sympathy floral arrangments

It is extremely important to keep fresh flowers on hand at all times. Florists need to be aware of the shelf life of their flowers, and replace them with fresh stock in a timely manner.

When new stock comes in it should be rehydrated immediately. A species could have been out of water anywhere from one day to one week! Those stem cells need to be reopened by giving them a fresh cut and placed in a solution that will open the cells and kill bacteria.

After the cells have had a chance to reopen (the cells of a rose close within 5 seconds of being in the air!!), the flowers should be placed in fertilizer and then into a cooler.  These steps help the flowers last a lot longer.

After an arrangement has been made it should be sprayed with a solution that helps the flowers retain their moisture. This solution allows the flowers to continue breathing, but they won’t loose as much water through transpiration.

Ask your florist if their shop follows these procedures. The industry has done a lot of research concerning this and we should all be following these standards.  After all, you, the client, pay a lot of money for an arrangement and it should last as long as possible.  There is no excuse for the recipient to receive flowers that die with in a day!!


Home Grown Flowers


All summer long flowers are gloriously growing in our gardens (). Whether they are growing in containers on an apartment/condo deck or on 10 acres, their presence makes us happy! Best of all is cutting them and bringing them into our homes. But there is one problem. The lasting quality.

What can be done about the flowers that immediately begin to droop an hour after being put into the appropriate water container? First off, take a deep breath. In today’s world, most people are so stressed that the following scenario is the usual.

You are sipping your morning cup of joe or tea, looking out your kitchen window and suddenly realize how beautiful the flowers are in the back yard. For 10 seconds you enjoy them. Then the buzzer sounds behind you and you dash madly about the kitchen getting breakfast ready for the family. At one point, as you are setting the table, a niggling thought hits you: gosh, it would be nice to have some of those flowers on the table this morning.

You make a point to go out into the garden after the dishes are done to pick flowers.  You cut them, filling your hand with a stunning bouquet. You only have 10 minutes before you have to dash off somewhere so you run into the house, pour water in your vase, stick the flowers in and run off for the day.

When you come home, you go in the kitchen and the first thing you see are the flowers on the table, all drooping.  After all that hurry, trying to make things pretty, and now you have to throw them out! #*%@&*#

Well, there is the problem. Now for the solution. The cells in the flower stems close almost immediately after being cut. Rose cells close within 5 seconds! Once they close, that’s it. No water is going to go up those stems. The flowers will droop and die.  What to do? Bring your flowers inside. Fill your container with water, add fertilizer. Then recut the stems of your flowers and quickly put them in the water.

For woody stems do not crush them. Why? Well, what do you think? You just crushed all the cells. How can they possibly take up water????? Instead, take a small knife, whittle off the top layer of bark,  give the stem a fresh cut, and put it in water. Perfect! You are good to go. And so are your flowers!!

P.S. This is the website you find out how to take care of your garden better.


It was an incredible Mothers’ Day!!!!!

Many, many thanks to all of you who called Pipper’s Flowers and placed order for flowers for your moms.  Each arrangement was individually done, but, surprisingly, most people wanted garden designs! Here are a few of the ones we sent out.


COLOR!!!! what do you see?

When you think the color PURPLE, what color do you see? It seems to be the color a number of brides are choosing this year and next. But there is a wee bit of a problem here. When a bride chooses a color for her wedding, she tends to use words like periwinkle or peach or taupe or… well, you get the idea. These adjectives just don’t do the job. Mostly because every person sees a different color when they hear one of these words.

When I meet with a bride I pull out the color wheel, either physically or verbally or both! Take the word purple. Do you see a blue purple or a red purple? Have I lost you yet? Take a look at the roses pictured here. The roses on the left are red purple. The rose on the right is a blue purple. There is a huge difference here.

One bride I worked with was adamant about using only the blue purple. It is not hard to come up with flowers in this color spectrum – until you start looking for roses. Especially deep purple roses.  For all intents and purposes, there are no deep purple roses on the wholesale market.  What did we do? The bride opted for a deep purple floral spray.  It worked!!

Another bride went with the red purple. No problems here. Thank goodness!! So rethink how you talk about color, ladies. Use color terms rather than adjectives that describe objects, not colors.

Periwinkle? Do you mean light blue or dark blue?

Peach? Uh, a pink orange or a red orange? Pastel or full color?

Mint? Dark green or light green?

You get the idea.  Make sure when you consult with your florist/party planner you bring color examples with you. A great way to go is to go to the hardware store and pick up paint samples in the exact colors you like. It will work magic for you! Good luck!


