimension of the arrangement by playing an interesting contrast to the height of these arrangements.

Though this would not be done now, Flemish depictions of flowers showed imperfections because no perfections were found in nature. Leaves and flowers often featured bug holes, spots, and even the bugs themselves.

These designs are generally considered formal because of their mass and elaborate composition. They may considered informal as well when created in smaller arrangements.

Colors: Flowers in Flemish style arrangements typically feature warm hues such as yellow, orange and red. White, pale pink, and other pastels are also seen but less often. These are added to create contrast where needed. Flemish designs should feature touches of blue, especially pure Dutch Delft blue, wherever possible.

Containers Used: Flemish style flower arrangements commonly feature urns and containers with the same shape or appearance.

Elements of Design: Preparing Bird of Paradise

It’s the time of the year when tropical flower arrangements are hot, hot items in the flower shop. Birds of paradise, orchids, protea, anthuriums, dendrobium and other exotic tropical flowers are big ticket flowers used in a wide variety of tropical arrangements. One of my favorite tropical flowers is the bird of paradise. It’s a stunning beauty that brings so much to any tropical arrangement. For this reason, I recently asked Regina Berryman (AIFD, AAF) to show me some of her design techniques for creating beautiful tropical flower arrangements using bird of paradise. Here is her technique for opening bird of paradise to reveal its finest qualities.

Bird of Paradise Tropical Flowers Arrangement

Bird of Paradise Tropical Flowers Arrangement

Opening Bird of Paradise To Reveal High Quality

Regina has worked with tropical flowers for many years now. Being less experienced with tropical flowers, Regina decided to show me how to open bird of paradise in a way that reveals its best quality and eliminates any flaws from shipping or packaging. First, place the stem of the bird of paradise firmly between your legs. Place both thumbs on the crease (the opening) and gently pry the crease open. Next place your thumbs together under the “heart” and raise your thumbs at the same time. This allows you to raise the beautiful part of the flower out of its shell and strip it of the lower quality flowers.

Next, oddly enough, strip the lower quality flowers. These are the light orange to white colored flowers that are next to or against the more brightly colored orange/red flowers. Since the vibrantly colored flowers give bird of paradise its appeal, strip the less colorful ones by taking a firm hold, gently pulling straight back toward the stem, then pulling the flower straight out once you have loosened it enough to be removed all at once. If you do not pull toward the stem, you run the risk of ripping the flower toward the tightly clustered base instead of removing it.

To open bird of paradise, place both thumbs on the crease (opening).

To open bird of paradise, place both thumbs on the crease (opening).

Place thumbs together under the flowers and pull up.

Place thumbs together under the flowers and pull up.

Unfold and separate each piece.

Unfold and separate each piece.

Loosen and strip by pulling toward stem then straight out.

Loosen and strip by pulling toward stem then straight out.

Now you're ready to create a beautiful tropical flower arrangement!

Now you're ready to create a beautiful tropical flower arrangement!

You Know What Peaks My Interest? UNIQUENESS

I literally see hundreds of flower arrangements every month. After having spent a significant amount of time in the floral industry, my passion for flowers remains but it takes a little bit more than it used to take to make me take a second glimpse…or a third…or tell someone else about it.

I’m not alone in this. All consumers-shoppers-buyers-gift givers want to hit the nail on the head and give the perfect gift. It’s just finding that diamond in the rough that occasionally presents a problem. That’s why we at Flower Shop Network try so hard to regularly replenish your idea bank. I got to thinkin’ about it this afternoon (boy I sound southern today) and realized what really jumps out at people like me when we shop for flowers and gifts. We want something unique. Gift givers want something tried-and-true for the most part but with an edge. In other words, we want the gift that we know they’ll like but with that little extra something that will make them remember the gift, the occasion and the sender.

Need some visual examples of unique flower arrangements and gifts?

Here are a few that jumped out to me:

Tropical Flowers

Tropical Flowers

I have to say that I love the “Exotic Floral Vase” arrangement of tropical fresh flowers. To be honest, it made me want to run out and grab a seafood dinner. (The red anthuriums remind me of lobster pinchers.) It’s uniquely shaped inside a clear vase. The flowers are colorful enough that they need no dressing up. They speak for themselves.

Plus, how often do you really see tropical flower bouquets like this? It’s easy to find a carnation, rose or tulip bouquet. Tropical fresh flowers are unique enough by themselves. This bouquet just has an architectural feeling of clean lines and solid colors that is easy to enjoy whether you are into art and style or form and function.

Flower Animals

Flower Animals

I’ve written before on how much fun flower animals are. Rabbits, puppies. Doesn’t matter. Animal shapes made of flowers are too cute to pass up.

