Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Banksia Foliage

Within the wonderfully diverse world of proteas, the Banksia ranks among the best known and most spectacular genera of the Australian Proteaceae. It now includes around a 178 species, plus 19 naturally occurring varieties and an increasing number of registered cultivars. These amazing botanicals are not only popular for their vividly colored flower spikes, their foliage is fabulous too. Banksia foliage helps create volume, structure and texture in bouquets, arrangements and displays.

The leaves of Banksia vary greatly between species. Sizes differ from the narrow, long needle-like, whispy foliage of Occidentalis (Red Swamp Banksia), to the jagged leather-like leaves of Praemorsa (Cut-leaf banksia). The most common banksia foliage, Integrifolia (Coastal Banksia or White Honeysuckle) is a bit fickle as the younger leaves are usually broad and irregular toothed, while the mature leaves are smooth and spear shaped. They have white undersides that tend to give the leaves a silvery look.

Banksia Occidentalis

Banksia Praemorsa

Banksia Integrifolia

Banksia foliage provide a lush and long-lasting base for wreaths and they blend well with just about any other flowers and greens!

Monday, July 27, 2020

July Articles of Interest

18 Petite Wedding Bouquets That Make a Big Statement

While we'll always be big fans of wild, cascading bouquets, we've noticed that more and more brides are opting for smaller-scale arrangements. These mini clutches can range from to a single stem to collection of tiny blooms. But don't be fooled—although minute, these posies still make a big impact down the aisle. In fact, we think their small size is what makes them so eye-catching.

Read more here.

How to grow grevilleas

Want to add colour to your winter garden? Grown all over Australia, grevilleas are fuss-free, native shrubs that flower, flower and flower – they really don’t know when to stop! They come in a great range of sizes, from groundcovers and mid-sized shrubs to tall screening plants, which are perfect for privacy. Their year-round flowers are also simply irresistible to native birds and insects. The toughest thing about growing grevilleas is choosing which ones to plant!

Read more here.

The ultimate guide to Australian native flowers

Looking to add a touch of Australiana when building a bouquet or growing your garden? There are so many stunning Australian native flowers to choose from, here is a list of some of the most popular.

Read more here.

Flower Arranging 101

There is no quicker or easier way to add a dash of color, boost your mood, improve the appearance of your surroundings or freshen the air than adding fresh flowers and greenery to your environment.

Florists, of course, are the go-to source not only for pre-made arrangements, but for fresh-cut flowers as well. Some, like Edward on St. Simons, will take your order over the phone and place the arrangement outside their door. There are also good alternatives to be found at grocery stores and in your own backyard.

Read more here.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Seasons Greetings

As one season transitions into another the flora and colors that dominate our daily harvest shift as well. The crimson, fuchsia and white protea of winter give way to the red and yellow hues of spring. Summer’s lush greens and coral shades become the warm orange and cream banksia of fall. Even in the greenhouse where seasonal changes are not as obvious the passage is visible in the angle of sunlight and feel of the air. This helping hand from Mother Nature offers us the opportunity to continually change the colors and textures found in our wreaths. In our opinion, there’s no better way to roll out the welcome mat and start a new season than with a gorgeous Protea Wreath!





Tuesday, July 14, 2020

July: American Grown 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 homage 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 a cozy outdoor rendezvous, catching up on the latest floral trends or simply spending more time relaxing at home, we’ve created a summer inspired arrangement. A few of our usual favorites are included, like Banksia, Protea, Brunia and Leucospermum, with the foliage choices as a nod to the ‘summer essentials’ trend, as well as some fennel flowers, Southern Lagniappe, zinnias and everlasting for an extra splash of color.

Scroll down for a glimpse at our summer recipe, as we hope it will inspire you to create your own seasonal bliss!

Sunday, June 28, 2020


Looking for Bottlebrush? We’re getting lots of requests for those textural flowers that bear a striking resemblance to the well-known kitchen tool. However, the first question that comes to mind is - Exactly which bottlebrush are you referring to? The name bottlebrush has been used to identify several Australian native plants including Banksia, Calothamnus and Grevillea.

Did you know the Callistemon are the true Bottlebrushes? This Australian genus of about 38 species is a member of the myrtle family. The soft flower spikes are made up of hundreds of individual flowers. Bloom color varies between species; most are red, but some are pink, mauve, yellow, green, orange or cream, and many species have two or more flowering periods a year. In addition, bottlebrushes are also easily recognized by the textural seed clusters that are produced after each flowering period.

Callistemon Reeves Pink is a favorite summer filler flower here on the farm. Its dainty light pink bristles and delicate mint green foliage adds wonderful color and texture to bouquets and arrangements and it even looks fabulous when displayed alone.

