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Valentine’s Day & The Language of Flowers

In about two weeks, sweethearts everywhere will be celebrating Valentine’s Day. Although delectable chocolates, romantic flowers, and poetic cards have become symbolic of the holiday, it actually did not originate as a celebration of love at all.

Back in the third century in Rome, Emperor Claudius II held the notion that young, single men made the best soldiers because they had no ties to wives or children. To enforce this, he outlawed marriage to this group. A young priest named Valentine saw how unfair this was and defied the Emperor by performing marriages for young lovers secretly. Eventually the Emperor discovered Valentine’s betrayal and demanded that he be sentenced to death. During Valentine’s imprisonment, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. Before his death, he sent a letter to his love signed, “From your Valentine.” The young priest was executed on February 14th, 270 AD. Eventually Valentine was named a saint, and later in the 5th century Pope Gelasius declared February 14th St. Valentine’s Day.

The tradition of sending flowers began much later. In the Victorian era it was against moral conduct to reveal feeling towards one another. In the 18th century, Charles II of Sweden began the custom of exchanging floral bouquets. Each flower had a meaning, so bouquets were given to one another to send non verbal messages. If you gave a flower with the right hand it meant “yes” and in the left hand meant “no.” Roses are the choice flower for Valentine’s Day, and in particular, red roses since it was the flower of Venus the Goddess of Love, as well as the color of the heart.

Language of Flowers Valentines Day

Language of Flowers-Valentines Day

 

 
Now that you know the meaning of flowers and colors, you can get creative mixing varieties to convey hidden messages just like in the Victorian era! 

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Yellow-Rose-Field

Travel Diary: Virgin Farms Goes to Ecuador

Rose Farm Nursery

Rose Farm Nursery

January 10th, 2019

Today we embark on a journey to Ecuador. It’s close to Valentine’s Day season and we will be visiting our farms. Most cultivate roses and others are growers of calla lilies, asiatic and oriental lilies, and other focal flowers and fillers. Our flight takes off at 3:55 p.m. and we arrive at 7:55 p.m.

Arrival at Quito, Ecuador

As we descended into the city of Quito, from the plane we could see all the lights from the city below us along the mountains illuminated in the darkness. The view was breathtaking. After collecting our luggage we made our way 20 minutes to our quaint “hosteria” called San Jose in Puembo with historical roots. The property even has a corral with farm animals including llamas, sheep, chickens, and peacocks. 

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Shipping Flowers for Valentine’s Day

It’s Valentine’s Day season again! The year 2016 raced by quickly, and here we are in January 2017 ready for another exciting holiday. By now you all have started making preparations for your shop: order fresh cut flowers, stock design materials, begin advertising campaigns, and hire extra helpers.

At Virgin Farms we also make preparations, and when shipping week rolls around we are busy as bees. Throughout January florists place their orders for roses and other fresh flowers. Then by the first week of February we begin receiving inventory. Our operations manager and cooler crew sort and check the flowers for quality.

We wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes view of our cooler. Check out our video!

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Valentine’s Day Tips and Floral Specials

It’s the season of love and stress! In the floral industry, January is preparation month for Valentine’s Day. At Virgin Farms we begin planning as far back as December. We look at trends and statistics from previous years to project this year’s goals, make improvements, and prebook inventory with our farms. We always recommend florists to book as early as possible throughout January. As we draw closer to February, the colors or varieties you may need will be limited.

Tips for Valentine’s Day 

  • Book your flowers early.
  • Return your order confirmation form promptly.
  • Start advertising! Consider Facebook ads, as they are effective and inexpensive.
  • Clean up your shop and order your supplies.
  • Hire seasonal staff for deliveries, cashiering, or designing.
  • Plan your delivery routes. It saves time & gas!
  • Relax! Even though Valentine’s Day is a stressful season make the best of it. Take breaks every 90 minutes if possible. Stay hydrated & eat healthy snacks that boost energy. Drink plenty of vitamins to keep your immune system strong under stress.
Floral Expressions Box 2016

Floral Expressions Box 2016

Floral Expressions Box

Our most popular boxed floral package is ‘Floral Expressions.’ This box contains assorted varieties of fillers and focal flowers to create unique designs that express love in a myriad of ways. Most of the varieties such as kale, hyacinth, callas, lisianthus and such are from our partner farms in Holland, which have been in the floral industry for years and supply the freshest and highest quality flowers internationally.

If you are interested in the Floral Expressions box or any other floral special, please call 1.888.548.ROSE.


