At the beginning of this month, Philadelphia was host to one of the biggest floral events of the year – the Interflora World Cup. We sent our very own Mayesh Miami Sales Rep Steven Watkins to get in on the action and report back on his experience. Read on to get a peek into the incredible event that is the Interflora World Cup!
FTD World Cup, WOW! What an experience, thousands of floral enthusiasts from around the globe descended on the Philadelphia Flower Show for three days of floral competition at its highest level. Overall, 23 global competitors competed for the coveted title of World Champion, throughout this three-day event.
Part 1 – The first theme being Harmony in Architecture, the challenge was to have a 70/30 mix of botanicals to structure in a minimal two hour time limit, and to make sure that the smallest details had meaning and purpose in their architectural arrangement. Each designer created their structure prior to arrival at the competition, some as large as 7 ft by 7 ft. This left two hours to complete all florals, and what a whirlwind! Twenty-three competitors to view as they worked with the most luxurious flowers globally available, building their works of art, adding layer after layer until time ran out! Twenty-three works of art, as different as the creators who made them.
Part 2 – The second theme was Hand Tied Bouquet, Strength of Color. The competitors were challenged with creating a bouquet that speaks to an observer and demonstrates how color and light are inseparable. Additionally, the bouquet must be able to be held in one hand. All of this in just ninety minutes – flowers and hands flying, exquisite bouquets created, some with armatures, some without, tight and clustered or loose and airy -the styles as different as the countries the designers came from. Dreamy pastel colors to hot and bright, every flower had its day, from carnations to luxe vanda orchids in gorgeous color stories. The competition was strong, with everyone putting their skills to the test! At the end of day one, the crowd was as exhausted as the competitors, complete sensory overload, so much to take in, so many design styles to evaluate and consider, what a tough choice this was going to be.
Part 1 – To kick off day two, the theme was Table for Two – The Power of Flowers. The challenge was to create a complete table setting for two that interpreted life changing transformation through love and hope. The power of love to be featured through flowers and the design should stimulate at least four of the five senses. With only two hours to complete this monumental task, everyone had laser focus and steadily worked their way through the designs. From strongly architectural to completely whimsical, each table for two expressed the theme, love and emotion through flowers. Expectations were high and everyone was thrilled by the outcomes of the designs, amazingly strong competition, although leaders were certainly starting to emerge from the previous days competition as well as the morning session of day two.
Part 2 – A “surprise” basket containing American Grown Flowers, which seemed to throw a few designers for a loop, moments of hesitation and then they were off. With just ninety minutes to go, some narrowed the flower choices to a minimum, others using every item. Containers and stands provided by a sponsor were used in a variety of ways, with many people turning the stands on their sides and using them as a base to build arrangements with stems in plates of water, others taking the more traditional floral foam route, building creations in concrete containers. This challenge really separated the field and everyone was excited to attend the Semifinal Reception dinner to discover who would be moving on, from a field of twenty-three it would soon be narrowed to 10.
By the third day, the competitors had been narrowed to 10, with the cream of the crop rising to the top. This morning’s challenge was another surprise basket with a two-hour time limit, designers choice. For those in the crowd who had not attended the Semifinal Reception, it was a mad dash around the hall, checking to see if their favorite designers had made it through to battle on today. Although everyone was a star, unfortunately some had been knocked out due to flowers dying, and structures falling, making it impossible to stay in the competition with such a strong field.
At this point, at least in my mind, there were two people who clearly stood out from the others – these two would go on to win the night along with Second Runner Up, Tamas Mezoffy of Hungary. Congratulations to Bart Hassam of Australia, whose bold, clean, architectural, east meets west designs won him the title of World Champion, and to First Runner Up Natalia Zhizhko of Russia, whose elegant, feminine, whimsical designs were as delicately beautiful as Mr. Hassam’s bold architecture.
For a World Cup newbie like myself, I am now truly enamored by competition floral, and certainly intend to make a spot on my calendar (as should everyone interested in the Art of Flowers) every four to six years to attend what can only be considered the pinnacle of floral design.
In the third episode of our 2019 Design Star video series, Shean Strong demonstrates the differences between using floral foam and floral netting (chicken wire) for a centerpiece arrangement by creating one of each!
Hey you guys it’s me Shean Strong, your 2019 Mayesh design star. And today we’re doing all things centerpiece. Now we’re gonna be two separate centerpieces and they’re both gonna be the exact same. But I’m gonna be doing one with chicken wire and one with Oasis. Now I think it’s important to know how to do arrangements with both of these things. There’re gonna be times where we need to use Oasis, and there’s gonna be time where we need to use chicken wire. So we’re gonna work together and we’re gonna build something that’s gonna be the exact same arrangement, that’s gonna be absolutely beautiful for you and your guests to enjoy. All right so first things first, when you guys start designing, if we’re gonna be using our Oasis you need to make sure that you’ve already kinda mapped it out in the correct size for your actual vessel. I already have this Oasis right here that has been soaked. So we’re gonna place this into our vessel. We want to make sure that the flowers have plenty of water to drink. Then we’re gonna be using our floral tape. This is gonna be an easy way to secure your Oasis into your vessel. This is helpful because whenever you’re transporting these things whether you’re doin’ it for a venue, or if you’re gonna be having them on your own personal table, it’s nice just to have some security there. Now I like to make sure that I have the most space possible whenever I’m designing, so I like to pinch the corners of this tape. That way I can make sure that I’m getting the most space possible in my vessel. Now you’re good to go. This is secure and we’re gonna begin flowering. Now a lot of the times whenever I’m designing, I usually like to start flower first and I know that’s complete opposite of what a lot of other people like to do. But this time I’m gonna do something a little bit different for me, which is goin’ to be using our greens first. The greens are gonna be nice because it’s goin to allow us to build the shape for our design. So right now we have this beautiful clematis. It has this very very pretty purple color. And this is such a nice whimsical kind of shape, so it’s gonna be nice to be able to place this in here into the Oasis and begin building our design. Now the thing about Oasis when you’re using it, you gotta’ be rather intentional when you’re placing items. Because what happens is once you poke a hole in this, that hole does