Monday, December 31, 2012

Two new workshops with René van Rems for 2013

Five day hands-on Symposium

Five day hands-on Master Class


 This is the last blog entry for 2012 so I thought I'd write something about a floral tradition which is used at the end of the year in Hawaii.

According to Wikipedia, the definition of Kadomatsu is:
A kadomatsu (門松?, literally "gate pine") is a traditional Japanese decoration of the New Year placed in pairs in front of homes to welcome ancestral spirits or kami of the harvest. They are placed after Christmas until January 7 (or January 15 during the Edo period) and are considered temporary housing (shintai) for kami. Designs for kadomatsu vary depending on region but are typically made of pine, bamboo, and sometimes ume tree sprigs which represent longevity, prosperity and steadfastness, respectively. "The fundamental function of the New Year ceremonies is to honor and receive the toshigami (deity), who will then bring a bountiful harvest for farmers and bestow the ancestors' blessing on everyone." After January 15 (or in many instances the 19th) the kadomatsu is burned to appease the kami or toshigami and release them.

In Hawaii, the tradition of gathering pine (as in leftover Xmas trees, wreaths, etc.) and bamboo (cut from the forest) come together to create floral arrangements called Kadomatsu.  It is a very popular tradition whether you are Japanese or not.  The arrangements are usually displayed right after Christmas.
We generally start with 3 pieces of bamboo graded in different heights and cut the top at a slant.  These are usually bound together with cord, usually a rough, natural fiber and then they are set on a brick of floral foam and are surrounded by pieces of different kinds of pine.

Cut bamboo, tied and sitting on floral foam, waiting for pine.

Addition of pine.  

After the addition of pine, you can add flowers, such as football mums,  pompons, tropicals, anything which does not have thorns, such as roses.  Further decoration such as ribbon, pine cones, tassels, etc. may be added at this point.   Sorry, I neglected to take pics of these because I like it simple and organic with the pine and cedar.

Happy New Year to all, or as we say in Hawaiian, Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture's "Buy Local" event 11/4/12 in Pearl City, HI

This past Sunday, I had fun participating in the Hawaii Department of Agriculture's "Buy Local" for the holidays event held way up at the Pearl City Cultural Center.  There were six other fellow designers who also participated on stage and there was a wreath making contest for non-professionals.

Pearl City Florist

Fujikami Florist
Fujikami Florist

Su-V Expressions

Su-V Expressions
Live feed from the auditorium into the multi-purpose room where novices were creating their own designs.

A break from watching the professional designers to the wreath contest.  Here are the participants with their designs.

The participants with the judges.

The professional designers began again and the Sogetsu group is on stage.

Flo's Min Florist

Flos's Min Florist

The beginning of my segment.

Our criteria was to design for the holidays.

Thanking the growers for contributing their wonderful products.

A door swag made of tropicals instead of wheat for Thanksgiving.

An easily made intimate centerpiece using an Oasis wire collar, Oasis bind wire, Oasis cube gel, Oasis mega bead wire, oncidium orchids and curly willow in a fluted vase from Floradec Sales.

Using Christmas cones from Pier One, one is right side up and placed inside a dried grape vine wreath and the other is flipped upside down and used as a vessel for an inverse proportion arrangement.

Dendrobium orchids in white and lavender, three different colors of anthurium, lauae fern, red ti leaves, uluhe fern shoots and hanging strands of spanish moss or Pele's hair make up this arrangement.

Mahalo Dept. of Ag for bringing awareness of floriculture to the public.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thanksgiving workshop with René van Rems Nov. 19/20

Bring Your Thanksgiving Party to the Table with Flowers!

Thanksgiving Workshops in Rene’s New Studio!

Let’s have a little “more” fun this holiday season and bring your fall party to the table!  Join us in a relaxed setting for a Thanksgiving Centerpiece Class led by Rene van Rems.

Under Rene’s guidance, you will create your festive table-scape, setting the scene for fall entertaining. Give your typical tableaux a new twist by incorporating fall flowers and leaves, berries, nuts and all the trimmings in a hurricane glass harvest bounty centerpiece for an elongated or round table. Your fall colored centerpiece will last up to 2 weeks or so!

*Refreshments provided!

Class includes all materials. Please bring a floral knife & pruners.