For inspiration and design concepts for Valentine’s day floral arrangements, follow us on Pinterest! Our friend at Marathon Florist styled flowers for a beachside photoshoot courtesy of Care Studios. Pin our latest additions to your boards to keep those ideas in mind when you’re designing.

Pinterest: Virgin Farms Direct

Pinterest: Virgin Farms Direct

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Valentine’s Day Marketing Tips for Florists

This year Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday. With some creativity, this may be an opportunity for twice the sales if you think outside the vase. Marketing trends reveal that today’s consumers make purchases that deliver a message and tell a story. For instance, they want to know where their flowers were grown because it adds sentimental value to their purchase.

We have compiled some Valentine’s Day marketing tips for florists that may be useful.

 Create a Buy One, Get One Bouquet Deal

Most people like to receive their flowers at work to show it off to their co-workers. Let’s be honest, it’s also a romantic gesture! Since Valentine’s Day is on Saturday, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on floral delivery sales. Create a packaged deal for customers: Send a bouquet to your sweetie at work on Friday, and get the second one for Valentine’s Day at a discount.

Sell Flowers to Restaurants

Many florists have told us that they get extra business from local restaurants. Offer small bouquets made of roses, carnations, leather leaf and gyp or single stems of roses. Restaurant owners usually offer a free rose or small bouquet to couples that dine in on Valentine’s Day.

Tips for Buying Wholesale Flowers

Virgin Farms custom packed flowers

Custom Packed Flowers

In the flower industry, Valentine’s Day season begins right after the New Year. We strongly encourage customers to pre-book as early as possible in January. For floral designers, this allows you to get first pick from our inventory at a good price. Red roses in particular always increase in price, and in general for all flowers in demand as we get closer to Valentine’s Day.

When choosing a ship date, consider how long it will take to prep and process flowers, as well as design the arrangements. At Virgin Farms, the busiest ship days begin the week before Valentines Day up to a few days before February 14th. Our Ecuadorian roses and Dutch flowers are known for the lengthy vase life, premium quality and freshness. Your account manager will guide you through every step until you receive them at your door.

Advertising Your Valentine’s Day Floral Arrangements

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Social Media
Most people are active on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Take advantage of the fact that it’s free and effective in creating word-of-mouth. Share photos of your shop, employees and floral arrangements and gifts. Facebook allows you to create ads and target specific segments based on age, interests, and gender among some options.

Instagram is a great social media platform if you’re targeting the younger crowd. Create a contest in which they share a photo of their Valentine’s Day floral arrangement using your company name as a hashtag (example: #VirginFarms). Hashtags allow people to search photo posts by topic as you would in a search engine. The key is to gain followers to create brand awareness and drive consumers to your floral shop even after Valentine’s Day.

Mobile Shopping Apps
List a deal or voucher on daily deal apps such as Groupon and Living Social. “As of September 2014, Groupon is the most-visited coupon website in the United States with approximately 30 million unique monthly visitors and accounts for 59.1 percent of the U.S. daily deal market.” (Source: http://www.statista.com/topics/824/groupon/)

MailChimp Email Marketing

MailChimp Email Marketing

Email Marketing
Capture emails from your website visitors or on social media. MailChimp is a free platform for sending newsletters. Create a landing page in which visitors can sign up to receive emails in exchange for a coupon. Most email marketing platforms have built-in analytic reports that determine if the your campaign was effective. You can see which subscribers opened your email, what they clicked on, and if they visited your site.

Begin sending emails the last week of January introducing popular floral arrangements and useful information such as ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts, the meaning of certain floral varieties and colors, or curate a list of local events taking pace on February 14th. The week before Valentine’s Day, include coupons and promotions for loyal subscribers and customers. Include a call to action button directing them to your website’s e-commerce page.

What are your methods of promoting your flowers and gifts for Valentine’s Day? Share in the comments.

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ARRANGE IT YOURSELF

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Holiday Magic begins with Fresh Cut Flowers

It sounds cliche, but the holidays really are the most wonderful time of the year. The decorations, the Christmas music, traditions and holiday spirit all combine to make it a joyful season.

At Virgin Farms, holiday magic begins with fresh cut flowers! We always offer the most exotic floral varieties from roses to novelty spray glittered fillers to make dazzling arrangements. Back for a limited time, we have two prepackaged combos.

Contact our headquarters to place your orders for the season. These holiday floral packages can be combined with other flowers. For instance, you can order the Bling Bling Box with roses or dutch flowers and we’ll package it all together in a large box.

