Monday, November 26, 2018

In the Field: Protea cynaroides – Kings

It’s safe to say we’ve been seeing an abundance of King Protea in bouquets and centerpieces lately. There’s been a little something for every ‘King Connoisseur’… bouquets featuring just a single stem all alone to lavish designs where they’re mixed with an array of awesome blossoms. And we figured if you’re as crazy about kings as we are, you’d want to know a few interesting facts about these chic flowers.

The artichoke-like appearance of the king’s flower-head lead to the name ‘cynaroides’, which means ‘like cynara’… the artichoke. The name does no justice to the beautiful blooms of this protea, which is the largest in the genus. There are over eighty varieties of kings and they're divided into groups according to their leaf type. The leathery leaves vary from large and rounded to small and narrow and their huge flowers can be wide open, almost like a 12” dinner plate or a narrow funnel shape. These flower heads consist of numerous small, tubular-shaped blooms or also called an inflorescence. Their color can range from greenish-white through soft silvery pink to deep red, with each variety having its own flowering time.

King protea are perennial plants that can survive many years in the wild. They also tolerate fires thanks to their thick underground stem filled with numerous dormant buds which starts to sprout shortly after a fire. Fires also assist with drying the cones and releasing seed, while the wind helps spread the seed and seasonal rain triggers germination.

Kings provide a rich source of nectar which attracts birds and insects of all kinds who in return are responsible for pollinating these awesome plants.

An Eastern Spinebill on a King Protea by Greg Miles

Flower News: November’s Articles and Blogs of Interest from Around the World

Power Up Your Protea

With alluring colors, exotic shapes and rugged woody stems, proteas are the new ‘it’ bloom. The family tree originates in South Africa and these blooms are vibrant and hardy. Vase life is always a concern for flower farmers, wholesalers, florists and consumers. Proteas have a reputation for having a long vase life, and they do, but even most resilient cut flowers will not last if they do not receive proper care.

Farmers see proteas when they are at their best - in the field on the bush! Once harvested, proteas slowly start deteriorating. It's slowing down that waning process that makes all the difference!

Read more here.


Australian native flower industry looking for growers
to stock booming local, international markets

As demand for native flowers booms across Australia, the flower industry is lobbying for new players to enter so they can reclaim sales into their lucrative export markets.

With wedding and event trends favouring natives and florists pushing the product, demand is at levels not seen since before the global financial crisis. According to Flowers Australia, sales have increased five-fold since 2010 and the industry is now worth about $350 million.

It has brought smiles back to growers who have stayed in the industry through tough times.

But there are challenges ahead.

Renewed demand is now being driven by domestic consumers and as export markets like Japan look to source from Australia, growers are concerned about lack of supply.

Read more here.

See more here.


Petal It Forward Generates 90 Million
Consumer Impressions

The hits keep coming for the Society of American Florists’ 2018 Petal It Forward. This year’s initiative didn’t just create goodwill and good feelings around the country — it’s also generated 90 million consumer impressions and counting, including high-profile placement in national publications and on highly trafficked websites and social media pages.

Among the biggest hits? An upbeat one-minute video compilation of the day, created by the team at USA Today’s Humankind Facebook channel from video footage provided to SAF by local member participants. The video, titled “Unexpected gifts bring strangers joy” had more than 400,000 views at press time.

Read more here.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Meet Janice

It’s a concept most of us are all familiar with: Balancing work, family, friends and that much-needed daily ‘photography fix’… like capturing the perfect sunset at the end of the day.

For Janice, mother-of-two wonderful boys, finding that sense of balance between home and work has resulted in a joyful and fulfilling life. She began her employment here at Resendiz Brothers in the spring of 2017 as a packing-house assistant where she learned all about the various flowers and foliage we grow up in the hills of Rainbow. Shortly thereafter, Janice transferred to the office where she now works full time. Her warm and friendly personality makes for a very welcoming environment and provides a special touch to our customer service.

“I try to keep my life as modest as possible,” Janice explains. Between waking up at 6:00am to get my sons Mason and Preston off to school, caring for two dogs and a cat, and working fulltime at the farm… it can be difficult to find a moment for myself. But life is perfect, as I love being a mom and spending my days surrounded by fun people and gorgeous flowers. I do a wide variety of tasks in the office like preparing labels and waybills, data input, maintaining records, answering phones and caring for our multitude of farm friends… dogs, chickens, goats and a cat. Everyday I learn something new about running a business, farming and the unique flowers we grow. I’m surrounded by so much beauty which makes it easy and enjoyable to be here every day. I haven’t had the pleasure to interact with all of our customers yet, but I look forwarding to doing so soon!”