fill itself back up. You’re gonna need to make sure you’re being really really intentional with your placement. So if you have one thing here, try not to take this out. Because it’s already secure in the actual vessel. So what you wanna do is kinda just play around with the different shapes. So if you have a beautiful piece of clematis this, if you want something kind of cascading down, play around with it outside of the actual centerpiece, before you place into the actual Oasis. So we’re gonna start building this out. Make sure you give a nice angled cut. And I’m gonna start building out this direction. So you can kinda see the shape that’s already taking place with our arrangement. We have this high point up here, we have a lower point down here. We wanna kinda build some in between. I like to make sure that there’s gonna be a line that your eye’s gonna follow. So we have this high point moving all the way back down. Now we’re gonna keep building that with our clematis. And this is gonna give us like I said our base shape, and it’s gonna be a wonderful filler to also give some great texture, some great depth, and give us that really beautiful garden feel. Now clematis, this has been provided by Mayesh. And it’s one these beautiful flowers that’s really really delicate, but also has a lot of substance to it. So you can see kinda where we’re going with this. Now I want you guys to be able to shoot me your Instagram messages, and let me know your arrangements. After we do all this, I’d love to be able to see what are designing with and how this is kinda translating to something you guys are using at your own house. So I’m gonna begin design this direction. I’m gonna start turnin’ it around. That way I can see what the forward facing is gonna be, the side face is gonna be, the back face all that stuff, so we can get all these beautiful angles from each and every side. So we’re gonna keep adding in our clematis. ‘Cause this is goin to create the shape of our actual arrangement. Now we wanna have a little bit of negative space right over here, but we also wanna kinda fill this in up front. Also in the back and on the sides. Now it’s really important when you’re designing, to kind of consider the color palette that you’re working in. When you look at the color wheel, you can have red and green, you’ll have purple and yellow, and you’ll have orange and blue, which are your complimentary colors. And it’s always nice to pair those colors ’cause they’re easy on the eye. So once you know those rules, you’re able to kinda tweak them a little bit. If you had just purple and yellow, you can go into more of like a eggplant, and citron kind of color. Or if you have a red and a green, you can go into more of a copper, and you can start into more of a sage kind of color palette. And whenever you’re playin’ around with your blues and oranges, you can also add in colors that are gonna be like teal and very very deep rust color. So you’re able to play around with these colors, once you kind of know your color theory. So again we’re just kinda building this out, I just placed this one right in here in front. I wanna create some depth, so I wanna have a lot of things comin’ out towards you. Things growing up, things goin behind. And I wanna make sure that there’s gonna be lots of movement taking place in the actual arrangement. So when we’re building out our arrangement, we wanna make sure that all of the Oasis is gonna be covered. You don’t have to necessarily use it with your greenery, but you can definitely add bits and pieces into your arrangement. We broke off a little piece there, and we’re just gonna start tucking it in. Again we wanna have those quiet moments right through here, and we can have some more louder statement pieces up top. So we’re just breaking off pieces of our clematis, and we’re just beginning to build out. And whenever you have those big impactful flowers, it’s these quiet little delicate ones that really create shape and movement for your actual arrangement. So as you can see we kind of have a front, we kind of have a side, we kind of have a back. This would be something that we could do as like a statement piece in where, a smaller statement piece of course. So again starting to just build everything out, and we’re getting the shape confirmed. We can see the direction that we’re going, a lot of the times when I’m designing I do a asymmetrical design. Again I wanna have a line that’s followed like with your eye. So we have a high point we have a low point, and we have these little pieces in between, that are creating that depth that we talked about in our previous video. Don’t negate these small little pieces right here. I do make sure that I’m cutting off these little nubs, because nobody wants to see that like jarring out of their arrangement. But we do wanna see something a little bit smoother, that way we can fill in with some more greens. And that way it can almost can look a little bit more complete. There we go, cuttin’ that bad boy off, and just building it out. You can just see how that’s already beginning to fill the back, and it’s creating that depth that we want in our actual arrangement. Awesome we’re getting there. This clematis is absolutely beautiful. I love being able to work with these small delicate kind of flowers to fill out as the main source for my designs. Now as you can see our arrangement is completely done. We have our, well it’s not completely done. We have our greens taking place in this. So what we wanna do is make sure that we have everything kinda following this line. This high point moving all the way down to this very beautiful point down here. All right now I wanna incorporate some fruit into the arrangement. I always think adding an element of fruit is almost a bit surprising for your client. So when they see that they’re just kind of intrigued in what’s goin on and they get to engage the flowers a little bit more. It also adds this kind of like this old world romance vibe to everything that we’re doing. Now what we’re gonna do, ’cause we’re gonna take our grapes, and we’re gonna take our flower picks, and all you’re gonna do is just wrap these around the stem of the grapes. So you can literally see it just hanging up like this. We’re gonna secure this off by making sure that we wrap the wire all the way around the stem of our grapes. So there you go. So when we place this into our arrangement, we wanna make sure that we’re placing it in pretty high, like pretty high in the middle ground of the actual Oasis. So that way this is gonna cascade beautifully into one of the corners. I’ll place it in and then I’ll show you guys what I did. Good thing about grapes is they’re gonna last outside of Oasis or water because they’re grapes. They don’t need to be anywhere else other than out. So there we go we got this beautiful cascade already happening right there. And again you can see how your eye is literally being drawn down the whole entire side. Your able to kind of mirror this and do some on this other side as well. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just a personal preference. So we’re gonna start adding in our flowers. Like I said once we have the grapes already integrated into the Oasis it’s gonna be really easy to start adding in you flowers at this point. So since we’re working with purples, I like the idea of working with yellow as well. Again they’re complimentary colors, so they’re gonna work beautifully together. So here we see one of these beautiful yellow roses. And once these things kind of open up, they just have this really beautiful color to them. And you can already see how that’s gonna look so incredible against that purple. Okay, so you can see we have our grapes cascading out of our arrangement, which absolutely look beautiful with this purple. Now again, when we refer back to the color wheel, we can add yellow into our purple arrangement, because they’re complimentary colors. So we’re able to kinda tuck some beautiful yellows down in there and they’re really gonna highlight the purple color in the arrangement. So I’m gonna put one in, then I’ll show you guys what I’m doing. So again when you’re dealing with Oasis, you wanna make sure that you’re pretty intentional. So don’t worry about putting the flower stem immediately into the Oasis. You can play around with it a little bit. You kinda see where you want it to be placed. If you want here, if you want it over there, you want it down low. I would be really really intentional with where you’re doing this. That way your Oasis does not fall apart. So again we have one rose right over there. I like to keep things kind of in groups. When flowers are growing naturally, they’re gonna be growing kinda together. We talked about that in our previous video, about having that kind of staggered effect. So when we have a group of roses over here, it’s gonna really compliment the arrangement as a whole. So I’m gonna tuck some more of these bad boys in there, and we’ll be good to go. I’ll design a little bit right here, and then I’m goin to show you guys what I’m doin. Now again if you guys ever have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. I know a lot of you guys follow me on Instagram, and you guys are welcome to use me as a resource for color palettes or for design ideas, or if you’re needing help with something. I have no problem assisting where I can. All right, so here we go. So we have this staggered kind of effect. Again it’s a line that’s bein’ built right there, we’re working in groups of three. And I wanna be able to kind of incorporate a couple more over here. I think having this sharp line is kind of intrusive for the eye, so we’re kind of build up this direction and build out this direction as well. And that’s gonna really kinda compliment the shape of this bowl, it’s gonna highlight the fruit over here and also highlight this high point. So I’m gonna design a little bit more, and then I’m gonna show you guys our product. So now that we have all of our roses into our arrangement, we’re gonna start softening them up. Oftentimes when you see a rose, it’s just really kind of intrusive for the eyes, we wanna make sure to have something a little bit softer around it. That’s why spray roses are such a good choice to kind of pair with your roses. So kind of in this blank little area over here, we’re gonna tuck some in pretty deep. We’re also gonna do some back over here. And we’re just kind of play around with them and kind of add a little bit more depth to the arrangement. So the good thing about working with spray roses is they automatically have that layering effect that we have. So if you look at all the roses that we have here, they’re all in there own separate plane. There’s not gonna be one that’s gonna be on the same plane as the other one and that’s gonna help create some depth, and that’s gonna allow you to have a great photograph for your client. So we’re tucking in spray roses, making sure that they’re goin in pretty deep. We wanna make sure all that Oasis is covered. Now again with the Oasis, we’re making sure that we are being rather intentional with how we are placing our flowers. You don’t want to keep pulling things in and out of the Oasis because it’s gonna break, and it’s no longer gonna be secure for your arrangement. So again just kinda eyeball it, see where you want things to go, and start playin’ around with it. That’s gonna really help you be rather intentional with your design. All right so I think we enough spray roses in there right now. So we’re gonna be using the variegated ranunculus. Now this a beautiful beautiful flower, and you can see the purple striping already taking place in the actual flower. I like to be a little bit more whimsical and wild with our ranunculus. These are such a show-stopping kind of flower they can stand by themselves. So I think having one kind of up here just like rogue ranunculus, I’m all about that. Just a personal choice something you don’t necessarily have to do, if you don’t do it I will judge you. I’m just joking I won’t judge you guys. We can already see how this is bringing some life and some depth to the arrangement by having another high point over here. Because everything else is so low it’s nice to have something just so your eye can bounce to. Tucking in our ranunculus, I typically try to do at least three of them together, otherwise it ends up looking like eyeballs and we don’t want like your arrangement staring back at you. That’s just a little creepy in my opinion. I’m gonna tuck in a couple more of these flowers into the arrangement. Again, to kind of have that push and pull effect. By having something kind of coming out at you, something kind of jarring in your face in a good way. Not necessarily in a bad way. All right so I went ahead and added in some grass. Again, just to create that engagement where people are almost having to peer through to see what kind of flowers are taking place. One final touch, we’re gonna have this cool texture right over here and this is just going to highlight our roses that we have, and just pull some of the darker colors that we have goin’ on. So you can see how this is elongated up over here, and we’re gonna have some falling throughout over this direction as well. All right so we’re gonna have these guys kind of cascading through the arrangement. Again, we want to make sure that the eye is following a beautiful line. That’s gonna really help just kinda create this beautiful flow in your flowers. And by adding just these subtle little textures right here, it’s bringing out these little bits of color and these poplar color that are taking place through your arrangement. Now I’m gonna make the exact same arrangement, and it’s gonna be in chicken wire. And I’m gonna show you guys the differences and talk a little bit about how to work in chicken wire as opposed to Oasis. all right you guys so we already had our centerpiece with our Oasis, now we’re gonna be working with chicken wire. Now what I like about chicken wire is it’s recyclable. So not only are you able to reuse this actual piece again, but it’s also gonna be able to be recycled into something else later on. So right now we wanna make sure that we cut our chicken wire to the size of our vessel. You wanna make sure you have a couple inches over the actual lip ’cause that’s gonna really help you whenever we start folding this into two separate pieces. So right now I have these two corners, and I’m gonna take this side and this side and connect them together. Now this is imperative because you wanna make sure that these are really really secure in here. You can just take the wire that’s kinda already hanging off of this chicken wire, and just kinda tuck these pieces in. You wanna create this like cannoli-like shape right here. Now it’s nice to have this double layer because when we start putting our centerpieces together, it’s gonna be easy for the flower to hold onto itself. And if this just goes into one simple spot, the flower’s gonna lay flat. But if there’s two pieces for it to go into it’s gonna hold itself a little more. I promise it will work. So let’s see, we have this cannoli-like shape, we’re gonna tuck these corners in together, and it’s gonna create a pillow. So what’s gonna happen is we’re just taking these bits of wire right here, and we’re just kind of tucking this in to itself, just to keep it secure. Same exact thing on this top part. So again tucking it in, it’s gonna create