White Craze Box
For an all white winter theme, we recommend the White Craze box. You get an assortment of varieties including daisies, alstroemeria, snapdragons, stock, gyp, cushions, spider mums, cremone mums and green button poms and more.

Shipping Schedule:
November 30th, 2015 – December 21st, 2015

Bling Bling Box
This box includes craspedia, ruscus, wax, hypericum and gyp, sprayed in glitter in the colors silver, copper, red and gold. Whether you are using them in floral centerpieces or holiday wreaths, these fillers add sparkle and pizazz!

Shipping Schedule:
December 7th, 2015 – December 28th, 2015

(Click to view & download flyer)

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Weekly Fresh Cut Garden Roses

We are proud to announce our recent partnership with Alexandra Farms—exceptional growers of fresh cut garden roses. As a result of our association, floral designers can now order varieties by the bunch instead of by the box. We will have a weekly availability of popular garden roses including David Austin varieties.

Alexandra Farms takes great care and pride in producing exceptional, high-end garden roses. Not every supplier can distribute their flowers; strict packaging and shipping standards must be met. We are honored to have been regarded with the same quality service and products as our partners. Garden roses are delicate and must be packaged and shipped with utmost care. Unlike other suppliers’ methods, we package flowers in trays within boxes to ensure they are snug during transit. To preserve the freshness, we place cooling packs and insulation in every box.

With so many colors and shapes available, it’s easy to fall in love with more than one variety. Alexandra Farms produces the most exquisite David Austin garden roses, which are highly regarded in the floral industry. After much request, we will be able to offer luxurious roses such as Constance, Patience, Keira and Beatrice among others.

Visit Our Flowers to browse the photo catalog.

Garden roses add a touch of elegance and a sweet aroma to wedding bouquets and centerpieces. The TV series Downton Abbey and the movie The Great Gatsby continues to influence the vintage trend characteristic of the Roaring Twenties decade. Neutral tones such as peach, coral, white, pink, and cream are found in the delicate David Austin varieties such as Peach Juliet and Alabaster.

A bridal bouquet composed of a single variety of fragrant garden roses makes a luxurious statement. Floral designer, Cary Vesco, accomplished just that in her latest client work using the David Austin rose, Patience. The bejeweled bouquet of creamy white and ruffled blooms is simple, without compromising sophistication.

PetalsFromHeaven-BlogFeature

Patience (David Austin) garden roses compose this luxurious wedding bouquet designed by Cary Vesco.

 What is your favorite garden rose variety? Take our survey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chilean Peony Season

Chilean peony season has begun, and we are excited for you all. Fall and winter weddings get a touch of elegance with an abundant bouquet of heavenly peonies. This season will last from November to early January. As the weeks advance, different varieties will rotate in and out of production, but you’ll get to see an array of colors—more than any other season.

We are starting November with four lovely peonies in white, coral and pink shades. Be sure to prebook peonies in advance being they are a popular item, especially for weddings. Always have a back up plan in mind using peonies for events. Depending on production, some varieties may or may not be in production. Check with your account manager every week to be sure the color you need will be available.

Coral Sunset is a lemonade pink color and a semi double bowl shape. It has a lengthy vase life lasting about one week.

Festiva Maxima is a pure white peony with some streaks of red. This is a popular variety for weddings especially around Christmas. The double shape overflowing in wispy petals gives bouquets an enchanting aesthetic.

Gardenia is double peony. The petals are a creamy white in the center and the layers around are a soft blush with darker tones of pink.

Kansas is an intense raspberry color, also a double peony shape. If you want your floral designs to pop and capture the eye, then Kansas is the perfect variety.


As the weeks progress, more varieties will become available. Follow us on social media for updates and pictures! Be sure to tag @VirginFarms on Instagram.

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Spooktacular Halloween Flowers

Halloween, as we know it, is celebrated every 31st of October. This year it falls on a Friday, giving ghouls and ghals the chance to host spooktacular parties. You can get creative with decor and props to stage the perfect setting for your invited guests. We have compiled floral varieties that will make your centerpieces and event designs boo-tiful!

 

Explorer Rose

Explorer Rose

A new variety, Explorer is a gorgeous scarlet red. The petals have a velvet appearance and is similar to the rose Black Baccara–but not as dark. It blooms tight and has a lengthy vase life.

Inspiration: Get creative and recycle old glass bottles to make “potion” vases for your flowers. Add some labels from which you can get from Martha Stewart’s craft collection for Halloween.

