Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Boutonniere

Boutonnieres are not just an accessory reserved for weddings or school dances, we’re big fans of boutonnieres for any and all occasions! The tradition of wearing flowers goes back as far as ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and the Aztecs, who were believed to wear certain colored flowers to show their support for athletes in sporting events.

Historians believe that the boutonniere ritual came about on the battlefields of civil wars in England, where each side wore a certain color or type of flower to distinguish friends and enemies from each other. Boutonnieres also were popular as lapel adornments in the early 19th century. The style of this era started to include coats that folded over at the top, revealing the inside of the buttonhole. Some people think that boutonnieres became popular for weddings and special occasions because flowers were thought to get rid of bad odors, diseases and even evil spirits.

Boutonniere Etiquette

At weddings, there are certain guidelines to follow when it comes to boutonnieres. For example, the groom should have a different boutonniere than his groomsmen and his father as well as the bride's father. And, it’s a nice idea to match the groom’s boutonniere to the bride’s bouquet.

Boutonnieres should be worn on the left lapel of a man’s suit jacket. A good jacket will have a sturdy buttonhole that will support the weight of the accessory, as well as a latch to keep the stems in place. If there is no lapel on the jacket you’re planning to wear, make sure that the designer creates an attractive stem that can be pinned onto your lapel.

In the Field: Banksia Ashbyii

We're feeling inspired this summer with a fresh take on a favorite orange Banksia: Ashbyii or also called Ashby’s Banksia. What appears to be one large, showy cylindrical flower is actually a dense cluster of up to several thousand individual blossoms. Ashbyii’s beautiful orange flowers add vibrancy and texture in the field or garden and is a treat in floral arrangements, bouquets and wreaths.

Speaking of treats, banksia nectar once provided a sweet treat for Aboriginal people, who sucked the flower spike or soaked it in water to make a drink.

After flowering, the spike develops into a woody cone with tightly closed follicles, each containing one or two seeds. The cone or pod performs the all-important task of protecting the seeds until the time is right for germination – which, for most banksias, is after a BBQ or bushfire.

Flower Care:
  1. Keep cool when possible. 
  2. Strip leaves from the bottom half of each stem. 
  3. Re-cut at least 1/2" off each stem and place in cold water. 
  4. Never bash or split stems. 
  5. Replace vase water every day as Banksia are thirsty flowers. 
  6.  Never mist banksias as this could cause black marks to appear.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Serruria Florida Blushing Bride

Without a doubt one the most sought after and best-known of the South African Proteas. Lost to cultivation and believed to be extinct for nearly ninety years, Serruria florida was rediscovered in 1891. The common name, Blushing Bride, was embraced because of its traditional use in bridal bouquets and through the custom of young men wearing the flowers in their buttonholes when courting. Breathtaking blush flower heads about 1 ½” long with papery-white bracts flushed with pink develop during winter through spring. The blooms grow in clusters of up to eight on long stems with soft needle-shaped foliage which gives each branch a light, feathery appearance. 1997

Blushing Bride has become quite popular with designers and florists, particularly in view of their illustrious vase life. They also dry beautifully, which extends their life for an infinite period of time.

Pictures taken in Citrusdal, Western Cape, S. Africa

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

July: Summer Design Inspiration

Although the New Year officially begins in January, here on the farm we can’t help but think that July deserves a little acknowledgment too. There’s something about the month, perhaps it’s the fact we’ve reached the year’s halfway mark or maybe because it’s American Grown Flowers Month… that seems to muster up a little nostalgia. With that in mind, these ‘dog days of summer’ aren’t easy to shake off. Whether you’re planning your next summer gathering, catching up on the latest floral trends or simply spending more time outdoors, we’ve created a summer inspired arrangement. A few of our usual favorites are included, like banksia, protea, and erica, with the foliage choices as a nod to the ‘summer essentials’ trend, as well as some lilies and everlastings for an extra splash of color. Below, we’ve broken down the arrangement by the individual stem to give you a better picture of each ingredient.

Protea cynaroides or King

Banksia robur

Erica verticillata

Grevillea Ivanhoe


Leucadendron Christmas Bells

Stargazer Lily


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