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Interview With Patrick Berry At The Texas State Florists Association Convention — “The Green Life”

Mandy Maxwell from FSN interviewing Patrick Berry, Upcoming Texas State Florists Association VP

Over the weekend, Flower Shop Network attended the 2010 Texas State Florist Association‘s conference “The Green Life.” We had the wonderful opportunity to catch a quick interview with the upcoming TSFA Vice President, Patrick Berry. Here he talks about this years theme and what it takes to put on such an incredible show. He also stresses the importance of coming to shows like this for local florists. We hope to see you at next years event!

Or, watch on Flower Shop Network’s YouTube Channel. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Interview With Local Florist & Recent AIFD Inductee, Janet Frye

Interview With Local Asheville NC Florist, Janet Frye

On our recent trip to Boston for the American Institute of Floral Design or AIFD’s National Symposium, I ran into one of our fabulous Flower Shop Network Members, Janet Frye of Enchanted Florist in Ashville NC.

Janet was kind enough to give Flower Shop Network an interview a few hours before being inducted into the prestigious AIFD program. She talks about her struggles along the way and the joy of finally accomplishing a life-long goal. Janet also discusses honoring her heritage by wearing handmade Native American regalia.

What a night it was, the theme was Retro Rebellion, the band was playing groovy music, and everyone was on the dance floor discoing it up! Janet looked marvelous in her handmade, buckskin garb. I couldn’t resist asking her into the hall for a great shot (in the light) of her outfit! Just after the last clip was taken, we hit the dance floor! Dancing to disco with Janet in her commemorative, ancestral vestments is definitely a memory I’ll never, ever forget. Thanks again, Janet!

…and Congratulations! You deserve it!

Florists: You Are The REVOLUTION!

Revolution! AIFD National Symposium

REVOLUTION! What an appropriate name for the American Institute of Floral Design’s 2010 National Symposium. Sure, being in Boston, MA on the Fourth of July put us all in a Revolutionary mood, but it was much, much more than that.

Over the past decade, the floral industry has gone through some incredible changes, and savvy florists everywhere have reacted, adapted and grown exponentially. As floral artists, we need to continue to educate ourselves and evolve. It’s our passion, creativity and innovation that enables us to thrive ourselves in this fast-paced market.

Unique Christmas Tree Decor Corporate Christmas New England Christmas

Bert Ford‘s Holiday Emotions was the first presentation I attended, and of course it blew me away! Bert walked us through a number of incredible Christmas environments, all with very different emotions. The first was Corporate Christmas. This was stylish meets sophisticated. He used lots of glass, giant ornaments and the traditional red and green colors, with a hint of electric green for kicks. He then took us on a ride of emotions: Home For The Holidays (Birch wood, hollies, poinsettias), White Christmas (Whites, silvers, birds, glitter, glitter, glitter!), Let’s Party! (Rainbow of colors, glitter, ornaments), and more!

Bert’s sophisticated, yet playful designs definitely inspired florists everywhere who are sick and tired of only using red and green in their Christmas floral designs. (Don’t worry, I will be sharing in depth what I learn in future articles.)

Fiery Funeral Urn African Funeral Tribute Deconstructed Sunflower Wreath

Another presenter, Ty Leslie proves we cannot move forward without looking to the past. By embracing our history and traditions, we can move forward with something new. Ty’s incredible presentation looked at sympathy and funeral traditions from our past and interpreted them into modern, usable designs. He began each segment by showing us a slide show of how a particular symbol was used.

For instance, the most popular symbol in the 19th century was the urn. Ty created an incredible design using an urn as the container, he also used yellow Oncidium orchids, Heliconia or birds of paradise, yellow spray roses and Protea to create the illusion of a brilliant, fiery urn. The fire represents eternal life and vigilance, an eternal flame tribute to an incredible person.

For more on Ty Leslie’s presentation, check out this interview:

Thanks again, Ty!

Felt in Floral Design The Matador Egg - Unique Floral Design

European designer, Emilia Oliverio brought us tons of new ideas and trends from across the pond. Emilia draws much of her inspiration from her home in France, but also enjoys the crafts of her grandmothers. She revitalizes old crochet and knitting techniques and uses them in her own floral art. Many of her designs involve intricate crocheted wire or wool. Her matador-inspired piece was truly a masterpiece.