Four Options:

Monday, November 19. 1:00 pm–4:00 pm OR 6:30 pm-9:30 pm

Tuesday, November 20. 1:00 pm–4:00 pm OR 6:30 pm-9:30 pm

$125.00 (includes tax and all materials)

Deadline for final registration Wednesday, November 14*


Rene van Rems International Studio/Holland Pacific Floral Training Center
5451 Avenida Encinas, Suite F
Carlsbad, CA 92008

To register, call 760 804 5800 or email

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hawaii Dept. of Ag promotes "Buy Local for the Holidays"


NR12-13 October 22, 2012

Free Make-and-Take Floral Arrangements Features Spectacular Flowers

Plus a Message to Help Protect Hawai`i

Honolulu – The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) wants to help consumers get into the spirit to Buy Local for the Holidays!   This unique floral event will be held on:
Sunday, November 4, 2012
9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Pearl City Cultural Center and adjacent Pearl City High School Multipurpose Room,
2100 Ho`okiekie Street, Pearl City

The event is FREE to the public and will feature local floral designers creating gorgeous holiday arrangements using only locally grown flowers and foliage.  Besides watching the professionals, the public will also have an opportunity to make-and-take their own local arrangements using their choice of flowers and foliage – for free.  In addition, there will be a local wreath-making contest beginning at 11:30 a.m. and Hawai`i nurseries will have plants for sale and 200 lucky people will get a free local potted plant.
The event is part of HDOA’s Buy Local, It Matters campaign, which encourages consumers to support local farmers and growers by making conscious decisions to buy local whenever possible.  In addition, this particular event emphasizes that by buying local, we can also reduce the amount of imported flowers, thus reducing the amount of invasive plant pests and diseases entering our state.
“It’s really amazing to see people have fun while using locally grown flowers to make beautiful arrangements,” said Carol Okada, manager of HDOA’s Plant Quarantine Branch.  “We invite everyone, including women, men and keiki, to come down and make their own local creation.”
HDOA and the local nursery industry will provide hundreds of locally grown flowers and foliage including:  anthuriums, orchids, protea, heliconia, ginger, bird of paradise, palms and much more.

“The nursery industry in Hawai`i relies on the strong support of the local community,“ said Russell S. Kokubun, chair of the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. “Purchasing locally grown florals also helps to reduce the amount of imported products that carry hitchhiking pests and plant diseases into our state.”
Floral designers participating in the event include:  Alluvion Inc., Pearl City Florist, Fujikami Florist, Flo Min Florist, Ambiance Today and more.
Once an invasive pest or disease becomes established in Hawai`i, it may have a devastating impact on Hawai`i agriculture by causing damage to crops and is often costly for the state and growers to control.  Invasive species may also harm Hawai`i’s unique ecosystem.

To view the Buy Local for the Holidays Flyer, click here.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Flower Talk: Pollen Disasters!

 Great tip from Sun Valley's blog:

Flower Talk: Pollen Disasters!: One of the most eye catching elements of a lily is the colorful pollen which coats the stamens of the flower. The pollen and stamens provide...

Flower Talk: Rene van Rems' 25 Top Bridal Bouquet Styles

Flower Talk: Rene van Rems' 25 Top Bridal Bouquet Styles:  Today's blog post takes a slight departure from my usual adventures in floral education. Rather than a flower, I'm talking about a book (...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Floralife Research - Hydrangeas

Floralife Research Update Masthead featuring Garry Legnani, PhD.
August 2012
Floralife, a division of Smithers-Oasis Company
Oasis® Maxlife Combined with Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300

Prolongs the life of cut hydrangea

Few cut flowers provide a greater visual impact than Hydrangeas, contrasting a large but delicate floral display with lush green foliage. Unfortunately, the large number of individual flowers, high foliage surface area, and thick woody stems make them an easy target for premature wilting. Cut Hydrangeas have a reputation of lasting only a few days in a vase or floral foam arrangements when using plain water particularly if adequate hydration is not maintained.

Our previous studies have shown that OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife prolongs the life of Gerbera Daisy, another cut flower with a poor reputation in foam arrangements due to challenges with hydration. Based on these results we wanted to evaluate the performance of cut Hydrangeas in OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife. In addition, we wanted to see how the Hydrangeas performed in OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife soaked in plain water vs. how it performed soaked in a solution of Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300.


