Sunday, September 17, 2017

IPA 2017 Pre-Conference Tour

South Africa’s Western Cape is one of the country’s most beautiful provinces, attracting a lion’s share of tourists. It is a region of majestic mountains, long beaches and colorful patchworks of farmland set in lovely valleys. With a total area of 129,462 square kilometres, the Western Cape is roughly the size of Greece.

The Mediterranean climate of the peninsula and the mountainous region beyond it is ideal for flower farming and there are a number of family farms producing an excellent range of flowers. However, if you’re passionate about Protea, there’s no other place on Earth like the Cape Floristic Region – The Home of Proteaceae! That’s exactly why we made it a point to attend this year’s International Protea Association (IPA) Conference in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

The IPA Pre-Conference Tour took place on September 1st & 2nd and featured four fabulous flower farms: Arnelia Farms, Pomona Farm, Philadelphia Farm and Jansekraal.



Our first stop on the morning of the 1st (and the first day of spring in Africa) was Arnelia Farms near Hopefield.




Then, that afternoon we ventured out to Pomona Farm near Piketberg.






On day two, we headed out to Philadelphia Farm near Citrusdal in the West Coast area.





Our last s we visited Jansekraal also on the west coast near Citrusdal.





Saturday, September 16, 2017

What is Fynbos?


Fynbos - pronounced fain-boss - is the vegetation that is found growing naturally on the the mountains and coastal plains of south-western tip of South Africa. It is unique to this area. The name comes from the Dutch fijn and bosch meaning fine bush referring to the very small leaves and flowers of many of the species. Fynbos makes up 80% of the Cape Floristic Region (often called the Cape Floral Kingdom).


Fynbos is characterized by the presence of four main plant groups: Restios, proteas, heaths and geophytes, as well as seven plant families that only occur in fynbos.


Restios


Protea


Silver Tree


Leucadendron and Mimetes


Heaths


Bruniaceae

What's so special about fynbos?

Fynbos is amazingly diverse and exceptionally rich in species, and it occupies a relatively tiny area of land. Over 7,000 species occur in 41,000 km, and 80% of them occur nowhere else on Earth.

The Cape Peninsula alone has 2,600 species - that's more than the total number of species in the British Isles - crammed into an area smaller than London.

Compare species diversity with other heathland communities in Australia and the California, and with the rest of South Africa:

  • Cape Floristic region - 94 species per 1,000 km
  • Australia - 14 species per 1,000 km
  • California - 12 species per 1,000 km
  • The rest of S. Africa - 8 species per 1,000 km

When you walk through fynbos you can discover a new species with every step.





Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cape Floral Kingdom


The Cape Floral Kingdom is the smallest of all floral kingdoms and is the only one to fall completely inside the borders of a single country.

It occupies about 90,000 square kilometers - that's only 0.04% of the total surface area of the Earth - yet it contains 9000 species of flowering plants - that's about 3% of the Earth's species.

Furthermore, two out of three of the Cape Floral Kingdom species are endemic, that means they occur nowhere else on earth. The highest level of endemism in the world.





What is a Floral Kingdom?

Floral Kingdoms are the largest natural units that can be determined for flowering plants. Regions that share the same combination of plant families form part of the same Floral Kingdom.



There are six Floral Kingdoms in the world: Australian, Antarctic, Cape, Holarctic, Neotropical and Palaeotropical.

The Cape Floral Kingdom is a World Heritage Site.



Thursday, August 24, 2017

Farm & Flower Guide: 2017


The 2017 Farm & Flowers Guide is hot off the press and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. It’s a spectacular publication that celebrates the various flower and foliage varieties grown in America and the flower farmers who grow them. We hope this farm guide will help you plan your next event and let you know if the blooms you’ve been eyeing will be available!


Throughout the pages, you meet the farmers who are working hard to bring these gorgeous varieties to market… like our favorite farmer, Mel!


Enjoy a peak at several beautiful designs to get your inspiration flowing! And, you can browse the Botanical Index, a handy resource for details and images of a wide range of American Grown flowers and foliage… like beautiful protea and leucadendron from which to select.



If you haven’t received your copy in the September issue of Florists’ Review or Superfloral - Right this way to see the complete Guide.

Enjoy!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

In the Field: Eucalyptus macrocarpa


Macrocarpa is a very distinctive species of eucalyptus having what Australians usually refer to as a “mallee” type habit of growth. A species that has amazing characteristics including interesting foliage, beautiful flowers, and fascinating bark. Because of the dryness of the habitats in which it evolved, this eucalyptus tends to be extremely drought tolerant, with evergreen, often wax-covered leaves, which appear in different shapes as the plant matures. Macrocarpa’s large, bluish gray leaves are very interesting and look spectacular in arrangements.



Macrocarpa flowers from early spring to mid-summer producing blooms larger than a silver dollar, with brilliantly colored stamens in vibrant vivid pinks and stunning reds. The gum nuts which follow the flowers are also an interesting feature of the tree… they’re very large and have a wonderful powdery grey covering.





Friday, August 18, 2017

A Passion for Flowers - Designing with Helen


Helen Davis has always loved flowers and plants. As a young mother in Yolo County, California, she discovered the art of floral design at the local fair. Feeling inspired, she decided to try her hand at designing and began participating in the fair’s annual design competition. A tradition she has held on to for the last 50 of her 89 years. Helen further developed her design skill while working for a good friend who needed help with her home-based floral business. Over the years, she has shared her passion for flowers with her children and grandchildren… spending time training and encouraging each of them.

A few years ago, while preparing for a competition at the fair and considering using protea in her arrangement, Helen was introduced to our Facebook page when her sister shared a post. Since then Helen regularly spends time on Facebook enjoying flowers posts… especially those with protea.



Helen’s ‘protea highlight’ happened this summer when Resendiz Brothers was the featured farm in the California State Floral Association’s booth at the State Fair in Sacramento. With some determination, her daughter, Laura, brought her to meet Mel and everyone with him in the booth. Helen was overwhelmed with the kindness shown to her. She was asked to pick the flowers of her choice and create her own special Protea Bouquet which she proudly took home with her. Helen’s love and enthusiasm for flowers will be a cherished memory not just for her but for all of us who got to meet her and hear her story that day!