Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fun with Flowers at Ocean View

Another 'Big' highlight of last week's Fun N' Sun Convention was a trip to Ocean View where they hosted an Xpedition Luncheon amidst their gorgeous flowers smack dab in the middle of their flower fields.  It was an amazing experience - the food, the wine and definitely the flowers were all locally grown and produced in and around the Lompoc area. 

The flowers were truly the highlight of this event - fresh, colorful, abundant and totally irresistible!  So much so that I felt inspired to create my very own hand-tied bouquet, and that's exactly what I did!  I grabbed some clippers and off I went to harvest some sunflowers, stock, queen annes lace and hanging amaranthus.  What a treat - it's not every day you get to stroll through someone else's flower field and have fun with flowers!


Once my special hand-tied bouquet was complete, I stopped for a quick 'shot' with a lovely lady, Jana, in need of some California Grown Flowers!

Yes, even my friend J Schwenke came along for the ride and was definitely having Fun with Flowers too!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Big CPA Welcome

Last week the California Protea Association (CPA) participated in the biannual Fun N Sun Convention in Santa Barbara, California. This four day conference consisted of educational sessions, flower farm tours, amazing floral displays and a flower fair. This very popular floral expedition was our opportunity to welcome industry professionals from the US, Canada, Mexico and beyond to our world of farming, flowers and friends. A gorgeous Protea Wreath graced the entrance to the booth creating a Big CPA welcome and wonderful conversation piece. Once in the booth you were surrounded by a colorful display of many of the South African and Australian flowers and foliage our farms grow throughout California - Banksia, Protea, Leucospermum, Leucadendron, Grevillea, Berzelia, Brunia, Serruria, Flannel Flower, Calycina, Waxflower, Australian Greens and more. Trendy, in style, all the rage, something different, were the words that resonated from visitors as they passed through and admired our display!

Many thanks to Lori, Kim, Dawn, Mel, Diane, Gwen and Diana for all their hard work in creating and staffing this wonderful booth!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Stop and Smell the Roses

This week we took a little break from growing Protea and attended the biannual Fun N' Sun Convention in Santa Barbara, California. This wonderful floral event included two days of tours to eight flower farms in both Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Our final stop on day one was Rose Story Farm where we enjoyed a lovely lunch, toured the Rose Gardens and stopped to smell the roses!

Rose Story Farm began in 1998, when a half acre of an old lemon and avocado farm was transformed into a rose garden. This amazing garden has now expanded into an old-fashioned rose farm, with the radiant hues of European and pre-1950 American varieties in bloom across 15 acres in Carpinteria, Valley. Rose Story Farm now grows 18,000 rose bushes, with over 120 varieties featuring beautiful, fragrant, romantic roses in exquisite shape and colors. Here's just a small sampling of the gorgeous roses they grow. For more information on this amazing flower farm go to:

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Glorious Grevillea

Beautiful flowers, fabulous foliage and an amazing plant. Grevillea is a large diverse genus with about 340 species, mainly of Australian origin. Such an amazing variable genus, with growth habits ranging from flowering ground cover types, to beautiful scrubs and hedges, to tall colorful trees. Grevillea flowers range in color from white to pink, yellow to red and their size can be small and spider-like or large and bottle brush-shaped, like these gorgeous blooms.

Grevillea foliage can be sharp and needle-like, soft and fern-like, or long branches with colorful jagged edges which definitely add wonderful texture to any bouquet or arrangement.

Here are a few of the bouquets we recently discovered mixing Grevillea flowers and foliage with other colorful and interesting florals.

And after a leisurely trip around my own garden, I couldn't help but feel a little inspired to create my own kitchen bouquet!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Because July 4th is a day when we all, as Americans, stand together and celebrate how lucky we are to live in a land of the FREE ... because of the brave.