A Study of Contrasts - Line Simple and Elegant Floral DesignStudy of Contrasts

Everyone was buzzing about Gregor Lersch, and let me tell ya, his presentation did NOT disappoint! Gregor is the author of 28 books, and will publish a new one in 2011 — The Relationship of Contrasts — on the same topic as his AIFD Symposium presentation.

I must admit, I wrote enough notes at this presentation to fill a book! It was an incredible explanation of how contrasts are used in floral design, or design in general, for that matter. His very simple floral art only used the basic elements of design he was pointing out. Many of his work was in groups. He would show one design in its simplest forms then add a ‘dose’ of a new element, then another, then another, until he had 4 impressive displays. In all my years of art school, I have never seen such a basic, yet brilliant explanation of the elements of design. Thank you so much, Mr. Lersch.

Brad Harnisch AIFD and Kelly Harnisch AIFD gave us an interesting presentation all about different events throughout our lives. As our lives become more engrossed in technology, face-to-face meetings become even more significant. They wanted to call attention to significant meetings, a revolution of gatherings.

They took us on a marvelous journey of celebrations: A very unique wedding filled with wire and orchid cocoon trees and a beautiful yet, earthy deconstructed sunflower mat. An anniversary filled with very special tributes. A winter solstice party. Even a celebration of the end of life, complete with a labyrinth of bamboo tubes for guests to put notes of their memories into. Having a party before ‘the end’ to celebrate a lifetime of memories is an interesting concept. With the prevalence of terminal illnesses, many people know when it’s ‘their time’ and parties like these are on the rise. (I will be writing more on this in future articles.)

I could go on all day about the things I learned at this spectacular conference. (And probably will be writing for months on the subjects covered.) As Gregor Lersch put it, the AIFD stage is the most important stage in the world for floral designers. It was an honor to be there, and I hope I can relay as much as I can to help florists everywhere to start their own REVOLUTION!

This post was brought to you by local Boston, MA florists.

Revolution Is The Word At AIFD National Symposium

If you have not heard, Flower Shop Network has just returned from an incredible floral show — the AIFD National Symposium in Boston MA. The theme this year was Revolution… not only Revolution because we were in New England for the 4th of July, but Revolution because florists need to revolutionize their craft. As Ann Jordan points out, florists can’t be average anymore, they need to up their business practices and their skills. AIFD’s Revolution is a way to not only network within the floral industry, but also spark an inspiration that will last for years to come. The techniques and ideas present at Revolution are on the cutting edge of your industry. If you want to take the lead and be the best designer you can be, show’s like the National Symposium are an absolute MUST! Next years event will be in San Fransisco, CA and everyone is encouraged to go!

Above is FSN’s interview with Ann Jordan and Janet Black, this year’s National Symposium event coordinators. They discuss the importance of AIFD and this flower show to the floral industry.

Upcoming Show: AIFD National Symposium in Boston, MA

Pack your bags, it’s almost here! The floral industry’s most premiere show — the AIFD’s National Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts.

An incredible event, the week starts with an amazing fireworks display over the Boston Harbor, and continues with a host of interesting and informative presentations by the industries leading florists. The lineup this year is truly astounding! With guests like Michael O’Neill, Ty Leslie, BJ Dyer, and many, many others, even the most seasoned florist will bring home a wealth of new ideas and plenty of inspiration.

Find more about the AIFD National Symposium…

Flower Shop Network WILL be there! Our social networking ladies, Mandy and Ashley will be on location Tweeting and Facebooking from the event! You can follow us and everyone tweeting from the event on the #AIFD hashtag page! Add it to your bookmarks! It’s almost like being there! …. okay, not exactly…

In the days following the event, keep an eye on our blog and Facebook to see all of our amazing photos, videos, interviews and more!

Need a little inspiration to hold you over til the 4th? Check out FSN at the AIFD Southern Conference…

It Can Be Arranged! The UPFA’s Annual Convention Is Coming Up!

