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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

May Flowers

There are few flowers on the farm during the month of May that offer as much vivid color, distinctive form and unusual texture as pincushions, conebush and kangaroo paws.

Unlike flowers of the genus Protea, which rely on their showy bracts for visual appeal, leucospermum or more commonly called pincushions put all their art into the colors of the flowers themselves as well as the flowing shape of each curving component. These fanciful blooms atop sturdy stems create colorful focal points in the field and when displayed in floral designs. The gorgeous cultivar, Flame Giant tops our list this month for its large flower head that reaches up to 6” in diameter.

It’s also hard to resist the Leucadendron or often called conebush, especially the silver coned Galpinii. A delightful variety with slender, silvery green foliage on straight stems that develop beautiful, silver cone-like flowers at the end of each stem. These cones are extremely durable and full of texture making them a stand-out in any bouquet or arrangement. Plus, when dried they're prefect for use in crafts and potpourri.

The Anigozanthos or commonly called Kangaroo Paws or K-Paws grow in clusters and are slender rather than voluminous. For this reason, many designers use them as line material. In addition, K-Paws have these fun and interesting woolly tubular blossoms that do indeed resemble kangaroo toes. The orange, yellow and red 'Tequila Sunrise' variety is not only a stand-out in the fields but in arrangements as well.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

May Articles of Interest

A Blushing Bride on Your Wedding

Protea Blushing Bride is one of the most sought after wedding flowers. These are truly one of a kind. Think of a tropical peony, and you get the protea Blushing Bride, which is actually a member of the Proteaceae, endemic to South Africa. Some call this beauty serruria Florida.

Pointed petals that range from ivory-white to pale green to pale pink, open to reveal a blush center, hint the name, Blushing Bride. Combine with cymbidiums and spider chrysants for a tropical bouquet or combine with ranunculus and orlaya flowers for a romantic bouquet.

Read more here.

The Prototypical Protea

There are stunning flowers, and there are stunning flowers. The protea, also known as the sugarbush, belongs to the latter category. You’ve probably seen these whimsical flowers in stylish bouquets and centerpieces, where their unusual beauty draws you in for a closer look. There are more than 1,500 species of protea, which is native to New Zealand, Australia, South America, and South Africa (stateside, they’re grown in California and Hawaii). King Protea, the largest, is so bulbous, so heavy, it’s a wonder it doesn’t just tip right over.

Read more here.

Pick of the Proteas

Proteas have existed for over 300 million years, making them one of the oldest groups of flowering plants in the world. Despite their ancient roots, they look beautifully modern in any garden. They’re also low care, make great cut flowers, are bird attracting and share the same care needs as our own Aussie natives. Discover the most popular protea varieties as well as their South African cousins - leucadendrons, leucospermum and serruria - below.

Read more here.

Benefits of Having Flowers and Plants at Home

Certainly, we all like to receive flowers and be able to decorate each of our spaces, or even with plants, both for its delicate beauty or for its aroma, but did you know that not only serve as decoration? Having flowers or plants has many benefits, and of course when you know you will try to have them in your home and work more frequently.

Read more here.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Protea Nitida - Waboom

Commonly known as waboom (Afrikaans for wagon tree) and botanically known as Protea nitida or arborea. This is a South African shrub, native to the dry slopes of South Africa where it often attains a knotted picturesque habit, has both functional and ornamental uses. In Africa waboom was traditionally used to make ink and construct wheel-wheels.

However, this protea is also a lovely shrub or tree with large, ivory flowers and beautiful foliage. Waboom has long, oval leaves that are leathery and fully evergreen. They emerge opaque magenta but mature to a light bluish 'sea-green' or silver. Large, white flowers bloom mainly during the winter and early spring. Each blossom opens from a tidy bud to an impressive flower with creamy-white spike-like stamens.

Once the flowers dry, beautiful pods remain to be enjoyed.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Flowers for Our Frontliners

Frontline workers like doctors, nurses and first responders are working extremely hard during this Covid-19 crisis, and we’re all looking for ways to show our appreciation. We’ve seen many examples of companies and even individuals who are discovering their passion is leading to a new purpose… the Gift of Giving. For those of us who are passionate about flowers, we can offer a gift of joy with a stress relieving benefit as well.

That’s exactly what our friends at Floral Fresh Inc. in Sacramento, CA have been doing… giving gifts of flowers to healthcare workers. The first delivery was to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton and the following was to Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento. Then last week, 350 Protea bouquets were delivered to the staff at UC Davis Medical Center. This is all being done through a special GoFundMe campaign set up by Flora Fresh called “Flowers for Our Frontliners”.

"The message is to show our appreciation and gratitude for their compassion to be nurses and physicians, people on the front line…not just dealing with the COVID-19 but every day they are out there," said Allan Nishita, owner of FloraFresh.

This GoFundMe fundraiser has currently raised $9,743 of its $50,000 goal. All donations are being used to purchase fresh flowers and greens from farms, like ours, and then Flora Fresh delivers them to a new hospital every week! They are extremely passionate about giving back to the amazing healthcare heroes that are fighting the Coronavirus and hope to continue doing so until there is finally a vaccine! They have seen firsthand the positive impact and joy that flowers bring to our healthcare professionals during this unprecedented time. Let's help spread the word about this wonderful campaign so Flora Fresh can continue to spread the beauty to our courageous healthcare workers!