Now more than ever sustainability is imperative for the health of our environment. Moving toward habits and methods that improve and reduce the carbon footprint is a continuous goal for which we must keep striving. We reached out to Maria Alejandra, floral boutique owner of Flower Fanatic (@flowerfanaticmiami) in Doral, Florida, who has come up with ways to create eco-conscious floral arrangements without sacrificing the beauty and allure of her designs.
In an effort to help her share her tips and practices with fellow florists we collaborated on a project. We provided fresh flowers, and she hosted a live workshop on Saturday, November 7th via Instagram. Flowers included premium varieties from our Dutch Box. This combo is available every week from our Dutch Specials, and what’s unique is that it’s a surprise mix each week. It has about 8 to 10 varieties in the box. Our flowers are freshly imported from the Aalsmeer Flower Auction.
- Yellow & Orange Calla Lilies
- Burgundy & Yellow Kangaroo Paws
- Gardenia Peonies
- Apricot Hyacinths
- Hydrangea Classic
- Astilbe Light Pink
- Yellow Garden Roses
Maria Alejandra began the workshop by introducing each variety and how to process each flower. She suggests not to remove guard petals from garden roses because it weakens the flower at the base, and it will fall apart. Calla lilies should be cut straight as opposed to an angle because they have soft stems, as is the case with most bulbous flowers. Other tips included how to decide on the type of arrangement you will create. Based on the stem types, she decides on the materials she will need and how to construct her base. For this tutorial, she used a large reusable plastic vase lined with chicken wire and filled the water halfway. Foam-free designs allow flowers to perform better, and as a result, the client can enjoy them for an extended period of time.
She suggests starting with larger varieties as a base then fill the spaces in between. Cut the stems according to the variations in height and the artistic lines you want to achieve. If you encounter flowers that have not bloomed or a stem with an unusual curvature, work with its natural beauty. After creating the foundation with the classic hydrangeas, she began incorporating the “star of the show”: Gardenia peonies. This was the focal point of the design which determined where the rest of the filler flowers would be placed: kangaroo paws, calla lilies, garden roses, and sprigs of hyacinths for fragrance. Her tip is to cluster flowers in a way that ties the colors together into a harmonious pattern.
Maria Alejandra says that floral design is like art–to make extraordinary designs you have to break the rules of conventional structures. Play with colors, varieties, and textures to make your floral arrangements stand out. She said it is also important to listen to your clients’ preferences: some prefer roses partially opened, while others may like bouquets that are extremely fragrant.
One of the most important details after delivering a floral arrangement to the client is informing your customers about the care and maintenance of the flowers at home. Flower Fanatic includes an instructional card with every arrangement so that the customers know how often to change the water, how much water to refill, and how much to trim from the stem. Maria Alejandra also advises removing flowers that have perished so that other varieties are not affected by the ethylene or bacteria from the decay.
Stay tuned for a full video of the workshop!
Follow us on Instagram @virginfarms for updates. If you are interested in collaborating with Virgin Farms or you would like to contribute your floral knowledge, reach out to us. We would love to build our floral community to share with everyone in the industry.