Just a little reminder, the UPFA’s annual convention is coming up!

Everyone is invited to attend the Utah Professional Florists Association‘s annual convention, It Can Be Arranged, June 26 and 27 at the Escala Event Center in Park City’s Canyons Resort.

Join your fellow floral professionals for the premiere event for the floral industry in Utah. There will be numerous opportunities for networking with wholesalers, retailers and vendors of all types relating to the floral industry.

This is a fantastic floral convention to attend! Great door prizes and thank you gifts will be awarded throughout the weekend. You will not want to miss this amazing opportunity! For more info, visit the Utah Professional Florists Association’s Blog.

FSN’s Bloomin Newsletter For June


Top 5 June Flowers to Put You In The Mood for Summer

5. Lilies

Lilies are popping up all over the place. This little beauty makes the list for being the most common of the June flowers. Why? Most lilies are able to survive with little care and are drought tolerant plants. This has enabled the lily to ‘escape’ and grow everywhere as if they were wild.

4. Calla Lily

callalilyCalla lilies’ bloom color may be pink, violet/lavender, dark purple/black, or white/near white. With this many variations, you’re sure to find one to complement any occasion. Calla lilies are very popular wedding flowers right now. Dressed in white and elegant — just like the bride!

3. Gladiolas

These were always my dad’s favorite garden flowers. Sometimes called the sword lily, these brightly colored beauties stand tall in a vase arrangement or even your own flower garden. Gladiolas are a great way to add height and color to your June decor.

2. Delphinium or Larkspur

The beautiful delphinium, or larkspur, is definitely a florist’s favorite. The flower has five petal-like sepals which grow together to form a hollow pocket with a spur at the end, giving the plant its name. These beautiful purple blooms can be seen wild in grasslands and beside roadways, but are becoming increasingly rare.

1. Hydrangea

Probably the favorite of all summer flowers, the hydrangea’s blooms definitely have a commanding presence. Hydrangeas have two types of flower arrangements: mop-head flowers are the large round flower heads resembling pom-poms or, as the name implies, the head of a mop. In contrast, lacecap flowers bear round, flat flower heads with a center core of fertile flowers surrounded by outer rings of showy, sterile flowers.

FSN’s Favorite Flower Arrangement For June

Father’s Day is just around the corner. Can you believe it’s here already? For all of the special things Dad has done, and will continue to do for us, isn’t it time to give something in return? Sending the the Floral Felicity flower arrangement — this months favorite here at FSN — is the PERFECT gift for Father’s Day. Its  bright and vivid colors are just what Dad needs to remind him how much of a shining star he is to you.
Find The Floral Felicity Arrangement on Flower Shop Network…

Personalized & Creative Tribute Flowers

Funeral flowers are not what they used to be, and for good reason. We have become so accustomed to personalization, why not customize our final tribute to a lost loved one? People everywhere are opting for sympathy arrangements with a more personalized feel.

This is a great custom funeral design for someone who was known for their love of music. Perhaps they were sent by someone in a band with the deceased. What a great way to honor those memories they shared together. Custom set pieces are great to pay tribute to the deceased favorite hobby or interest.
Read More About Personalized & Creative Tribute Flowers…


Every week our Plant Expert answers YOUR most challenging plant care & identification questions.

Question About A Seed Pod Found In St. Croix

I found this 18″ pod in St. Croix. Pictured is the inside & outside. Before it split open there were seeds in each of the little compartments and made a great rattle. Can anyone ID it?
Thanks. John

Our Expert’s Answer

Of course we can, John! Turns out this seed pod is from the most amazing fire-orange tree, appropriately named Flamboyant Tree. Read more and see pictures of this gorgeous tree from the Caribbean in this post…

It’s summer and the A/C’s are ON! I love that cold breeze in my face on a hot day. Here is a tip though — don’t sit your flower arrangement directly in front of an air conditioner or vent. Flowers need to be in a cool spot in your house, but leaving them in the direct path of a vent can cause them to dehydrate. Also, cut flowers need a consistent temperature to thrive, so the air conditioning going on and off will shorten their lifespan.