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Temecula Valley Garden Club

We were so excited to share our passion for Proteas with over 75 members of the Temecula Valley Garden Club. Hands down that had to be one of our favorite events this month. Our presentation consisted of all the things we love so much, the amazing array of proteas being grown here in California, growing tips and the delicious ways we arrange them… bouquets, designs and wreaths.

As many of you may know, autumn is the best time of the year to plant proteas. Plants that are established in the fall and winter grow faster in the spring and require less water when summer comes. This event gave us an excuse to bring along some plants, bouquets and wreaths, and for the members to take home and enjoy.

The Temecula Valley Garden Club is a nonprofit organization with 160 members, that aims to encourage interest in home gardening, promote better horticultural practices, conserve natural resources and aid civic groups. It also provides a wonderful place for those who share a common interest in gardening, to become acquainted and develop meaningful friendships.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

San Diego Farm & Nursery Expo

Cultivating Answers for Southern California Agriculture

When it comes to farmers, nurserymen, and industry professionals we always enjoy sharing and exchanging information about protea farming in California. And what could be a better opportunity then rallying with the California Protea Association and our friends at the San Diego County Farm Bureau for the 4th annual Farm and Nursery Expo held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. This educational event brought farmers and vendors together to network and meet with top researchers and authorities who provided attendees with lots of valuable resources. In addition, seminars were held on a variety of topics such as water runoff regulations, labor issues, squirrel & gopher management and more.

The Cornucopia

It's time for another glimpse at our favorite ‘symbol of the harvest’… the Cornucopia or also called a horn of plenty. It was traditionally made of a goat's horn overflowing with fruits, flowers and grains of the harvest.

At what time the cornucopia made its way into our country's consciousness as a Thanksgiving holiday symbol is difficult to say. But with its meaning of abundance, prosperity and good fortune, the horn of plenty is now a symbol of Americans’ thoughts of thankfulness.

Cornucopias have become customary fall centerpieces and usually feature a horn-like basket or container. Filled with autumn leaves and foliage, flowers, pods and cones, and even fresh fruits, they make a lovely holiday display. Whether referred to as a cornucopia or horn of plenty… the meaning of this ancient symbol still resonates today.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Día de los Muertos

Just like witches, black cats and pumpkins are typical symbols of Halloween, sugar skulls, marigolds and monarch butterflies are associated with Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. However, as Halloween is celebrated October 31st, the Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 2nd.

Día de los Muertos originated in Mexico and Central America where native tribes, including Aztec, Maya and Toltec, had specific times when they honored their loved ones based on whether the deceased was an adult or a child. When the Spanish arrived, this ritual of memorializing the dead became two holidays: All Saints Day on November 1st and All Soul’s Day on the 2nd. Día de los Muertos is typically celebrated on the 1st as a day to remember children who have passed away, and the 2nd to honor adults.

These ancient tribes believed that death was part of the journey of life. Rather than death ending life, they believed that new life came from death. This cycle is often associated with the cyclical nature of agriculture, like crops grow from the ground where the last crop lies buried.

Día de los Muertos is an occasion to remember and celebrate the lives of departed loved ones. And as with many celebrations, Día de los Muertos is filled with music and dancing. The ofrenda, is the most recognized symbol. This temporary altar is a way for families to honor their loved ones and provide them what they love while on their journey.

Portraits of the deceased, along with items that belonged to them are placed on the altar. The cempasúchil, a variety of marigold flower native to Mexico, is often placed on ofrendas and around graves. Their vibrant color petals are used to make a path that leads the spirits from the cemetery to their families’ homes. Plus, the marigold’s distinct smell when paired with the right kind of candle, allows the departed to return for a brief time to enjoy the pleasures of life once more.

Monarch butterflies play a role in it because they are believed to hold the spirits of the departed. This belief stems from the fact that the first monarchs arrive in Mexico for the winter on November 1st, which coincides with Día de los Muertos. Calaveritas de azucar, or sugar skulls, along with toys, are left on the altars for children who have passed. The skull is used not as gruesome symbol but rather as a whimsical reminder of the circle of life.