Sunday, November 23, 2014

Creating a Festive Protea Wreath

It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas here on the farm.  We've jumped right into our wreath making mode and we're loving every minute of it!  Creating and making things with your own two hands feeds the soul and definitely puts you in the holiday spirit!  Throw in fresh protea, crisp foliage and cones loaded with texture and the joy just begins.  Watch as Porfirio walks you through the steps of creating a festive protea wreath.

This time of year is so magical.
Let it fill you with joy and happiness.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 17, 2014

The 1st Annual Protea Festival

Welcome to Rainbow

This month we had the pleasure of attending the California Protea Association's (CPA) 1st Annual Protea Festival.  This special event, the first of its kind, was held at Rainbow Protea, one of the neighboring flower farms.  Attendees included protea farmers from both San Diego and Riverside counties as well as floral industry friends.

Rainbow, a suburb of Fallbrook, is a natural fit for the protea festival as its roots go deep into California agriculture.  Rainbow’s trademark product is the protea, but a wide variety of crops grow here too – like avocados, citrus and exotic fruits, macadamia nuts, persimmons, pomegranates, wine grapes and more.  This Protea Capital of the USA is definitely the ideal location to host a field to vase event celebrating Protea and the Farmers!

It was a perfect day that turned into a perfect evening.  We were surrounded by beautiful California grown flowers and people who really adore them too.

However, it wasn't just about the flowers, it was about the entire experience.  Preparing a delicious meal on the farm - where food starts, in the hands of farmers.

We dined in the middle of a storage barn surrounded by protea fields, on a table that sat over 30 people. Everything about the setting was breathtaking!

It was a terrific evening filled with scrumptious food and even better conversation with friends who love farming as much as we do.

Many Thanks to Dawn Bonner and Rainbow Protea for hosting this fabulous event!

Stay tuned for information on next year's Proteafest!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Grevillea Ivanhoe: A Fall Favorite

Autumn is the perfect time of the year to rediscover one the season's fabulous foliage, Grevillea Ivanhoe, bursting with color, volume and texture!

The Australian species of Grevillea consists of approximately 313 different varieties and 200 cultivars, and the numbers continues to grow.  Named in honor of the British patron of botany Charles Francis Greville, one of the founders of the Royal Horticulture Society in 1804.

Grevillea Ivanhoe is a hybrid cultivar derived from combination of G. Longifolia and G. Caleyi.  It has very attractive serrated and deeply cut foliage with deep green leaves and silver undersides, while new growth is a reddish bronze color.

The little cone-like buds and red tooth brush-like flowers, which seem to turn this foliage into a 'filler flower', are prominently displayed over the late winter and early spring.  Ivanhoe adds a distinctive 'spice' of texture and color to designs and it has a long vase life of 14 days and longer.

In addition, when Ivanhoe is color enhanced it's silvery undertone takes on festive colors beautifully! 

Still not convinced Ivanhoe's a fall favorite?  If not, these wonderful creations will certainly inspire you! 

Enjoy this wonderful season and make it a time to rediscover Ivanhoe!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Persimmon - A Divine Fruit

Did you know America's Native Americans, the Algonquin are responsible for the word "persimmon"?  The Algonquin were quite fond of the fruit, collecting it totally ripe after it fell to the ground and enjoying it immediately.  They also dried the ripe fruit into bricks to create vitamin rich nutrition for the long winter.

Persimmon or also called 'kaki' is part of the Diospyros genus of over 700 species of trees and shrubs.  The name Diospyros literally translates to "divine fruit" or "divine food" and is an appropriate description for the wonderful persimmon.

Persimmon season is in full swing, which brings a wonderful opportunity to explore all the decorative possibilities of this vibrant fruit, and that's exactly what we decided to do!  First, we created two stunning fall arrangements which included a mixture of protea, pincushions, banksia, leucadendron, grevillea and agonis.  And, of course we couldn't leave out one of our favorite autumn accessories - the Wreath!  Persimmon, banksia integrifolia, olive and seeded eucalyptus branches were all weaved into that seasonal symbol of 'welcome'.

Then, we took our exploration of persimmon possibilities one step further and discovered more creative ways to use them.

How to Make a Gorgeous Herb and Olive-Leaf Table Garland

Finally, when it's time to replace that fall creation with a Christmas decoration take those soft squishy persimmons and make Spiced Persimmon Cakes - Enjoy!