Love flowers? Follow us on the above Social Networks! We are always sharing the latest articles from our Bloomin’ Blog, as well as the most fascinating news on the net!



Design Inspiration Challenge
This month, the FSN bloggers began one of our favorite projects ever — the bi-weekly Design Inspiration Challenge. This floral design competition is not for just ANY florist. We wanted truly inspired design; thus, the Design Inspiration Challenge was born.
Every other week, we will give you something inspirational (this week’s was a lesser-known van Gogh painting) and you design an arrangement using that inspiration. More about the Design Inspiration Challenge…

Increasing SEO For Your Flower Shop
SEO means Search Engine Optimization, or optimizing your flower shop’s website to best be found in search engines, like Google, Bing, or Yahoo Search. Now, this may seem like a daunting task, but it’s really quite easy to get started, and I bet you’ve already done more for SEO than you realize! More about increasing SEO for your flower shop…

Fun In The Flower Shop
Contrary to popular belief, a local florist’s work can be exhausting and stressful at times, especially for the owner. When is the last time you and your great employees really cut loose and had some FUN? Research shows that the more FUN you have in your shop, the happier and more productive your employees will be. Here are a few tips you can use to shake things up a bit. More about Fun in the Flower Shop…4 Unique & Creative 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 the 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!?). Read more about unique & creative vase ideas…


June 10-13, 2010: The Florida State Florists Association Convention will be hosted at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bay Front Palm Beach Gardens Marriott in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Florists who are members, as well as non-member florists, are invited to attend.

View More Floral Conventions and Flower Show on the Calendar.

What do you think of our new monthly newsletter format? Your opinion really matters to us. With your help, we can make the FSN newsletter just what you want and need. You can drop us a note in the comment section on the blog or email us at social@flowershopnetwork.com. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Recent Gallery Trip Proves Flowers Unite People

In a modern world, there are few things that unite both generations and the sexes. Books abound on the differences between men and women, and generational gaps lead to misconceptions from both the young and old about each other. A recent exhibition hosted at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee, Anything but Clear: The Studio Glass Movement, 1979-2009, proved that art and flowers unite people, and perhaps if we all took a little more time out of our stressful routines, we’d find greater perception waiting to “bloom.”

Participants in this well known biennial show not only exhibited their creations, they also competed against fellow floral arrangers and master gardeners for coveted prizes. Competitors displayed their prize winning clippings and plants from their personal collections in one room. Ribbons were proudly displayed by the winning plants, and horticulturalists of all ages and experience milled around discussing techniques, tricks of the trade, and lamenting the familiar plight of the gardener against unwanted insects. The scent of flowers wafted through the museum, and one could imagine [Read more…]

FSN At The AIFD Southern Conference

Yours truly (Mandy) from Flower Shop Network attended the AIFD Southern Conference in Chattanooga, TN last weekend.

What a spectacular event it was: fresh flowers, amazing setting, (the Chattanooga Aquarium is amazing, especially filled with flowers) and delectable food — I didn’t want to leave!

Friday was all about the student competition. Young girls from Mississippi State were a real showcase of upcoming talent in our industry. (Even the floral veterans were impressed.)


I was really looking forward to Friday Night’s reception at the Chattanooga Aquarium, however, I was a little unsure as to why were were having a floral event there. Within minutes, I understood — inspiration was everywhere! The vivid colors and beautiful sea life were pleasant refreshers to the senses.

Jellyfish Sharks Swimming Jellyfish

I can’t think of a better way to open a conference called “The Attraction’s Only Natural,” than a night at the aquarium — wining, dinning, and mingling. But we all but took a side step as we all stood with our faces pressed to the 650,000 gallon aquarium glass, and watched the sharks swim by like children. A much-needed, relaxing evening to a busy weekend.

With muses dancing in our heads and our bellies full of the world’s best pastries, we all went to bed, eagerly awaiting the next day’s masterful presentations by leading floral designers.

First thing the next morning was our sponsored presenter, Linda Robinette, AIFD, CFD’s presentation. Entitled, PHI “The Golden Proportion,” it explored man’s primordial attraction to proportion through the Fibonacci theory. In other words, the mathematical reasons why something is beautiful. The golden ratio is 3 : 5: 8, or if you had 8 equal parts and divided them into 5 parts and 3 parts.