this pillow-like shape, and it’s gonna be beneficial for you in just a moment. So here we go. Now this is gonna be still a little too big for your actual centerpiece. So this is why we’re gonna tuck in these corners and just kind of morph it into the shape that we need it to be. all right so we’re just morphing this into the shape that it needs to be. Then we’re just gonna place it into our vessel like so, and make sure that it fits nice and snug. All right now that our chicken wire is in our vessel we wanna make sure that we secure it with some tape. Now this is very important because we wanna make sure that this is not gonna have a lot of movement whenever we’re using it for our designs. So we’re just gonna tape it down and we’re gonna do four sections. Okay one two, then we’re gonna do, another here three, and four. Now again, make sure whenever you guys are done with your arrangements that you’re removing this tape. We don’t want this to be seen for anybody to take a photo of, of them to see it. Doesn’t really look that professional. But this right here is pretty secure. So what we’re gonna begin doing right now is adding in our clematis, and kind of building our shape out. Here we go. All right so now that we have our chicken wire into our vessel, we’re gonna go ahead and start building it our with our clematis. Now I love working with clematis ’cause it has such a beautiful shape to it. Now a lot of times whenever we’re designing, we like to cut these little like nibs off. I like keeping them on when I’m working with chicken wire because it allows me kinda put that in the chicken wire, in not only the first layer but the second layer. And it allows me almost have a lock and key effect. So that way whenever I lock this in here, it’s gonna stay a little bit more secure, as opposed to just having a straight stem. So there we go, we’re gonna start building this out with our clematis. Now make sure when you guys are adding in something like clematis, make sure you guys are beginning to build your shape with the actual green. That way you’re able to kinda see where you’re gonna placing your flowers, and it’s gonna give you kind of the direction that you’re gonna be going. Again I want you guys to have fun with this. Make sure you guys are just being creative in your designs. It doesn’t have to be the exact same as every other arrangement, you can play around with it a little bit. So again just starting to build these things out, creating height in one section, and gonna start cascading on this side. So the same thing that we did with the Oasis arrangement, having one side a little bit higher, having the eye kind of follow all the way down. So you can see what’s taking place in this actual arrangement. make sure you guys are always givin’ a fresh snip every single time you guys are placing one of the flowers into your centerpiece. What happens is those stems tend to oxidize really quickly. So we wanna make sure that we are getting fresh water straight up to those beautiful blooms. All right so here we go, we’re gonna start greening this thing out. So now that we have all this greened out we’re gonna go ahead and add our fruit in the same way we did with our Oasis. I like to be able to add it in now because if we are adding in the flowers, we gotta work around a lot of materials. So the same way that we’re gonna be adding in the fruit with the Oasis, we’re gonna be using these floral picks. Now these are a wonderful resource because they’re gonna be able to tuck down easily into the chicken wire. Now you gotta kinda maneuver them a little bit and kind of just force them into that little area and kind of like find a little groove that they’re gonna be secure. so I’m gonna go ahead and do this up front, and then I’ll show you guys what the finished product is gonna look like. Make sure whenever you guys are wrapping your pick around the fruit, make sure you find a location that’s gonna be pretty secure. So like right there, that’s a good area that you guys can have the actual fruit hanging on this pick. And we’re just gonna wrap this wire around, and that’s gonna create some security for your fruit to fall into your chicken wire. All right so now that we have our fruit into our arrangement we’re gonna go and start adding in our flowers. Now we’re gonna be using Coral Charm Peonies. Now this is one of my favorite peonies because even though it’s super bright right now, it’s gonna fade into this beautiful buttercream kind of color. Which I think is gonna be absolutely beautiful paired with this lilac that we have from this clematis. So we’re gonna go ahead and give a cut on this, and we’re gonna start placing it. Now I like being able to have some taller moments, and some smaller moments so we’re gonna have an impactful moment over on this little side over here. Now peonies are statement flowers, so they’re definitely gonna be show-stoppers. So by adding them into your arrangement, your automatically going to have this beautiful, kind of eye-catching arrangement. So when you’re placing these, make sure that you’re doing so where they’re gonna be not necessarily grouped together, but they’re gonna have their own little moment where you can accentuate them with other flowers. I’m already liking the way it’s looking it’s looking great. All right so if you guys have ever followed me along on my Instagram, you guys know that I use pretty muted colors. And again these peonies are gonna start fading out to a more muted palette. But I think what better opportunity to work with some beautiful bright colors, than working with Mayesh right now. Now we’re gonna go ahead and add in our roses. Now these roses are from Alexandra Farms, they’re absolutely beautiful. They remind me a lot of Distant Drums, which I think that kind of color variation is very similar to those. Now what I love about working with Alexandra Farms is not only do they partner with Mayesh, but they give you this little sticker that let’s you know who picked your actual roses. So Maria, thank you so very much for these, I think they’re absolutely beautiful. All right so now that we have our flowers kind of bloomed out, we have this whole like blooming thing happening right now, I think it looks absolutely incredible. We’re gonna start adding in some gesture. Now a way we can do that is add in some more height, and these tulips right here are gonna be just the thing to kind of give us that little punch. So we’re gonna start tapping these into the arrangement, and we’re gonna start adding some up here, kind of having some through the middle, kind of having some cascade down with these fruit. Depending on how you actually place them in the arrangement, will truly determine how they’re going to fall. You can either have them up here for a gestural moment, or you can have something kind of cascading down this direction and they’re gonna fall beautifully well. So tulips are a great necessity if you’re looking for anything up high or down low. We’re gonna go ahead and begin adding these in, and we’re gonna create some beautiful moments with this. so again we’re making sure that we’re just doing a really sharp cut and we’re just gonna place this into our chicken wire. Now what I like about the chicken wire, is we’re able to kinda just feel around and make sure that these are gonna be placed where we want them to go. So there we go, I’m liking that right now. We have this beautiful gesture happening right up here. We have it kinda transitioning over here, we’re gonna have this cascading through this little area and down from the front as well. So we’re gonna go ahead and get started with this, and I’ll show you guys what that looks like. All right so now that we have our arrangement practically done