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Flower Fact Friday: What attracts pollinators to flowers?

Have you ever wondered what attracts butterflies and other pollinators to flowers? There are three important characteristics: color, shape and scent. Depending on each of these characteristics also determines what type of pollinators visit certain floral varieties.

There are so many floral varieties in the world, and were it not for pollinators like butterflies and bees, more than 100,000 species would cease to exist. Pollination is the process in which pollen is transferred from stamen to pistil, which begins production of seeds and reproduction of flowers.

Floral Characteristics that Attract Pollinators 

Colors

Brightly colored flowers attract pollinators, and some flowers have ultraviolet pigments that only insects such as bees can see. Studies have shown that flowers that are red or have stripes attract bees most. The stripes act as a “landing strip” that indicates where the nectar and pollen are found in the flower.

Scent

The fragrance a flower emits also has an effect on pollinators. Some flowers are tricky and emit scents that attract certain insects. For instance, the rotten smell of the corpse flower attracts flies. Bees can memorize the shape, smell and color of certain flowers to continue pollinating those varieties. The orchid, Dendrobium sinese, releases a scent that mimics a frightened bee as a luring method.

Shape

Some flowers attract pollinators by their shape. Bats for instance pollinate heliconia and utilize the leaves as a habitat. The mirror orchid is shaped like the female sex pheromones of a particular wasp species, tricking the male wasps into mating with it. As a result, the pollen sac rubs off and in an attempt to repeat the same with other orchids, the wasp pollinates other orchids.

Now that you know why insects and birds are attracted to flowers, share this Flower Fact Friday with your customers. Next time they look at their floral arrangement, they’ll appreciate it with a different perspective knowing that because of pollinators flowers exist! 

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New Rose Varieties

At Virgin Farms we like to keep our product line fresh (literally). When we bring in new varieties we keep you, the designer, in mind by choosing exotic flowers, colors and visual textures. As always, our products must pass our quality test—some of the benchmarks we check for are bloom size, color, stem/bloom durability, and vase life.

 

Orange Party

orange_party

This rose has gorgeous hues in orange-red and yellow with spatters on the petals. It has a strong resemblance to volcanic lava, don’t you agree?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Intrigue

blue_intrigue

If you’re familiar with the white Mondial rose, then you’ll love the Blue Intrigue. It is a “tipped rose”—meaning the edges of the petals are carefully spray-painted, in this case blue. The farms have perfected this method down to a science to create a “color dip” effect.

 

 

 

 

Amelia Tint

amelia_tint
Purple has always been associated as the color of mystery and royalty. This novelty is actually a white Amelia rose stem-dyed in purple. It absorbs the color from the water and turns a beautiful periwinkle purple with darker edges. Isn’t it enchanting?

 

 

 

 

 

Which of these new varieties do you like most, and how would you use them? Share your comments and ideas with us. Subscribe to our blog posts, and check back news and inspiration! 

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Welcome to the new website!

After working closely with the designers at Cultura Interactiva, we’re excited to share the launch of our new website. It has been refreshed and redesigned to simplify navigation, and integrate social media sharing.

E-commerce

After receiving many requests, we will be offering online shopping (coming soon). You’ll have the opportunity to order pre-packaged flower combo boxes or create your own box from available preset varieties. You can choose the shipping date, and receive your order the very next day—same service, with the convenience of ordering online.

Floral Catalog

Our floral catalog has been reorganized and updated with new photos. Now you can browse by category and color (roses), and the new drop-down menu makes it easier to browse through the spectacular varieties we offer.

Track Your Order

Check the status of your order in the “Track Your Order” tab on our homepage. Just enter the 12 digit tracking number found on your invoice to track the location of your box.

Social Media

We’re socially connected, and we want to share the behind-the-scenes at Virgin Farms with you. Follow us on Twitter to chat, stay informed, and make networking connections. Are you a photographer at heart? Follow us on Instagram—you’ll see photos of flowers fresh from the cooler, new arrivals, and candid moments around the office. Participate in our Magical Mosaic challenge every week on Facebook. Every week we post a flower concealed in mosaic form—it is your task to guess the correct variety by submitting your answers in the comment box. The first participant to reveal the mosaic receives a prize! You can also connect with us on YouTube and Pinterest (online pinning board) for inspiration.

Newsletter

You can now sign up to receive our Weekly Specials from Holland. Submit your email and begin receiving promotions, discounts, seasonal specials, and get a heads up on new floral arrivals.

Blog

We will be updating our blog with interesting floral tips and trends, contests, and inspiration for floral designers and event planners.

Stay tuned! 

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New Product Exploration: Eternal Roses

In the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, a prince is condemned to a curse for judging an old beggar woman by her haggardly appearance. This old woman presents a rose as a gift in return for shelter. Without a single ounce of compassion, the prince crudely turns her away. Suddenly the old woman transforms into a beautiful young lady, and tells him that true beauty lies within.

To teach him a lesson, she transforms him into a beastly animal and presents him with “The Enchanted Rose.” The prince is to fall in love and find true beauty before he turns 21. In representation of time and youth, the rose will bloom and eventually perish, condemning the Beast to remain in his state forever.