    1. White Hydrangeas were received from a local wholesaler.
    2. All stems were recut on arrival and placed in tap water (60 ppm alkalinity) in the flower cooler (2 degrees C) for 24 hours.
    3. For the foam treatment, OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife bricks were soaked in either:
      a. Plain tap water (120 ppm alkalinity)
      b. A solution made with Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300
      (note: Both foams were placed in design trays)
    4. All stems were recut and inserted to a depth of 6 to 7 cm in the foam brick.
    5. Design tray reservoirs were filled with the treatment soak solutions at the beginning of the study, but no additional solution was added for the remainder of the test.
    6. For vase treatments, we prepared:
      a. A vase with 500 ml of plain water.
      b. A vase with 1 L properly dosed solution of Flower Food 300 and water.
    7. Flower stems were recut and immediately placed in vase solutions. Additional solution was added to maintain the 500 ml volume throughout the test.
    8. Vase and foam treatments were placed on tables in the postharvest lab in a completely randomized design (12 hours of fluorescent lighting at a constant temperature of 20 degrees C).
    9. Flower life (in days) was determined subjectively when wilting was clearly visible.
    10. Each foam and vase treatment was repeated 3 times with each repetition containing 3 stems.
    11. Flower life averages were determined for each treatment and analyzed using Statistica Software to determine statistical significance.

Results and Discussion
Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300 significantly increased flower life in the vase and OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife treatments. Results indicate that cut Hydrangeas are very responsive to flower food and it is speculated that the Maxlife technology helps facilitate the uptake of flower food in the floral foam arrangement. This study demonstrates that cut Hydrangeas can last an average of 8 days in a floral foam arrangement when combining OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife and Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300 technologies. Chart showing the benefits of Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300 and OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife on flower life
OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife saturated in Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300 resulted in an average flower life of 8 days compared to only 4.5 days in Maxlife + plain tap water. The Maxlife + Flower Food Clear 300 treatment performed as well statistically with flower food in a vase even though no additional water was added to the foam treatments.
Note: For best results on getting fully saturated foam, always place foam in the soaking solution broad side down with the imprinted logo on the top surface. This is because the foam cell structure is such that it soaks best from the bottom up.

Photos showing the benefits of using OASIS® Floral Foam Maxlife
Photos showing the benefits of Floralife® Flower Food Clear 300 in vases with flowers


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Calif Flora 2012 "Legends" Oct. 13-14, 2012