In floral terms: your entire arrangement is 8 parts, your flowers are 5 parts and the vase is 3 parts (for the average arrangement). Of course, design rules are made to be broken, but it is an interesting theory.

From Big Sky Country, Larry Kramer, AIFD, CFD showcased his amazing talent for building unique armatures. Larry explained that he lived 6 hours away from his nearest fresh flower wholesaler, so he has learned over the years to use each and every piece of his flowers. Reduce, reuse, recycle is [Read more…]

‘Going Green’ for St. Patty’s Day Has Never Been Easier!

“Going Green” for St. Patrick’s Day a few years ago meant little more than avoiding getting pinched and the occasional green beer. However, as floral aesthetics evolve and people are becoming more environmentally aware, “Going Green” can mean any number of things, meaning getting creative this St. Patrick’s Day is more fun than it has ever been! Going GREEN has never been easier!

A Brief History:

St. Patrick’s Day Trivia

  • Did you know the shamrock was originally used by St. Patrick to teach the Holy Trinity?

Before diving into the festivities on March 17, it might be helpful to know a little bit about St. Patrick and how his signature color and subsequent celebrations have become a world-wide phenomenon. The good news is, unlike many holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is based on a real person! Maewyn Succat was born into a rich family in fifth century Great Britain before being kidnapped by Irish raiders and made a slave. During that time, Succat converted to Christianity and escaped back to Great Britain, where he chose Patrick as his Christian name. He opened several schools along the west coast of Ireland and famously used a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to his students. After nearly 30 years of educating the Irish using shamrocks, Patrick passed away. Ireland then chose to commemorate his life with a holiday–St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day Trivia

  • Did you know blue was the original color of St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t  the boisterous celebration it is today until the 1990s when Ireland chose to promote their culture around the world using the now-famous St. Patrick’s Day Festival. Prior to that, beginning the Middle Ages, St. Patrick’s Day was a one day reprieve from Lent, depending where the Holy Week landed each year. Observers were allowed to have a drink of ale on St. Patrick’s day, beginning a tradition and the association of the holiday with the drink. St. Patrick’s Day still remains a religious holiday for many; however, with the creation of the world-wide festival, parades and celebrations, St. Patrick’s Day has become a public celebration that is undoubtedly here to stay.

Going GREEN: Floral Edition

green-flowers1For the past few years, consumers and florists alike have been easing into the idea of an all-green arrangement. Today, many are taking the monochromatic look head-on and creating gorgeous, modern arrangements that are both memorable and classically chic. From weddings to everyday deliveries, versatile green arrangements possess a unique beauty that makes a statement in any instance.

And what is that statement?

Green arrangements can mean any number of things. They lend themselves perfectly to St. Patrick’s day, given not only their color, but common associations with green. Green floral arrangements are also ideal for celebrating the beginning of spring!

The Meaning of GREEN:

St. Patrick’s Day Trivia

  • Did you know the color green is associated with optimism and renewal? It’s the perfect color for spring!

Although blue was the original color associated with St. Patrick’s Day, green was the obvious color chosen by many, due to the iconic use of the shamrock in the observance of the holiday. This is perfect for florists, because green can do double-duty for this time of year: celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the arrival of spring!

Words associated with green flowers include rejuvenation, health, youth and nature, making green arrangements an ideal choice for the season! Green flowers, with their diverse shapes and textures, are the perfect compliment to spring weddings, baby arrivals and graduations.  Strong associations between green and optimism make it possible to literally send a little happiness to someone who will appreciate a fun, unconventional arrangement.

Go GREEN with Mother Nature:

Given that the floral profession is directly intertwined with nature, it’s no surprise that florists are doing their part to preserve the earth’s beauty.  New techniques to become  a GREEN florist arrive daily, making this the hottest trend in the floral industry. Organic blooms, composting and using local florists and nurseries are just a few of the ways to to be responsible when collecting some of nature’s most  beautiful offerings.

Using local florists also allows you to choose from a region’s seasonal foliage, creating a unique [Read more…]