Saturday, January 28, 2017

Instagram: Photos We Dig

Ten fabulous photos from 100 Layer Cake a creative collaboration between friends and fellow designers. Launched in 2009, their wedding blog and website celebrate, inspire, and facilitate the most special events in life - weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, engagements - all the things that make your heart fill with love. Their vendor guide, marketplace, DIY resource and Pop-Up Shop provide a unique resource to help people plan their events, big and small.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

In the Field: Andrea

Spring is a long way off, but if you could use a mid-winter pick-me-up right this minute, we have the perfect antidote. “Andrea”—a bright, cheery and vibrant protea—this lovely cultivar produces large, fuchsia flowers with a silvery central dome and white feathery tips. It has the muted green leaves of the Protea Queen (magnifica) parent and the clear pink flower of the Protea Compacta parent.

There is no doubt that Andrea brings an abundance of winter cheer out in the fields. But once harvested, arranged and displayed her vibes are contagious – the perfect pick-me-up.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Celebration of California Culture

"A Celebration of California Culture" was the theme of the California State Society's (CSS) Presidential Inaugural Luncheon, held at the Ritz Carlton-Washington, DC. The Society, a non-profit, bi-partisan social/networking organization, is proud of its role in promoting California in our nation’s Capitol, and of its support for fellow Californians. Their members include all types of Californians—Members of Congress, Congressional staff, Administration officials, employees of California-based businesses, California Alumni, and others. Kasey Cronquist, California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) CEO & Ambassador and I were honored to join over 750 other guests to pay tribute to our state’s culture.

The DC Central Kitchen, L.A. Kitchen, Wine Institute and CCFC partnered in this event to celebrate California’s contributions to food, wine, flowers, art and music. California native and Top Chef Finalist Marjorie Meek-Bradley was the inspiration for the luncheon cuisine. Chef Marjie is a James Beard Nominated Chef and Top Chef Season 13 Finalist. The program included performances by the students at The San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. SCPA is a San Diego Unified School District college-preparatory, arts-focused public magnet school for students in grades 6 through 12 who have a strong interest and talent in the arts. And, the flowers… all California Grown and donated by several flower farms!

Special thanks to Andrea Gagnon from LynnVale Studios for doing the beautiful design work for this prestigious affair.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Discovering the Wonderful World of Proteaceae

As SoCal dried out over the weekend, 'Impressive' rainfall totals were tallied and the mountains are covered with snow, making it a perfect time to chat about ‘Horticulture’. It’s always a privilege to share our passion for Protea farming and that’s exactly what we did. With over 40 members of the MiraCosta Horticulture Club - The January meeting topic: Discovering the Wonderful World of Proteaceae.

The MiraCosta Horticulture Club was organized in 1988 and draws its members mostly from the Oceanside and Vista area, but they also have members from the surrounding areas, including Carlsbad, Encinitas, San Marcos, and Escondido. Though not directly affiliated with MiraCosta College in Oceanside, the majority of their fundraising efforts go to benefit the Horticulture program at the college, primarily as scholarships for the Horticulture students.

The presentation began by discussing the history of Proteaceae from the days of Gondwanaland to its introduction to California soil in the early 70's. The unique and interesting variations between the South African and Australian genera, as well as the differences between a protea cultivar and a hybrid were also highlighted.

Then, on to the growing aspects of Proteaceae from propagation techniques, to soil requirements, watering, fertilizing and pruning as well as how they can be incorporated into home gardens or planted in pots were also covered. Finally, we wrapped up the presentation by sharing pictures of our favorite protea arrangements, bouquets and of course a wreath!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Kicking off 2017 California Grown

A crisp and cool New Year’s Day set the perfect scene for kicking off 2017 in Pasadena and acknowledging the Rose Parade float teams who made it a priority to feature California Grown Flowers. These special certifications recognize those teams who worked to ensure that over 85 percent of the flowers on their floats were sourced from California. Being able to present each team with a Pennant is one of the perks of being chair of the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC), and I say perk because I can’t imagine a more wonderful honor than to be at these ceremonies representing over 250 flower farms from throughout the state.

This year's festivities were the best-ever thanks to Cal Poly Universities, Miracle-Gro, the California Milk Advisory Board (our dairy farmers) and FTD for their continued commitment to California Grown Flowers.

Cal Poly Universities’ float, A New Leaf, took home the “Founders Trophy” for most beautiful float decorated by volunteers of a community organization (1500 volunteers total). There were over 60,000 stems of CA Grown flowers used on the float covering over 2,255 sq. ft. This was Cal Poly’s sixth year Certified.

Miracle-Gro’s float, Everything is Coming Up Roses, won the coveted “Queens Trophy” for best use of roses. Miracle-Gro sourced over 32,000 roses this year, celebrating the California Grown rose as part of their design. This was Miracle-Gro's second year certified.

The California Milk Advisory Board’s float, Legacy of Generations, represented more than 1,300 dairy farm families, 1.7 million California dairy cows and 200+ years of rich heritage that make California the No. 1 dairy state. Making this a fabulous partnership, since flowers and cheese top my list of favorite things. This was the CMAB’s second year certified.

FTD’s most visible contributions to the Rose Parade were the beautiful floral d├ęcor on the 11 antique cars and carriages that transported parade VIPs down the historic parade route. Keith White AIFD and his team worked tirelessly to adorn the 11 VIP vehicles with 10,000 California grown flowers. This was FTD’s 3rd year certified.

Congratulations to all the teams on another successful and beautiful start to the year!