Hosted by
Mayesh Wholesale Florist Inc.
and The Southern California Flower Growers, Inc. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13th
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
The California Certified Florist program (CCF), underwritten by CSFA, is a statewide certification program. The Mission of CCF is to establish, promote and maintain a program of professional floral design certification, through education to employees and owners of floral businesses and to the public in the State of California, and to provide members with continuing education programs and services. For more information visit the CCF website at
Hand Tied Bouquet Refined - $125/$150
René van Rems AIFD, CCF, CFD
René van Rems International - A Master Class
for the Advanced Designer who wants to evolve their skills to a new level using creative and modern techniques of construction and composition.
Advanced Decorative Wire Working For Florists - $125/$150
Anthony Alvarez AIFD, CCF, EMC
Floral Phenomenon
- From armatures to bridal bouquets and decorative mechanics to fantastic body flowers, we will cover it all in this fast paced advanced workshop. Previous experience with basic wire working tools and the different gages of decorative aluminum wire is recommended for this advanced class.
New Products for Sympathy Design -$125/$150
Steven Brown AIFD, CCF, CFD
San Francisco City College &
Wilton Lee CCF, President, Master Florists Association/Lee’s Berkeley Florist & Nursery
Learn the latest and greatest designs for Sympathy Tribute. Featuring the latest products for sympathy work creating set pieces, using updated mechanics
to create novel designs.
HANDS-ON DESIGN CLASSES - 9:00am – 12:00pm
Corsage #101 - $125/$150
Debbie Alvarez AIFD, CCF
Floral Phenomenon & Camarillo ROP -
Learn basic wire and tape techniques. In this class you will also learn time saving tips, the use of cold gluing and proper conditioning to keep your designs looking fresher longer.
Designing a Cascading Bouquet - $125/$150
René van Rems AIFD, CCF, CFD
René van Rems International - Learn a Master’s
approach to styling this classic bouquet using contemporary techniques and materials in this advanced class.
Flower Arranging #101 - $125/$150
Debbie Alvarez AIFD, CCF
Floral Phenomenon & Camarillo ROP -
Learn beginning vase and foam arrangement techniques.
How To Compete with Confidence -$125/$150
Reina Sumabat AIFD, CFD Fitzgerald’s Flowers &
Anthony Alvarez AIFD, CCF, EMC Floral Phenomenon
Learn the design techniques judges look for while creating an award winning design - this is a great opportunity to have your design critiqued.
New Products for Sympathy Design -$125/$150
Steven Brown AIFD, CCF, CFD
San Francisco City College &
Wilton Lee CCF, President, Master Florists Association/Lee’s Berkeley Florist & Nursery
Learn the latest and greatest designs for Sympathy Tribute. Featuring the latest products for sympathy work creating set pieces, using updated mechanics to create novel designs.
7:00 am – 2:00 pm
7:00 am – 8:00 am - STUDENT PRE-QUALIFYING
This competition is designed for students of floral design, ornamental horticulture or environmental design curriculums in California high schools, colleges or universities.
Phil will be sharing his signature techniques, favorite tips and methods to create both simple and spectacular flower arrangements for everyday occasions and home entertaining. Using a blend of commonly available blossoms and exotic flowers from around the world, he will demonstrate the art of crafting fresh designs that express maximum visual effect with minimal effort. Whether you are a novice or experienced designer, or simply an admirer of flowers, don’t miss this opportunity to hear and see the U.S.’s most remarkable wizard of flowers.
3:00 pm – 3:15 pm
3:15 pm
3:45 pm
We are pleased to announce the seventh annual “New Varieties Display” will be held on Sunday, October 14th at Calif Flora 2012. This is your opportunity to see the newest products from our California growers. Who will take the top honors this year? Come cast your vote!
*Register by September 28th For Pre-Show Prices*
(After September 28th the cost will be an additional
$10.00 for each event)
For further information call, write or email:
California State Floral Association
1521 “I” Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Ph. (916) 448-5266 Fax. (916) 446-1063
Email: -

Program Cover - Special thanks to Peggi Ridgway with the Bloomin’ News for cover picture of the Southern California Flower Market
9:00 am - 1:00 pm - SILENT AUCTION
9:00 am – 10:00 am
This prestigious competition will feature California’s best floral designers. Each designer will complete a themed designer’s choice and surprise package arrangement. Designers with the ten highest total points will be named the Top Ten of California. The highest scorer will win the coveted Top Ten Award along with the entry fee to compete in the SAF Sylvia Cup Competition at the 2013 SAF convention.
1:15 pm
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Experience the magical and inspirational ‘Journey of the Heart’ of internationally renowned floral design artist Phil Rulloda.
Application for Membership California State Floral Association
Yes, I support the progressive work being accomplished by the California State Floral Association and wish to enjoy all the benefits and services of membership.
_______________________________________________________________ Name _______________________________________________________________ Company _______________________________________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip
___________________________ _________________________ Phone Fax _______________________________________________________________ Email/Website
Membership Category / Annual Dues Schedule:
California Certified Florist Exam
CCF’s mission is to establish,
promote and maintain a program of
professional floral design
certification, through education to
employees and owners of floral
businesses and to the public in the
State of California, and to provide
members with continuing education
programs and services. The California Certified Florist (CCF) program recognizes proficiency of professional knowledge and expertise. Testing is based on suggested reading materials and practical design experience. The CCF certificate is maintained and renewable by keeping annual dues current with the California State Floral Association (CSFA), attending professional events, and participation in continuing education workshops.

