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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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Autumn Flowers 2016

There’s something wholesome about the fall season. The changing foliage, the crisp air, the warm shades of nature—dormant, yet vivacious all at once. This quarter is one of the most abundant in varieties throughout the floral year. Our flowers come from all over the world, which allows us to bring the most unique flowers to make your floral creations stand out. You will be seeing euphorbia, hypericum, kangaroopaws, crocosmia, sunflowers, and other varieties throughout the season.

Novelty Fall Pom Box

Every year this specialty box is highly anticipated among floral designers. It is the perfect representation of autumn, including daisies, spider mums, cushions, disbuds and pom poms in gold, bronze, orange and rusty red. The box is available every week from September 26th through November 21st, 2016. If you love them so much, you can set up a standing order to receive a box every week.

Novelty Fall Pom Flowers

Novelty Fall Pom Box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peony Season From Chile 

Every designer, and every bride loves peonies. Luckily for both parties, these austere blooms are in season from November until early January. Every variety has a rotation cycle, meaning certain varieties become available at different points throughout the peony season. Ask our floral experts to provide a chart with approximate rotation dates and variety names.

Chilean Peony Season

Chilean Peony Season

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Garden Roses 

Although garden roses are in season year round, there are some varieties we suggest for your floral designs within the fall color palette. Romantic Antike and Caramel Antike are both cup-shaped garden roses, for a classic and traditional look for centerpieces. The auburn and golden yellow color would combine beautifully with fruits and earthy foliage. Red Piano also has a nostalgic cup-shaped head with side shoots that give it a hand-picked aesthetic. In the yellow palette, we recommend Lemon Pom Pom and Catalina. For a sophisticated floral arrangement, David Austin varieties up the ante and we love Edith with its light fragrance and also the ruffly-edged buttercream rose, Beatrice. Visit our garden rose gallery to browse all of our varieties.

Garden Rose Collage

Garden Rose Collage

 

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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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