Friday, March 28, 2014

Launching the Congressional Flower Caucus

Last month I was part of a 16 member delegation of American Flower Farmers that gathered in Washington DC to lobby for stronger advocacy for our country’s flower farmers. Many of the farmers were from the California, but there were representatives from Alaska, Washington (the state), Oregon, Maryland and Virginia, as well. This was the second year we assembled as a national group of cut flower and greens farmers to take our issues to Capitol Hill.

This year our efforts really came to fruition when Representatives Lois Capps and Duncan Hunter launched the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus. That’s something we have been working on for more than a year. We’d been planting seeds – building relationships with legislators, educating them about our issues and persuading them that the American public wants to know more about their flowers’ origin, just as they do the foods they eat. We told representatives the caucus would be a great opportunity for representatives to connect with their constituents to better understand what goes into flower farming in our country, the jobs it creates and the rewards involved with supplying local flowers to local retailers, florists and consumers. It became clear that the growing interest in the “buy local” movement was going to help us, but it was still very exciting to come home knowing we’d secured a team of congressional champions dedicated to our cause. 

And there’s even more. The White House administration recently used all American grown flowers in a state dinner with French president Francoise Hollande. “The dinner celebrated the ‘best of American cuisine’ and featured dry aged rib eye beef from Colorado, trout from Maine, cheese from Vermont, chocolate from Hawaii, and potatoes from New York, Idaho, and California.  The wines served at the dinner included excellent selections featuring California, Washington State, and Virginia offerings,” shared USDA Deputy Secretary Harden on the Department’s blog. “However, beyond the menu itself an equally impressive feature was the visible presence of American cut flowers.”


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Book Review of Fun with Flowers by J Schwanke

A Guide to Selecting, Arranging & Enjoying Beautiful Flowers

All of us here at Resendiz Brothers are big J Schwanke fans! Over the years J has become a part of our team and a very special flower friend. We’ve had the pleasure to work together on four videos featuring our farm and the flowers we grow here in Rainbow. J has traveled across the country and Canada sharing his passion for flowers, telling his stories and those of the flower farmers he's met along the way. Now, J has written this wonderful book which in his words is an "incredible" collection of favorite flowers and friends, creative tips and ideas, fun flower projects and best of all: stories from his flower-filled world. Throughout the pages of this book and you’ll discover over 40 Fun with Flowers Projects and their easy to follow recipes. Here's just a few of our favorite pages:

'Fun with Pin Cushion Protea' page 41 - these amazing flowers are currently in season, and here you'll find some very useful care and design tips.

'Flower Friends' page 42 - Friends truly are flowers in the garden of life.

‘Fun with Protea and Texture’ page 113 – Here J uses King Protea to create a fashion forward Wedding Bouquet and Event Centerpiece. This particular project was also captured on video and can be viewed by clicking here:

Whether you’d like to use freshly picked blooms from your garden or ones you purchased, J's book will show you how to arrange your flowers with ease and enjoy the experience of adding a special floral touch to your home or office. It really is one of those ‘fun’ books that will inspire everyone…from the home gardener to the professional floral designer. Fun with Flowers is available on-line at

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Beauty: Wonderful Waratah and Beautiful Bouquets

Did you know Waratah is actually a diverse group of flowers that are part of the Proteaceae family?  The name Waratah, an Aboriginal name for “beautiful” comes from the Eora people, the original inhabitants of the Sydney area.  The botanical term for this flower is very logical, seeing that the blooms are big and visible from far away - Telopea which comes from the Greek word “Telepos” literally means “seen from a distance” and these extraordinary flowers can't be missed!

Each bloom is in fact a cluster of flowers consisting of up to as many as 240 individual flowers depending on the species and the plant can grow up to ten feet tall.

And because of its wide range of colors and sizes as well as amazing texture, the Waratah is absolutely 'beautiful' in bouquets!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Fashion's Floral Love Affair

It looks like floral fashion trends are going to stay with us through 2014 too!  This spring flowers seem to be popping up everywhere, not just in flower fields.  Floral patterns are definitely a spring favorite and a trend that has been in full bloom the last few seasons.

Florals are fun and fashion designers are putting them on everything that a flower can be put on. 

On pillows and yes, with some of my favorite flowers - Protea.

Flowers are being hung from wall to wall and look absolutely gorgeous!

They're on kitchenware, bedding, stationary and watches too!

And, don't forget clothing and handbags with colorful blooms that can go with you anywhere.  It appears like this 'floral love affair' just won't go away and I absolutely Love It!