Summer time and the living is easy…

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Happy Summer everyone! As long as it doesn’t get too hot I’m a happy camper. When flowers come in from the wholesalers the first thing that happens is that they  are rehydrated. They sit in this solution for several hours. In hot weather the roses start to pop. Thank goodness deliveries usually come in the early morning! Then into fertilizer they go and into the cooler. Whew!

This year has been the best ever, many thanks to all of you! The best part of being a florist is delivering to the client and seeing their faces when they answer the door. Seeing that big smile says it all. When you order flowers you are making many people happy! The longer the flowers last, the longer there are happy people. Ripples in a pond…

Keep in mind that many florists accept vases that have been pre-used. I do. They get washed, sterilized, and used again. An environmentally sound idea. I also check around in antique stores for vases. I refuse to pay over a certain amount because I don’t want to pass the cost on to the consumer. But some of these vases are priceless when flowers are placed in them.

And don’t forget, many of our growers are certified organic! Yes, the industry is really trying to make our world a better place in as many ways as we can think of.


Order your Valentine NOW!!!

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Valentine’s Day is almost here. For florists it’s especially fun because we can be so creative. Suppliers have all kinds of hard goods that can be incorporated with flowers to really make a statement. Gone are the traditional arrangements of roses and baby’s breath. You can do so much more!! And still keep the cost down. Granted, something like the heart in the picture below costs a little more, but WOW! It’s much more fun to get. And will last a long time if the roses have been properly rehydrated, fertilized and cooled by the florist. When you call your florist try to be specific. Do you want a contemporary design, traditional, exotic, garden style… Think outside the box! And yes, florists are very busy and may not have time to do something special. But it never hurts to try. Just be prepared to spend a little more…


BRIDES! 2014 is here….

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And it should be an exciting year. Especially since this is the year of your wedding. Are you  beginning to feel the pressure from all the decisions that need to be made?  The key to reducing this anxiety is: be organized. Ask for help and advice. Remember, in the end, it is YOUR day, YOUR wedding. This special day will only happen once.

TRENDS:  colors: pink (from very very pale – blush – into more intense fuchsia, orchid, plum), black and white color blocking and prints

dresses: off the shoulder necklines, cap sleeves, illusion neckline, plunging back

hair:  up

accessories: gold (in gowns as well, delicate beading

make up: soft browns, soft metallic, berry, bronze (everything natural) and berry lips

late night food: miniature versions of your favorite foods, huge dessert bar, expresso bar

chandeliers made of mason jars! and wooden farm tables

Save money by celebrating on Friday. Be  bold, bright colors, larger than life. Remember, you need to decide on a budget! When you meet with any professional, whether its the caterer, cake baker, or florist they need to know what you can afford in order to guide you on the right path to achieve your dream and still be what you can afford.

BOTTOM LINE: Do what YOU want. If you like hot yellow, then go with it! If you’re into cowboy boots, wear them. If you don’t want to serve alcohol, don’t. It is YOUR special day. DO IT YOUR WAY!!!


A design NOT to buy!

It is imperative for any creative person to keep abreast of what the rest of the world is doing. One thing people seem to be enamored with at the moment is the fad using only one kind of flower in an arrangement. A vase of long stemmed calla lilies all leaning heavily off to the side of a tall vase. A container jammed full of roses.  You get the idea. But it is a boring idea. You see one you’ve seen them all. It takes no sense of design, no expertise to do this. Anyone can stick a mass of flowers of one kind in a  vase. I know this line of thinking is anathema to some, but I won’t apologize. If a client is going to spend hard earned money to have a professional florist make an arrangement for him or her, it should be worth it!

Any art school, including floral schools, teach basic design principles. Many scoff at this saying, “Oh I don’t need to know this. I just want to be free to be creative!” This attitude is why so many young artists never make it in this world. The reason the masters are still with us today is because they “mastered” the basic design principles. Picaso is the premier example of this.

What are these principles? There are many. To name a few: line, texture, color, balance. The list  goes on and on. When a professional is asked to do a design for a client these principles should be so firmly imbedded in their minds that when they start a design they can be creative. Very creative, if allowed to do so by the client.

So what is the point of all this besides a wake up call for professionals? You, as the client, should know you are getting your money’s worth. It doesn’t make any difference whether you are spending $20 or $2000 for flowers. You should be given the best based on the knowledge of your designer. So don’t hesitate to ask questions when you call to place an order. Tell the designer what style you want to send to the recipient, what colors you would like. Ask the designer if they are comfortable being creative or will they do a standard design shown by wire service catalogues. Ask questions and you may be lucky enough to get what you paid for!

The picture included here shows a simple design, but a very pleasing one. What style is it? A combination of Ikebana, contemporary and garden. Yes. It can be done.  Just ask.