Saturday, July 21, 2018

In the Field: Brunia Albiflora

Whenever this beautiful botanical is seen, it is often greeted with surprise as if it has never been seen before. The mysterious, almost alien looking Brunia albiflora or also called Coffee Bush after it's coffee scented flowers is a summer favorite. Albiflora has long leafy branches with beautiful dark green foliage that resembles a pine tree, but is much, much softer. The flowers or ‘bobbles’ are crowded into tight spherical knob-like inflorescences that are clustered into flat, rounded heads in a deep green hue touched with silver. The flower-heads are very striking, and branches are mostly sold with the flower-heads still in bud.

However, in late summer the flowers start to open in a ring, starting on the outside of the bobble and working inwards. Each tiny flower is about ¼” long, white with yellow stamens sticking out, giving the inflorescence a yellowish tinge.

Whether in a bud stage or flowering, Brunia Albilfora adds a unique and long-lasting touch and texture to any floral arrangement or bouquet.

What to look for

  • If possible, buy before the flowers are open as branches with cones last longer than open flowers; 
  • Leaves should have a glossy green appearance; 
  • Avoid bunches with flowers showing brown marks.

Flower Care

  1. Keep cool. 
  2. Strip leaves from the lower half of each stem. 
  3. Recut at least ½” off each branch and place in water. 
  4. Don’t use a preservative as this may open the flower-buds. 
  5. Add a half cap of bleach to the vase. 
  6. Replace vase water with fresh water every 2 days.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What’s New: Resendiz Brothers Book

In the 19 years since Resendiz Brothers’ was launched, we’ve collected hundreds of amazing photographs of the fields and flowers we grow. Now, for the first time, we’ve gathered the very best of those pictures, some fascinating protea information and designing ideas into one place. All the pictures were taken by Mel and me, the text derived from our numerous blogs and the book’s composition by Paulette Sierra, our creative guru. This Protea guide captures the beauty and unique characteristics of the array genera, species and cultivars grown here in Southern California.

The book starts with a brief history of Protea in California and goes on to tell how Ismael ‘Mel’ was able to turns his passion for protea into a flourishing family farm. Protea, Leucospermum, Banksia, Leucadendron and several lesser known genera are beautifully featured along with a narrative on their characteristic and growth habits. There’s also information geared towards gardening requirements and planting -- watering, fertilization, and pruning. Spanning all four seasons with design ideas geared towards creating bouquets, arrangements and wreaths – this book provides an abundance of Protea inspiration throughout. Click here to order.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Yang Chinese Rose Gardening Co.

A thriving research and education farm dedicated to the development of new varieties and technology.

Located in Kunming, China… Kunming Yang Chinese Rose Gardening Co. is situated in the east-central part of the Yunnan Province in a fertile lake basin area surrounded by mountains to the north, west, and east. The farm was established in 1998 and works closely with the National Engineering Research Center for Floriculture, which oversees the research, development and promotion of the Chinese Rose, Hydrangea and ‘featured woody flowers’ like Proteas.

Resting on a hillside with a breathtaking view, this farm’s major crops include Hydrangea, Roses, Protea, Leucadendron, Leucospermum, waxflower and a variety of other unique flowers, foliage and branches. The eye-catching fields of over 100 varieties of colorful hydrangea create a unique environment, especially when you realize there are more than 1,800 varieties of roses that frame the 70 hectare property. And it’s even more enchanting when you appreciate that there’s another 200 varieties of Mediterranean flora, like many of those grown here in Rainbow. Throughout the farm, lush pathways, vibrant arbors and picnic areas offers ample room for visitors to rest and explore.

As with many passionate flower farmers, Mr. Young, owner of Yang Chinese Rose Gardening developed the farm from his love for the unique and unusual, as well as his desire to preserve rare and nearly extinct flora. He has not only managed to preserve many of China’s botanical treasures, he has created a paradise for his family and staff and continues to keep pace with the times.