The two little girls in my life are both big animal lovers. Most kids are. That’s why flower animals make great Easter gifts for kids, Valentines Day gifts for kids, even birthday gifts for children. If you can think of an occasion that merits a gift, try sending flowers like these.

Even if you plan to give something else later, this is a fun way to treat your child to something nice at school. It’s always fun to receive gifts in front of classmates. In this way, your child is able to have all of the birthday attention he/she craves and more.

Unique Shapes

Unique Shapes

I know. Essentially it’s just a few pieces of greenery wrapped, tied and trimmed to form a special shape. However, that’s the difference between a regular gift and a unique gift. I probably wouldn’t have looked twice at a simple pink rose bouquet in a tall pink vase. I looked multiple times at the “You Have My Heart” Valentines Day arrangement simply because it uses heather in a unique way. That’s all it takes to make someone pause for a moment. Give them what they want and then a little extra.

Not to be cheesy, but forming unique shapes and lines with flowers is enough to make an ordinary gift into an Extraordinary gift. All it takes is that little extra. Ok, I guess I failed on the cheesy scale but the point is the same. Unique shapes just work.

Unique Containers

Unique Containers

It’s not just the container that makes me like arrangements like the “Candy Bouquet” gift basket. However, it had a huge role. Unique vases and containers make it fun to send flowers. You just want to be there when your buddy receives the gift and smiles.

My friends know about my sweet tooth so candy gift baskets are right up there on the list of “give to Brynn” gift ideas. Candy bouquets can come in many containers though. They can come in a bag and I’d be happy but I wouldn’t be thrilled until I saw a smiling container staring back at me.

Unique containers and vases work wonders when sending flowers also. The containers become keepsakes that the recipient can store for years and think of you every time it’s taken out. I want my friends to think of me and know that it was that little something extra that brought me to their minds.

Elements of Design: Floral Bouquet Centerpieces

Whether a budget-oriented bride or not, being able to use wedding decorations in many areas is always a big perk. Many florists are starting to use bouquets (bridesmaids or bridal) as centerpieces on the main table at the wedding. This is a way to keep the bridesmaids bouquets and wedding bouquets fresh before and after the ceremony. Plus, the bridesmaids are able to just snatch the bouquets out of the water and take them home as a wedding favor!

Using unique vases and containers takes this technique to the next level. Showcase the floral bouquets just a little better with a beautiful vase. Creative containers simultaneously keep the flowers fresh and bring to life all of the effort put into creating the beautiful bouquets.

This idea also works for parties such as bachelorette parties. These bouquets liven up the party decorations and also make great party favors! It’s a win-win for hostesses and guests.

This design technique has become a very popular trend in wedding flowers and is seeing an increase at parties. Florists are happy to showcase their prized creations for a little longer. Brides and hostesses are glad to save a few bucks but still have an elegant, beautiful wedding or party. If you’re looking for a quick centerpiece idea, try this trendy new design technique!

Bouquet Centerpieces from The Flower Patch

Bouquet Centerpieces from The Flower Patch in Gypsum, CO

Short Vase Bouquet Centerpieces from The Flower Patch

Short Vase Bouquet Centerpieces from The Flower Patch in Gypsum, CO

Riddle Me This: What Piques Your Interest?

Hip Hop Into Easter Because "Somebunny Loves You"

Hip Hop Into Easter Because "Somebunny Loves You"

What gains a second look from me?? To be honest, I prefer edgy versions of an original product. Some prefer subdued versions and others delight in the raucous. Whatever it is, there is something to be said for floral industry creations that pique our interest.

Those of us who work in the floral industry take great pride in the trendy new creations that come out of it. The thing that caught my attention recently is a fabulous new trend. I absolutely love how many florists are forming animal shapes out of flowers and accessories. It’s so cool!!

I’ve noticed this trend a lot lately. The Somebunny Loves You arrangement is a particular favorite of mine for this reason. Every chance I get to splash this Easter flower arrangement up is a chance that I take. However, we’re not the only ones doing this. I was browsing the photos at Wedding and Party Network when I stumbled across a puppy formed of daisies. Props to The Garden Girls Flowers & Gifts for being so creative!

Enjoy Kisses & &quote;Puppy Love&quote;

Enjoy Kisses & "Puppy Love"

For me it’s very much the same as staring at the face of an innocent puppy. They are so cute and charming! How can you resist them? It’s the same feeling when I see flowers arranged to look like a puppy or other cuddly animal. It’s an irresistible appeal.

Animal flower arrangements are awesome gifts for kids. What kid wouldn’t be entertained with a flower animal? Besides, parents love that there’s less clean up! Anyway, check out these types of arrangements. I think you’ll be impressed!

Piques My Interest is a new monthly blog featuring floral industry creations that, well, peak interest. Know of something that grabs your attention? Email me the what-where-why and it may make next month’s feature! bjackson@flowershopnetwork.com