we’re gonna add a little bit more moments of gesture. So ranunculus are a great flower for that. You can see right here that they just have this really pretty petal count on them. And by adding them into the arrangement it’s almost like they flutter on top of it. So it’s gonna add a really really cool shape to your actual arrangement. I don’t want to have anything to compete with this high point over here, so I’m gonna do something a little bit over here. That way again there’s a little bit of definition between the flowers that are happening on this side and this side, but there’s also some space between these over here. Now again this is a chicken wire arrangement, so these things are holding up pretty nicely in this actual arrangement. I’m not having too much trouble having to work around anything. So if this is something that you guys are interested in doing definitely give it a shot. I try to work when I’m using ranunculus to use at least three of them. If you end up just using two of them, they start looking like eyeballs looking at you, and we don’t really want that. We don’t want your arrangement looking at you, we want you to look at the arrangement. So by having three of them kind of together, it’s gonna break up that, that little eye look it can create. All right, awesome. Ranunculus are also great because they’re gonna create that depth that you guys are gonna be wanting in your arrangement. It’s gonna really help not only give some height, but it’s also gonna create a depth for you guys. That way you can have some push and pull effect with your long stems and your ranunculus. all right so this is my arrangement. I am going to add one finishing touch. You guys know I love my grasses, and it’s just gonna add that fun little element inside the arrangement again, to make your audience kind of engage with the actual flowers. So by tucking them in it’s almost as if they’re gotta kind of peer through, to see what kind of flowers you’re actually using. And again, just tucking this directly into my flowers. Little bits here and there. Really simple just to add that engagement. Now when your flowers are completely done and they’re placed on the table, you wanna make sure that you take this tape right here, and you tuck it into the actual arrangement. Your flowers aren’t gonna be goin anywhere, so they don’t need to be moving anymore. So you just tuck that in and it’s gonna make sure that your arrangement is completely finished. All right you guys, so this is the final product. I hope you guys enjoyed watching this video. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, you guys can definitely leave your comments down below and I’ll try to respond to them. You can also shoot me a direct message on Instagram and I would love to see what you guys create. Again these flowers are courtesy of Mayesh, and we’re here in Park Studio. Cannot wait to see what you guys design. So shoot me over your images, and I’ll see you guys at our next workshop. Thanks so much.
In the second episode of our 2019 Design Star video series, Shean Strong creates an “indoor meadow” installation, once again using a combination of fresh and dried florals. This is a type of design is great for indoor, outdoors, around chairs or other furniture that will create a beautiful visual effect for your clients, brides, and photographers.
Foraged Mock Pampas Grass, Bleached White Amaranthus, Sanguisorba, Leucothe, Gerbera Spider White with Black Center, Peony Red Charm, Peony Henry Bockstoce, Bleached Bunny Tail Grass, Wendy Spray Rose, Dried White Strawflower
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — we LOVE seeing all the amazingly beautiful designs you guys create with our flowers, and this shoot is no exception!
Fatima of Studio Terrain in Detroit dreamt up this stunning little installation, and it’s giving me all of the warm, desert vibes I need during these winter storms. Keep scrolling to see all the beauty and to pretend it’s summer, if just for a minute!
Inspiration for this shoot derived from the beauty and simplicity of warm neutral tones. Warm taupes & cool browns complimented by the vibrancy of terra-cotta made the perfect palette to warm up these winter months in Detroit.
The Mayesh Detroit branch provided the fresh floral for the shoot, and we finally got our hands on the luscious toffee roses everyone is talking about! We also wanted to design with ingredients that are often overlooked like gypsophila, carnations, anthurium, and daisies. The spider phantom daises and sprayed gyp added great texture to the installation!
We love when we get to see our flowers come to life at an event, especially when it’s at a venue we know & love! We hosted one of our Mayesh Design Star workshops at The Jam Handy back in 2017, so it was a treat to see this gorgeous wedding with our flowers in the space. We’re also ~swooning~ over this gorgeous eggplant and gold color palette!
Last June, Ann of Bash Event Planning & Design helped make Maura and Audrey’s dream wedding a reality. Check out these photos from their intimate wedding, then head over to LOVE INC. blog to see more beautiful photos and read about the wedding!
We are so excited to present Shean Strong’s first episode of our 2019 Design Star video series! In this episode, Shean demonstrates how he creates a unique wedding bouquet, incorporating different textures with both fresh florals and dried products.
broom bloom, toffee roses, white majolica spray roses,
white astilbe, stypha grass, bleached eryngium, clematis pods
Hey, you guys, it’s me, Shean Strong, your 2019 Mayesh design star and I’m so very excited to be here in Park Studios with all these beautiful flowers provided by Mayesh. I’m gonna be designing a bouquet for you guys and I want you guys to follow along as we’re using some of these incredible products to create something beautiful for one of your clients. So what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna make sure that these stems are gonna be completely clean. This is gonna really help when you’re doing that hand-tied bouquet, because your other hand’s gonna be holding your bouquet while you’re designing with this one. So you wanna make sure that thing’s are gonna be super easy to input into your bouquet. Now, kind of a rule of thumb whenever I’m designing, I like to make sure that I have all my materials ready for me. I wanna make sure that we have our zipties, which we’re gonna use to secure our bouquet. I wanna make sure that we have our snips because we make sure that we can cut those ends off properly. And that’s all you’re going to really need to get one of these bouquets ready for your client. Now, whenever we’re designing I like to make sure that I’m thinking, kind of conceptually, what we’re gonna be using. If we’re gonna be using a pretty heavy floral design I wanna make sure that we’re doing lots and lots of flowers. If we’re gonna be doing more of a greenery heavy design I wanna make sure that we’re gonna start with our greenery. So today we’re gonna be using some dried product courtesy of Japan and Holland and, of course, Mayesh. So right now I’m gonna go ahead and get started designing for you guys. So we have some really cool dried textures right here. And what I like about this stuff is it’s creating a really cool texture for your photographer to photograph to make sure that they’re gonna have some really cool shots for you. So we’re just gonna go ahead and just begin. And I like to do a crisscross pattern like this. When you’re using a hand-tied bouquet you wanna make sure that your fingers are gonna be holding your base, because that’s what’s gonna be interlocking all these stems together. So you’re gonna make sure that these are kind of crisscross this direction, laying