Our thanks to Mr. Young and the staff of the Yang Chinese Rose Gardening Co. for the wonderful tour and gracious hospitality

Sunday, July 8, 2018

China Visit: Promoting American Grown Flowers

One of our favorite parts of being in the floral industry is having the opportunity to travel and experience this amazing industry in other parts of the world. From South Africa to Australia, South America to China, there are an abundance of flower farmers, wholesalers, florists and designers to learn from - which has translated into many inspirational trips for us!

On June 23, Mel and I were part of an American delegation that was formed to travel to China and host seminars on American Grown Flowers in both Beijing and Shanghai. This trip was developed out of a USDA Foreign Ag Services grant program. Certified American Grown received a Market Access Program (MAP) grant and a Quality Samples Program (QSP) grant to go to China and develop market opportunities on behalf of their farms.

The China delegation included:

  • Jim Omoto, Kendall Farms 
  • Robert Kitayama, Kitayama Brothers 
  • Mel Resendiz, Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers 
  • FJ Trzuskowski, Continental Floral Greens 
  • Lane DeVries, Sun Valley Floral Group 
  • Kasey Cronquist, Certified American Grown 
  • Diana Roy, Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers 
  • Christy Hulsey, Colonial House of Flowers 
  • Cathy McClintock, Kendall Farms
Also pictured:
  • Fiona and Sylvain from PR Consultants, our Guides & Interpreters 
  • Teng shu qing, General Manager of the Yunnan United Floral Transport & Marketing Co. (next to Lane)

The seminars in Beijing and Shanghai were attended by wholesalers, importers, retailers and floral designers. Over 40 people attended each of the seminars, providing the opportunity for each farm to showcase their flowers and discuss business opportunities within China's floral industry. Christy Hulsey, from the Colonial House of Flowers, dazzled attendees during her design presentations that served as the finale to both seminars. In addition, we had the opportunity to visited wholesale flower markets in both cities.



Our last stop was Kunming, where we went to learn more about China’s growing regions. China boasts over 1.3 million hectares of fresh cut flowers and foliage, growing over 12 billion stems per year and generating over $22 billion. More than 180,000 farms grow for the floral industry, with the average farm being less than half a hectare and the larger farms over 20 hectares. In Kunming, we met with the general manager of the Yunnan United Floral Transport & Marketing Co. The company was established in 2002 and represents approximately 80 percent of the production sold within the industry. They manage the floral auction, which operates similar to the Holland auction of the past. We also visited two farms while in Kunming (more on that in our next blog).

Our thanks to the USDA Foreign Ag Services grant program for making this trip possible.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Brought to You by Water Media Launch

On the first day of summer, aboard the USS Midway the San Diego County Water Authority and partners launched the “Brought to You by Water” education and outreach program about how water fuels our county's economy and quality of life. We joined the Water Authority along with the San Diego Tourism Authority and several other community and business leaders to help stress the importance of safe and reliable water to the major industries like tourism, manufacturing, brewing and of course our's, agriculture.

“The Water Authority’s investments have helped foster a $220 billion regional economy and make San Diego a global destination,” said Joe Terzi, CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority. “Many of our 35 million visitors a year come for our perfect climate – but the challenge of endless sunny days is that our region has few natural water resources. That’s why we support investments in water reliability that allow our industry to flourish, regardless of the weather.”

The Water Authority’s year-long Brought to You by Water program was kicked off by highlighting San Diego’s $17.9 billion tourism industry in partnership with the San Diego Tourism Authority, San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, the USS Midway Museum, and other attractions that were represented at the launch event.

In addition, the Water Authority has partnered with leaders in agriculture like Del Ray Avocados and Resendiz Brothers to showcase the importance of safe and reliable water supplies to farming. The outreach program includes a series of short videos about our county's iconic industries that will be shared on social media and advertising campaign.

During the next 12 months, the Water Authority will participate in local events, along with street fairs and farmers markets to talk about water with residents. As a way to start conversations about water, they'll take along the giant beach ball – about 8 feet in diameter – branded with the Brought to You by Water logo that was signed by guests, including Mel and I at the conclusion of the event.

To watch our video and news clip click on these links; Mel's brought to you by water video, and New Water Authority Report Highlights Safe Water Supply to learn more about the Brought to You by Water program.