Friday, May 31, 2024

Designing with King Protea

King Protea are awe-inspiring flowers, bursting with texture and perfect for designing. From stunning hand-tied bouquets to elaborate centerpieces and displays, these amazing blooms add a regal twist to designs. California King season peaks from April through June, during which time these blooms are at their showiest and most spectacular.

It makes sense, then, that few things say spring like Kings, and I thoroughly enjoy designing with them when the occasion arises. The key is to create an arrangement that highlights the character of the King you are using. This particular design features an array of seasonal proteas that complement the beauty and majestic form of the King. The Flame Giants + Brandi dela Cruz along with some Ashbyi, Pink Duke, Linifolia and Ivanhoe add vibrant color and texture, while the Rotundifolia and eucalyptus provide a welcome contrast. And, for a spirited touch, I added a little spiky Eryngium or Sea Holly. The main thing is to pay attention to the King’s shape, color, and natural tendencies—and work from there to create an arrangement that fully complements the character and beauty of the flower.


  • Leucospermum ‘pincushion’ Flame Giant and Brandi dela Cruz 
  • Banksia Ashbyi
  • Protea Pink Duke 
  • Leucadendron Linifolia 
  • Grevillea Ivanhoe 
  • Lepto Rotunifolia or Blue Lepto 
  • Eucalyptus Parvifolia 
  • Eryngium or Sea Holly Big Blue
  • Round ceramic container 
  • Floral Foam or poultry netting 
  • Clippers


  1. Place the floral form or poultry netting in your container and secure with floral tape.
  2. Begin designing your arrangement by creating a base of Grevillea Ivanhoe and eucalyptus Parvifolia.
  3. Place the King Protea off center in the container. 
  4. Continue to build around the King with the Leucospermum, Leucadendron, Protea and Banksia. 
  5. Once you have a nice base and shape, insert the Blue Lepto. Make sure to cut the stems at an angle to allow maximum water absorption. 
  6. For the final touch, use a stem of Sea Holly to bridge the color palette of the arrangement.

Thursday, May 30, 2024


Looking for alternatives to Chamelaucium or commonly called waxflower? We've got you covered! Consider Lepto Rotundifolia, a member of the Myrtle family and related to clove, eucalyptus, and guava. This Australian native filler flower is often referred to as Blue Lepto or Lavender Queen, and blooms in late spring when it’s waxflower relative is finishing up for the season.

With long woody stems that produce clusters of lavender blooms, Rotundifolia complements the beauty of proteas as well as other seasonal flowers. It’s versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. The long stems are excellent for adding line to an arrangement and are especially chic in oriental and contemporary designs. Rotundifolia stems can also be shaped into decorative handles for baskets, added to dish gardens or simply placed in a bud vase as a charming accent flower.

What to look for

  • Buy stems in the bud stage to ensure the longest vase life. 
  • Avoid bunches that are shedding or flowers that are turning brown. 

Flower Care 

  1. Stems should be re-cut with pruning shears. The stems are very woody and may be tough to re-cut, but worth the effort as it will increase longevity. 
  2. Place stems loosely in a bucket of flower food solution and place in a cool place where they will get good air circulation. 
  3. Rotundifolia has a vase life of 7-14 days.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Praemorsa – Cut-leaf Banksia

We’re turning up the texture with the exquisite Praemorsa or Cut-leaf Banksia!

Wow… texture in this banksia isn’t just limited to the flower, check out the foliage as well! Praemorsa leaves are firm and leathery, with toothed margins and truncated or cut ends (hence the name). The bloom which is often seen in spring consists of hundreds of individual flowers growing out of a woody 10” long and 3” wide spike. And the colors... a wine-red bloom with tips in a blue-green and the grey-green foliage adds even more character to this superb banksia.

After flowering the bloom then turns into a hard cone of follicles that store several winged seeds. The follicles can take years to mature and open, usually needing a fire or a long drying out period. Once seeds are freed, they typically take 30 to 49 days to germinate, and four to five years (plus lots of patience) before you ever see a bloom.

A lovely reminder of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famed words, "Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience." And yes, praemorsa’s amazing textures and true beauty are certainly worth the wait!