What to look for:

  • Buy when at least half the flowers in a spike are open and brightly colored. 
  • Avoid bunches with drooping tips, yellow leaves or where all flowers are in a tight bud stage.
Callistemon Care:

  1. Keep in a cool location. 
  2. Strip leaves from the bottom half of each stem and wash stems thoroughly. 
  3. Re-cut at least 1/2" off each stem and place in cold water. 
  4. Always use a preservative as this will help keep open flowers looking fresh. 
  5. Replace vase water every day.

Friday, June 26, 2020

June Articles of Interest

San Diego County farmers fight
for share of federal COVID-19 relief money

Farmers who grow San Diego County’s most valuable crops may miss out on federal cash for coronavirus-related losses because some of their agriculture products — primarily flowers, nursery plants and exotic fruits — are not included in the relief program.

Read more here.

The coastal banksia has its roots in ancient Gondwana

If you fondly remember May Gibbs's Gumnut Baby stories about the adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, you may also remember the villainous Big Bad Banksia Men (perhaps you're still having nightmares about them).

But banksias are nothing to be afraid of. They're a marvelous group of Australian native trees and shrubs, with an ancient heritage and a vital role in Australian plant ecology, colonial history and bushfire regeneration.

Read more here.

American-grown blooms for American Flowers Week

You’re invited to join the Social Media experience and share images of #redwhiteblueflowers for #americanflowersweek (June 28-July 4). Of course, we hope everyone features local and seasonal flowers — from your own garden, or sourced from a flower farm in your area.

We love what Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore and The Floral Source has launched as part of her AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK promotion and we want to share it here to inspire your own floral plans!

Read more here.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

June Gatherings

Everyone loves the laid-back days of summer… especially when they’re on a holiday… like Independence Day! The sounds, smells, textures and sights of summer fill the days and nights with feelings of joy and excitement.

If you are lucky enough to have a garden, potential flower arrangements to boost the ‘ambiance’ are just footsteps from your door. Otherwise, shops, roadside stands and farmers' markets are brimming with seasonal flowers to take home and enjoy.

Selecting and gathering your own flowers not only allows you to express your creative style, but they also bring the freshness and beauty of nature into your home. When you decorate with fresh flowers and foliage that reflect your unique personality, it makes for an unforgettable rendezvous that your guests will reminisce about for weeks.

To show how I expressed my floral creativity using protea this month, I created five designs that will hopefully inspire you to create your own. Cheers to June… California Grown Flowers Month!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Protea Susannae

Like clockwork… just days following the summer solstice, we’re seeing Susannae! Yes, it’s that time of the year once again when we transition from pincushion season into protea season and there’s a bounty of pink buds popping up throughout the fields. Typically, one of the first protea to arrive on the summer scene is Susannae, and it’s time to put her in the spotlight.

Protea Susannae is one of the easiest protea to grow and quite prolific summer through fall! This gorgeous flower is comprised of a large cup-shaped bloom surrounded by pinkish-red bracts with beige tints. The peaked central dome takes on a wine hue that fades into a pinkish-white at the base, looking a bit ‘shabby-chic’ when the flower is fully open. The leaves are long and dark green with a faint red fringe.

Stunning no matter how arranged, Susannae is perfect mixed in bouquets, centerpieces and especially wreaths!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Color Enhanced Banksia

The brighter the better in some cases, and that’s what we’re loving these days when it comes to banksia.

The banksia is a bold and textural bloom that’s displayed in many of our favorite designs. For any season, there’s always a way to make them work no matter what the occasion is. I think the uniqueness of a banksia is what makes it loved by so many of us. When it comes to designing with banksia, the options are seemingly endless. Such an exceptional flower can be transformed by the designer, projecting a different look depending on what else it is paired with it. You can go with red, white and blue hues, or add more color to the stems and create a virtual rainbow.

Color Enhanced Banksia are eye-catching flowers when combined with lively, vibrant colors and the unique bloom shape. The flower spikes provide a textured look and feel, indulging even more into the brilliance of the colors and showing them off with intensity, boldness, and flare. Banksia are hardy flowers and they dry beautifully, making them a perfect option for or almost any occasion, like Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas… the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Protea King Bouquets Designed by Mel

We walk a shrewd line when it comes to creating a ‘one-of-a-kind’ King Bouquet: not only are kings totally striking on their own, but they look particularly intriguing when mixed in a bouquet. The large central dome that’s surrounded by spiky bracts with a smooth, velvety texture certainly begs a second look. The extraordinary shape of the bracts or petals gives the bloom a regal, crown-like appearance… it’s an oversized statement flower that looks absolutely fabulous in bouquets.

Captivated by the king? Well, when an occasion calls for a little extra ‘king-power’ here on the farm, we step back and call in our favorite flower-farmer-florist, Mel. His idea of designing a bouquet is basically like planning a meal: once he decides on the main course, the side dishes fall into place. When it comes to his king bouquets, the king or kings obviously take center stage as their color and texture make each bouquet come to life.

In case you don’t have a passionate protea farmer on-hand to whip up a few king bouquets to feast your eyes on, we asked Mel to share some of his recent favorites.