In September’s Mornings with Mayesh, Shelley, Dave & Yvonne cover a wide array of floral questions. They started the morning with Shelley and Dave talking about some of the beautiful products that are currently available. Afterward, they answered some audience questions that range from preservatives for flowers and flower coolers to wedding flower packages & more. Yvonne rounded out the show by announcing our 2019 Mayesh Design Star, Shean Strong!! Be sure to watch until the end to get to know Shean in a quick Q & A — it’s going to an amazing 2019!
Here is the podcast replay, video, and show notes:
WORLD OF FLOWERS
- Shelley/Dave – can you guys select a few pretty flowers to show off?
- Pampas grass
- Lavender that is 4 feet tall
- Banksia Seed Pods
- Palm Leaf
- Black Pearl Roses – brand new and hard to get
- Choco Anthurium
- From Gaye: Where can we find a list of what flowers are available in each month?
- From Suzanne: I’m having more and more calls for gold roses. Would like more info on varieties and best farms that have long time availability.
- There are only a few varieties of gold roses being grown and since they are treated as a “seasonal fall color” most rose growers don’t have a lot of real estate planted in this palette. There are a few great gold varieties in varying gradients of color saturation such as Cappuccino, Caramel Antike, Camel, Combo, Golden Mustard & Toffee BUT these are all difficult to get in big quantities especially for large events. That being said, we may need to piecemeal your orders together using different varieties from different sources. Best advice is to be flexible and supplement by offsetting your arrangements with other flowers in your seasonal color.
- From Joy: How do you keep the snapdragons from bending?
- Snapdragons are both phototropic (this means they will bend towards a light source) and geotropic (meaning they want to bend away from the center of gravity in the earth). you can get them to straighten by using your favorite flower food, hydrating them standing up as straight as possible in a bucket placed directly under a light source.
- You can also tip them out. Also, do not lay them down while working with them …as Dave says keep them upright.
- From Hannah: What flower preservatives do you recommend?
- Floralife & Chrysal are just a couple of big brand names that work great. It is also very important to know your type of flower. Most cut annuals and foliages can take any brand of standard floral solution BUT most perennial or bulb flowers need a floral solution intended to replace the hormones they are no longer receiving from their bulbs. Properly nourished flowers not only last longer but also look better.
- From Darlene: Is there a secret to keeping stock fresh?
- Changing your water daily & re-cutting stems will keep stock fresher longer. Most floral foods already have a fungicide in them already BUT You can add a couple drops of bleach to help with problem flowers like stock. Bacteria on flower stems can grow out of control in buckets & will cause shorter flower life & foul smelling water. It is good practice to frequently change your floral solution & re-cut ALL flowers to keep bacteria levels down.
- From Valerie: Is warm water better for most flowers when processing would you say? Than colder?
- Best practice is always to process flowers in a hydrating solution with a temperature as close to your flowers as possible. The safest way is to prepare your buckets of floral solution the day before and keep them overnight in your cooler. When you receive your flowers, allow them to chill in your cooler for an hour or two before processing them. This way the floral solution & the flowers are at roughly the same temperature. This will cause the least amount of stress on your flowers. Conversely, you can do the same at room temperature instead BUT the cold on cold method is my favorite. When processing roses, you can leave them in their cardboard sleeves from a few hours UP TO overnight in the floral solution after cutting them. This ensures the neck of the stem just under the flower head hydrates properly, firms up & prevents head droop. If your intention is to open your flowers quickly, try using a product like Chrysal easy dip which is a quick hydrating solution intended to speed the uptake of hydrating solutions.
- From Valerie: Does Mayesh have any blog post or cheat sheet on processing? If not would be a great resource much like your flower availability pdf?
- Here is some great information I got from a friend at Chrysal USA a couple years ago:
- Never use softened water. The high salt content is deadly to flowers and potted plants
- For some blooms, bottled or distilled water (not tap water) is the best choice.
- Tap water contains minerals and salts that may cause “pepper spots” on petals
- Avoid dripping on petals. Allow moisture to evaporate before placing blooms in cooler. Even a microlayer of condensation is sufficient for Botrytis spores to start germinating.
- Keep cooler floors clean and dry. This is another place botrytis can occur and spread.
- Clean water, clean containers, clean tools are important when preparing solutions.
- Follow label mixing instructions–Don’t guess about the dose.
- Under-dosing gives poor results (bacteria soup) which wastes time & money.
- Hydration formulas are sugar-free because sugar introduced too early in the system sometimes slows uptake of solution later and can stimulate premature leaf yellowing.
- Research proves that if only one segment of the chain uses some post-harvest treatment, longevity is still better than using no treatments at all.
- Most cut flowers are happiest stored between 34 – 38F with the exception of tropical flowers and orchids.
- For more information and some specific flower examples please stay tuned for our upcoming flower care guide.
- Here is some great information I got from a friend at Chrysal USA a couple years ago:
- From Eva: I always have customers ask for my wedding packages with pricing but I have been hesitant to provide that since each individual wedding is so unique. What information can I give to a client at the very beginning that gives them an idea of my pricing?
- Aside from listing your “minimum” on your website, it’s usually a good Idea to have a questionnaire on your website that can help you find out a little more about your bride. Once you move forward to the phone interview you can decide if they are a right fit for you. I addressed this pretty well in our last Mornings with Mayesh if you want to go back and take a look at my thoughts on pricing.
- I find that most customers who are looking for “packages” are usually more interested in price than design or your work. Back in the day, a few florists would offer a bridal bouquet, a few bridesmaids bouquets and a set number of bouts and corsages for a one budget price. You can handle this a couple of ways. Either by simply saying that you do not offer packages because your work is bespoke and tailored to each bride’S individual aesthetic or simply offer your own unique version of a package with certain guidelines in mind. “I will do this, with seasonal flowers, in your color palette and in this look for X amount of dollars.” Give them 2-3 options. If you want to work with smaller budget brides and/or possibly farm that out to one of your JR designers. Then they could order items a la carte to fit their needs. And be somewhat firm about your guidelines. I find that most brides end up busting out of the” package mode” of thinking once they sit down and interview with you and find out what a talented creative you are.
- From Joanne: I met a designer who is selling her cooler for $1800. The dimensions are 8×8 and it’s a walk in. However, I was told I could purchase a CoolBot and that would work just as well. What are your thoughts?
- We have a lot of customers who use the CoolBot and I have heard nothing but good things about the system. They are cost effective and apparently better for the environment as that don’t use the same forced cooling than traditional coolers use. It basically attaches to any air conditioner. There are some downsides. For example, they take longer to cool and are not as effective if you open the door to your insulated room more than 6 times per hour. You can find out more about them on the company’s website www.storeitcold.com
- From Hannah: If you are just starting out with a studio doing flowers for events- at what point do you recommend getting a commercial refrigerator?
- Hi Hannah, I think it’s always a good idea to get a cooler or possibly a CoolBot (see above) right when you start your business. It should be part of the investment that you make when beginning your business. You can start smaller with a commercial beverage cooler if you can’t afford to go all out but it is important to properly store your flowers. Having a cooler really alleviates the stress of trying to keep your flowers cool during our hottest months of the year. Not sure where you are located but It used to be here in California most florists could get away without one, but as we are seeing more climate change and hotter than ever temperatures year round… it’s a sound investment. I do like the CoolBot because it is more eco-friendly than running a traditional cooler. You have to build an insulated room but I think the cost is less than a traditional cooler, which isn’t always easy to find.
MARKETING NEWS: MAYESH DESIGN STAR INTERVIEW WITH SHEAN STRONG
Announce the 2019 Mayesh Design Star! Watch the segment here.