CCF Exam Date
We are pleased to announce the next testing for the California Certified Florist (CCF) program will be held Saturday, October 13th at the Southern California Flower Market in Los Angeles, CA. The maximum number of testing applicants is 25 so please call the CSFA office at 916-448-5266 as soon as possible to register.
California Certified Florist (CCF) certification is open to:
Retail Florists and their Employees Party and Event Designers Freelance Floral Designers Floristry Students
The California State Floral Association’s CCF program is recognized by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) as an approved education pathway for those interested in participating in the Professional Floral Design Evaluation to become an AIFD Certified Floral Designer (CFD®), with the ultimate goal of becoming an AccreditedmemberofAIFD.
Becoming a California Certified Florist
Applicants may pursue certification independently or be sponsored by their employer. Sponsored applicants who attain certification will receive a certificate for their employer to proudly display. Certification requires the applicants successfully pass a one-day exam consisting of written and practical components (the CCF requirements are outlined on the CCF website at For more information please call the CSFA office at 916-448-5266 (or email
Suggested Study Materials
Plant and Flower Identification
By the California Cut Flower Commission

AIFD Guide to Floral Design: Terms, Techniques and Traditions By AIFD
The Art of Floral Design
By Norah T. Hunter, Delmar Cengage Learning

Flower and Plant Care & Handling
By the Society of American Florists (SAF)
Level of Payment (plus PAC
Basic PAC $20 Rate
$215 $520 $215 $215 $270 $520
Allied Industry
CCF $195 Grower $500 Prof. Floral Design. $195 Retailer $195 Wholesaler $250 Wire Service $500 Retired $50 Student $50 Teacher $50
PAC Contributions noted are VOLUNTARY. Any portion of dues paid over the basic rate will be considered your contribution to the Political Action Committee for the year. (PAC ID:#92503) Additional PAC Contribution: $_______________________.
Method of Payment
Check Enclosed
Master Card _____________________________________________________________
FTD Wire Service Account Number ___________ _______________________ CC Exp. Date Authorization Code
_____________ Billing Zip Code
American Express
FTD Wire Service Account
___________________________________________________ Signature
CALIFORNIA STATE FLORAL ASSOCIATION __________________________________________
1521 I Street * Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: 916-448-5266 * Fax: 916-446-1063 /
Note: Contributions to CSFA are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for Federal Income Tax purposes. However, CSFA dues may be deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense.

5th Annual Tropical Trends Conference in Hilo, HI

4th Annual Tropical Trends Collaboration Now in the 21st Century Conference
Hawaii Tropical Flower Council (HTFC)
Crop Production Services and
Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association (HFNA)

Marketing & NetworkingBuilding a Branded Marketing Strategy October 1921, 2012
Members are encouraged to participate and the public is welcome to attend! Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Mokuola Room 1 & 2
Friday, October 19, 2012: Crop Production Services 4th Annual Nursery Seminar Registration: 7:00 AM, Program: 8:00 AM5:00 PM, Pupu Session to 7:00pm Cost: $30.00
Saturday, October 20, 2012: HTFC & HFNA 4th Annual Conference Registration: 7:00 AM, Program: 8:00 AM5:00 PM
Cost: $30.00

Sunday, October 21, 2012: Tropical Trends Design Competition Registration: 8:00 AM, Program: 9:00 AM3:00 PM Cost: $25.00
HTFC & HFNA Conference October 20, 2012 PROGRAM SPEAKERS:
  •   Welcome by Hawaii County Mayor, Billy Kenoi
  •   Aaron Brown, The Hawaii Small Business Develop- ment
  •   Dr. Stuart Nakamoto, UH Manoa-CTAHR
  •   Jim McCully, Mauna Kea Orchids Inc.
  •   Linda Milark, All About Plants
  •   Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD and Design 358
  •   Henry Winogrond, Novelle Consulting LLC.
  •   Andrew Watterson, Hawaiian Airlines
  •   Carol Okada, Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Bringing both local and international experts together:
  •   Providing a unique opportunity to discuss new
    marketing strategies
  •   Design trends
  •   Latest product techniques
  •   Industry challenges for the future
    RSVP Deadline: Friday, October 12, 2012
  •   FLORAL DESIGN COMPETITION—Open to the first 15
  •   Entertainment By: Sean Robbins
PLEASE SAVETHEDATE on your Calendar!
P O Box 4306 Hilo, Hawaii 96720
County of Hawaii Research & Development Department
University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculgture and Human Resources
State of Hawaii Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association
1989-B Komohana St. Hilo, Hawaii 96720

Friday, September 28, 2012

5 Day Master Class with René van Rems in Oct.

Back by popular demand, a repeat of the 5-day Master Class by René at his new studio location in Carlsbad, CA