one on top of the other. That’s gonna really help secure your design and give some sort of foundation for the rest of your flowers from building up then. So then right here, since we have two pieces already I wanna add a third piece in. I’m literally just gonna take this and put it in between the three of them. By having three separate pieces like this, all we’re gonna be able to do is have a beautiful line for the eye to follow. We want there to be a moment here, kind of over here and go this direction. So that’s what we have happening right here. Now, when we start doing our bouquets I like to start with our bigger pieces first. I wanna make sure that we have those bigger blooms, or those bigger grasses, whatever it is, to kind of secure the rest of our bouquet. So we have these three pieces of grass right here. I’m gonna add in these toffee roses. These things are absolutely incredible. Again, a Mayesh product which, I mean, you can’t go wrong with these things. So we’re just gonna simply lay them into our arrangement. Now, you can see already how my fingers are just kind of interlocking around this bouquet. Your fingers are literally going to be a grid, or the chicken wire, or the Oasis, for your bouquet while you’re doing this hand-tied design. So we’re just gonna lay one rose in. I typically like to lay a rose to the side as opposed to facing you directly. I feel like this is like a little abrasive to the eye, but having something tilted to the left or to the right is a little softer for you. So we’re gonna start layering these things in, there we go. We’re gonna add a couple more of these bad boys in. Aren’t these insane? They’re just beautiful. So when we’re creating our arrangements, or our bouquets, we like to make sure that we’re doing a level action. So we don’t want things to be the same exact plane and we wanna make sure that there’s gonna be some depth and some movement to your actual design. So right here we have this kind of happening over here, this over here, a little taller, a little shorter. And this is, again, just gonna create some depth for you guys to follow. Add a little bit more just to create a little bit more texture in the back. So we’re gonna add this right over here for you guys. There we go. We’re gonna continue to add in our toffee roses. Now, the cool thing about working with a bouquet is you always get to be a little creative with your designs. Tuck these bad boys in and just create some depth. So you can already see how this is starting to create its shape and create a different type of unique look for your client. Now, I like working with larger items first and then going down to the smaller, more delicate, items. By having these bigger places you’re able to fill up space and you can tuck in the smaller things and add a little bit more detail to your actual design. So here we go, a couple more of these beautiful roses. And you can see, my fingers are literally interlocked with this. It’s pretty crazy what they’re looking like, but I promise you it’s gonna look beautiful when it’s all said and done. A couple more of these roses and we’re gonna start building it out. I’m tucking this bad boy in right underneath my fingertips. There we go. You can kind of see that. That way there’s some more interest over there, a little bit more texture. We can kind of see the shape that’s taking place for our bouquet. Alright, so you guys can see what’s happening right here with this bouquet. Again, lots of depth, lots of texture taking place already and we’ve not even added in the smaller things yet. So we’re gonna add one more of these roses in just to kind of make sure that we’re gonna be good with our bigger pieces. And again, I wanna make sure that these are gonna be layered like this. I don’t wanna have anything on the same plane. A kind of good rule of thumb; if something is on the same plane and your hand can touch both of them simultaneously, either one of them needs to go down or the other one needs to go up. You just need to work on that to create that depth that you guys are wanting to have for this style bouquet. I like to trim my stems as I go. Not only is this gonna help with the weight, because your hand is going to cramp up. I promise you it will. Until you get used to this design and holding your bouquet like this, your hand’s gonna cramp up. So, by cutting those stems off, it’s really gonna allow you to lose some of that weight and your hand’s not gonna be holding something so heavy. So we’re gonna add in a couple more elements. We’re gonna start adding in some softer delicate flowers. So we have a spray rose. Majolica’s are one of my favorites because they just add a very soft, delicate look to any arrangement, any bouquet, any type of installation. Any time we have a hard cut like this we wanna be able to soften it up slightly. So if we add something like this, with that depth that’s already integrated in the actual flower, it’s really gonna soften it up and add a bit of romance to what you guys are wanting to do. So again, we’re just gonna weave this bad boy right into your arrangement, your bouquet. There we go. We can already see how that adds a little bit of whimsy to your arrangements, to your bouquet. We’re gonna add a couple more in, because, again, we want the eye to follow a line. We wanna make sure that there’s gonna be a transitional point from something high to something low, where we’re gonna be able to integrate a lot of cool textures that’s gonna allow the eye to fall naturally. So again, just tucking this in. You can see where you already see what’s happening. We’re gonna add one more little section in. We’re gonna add him up top, just so that that line is continuing from the very top all the way down to the very bottom. So there, we can kind of see what’s happening right there. We can this see beautiful line taking place and there’s lots of cool textures that are gonna be happening. Again, this depth is already natural when it comes to the spray rose. You can see that there’s already levels to it. So just by adding it in, it’s gonna really soften up your bouquet. Now, this is a fun texture to add in, too, is astilbe. Astilbe’s a nice bridal bouquet because it’s really light and delicate. It just adds some cool texture to your actual arrangement. So we wanna incorporate a little bit of this. Again, to soften up those edges. We don’t want anything to be too hard and to kind of have a blunt stop. We wanna make sure things are gonna be really soft. It’s a bridal bouquet, after all, we don’t want this to be crazy. Now, if you guys have been following me for quite some time, this is gonna really help with you not having one of those lightsaber bouquets. Because what happens with that, is you just look like you can hold this little popsicle stick and we don’t want that. We want something a little bit more romantic, a little bit more natural, a little bit more organic. So by having something like this, with lots of depth and lots of texture to it, we’re gonna create that naturally. So there we go. We have this really cool texture taking place. Now, grasses are one of my favorites to add into any type of arrangement. This dude right here, tuck him in over here on the side and you can just see how it adds this beautiful, delicate look to the arrangement already. How it literally just floats. Imagine that, as a photographer, as the bride, seeing something like that being captured on film is absolutely beautiful. Tuck a couple pieces in here. And you guys, we’ll make sure that we have a link for all of these flowers that we’re using and we’ll make sure that you can see everything that’s going on in this actual arrangement. But again, just having these fun textures. It’s about making lots of fun