Monday, January 27, 2020

Winter Gatherings

Have you ever watched a chef peruse his vegetable garden, getting excited while scrutinizing the fresh herbs and veggies that will later be used to create a fabulous meal? That's me with flowers. I'm most in my realm when I'm surrounded by seasonal blooms and foliage, visualizing the array of bouquets and arrangements I could create. Usually, I start by considering things like color, texture, shape and size when I’m picking flowers, and I never know what I’ll end up with until I’m finished!

In the case of this arrangement, I was immediately drawn to the vibrant winter colors of the Leucadendron contrasted with the sweet pink hues of the Protea and Grevillea. Since the Banksia Candles and Grevillea flowers were similar in texture, I added a few stems of Protea nitida to create a unique, exotic feel. Nitida also brings a new shape to the mix without veering to far from my chosen palette. Finally, the Banksia’s piney, green foliage complements both the Protea and Leucadendron’s texture injecting an organic looseness to the design. I'm enchanted with how it turned out, and even more importantly I had a wonderful time gathering the flowers and creating it!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

In the field: Leucadendron Inca Gold

Leucadendron Inca Gold, please! Because who doesn’t love a burst of sunshine on a cold winter’s day! This popular cultivar bred in Australia during the 1990’s is believed to be a hybrid of L. laureolum and L. salignum yellow. The rich buttery-yellow flowering bracts with red tips do not open wide like many other leucadendrons as they tend to keep a closed tulip-like shape. Inca Gold are at their peak for color and harvesting during the early winter and make a breath-taking addition to bouquets and arrangements.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Protea Trish Compacta

Few things look more exhilarating during these cold winter days of January than a bounty of gorgeous Protea Trish Compacta, in bloom… stretching high up in the sky on long, sturdy stems against a scenic backdrop. Their bright, vibrant flowers and lush, green foliage certainly have a way of taking the ‘chill out of the air’!

Yes, bring on the Protea Trish Compacta! Think Pink and so velvety soft (don’t you just want to reach out & feel those satiny petals?). This protea cultivar is a wonderful mix of compacta and laurifolia with the classic flawless-colored floral bracts in a rich pink (like compacta) and silvery-white highlights that surround the same pink colored center dome. Trish Compactas bloom winter through early spring… which means you should be enjoying them, umm right now!

When harvested and mixed with other proteas (and some textural Berzelia and eucalyptus), there’s no doubt Trish Compacta can take the chill out of any winter day.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Natural Remedies for the Winter Blues

I must have flowers, always and always,” said Claude Monet.

Our sentiments exactly! Especially in January, at the cusp of winter, when we’re all slowly coming out of a ‘Christmas Greens Coma’. One trip into the fields and there’s no doubt in our minds, as the weather gets colder, the colors become brighter and more intense.

The Leucadendron Inca Gold seemingly ‘wakes up’ making for superb winter flowers in a bright yellow color with a touch of red on the tips.

And the Protea Brenda is so shiny and vibrant creating the perfect contrast with her lovely petals or bracts in hues of deep pink.

With a few stems of Grevillea Misty Pink and some textural Ivanhoe foliage, you can design a bouquet that takes the chill out of the season while providing an instant winter pick-me-up. There’s no doubt, the best remedy for beating the ‘Winter Blues’ is to surround yourself with vivid color and pretend it’s almost spring.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Holiday Centerpieces for the Farmers Market

I always look to the fields for inspiration when planning my holiday centerpieces. We were fortunate to have a relatively mild fall, and I got to reap the rewards. A bounty of gorgeous protea hung around a bit later this year, and their fresh, bold blooms looked absolutely fabulous in my arrangements for the Old Town Temecula Farmers’ Market.

In addition to using fresh protea, I love the idea of mixing a bit of dried protea material in centerpieces too… it makes for the Perfect Union. There’s no rule against combining dried flowers with fresh blooms. In fact, the effect can be stunning. Dried flowers can add unique texture and color to designs. A Protea Pod or sometimes called “Protea Flat” for example, is the wood-like base and stem of the flower that’s left after the long bracts and center dome are removed. They're wonderful when added to designs… giving them a bit of a vintage appeal.

There’s no doubt, when both fresh and dried protea find their place in an arrangement, they finish a story that began in Gondwanaland and triumphed over a thousand adversities. They represent a special kind of bond, a link to the past and a reminder of the present.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

December Articles of Interest

Resendiz Brothers Earns BloomCheck Certification

Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers was one of the first three farms in the country to earn BloomCheck certification when the program started in 2013. In another first, they’ve become one of the earliest farms to renew their certification.

“I really felt that it was important that our customers realize that we’re dedicated to sustainable farming, that we respect the land and we’re environmentally friendly,” Diana Roy business manager for Resendiz Brothers, said of becoming an early adopter.

Read more here.


Les Hodge | A hardy work of exotic, alien beauty

Leucadendrons are tough, easy-to-grow plants given their preferred growing conditions of deep acidic soil in full sun with plenty of air circulation.

Many can withstand strong, salty winds so are suited to coastal areas. Most will take light frost and are drought tolerant once established, making them a good choice for our hot summers.

The flowers are woody cone-like structures giving rise to the leucadendron's common name of cone bush.

Read more here.

30 Amazing Protea Wedding Bouquets

Protea plants, also known as sugarbushes, have become a favorite in the wedding world. The blooms—which are native to South Africa—come in a number of different varieties, and each is beloved for its unique shape or color. These include the big king protea, the unusual pincushion protea, and the aptly-named blushing bride protea. Whichever you like, we recommend incorporating it into your wedding bouquet for a bold and beautiful arrangement. For inspiration, look no further than these unique protea wedding bouquet ideas.

Read more here.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Unique Protea Holiday Décor Workshop

If you’re a fan of Rene’s Bouquets or any of the floral publications where his books and designs have appeared, our Holiday Workshop designer needs no introduction. However, if not… he’s a local resident and internationally renowned designer, author, presenter and instructor. Rene van Rems fills his days consulting, providing hands-on design instruction, as well as doing presentations and seminars for trade groups, garden clubs, horticultural societies and museum fundraisers. He is a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), The National Speakers Association, and the Professional Floral Commentators International (PFCI).

Busy designer that he is, we were thrilled when Rene agreed to teach a Protea Holiday Décor Workshop here on the farm. He and a group of students spent an entire day whipping up festive wreaths and gorgeous pillar candle centerpieces. Plus, everyone had an opportunity to chat and share information about themselves during a ‘family style’ Mexican feast.

In appreciation for the day’s spectacular floral artistry, and for all our friends who weren’t able to join us… keep scrolling down to have a peak at some of the workshop activities!