 

 

Blue Eryngium

Blue Eryngium

Blue Eryngium is a unique filler, and is used in bouquets and boutonnieres. Also known as thistle, this flower is also available in green.

Inspiration: Eryngium is naturally eerie-looking, which is suitable for the occasion. Getting a bit more creative, use floral paint in black to make it resemble spiders.

 

 

Purple Intrigue rose

Purple Intrigue rose

Purple Intrigue is a novelty product. The roses are sprayed lightly on the tips with purple spray to give it a slight coloration.

Inspiration: These novel roses are excellent for Halloween designs. Make a purple intrigue rose wreath and embellish it with black feathers.

 

 

 

Celosia

Celosia

Celosia is availbale in many colors. This interesting flower closely resembles a coral you would find at the bottom of the ocean reef.  The velvet

Inspiration: The curvy shape of celosia also looks like a brain. If you think outside the noggin, you can create a fun centerpiece for a Halloween gathering. Get a skull head and arrange the celosia in the vase to give your skel-o-head a flowery brain!

 

 

Eternal Rose Dark Purple

Eternal Rose Dark Purple

Eternal roses are quite an interesting product at Virgin Farms. They were once living roses, but they were cut at the bloomed stage and preserved to last forever. Many are in natural colors, but the advantage with eternal roses is that you can dip it in any color dye you wish.

Inspiration: Eternal roses are excellent for craft projects. They still have a life-like texture and appearance, but the roses can be glued to surfaces or foam without compromising the flower. The best part–no water necessary and it lasts for an eternity. 

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Halloween Inspiration: Boo! Blooms

Halloween is creeping up in a few weeks! Whether you’re having a boo bash party or designing spook-tacular floral arrangements, we have the varieties that will knock ‘em dead. We’ve assembled an inspiration board with our most popular flowers themed around the occasion.

Follow our Harvest & Halloween board on Pinterest for more flower arranging inspiration, event themes and décor ideas.

Halloween Inspiration Board

Purple Intrigue

This rose is “spray tipped” in violet paint. It’s a science the farms have perfected to get the effect of an exotic bi-color rose. Incorporate eryngium into the design—get creative, and spray them with black floral paint to make them look like eerie spiders.

Hearts

Red roses have always been a staple during Halloween often associated with graveyards and vampires. Hearts is a dramatic crimson hybrid tea rose with intricately shaped petals. Continue the dark theme by pairing it with Magical Hypericum Universe.

Orange varieties

Santana, one of our newest varieties, is a rich pumpkin color. It is a large blooming rose. Mix it among green foliage and fruits for a harvest-themed centerpiece. Ornithogalum dubium is a fantastic variety with a long vase life. Tulips are also a popular flower to use during autumn. If you look closely, the gradation of orange to yellow resembles a candy corn.Tulips are thirsty flowers, so make sure to re-cut the stems and hydrate often.

Fall Novelty Pack

This tray is available for shipments now through Tuesday, November 26th, 2013. The rich bronze, gold, and yellow colors create a sense of comfort and warmth that autumn radiates.

Novelty Fall Pack

Share on Social Media!

We want to see your creativity using our flowers. Send us your pictures on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and mention @virginfarms –we’ll follow you. We’ll also feature your designs right here on our blog and our Facebook page!

 

 

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Chilean Peony Season 2015

Most floral designers can agree that peonies are the highly regarded. A majority of brides dream of a lush, luxurious bouquet, and usually peonies are on the wish list. One detail to keep in mind is that peonies are seasonal. At Virgin Farms, we source peonies from three countries allowing us to offer them frequently throughout the year. The Chilean peony season is November through early January. Israeli season is Mid January through March, and peonies from Holland are available April through July.

This year, the first shipment of peonies from Chile arrives October 26th. Production has a significant effect on the varieties that will be available. Tentatively, we will have coral peonies for October 2015. As the weeks progress into November, other varieties will surge: Festiva Maxima, Kansas, Red Charm, Gardenia and Pecher. In late November, we should also have Mother’s Choice, Red Sarah, Sarah Bernhardt, Karl Rosenfield, Gilbert Barthelot, and Shirley Temple.

We have two useful charts for your reference. Download and keep them handy:
Chilean Peony Photo Chart
Chilean Peony Production Program 2015/2016

Follow us on social media for updates and photos!

Coral Charm Peony Virgin Farms

Coral Charm Peony

 

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