with your bouquet, making sure that you are enjoying yourself and being creative. This is one of those pieces that the bride’s gonna keep forever. It’s either gonna be one of those photos where they’re gonna have it over their mantle or they’re gonna share with their friends and family. So you wanna make sure that you’re not only just being creative, but you’re also thinking about them as well. Now, this right here is clematis. I love working with this. This is a variety of it and we have multiple types of clematis, but this is a really cool texture that’s just gonna add a little bit of fun to your arrangement. Again, you can see my hands, how they’re literally interwoven back here with all of these flower stems. It’s really gonna be beneficial later on because this is really gonna be secure when you start to ziptie your bouquet. So there we go. I’m gonna start pulling some of these out because they’re starting to get tucked in a little bit and we wanna make sure that there’s gonna be lots of depth, no empty holes taking place. We’re gonna add maybe some more astilbe over here. Now again, a lot of this product is dried. So, if you’re looking for an all-white bouquet this is something that would be a little bit different. You can add in some more tan colors to elevate this just a little bit. We’ll add in another cool texture. Feel free to play around with this. I know oftentimes when you’re designing you feel like everything has to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be. You can start playing around and start placing things and see if you want something there. If you want it coming out in this direction. You can start moving things around and have fun with it. I want you guys to feel completely confident that you are able to do something absolutely beautiful and play around and know that it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. So there we go. I like this dude right here, I might add another one in. Again, this is something that’s very unique and something that’s gonna be a little bit different than your standard bridal bouquet. Alright, there we go. I’m liking how this is looking. I’m gonna add of those other toffee roses in the back over here. You can see there’s kind of an empty space right here and I wanna make sure that that’s gonna be filled. We don’t want there to be too much negative space. Negative space is a good thing, but we wanna make sure that we don’t have too much of it. Alright, so there we go. To soften up this edge again, I’m gonna make sure that I add in some hellebores. Hellebores are beautiful flowers that are really going to help soften that little area down there. So by just adding one or two of these little stems it’s just going to add a nice, little pop to the bottom for you. Now, a really cool thing that you can add into your arrangements or your bouquets is some grasses. Grasses are really fun because it allows you to peer through your bouquet or your arrangement. It almost adds a little bit of secrecy to what’s going on. It forces the eye to kind of look through it. So that way it creates that engagement that a lot of people want with their flowers. So we’re gonna add this dude in over here, pull him down to the bottom. And you can just see how he adds a little bit of texture. He pulls in this dark chocolate color that’s pulling up some of these darker tones in these toffee roses. By having this dude in here we’re just creating a little bit more interest, a little bit more texture, a little bit more depth to what’s taking place. So there we go. We’re gonna cut this dude back down. Now I’m liking our bouquet. Again, this is gonna be a one-sided bouquet. So when you’re designing this the back can obviously be filled in with some flowers over here, just to make sure it looks like it’s gonna be completely finished. You can tuck in some roses. You can tuck in some spray roses and that’s gonna really help let it look like it’s completely finished. So we’ll tuck some of these bad boys in over here. That way there’s no mechanics that are gonna be seen for your actual bride. They’re not gonna be seen at all. The zipties are not gonna be seen and all that stuff taking place. So we can just finish it off in the back right over there. Again, make sure that you’re cleaning off all of your stems. We wanna make sure that this is gonna be very, very clean. We’re taking our ziptie, going through our fingers like this, and we’re just zipping them together. There you are. Now, when your bride is gonna be posing with your bouquet make sure that they are always camera-ready. So they’re facing this direction, you want them to turn it slightly. If they’re gonna be facing dead on, you want it this way. So that way this part right here, the most beautiful part is gonna be completely dead on, dead center of the actual photograph. Thank you guys so very much. I cannot wait to meet each and every one of you guys at the workshops that we have coming up. We’re gonna go a little bit more in-depth on how to do bouquet, how to do centerpieces, how to do installations. This is all courtesy of Mayesh and I cannot wait to meet each and every one of you guys. Thanks so much and I hope to see you guys next time.
Last month, Mayesh participated in No-Shave November, raising $2000 for the cause. We had quite a few male employees partake in growing out their beards, but our MVB (Most Valuable Beard) had to go to one person, and that person is Andy Arthur of our Detroit branch!
Andy raised the most money ($440 out of our $2000) and posted some pretty great progress photos along the way, compliments of his adorable daughter Chloe, who also put up with her dad’s scruff for over a month.
The prize for our MVB was to have that branch create a floral beard out of the winning beard, but Andy took it a step further and enlisted Detroit floral designer Julia Griffin of Willa Rose Floral… and boy did they exceed our expectations! From the amazing floral beard itself to an awesome photoshoot with Andy looking all dapper, we’re so excited to share the result!
In August, our Mayesh Design Star tour brought us to sunny Santa Barbara, and Narrative Loft was the perfect eclectic venue for this workshop.
Following the format of the previous workshops, day one consisted of networking, mood boarding and of course, delicious appetizers and wine. To kick off the night, Ryan O’Neill of Curate and Brad Beck of Design Master presented to the students about their respective products. Following, our 2018 Mayesh Design Star, Kaylee of Flourish by Kay, led the students in a brand identifying and mood boarding activity. Students were tasked with creating mood boards that represented themselves and their brands, then everyone went around the room and wrote down one word that represented each mood board. With these words, students were able to narrow the list down to five to articulate their personal brand and design style.
After networking and mood boarding the previous evening, the next morning Kaylee, Jamie and the students jumped right into designing. Kaylee began by showing how to create the skeleton of a floating installation and how to fill in with florals. Then as a class, they completed the hanging installation as well as a floral trellis.
After the group installation, Kaylee demonstrated how she creates her centerpieces while walking the students through her process. The students then designed their own centerpieces in beautiful Accent Decor vessels.
On this episode of Mornings with Mayesh, Shelley, Dave, and Yvonne answer your questions about flower product availability, Valentine’s Day flowers, proteas, floral installations, and more. Save the date for January 22nd at 10 am EST for our next show and keep on sending in your floral questions!