As with most fairy tales, the prince or princess always finds true love and live happily ever after. Luckily the Beast finds Belle, a young lady who teaches him to see beauty from within.

What if you could make the beauty of a rose last forever?

The Eternal Rose is an interesting product we may offer soon to floral design professionals.

The Preservation Process

These roses are grown at the farms and cut once it has bloomed to the perfect diameter. They are then taken to facility and processed to remove the color. When they are translucent, the roses are placed in a tray for the artificial color tinting process. To maintain the rose’s appearance and shape, it is placed in a chamber to begin the “baking” process of preservation. The end result —a rose that lasts forever: An Eternal Rose.

Colors and Sizes

Eternal roses are available in an array of interesting colors. Some look as natural as the real roses such as the Freedom, Santana, Pink Floyd, and Ocean Song. Other colors are more novelty like black, green, baby blue, teal, and midnight blue.

      • Petite (Diameter 5 cm)
      • Standard (Diameter 6.6 cm)
      • Jumbo (Diameter 7 cm +)

 

Ideas for Arranging and Styling Eternal Roses

  • Sample Roses

You can keep a display of eternal roses in your floral shop for demonstration purposes.

  • Wedding or Party Souvenirs

Send guests home with an eternal rose as a keepsake of your wedding or event. Place it inside of a glass dome and create a floral terrarium for a rustic appeal.

  • Preserved Bouquets

Most brides wish they could keep their beautiful floral bouquet forever. With eternal roses, the original bouquet can be recreated and kept on display forever.

  • Seasonal Wreaths & Centerpieces

Unfortunately the holidays are only once a year. With preserved roses, you can arrange a wreath for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other major holidays. Bring them out for the season to display at your shop and show customers the designs you can create.

  • Craft Flowers

For crafting projects, eternal roses are ideal. They are dried, so you don’t have to worry about damaging the flower. You can hot glue the rose to Styrofoam or any other surface.

Share your thoughts and Ideas!
We would like your feedback about these preserved roses. How would you utilize them? If we include Eternal Roses in our line of products, would you purchase them?

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How to Process Garden Roses

Garden roses are quite delicate. With the proper care and handling you can maximize the vase life. Our partners at Alexandra Farms have provided a useful chart listing steps to process your garden roses upon receiving them.

It is important to remove the inner cardboard, but keep the plastic sleeve on to protect the flowers. Cut the garden roses and place them in flower food. For everyday floral arrangements, your garden roses are ready to use after a few hours of hydration. For event work and special occasions, you should hydrate the roses three to four hours in a cooler. Next, place them at room temperature–this is to achieve the desired bloom stage. Once you are content with the bloom, place them back in the cooler to preserve the roses until you are ready to design.

Visit our garden rose catalog to browse our garden rose varieties. We have a weekly supply of fresh cut garden roses, including the David Austin varieties. Contact our account managers for more information.

Processing Garden Roses

Processing Garden Roses

 

 

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Flower Fact Friday: Curcuma

Some of you have probably used Curcuma in your floral arrangements. Did you know that this exotic flowering plant also has medicinal and herbal uses? Also known as the Thai Tulip, Curcuma is native to Thailand and Burma. The have upright colorful bracts, usually pink, purple or white that resembles a lotus flower.

Despite the fact that it is called a ‘tulip,’ Curcuma actually belongs to the zingiberaceae family (ginger). The root of the plant is ground up to produce turmeric spice, which is considered a superfood with beneficial health properties. Turmeric has also been used as an alternative natural pain reliever. The active ingredient, curcumin, helps to treat arthritic pain, lower cholesterol, and relieve headaches. Although there is still not enough evidence, research has proven that curcumin has antioxidant properties that helps combat the production of inflammatory cells that play a major role in cancer development.

Curcuma is a very reliable and resilient plant for the garden or as a cut flower. The stems are sturdy and can last over two weeks, which is ideal for floral designs. Curcuma varieties are seasonal, available from April until October.

Curcuma Cut Flower-Virgin Farms

Curcuma Cut Flower

 

 

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Prom Season Flowers

In a few months, teenagers will be attending the most awaited event of the year—prom! High school seniors and juniors save up every penny to splurge on dresses, tuxedos, shoes, hairdos, makeup, corsages, boutonnieres—and maybe a limo service to arrive in style.

For florists, prom is a great opportunity for company exposure and to reach the younger market.

Choose floral varieties that are small enough for a wrist or to pin on a tuxedo. Corsages and boutonnieres are a delicate accessory, so keep it simple but elegant by using eye-catching flowers such as cymbidiums. Also keep in mind teens will be dancing the night away—work with blooms that are sturdy enough to withstand the harlem shake!

Prom Floral Corsages

(Suggested varieties for corsage and boutonniere designs)

Focal flowers: spray roses, mini cymbidiums, ranunculus, mini callas, alstroemeria, and mini carnations. 

Filler flowers: hypericum, solidago, astilbe, wax flower, and gyp.

Promote your Flower Shop

Begin promoting your shop as a source for corsages and boutonnieres a couple of months ahead of prom. Teens should have their dress or tux narrowed down by now, which means they’ll begin looking for color schemes and floral varieties to match their ensemble. Design samples to use as display pieces at your shop and take plenty of photos. Mix and match flowers, ribbons, wrist bands and jewels to showcase what you can create for their special night. You can offer a packaged deal  or discount for teens purchasing both a corsage and boutonniere.

Social media is changing the way we advertise by creating a closer—and a more personable connection—with your customers or target market. 

Teenagers are heavy social media users, and it is the perfect opportunity to market your shop as a resource for their floral accessories. Post pictures of sample designs on Instagram, and use hashtags so your photos appear when they use the search bar to discover users to follow. For example #corsages #prom #boutonnieres #promflowers #promcorsages could be popular tags.

On facebook, you can post content with photos, run contests, and announce special offers to promote your shop during prom season. Shortstack is a great resource for ideas to keep your facebook page fresh with new content and tab apps to grow your fan base. Ask teens to share photos from prom night on social media, and have your followers vote on the best entry. Award a prize to the participant who had the most votes. Not only are you getting exposure and word-of-mouth, but you’re also encouraging others to interact on your social media sites and attract possible shoppers.

Wishing you a busy prom season!

Follow us on Instagram @virginfarms and use hashtag #VirginFarmsFlowers to show us your #floraldesigns for prom season.  

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Valentine’s Day at Virgin Farms

It’s that time of year again—Valentine’s Day season! We are busy bees here at Virgin Farms. Everyone plays a special part in ensuring that everything runs smoothly and our florists receive their fresh cut flowers. This blog post is dedicated to our dynamic team of employees: our Account Managers, Accounting Department, Shipping Department, our warehouse staff and Margarita, our housekeeper who keeps everyone in good health and spirits every day. Here’s a synopsis of the crazy months in preparation for February 14th…

Farm Cultivation (Virgin Farms)
January

Throughout January, our Account Managers begin pre-booking orders. Meanwhile in Ecuador, our farms are in the production process preparing for the high demand of roses. Colors such as red, pink, and white are popular for February 14th. Juan, our buyer, negotiates with our farms in Ecuador and Holland and places the orders for future inventory. As February approaches, the company’s President, visits the rose farms to survey the cultivation progress.

Here at Virgin Farms, our employees in the warehouse prepare shipping boxes with insulation. These will be filled with beautiful flowers arriving to talented florists and event designers across the nation. By the end of the month, our account managers and accounting department get swamped with phone calls and paperwork. Order confirmations are collected and confirmed.

 

February

By the first day of February, the Valentine’s Day mayhem begins. The floral supply arrives from the farms to our facility. The flowers are sorted, loaded into the inventory system, and stocked on the shelves in the cooler. For the first two weeks of the month, all the orders are packed and shipped to our customers via FedEx (Priority Overnight). Our shipping coordinator, Yolanda, is in charge of creating shipping labels, filling out freight documentation, enclosing invoices and accounting for the total boxes leaving our facility. Every box has an assigned tracking number, which is used to determine its transitory progress and delivery status.

The team of dedicated men in the warehouse is especially busy for the first two weeks. Virgin Farms’ Operations Manager, Rodrigo, is in charge of inventory, warehouse material and supplies, as well as coordinating the workflow of our team in the cooler. The men endure frigid temperatures at 32º F in the cooler packing all the orders. They arrive early in the morning and work arduous hours until every single box is loaded onto the FedEx truck for transport.

Popular Valentine’s Day Roses

So what type of flowers does Virgin Farms sell during Valentine’s Day? Just about anything a florist would need—spray roses, alstroemeria, gyp, lilies, hypericum, orchids, carnations, aster, and limonium are just a few varieties we offer. These focal flowers and fillers come from farms all around the world including Holland, Israel, New Zealand, and Colombia. Our roses are grown in the cool, mountainous regions in Ecuador. The temperatures, soil, sunlight and altitude are perfect conditions for producing the best quality of roses.

Hearts

Hearts

This variety is synonymous with Valentine’s Day. The crimson red petals are ruffled inward, shaped like a heart and making it the perfect rose to express love. If you’re going for a romantic, vintage look for floral arrangements this is a lovely variety.

 

Freedom_thumbs

 

Freedom

One of our classics, this rose is the most common and highly requested varieties at Virgin Farms. It is a bright candy apple red and blooms quite large.

 

forever young

 

Forever Young

This red rose is also one of our popular varieties. It has a lengthy vase life, lasting approximately 10 to 14 days and is available year round.

 

black baccara

 

Black Baccara

A very sultry rose, Black Baccara has a velvet-like appearance wine-red with shades of black. It combines well with cream colored roses, lavender flowers, and fillers such as hypericum and dianthus.

 

Post Valentine’s Day 

After February 14th, business is back to normal. Our Account Managers follow up with customers to ask how Valentine’s Day turned out. The best phone calls are the one’s we receive from clients just to say ‘Thank You!’ Hearing wonderful compliments about our service and premium quality of flowers makes us appreciate our work.

We wish you all a busy Valentine’s Day season! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more “behind-the-scenes” at Virgin Farms!

“A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love.” —Max Muller

  

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