Here is the podcast replay, video, and show notes:
Flower show and tell:
Japanese sweet peas, leucadendron, Arena Red lisianthus, Butterfly ranunculus from California, Clooney Pompon Ranunculus,
Heidi: I would love to have a list of flowers and when they’re available throughout the year. I totally know that it would be nearly impossible to have an accurate list of flower availability through a year, but something that’s pretty general I think would be really helpful. Like ranunculus, for example, it seems like they’re pretty much a year-round bloom, but in May they tend to get kind of spotty with their availability. Some sort of reference guide that indicated what months to expect to have trouble getting them would be dreamy. Or like peonies, I know they start showing up for real in March, but they seem to make cameos in November/December…. You know, that sort of thing. Is that possible?
We have a year-round availability list that you can download from our website but it’s meant more as a general reference guide. There are so many intricacies in growing flowers and timing harvests that you should always reach out to a Mayesh professional when planning your special events. This is especially true if the item is currently not in season locally in the USA. We import from all over the world when local crops are not available and there are usually other floral options. If a particular item is gapping or cost-prohibitive, we can offer alternative florals that work with your texture & color palette.
**FAVORITE** — Tiffany: How do you determine what new product you will begin to incorporate into your yearly offerings? Do you trial new varieties and gauge them on various levels of stability?
Yes, absolutely. Our mission statement says it all. Providing the floral professional with the highest quality, most unusual products sourced from around the world. That being said, not only do we ourselves seek out the next cool thing, but our close relationship with our growers ensures they are showing us their next cool things too! We regularly receive, vase test and photograph new varieties and try to get as much client feedback as possible, we want to know what you think! We also keep a very close eye on color trends in the industry.
Jasmine: What are some other popular flowers to order other than roses for Valentine’s Day?
The world of flower fashion is constantly in flux and depending on your local demographics just about anything goes! Popular higher end flowers we sell for Valentine’s day include cymbidium & Phalaenopsis orchids, garden roses, blooming branches like quince & forsythia, and a staple of most modern floral design are hydrangeas. Many designers are moving away from typical fillers using interesting things like astrantia & astilbe. Being in Arizona we get a lot of “desert theme” floral design, so items like pincushion protea & succulents are high on our list here. It’s really about defining your own style, marketing your brand and staying true to yourself.
Claudia: What’s the best time of the season to buy protea?
Proteas are grown in several countries and are available almost all year round depending on the variety you want. Their popularity has increased so much in the past few years that some varieties have become hard to get in large quantities, like the coveted King protea. King protea from California growers are readily available from March through May then the plants slow down and bloom randomly throughout the summer & fall. We also import King protea from places like South Africa and Australia. It’s important to talk to a Mayesh rep when planning an event with King proteas. Their availability can be intermittent as the plant produces blooms sporadically throughout the year. If there is a large demand that wipes out a growers crop, it can take many weeks for the next blooms to be ready for harvest.
Mischa: What is the best way to hold the wet foam in a container to prevent it from falling apart once the flowers are put in the container? Is there a type of tape that is best to use more than another over of the foam.
Oasis green or clear waterproof floral tape works best. Also, make sure you are cutting your piece of foam to fit snugly in the container. You can also use chicken wire wedged in the top of the container. This will help eliminate using so much foam as well.
Roger: Also, what is your advice on soaking oasis and mossing it for events that are a couple of hours away from the shop? Should you soak and moss a few days prior and transport in totes?
You can soak oasis up to several days in advance as long as it is submerged. Are you referring to a mossed ball? Or moss on top of Oasis in an arrangement? The moss will help retain water but make sure you soak moss separately and then apply to Oasis or it will act like a sponge and leech the water out of the foam.
Tiffany: What are the hardiest flowers for installations, I.e. what flowers hold up best and longest either out of water or with limited water (picks). Can you recommend two for each season?
Roses, orchids, tropicals, carnations, alliums, hypericum, pods, preserved greens, and most foliages will hold up well. It’s probably easier to tell you what doesn’t: gerbs, some hydrangeas, lilies, tulips, freesia, dahlias, sweet peas and delicate flowers that don’t have a high water content.
Roses, tropicals, and carns can stay out of water for hours without showing signs of stress. Cooler to warmer months you can use most anything in the hardier category. Stay away from the delicate category in the heat of summer.
**FAVORITE** Claudia: Would like to know care and handling for the king protea and the protea family.
Protea are also known as “sugar bushes” and true to their name they need to be hydrated in a floral food to replace their glucose. Plain water just won’t do with these! Protea are fairly easy to care for & can be stored in your floral cooler for a couple weeks. Their foliage has a natural tendency to brown after a while but they can simply be removed and this has no negative effect on the flower head.
Barbara: How do you get different Protea to open up, when purchased closed, or do they continue to open up at all?
Proteas are slow openers and usually remain at ~ or close to the aperture at which they are cut. When selecting protea you should purchase them at the stage you want for your finished design. By the time they have any significant opening they seem to already be at the end of their lives.
Can one of your experts talk about processing poinsettia for use in arrangements? They have milky sap, also do they last very long off the plant?
Poinsettias are in the euphorbia family hence the milky sap. I find cutting them the rinsing and wiping off the sap with a paper towel and then singeing with a lighter or match will help cauterize them. They actually hold up quite well in designs this way. Or you can purchase mini single 2” plants and use them intact in the design…soil and all. your client has a keepsake for afterward.
Please talk about care tips for flowers for those of us who are in areas that can experience extremely cold temperatures outside. Also if there are flowers that are extremely vulnerable and flowers that are tolerable of the cold?
Having had to deliver in freezing cold temperatures and ice storms myself I find that boxing and wrapping in cellophane does the trick. It also can be a nice presentation if done well. Phalaenopsis plants (and most orchids) and poinsettias do not like extreme temperatures and wind can be a problem for them as well.
April: I’m specializing in just a few avenues…bouquet subscription, holiday centerpieces and want to get into wedding flowers. I’m using Instagram, Facebook and a website but not getting much traffic or orders. I could use some marketing advice. How can I really capture attention and make people feel like they need a flower subscription?
First of all, I just want to say that whenever I come across sites that offer flower subscriptions I just adore the idea. It is a gift that keeps on giving and is perfect for that person who loves flowers in their lives.