Mornings with Mayesh: April 16

Mornings with Mayesh - Answer florist questions about flowers, business, and design

In the latest episode of Mornings with Mayesh, Yvonne, Shelley & Dave answer questions on how to process fritillaria, hydrangea processing tips, using a knife versus shears, covering mechanics, designing corsages, flower walls, creating cascade bouquets, and so much more.
 Mark your calendars for May 21 for our next show. I hope you can join us and keep on sending in your floral questions!
 
 
 
 
 

Here is the podcast replay, video, and show notes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

SHOW NOTES

 

 

FLOWER QUESTIONS

 

 

FLOWER CARE 

 

  • How to process and handle fritillaria?
    • Fritillaria are bulb flowers so hydrating them in a floral food intended for bulb flowers will extend their vase life. For the shorter delicate varieties, use a shallow amount of hydrating solution so that the stems are not too deeply plunged. This will help keep bacteria levels low.
    • Link: https://youtu.be/muQDE-GgAUw

  • Barbara: Is it better for Hydrangea to have all the leaves stripped, for longevity?
    • There are two schools of thought on this. #1 says that removing all the leaves exposes the vascular system and can cause excess transpiration or possible air bubbles to enter that can block hydration. The opposing #2 says that the leaves compete with the flower heads for water. We've vase tested them both ways in Phoenix and found that with foliage or not, the vase life was not significantly affected by keeping or removing the foliage. Additionally, the vases we tested with floral food lasted 3 to 5 days longer than those treated with plain water.
    • From Shelley: My preferred method is always to remove the foliage, if anything it keeps bacteria out of the water as you never want foliage below the water line. I also find that removing excess foliage does help flowers drink faster and better.Essentially a flower is trying to draw up the water and it will feed whatever is along the way so those leaves will get the water. Now it needs leaves to help draw the water up (that is why you don’t want to strip off all of them) but you definitely don’t need more on the stem that a few at the top.

 

  • Sherly Isobe, 1/15, FB: What do you recommend as the best shears to use daily or do you recommend using a knife?
    • From Shelley: There are two camps of designers: those who like shears and those who prefer knives. It is always preferable to use a clean sharp knife. It does not damage the vascular system of the flowers. A good designer will use the proper tools for the job. Knife for flowers and shears for branches and woody stemmed or difficult to cut branches. Of course you can always use shears they are easy and quick to use but just know that it may affect the longevity of your blooms. I find that most designers who don’t want to use knives are mostly afraid of cutting themselves. I teach how to correctly use a knife. so I will demonstrate if you're interested :)   

 

  • Linda, 1/18, email: Can the mix of flower food in water which goes unused on a given day be kept for future use? Is there a limit of days it can be set aside?  What about quick dip? If stems are dipped into a small container with solution but there is leftover solution, may this be safely saved for a future use?
    • Clean unused flower solution can be prepared and kept in your cooler for many weeks. I would avoid reusing dirty solution as bacteria may have begun to form that can clog stems and shorten flower life. The same would be true for quick dips. You should be replacing the solution in your buckets & vases every couple of days if you are planning on holding them for an extended period. Think of it as good hygiene for flowers, you wouldn't reuse dirty bath water right?



  • Carie, 1/16, email: Do floral food or quick dip, or floral cleaners expire.  I was given several bottles of quick dip, gerbera food etc from a shop that was going out of business.  Some of the bottles were open and some were not. I can't find a printed expiration date on them so wondered if they were safe to use, especially the open bottles.  
    • If in doubt, throw it out! Open bottles of floral food and cleaning products with questionable vintage may start to oxidize over time which will lessen the efficacy of the product.

 

FLOWER DESIGN

 

  • Jessica Paroda, 1/31, email: I had a question/topic for the podcast and wanted to pass it along! I would love to hear more about exercising restraint while covering the mechanics. As a newbie to floral design, it’s something I struggle with. How do you find ways to make sure centerpieces don’t look leggy while not jamming an expensive amount of flowers into the vase?
    • Try to eliminate using so much floral foam or none at all. I find most designers spend more of the time on a design trying  to conceal flower foam. Make sure you have enough larger focal blooms low to the center of your design as well. They give you more bang for the buck. Containers with narrower openings help. Galax leaves and moss are great for concealing as well.

 

  • From Jenny Cooper, 1/17, Email: Here are my questions is regarding corsages and boutonnieres:
    • What are the best flowers to use? almost any flowers can be used, there are a few flowers like freesia that don’t hold up well. it’s important to use crowning glory and seal the corsages in a sealed box or bag afterwards for really delicate blooms.
    • How early can you make them? 2-3 days in advance
    • What are the newest techniques (ie. Rustic look with twine vs lots of tape and wire & magnets vs. pins)? I can talk about Sue’s techniques here as well.
    • Can you keep in floral foam and skip the plastic containers? The corsages? well they don’t have a water source so not sure if that would be beneficial

 

  • Katrina Allen, 1/16, Email: How do you attach floral tape to rounded vase? I can’t ever get it to stick! Is there another way to use a clear case without tape grid?
    • Make sure your vase is dry and clean. place the tape around the container lip first then attach  your grid to that. It attaches easier to the tape instead of glass.

  • Courtney Walden, 1/16, Email: Hi Yvonne! I'm curious on what a few different ways to make flower walls are. with one being easy to repurpose to the reception area.  
    • there are many ways to do this. There are special oasis bricks produced for wall installation. Using wet oasis for a floral installation can be very heavy. Bricks are usually secured to a plywood sheet. Silk flowers can be combined with fresh to cut down on weight. Moving them is usually not an easy option unless you custom build a wall on casters or wheels
    • You can also build a wall with chicken wire attached to plywood or any number of mesh frames connected.you can find these at hobby stores

  • Lori, 1/16/ email: what’s the best way to design a beautiful cascade bouquet!  Wedding theme romantic.. lots of blush and whites. Etc/ spray roses , ranunculus garden roses or peonies!  
    • completely wired, or partially wired and hand tied for a classic teardrop or looser teardrop shape. You can also make a loose cascade with chicken wire and attach to a bouquet holder.

 

 

FLORAL BUSINESS 

 

  • Rebekah Francis, 1/16, email: Is it possible to have a successful flower business that doesn't specialize in big events/weddings? (i.e. primarily small events, dinner parties, holidays, celebration bouquets, etc.?) I am looking to open a shop and while I know large event/wedding design is lucrative, I'd prefer to keep my client base focused on smaller events and personal flowers. Is that sustainable in a large market (one of the four major US cities)?
    • Absolutely! and there is more of a market for smaller weddings and events actually. There is no need to feel pressure to do large events at all. You are in the driver seat of your company

 

 

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

 

- Good morning everyone, it's Yvonne Ashton here, Director of Marketing at Mayesh Wholesale Florist and I want to welcome you to our April 16, Mornings with Mayesh show. Today is always gonna be a good day because we're answering your flower questions live with Steve and Shelley, super excited guys. I'm gonna give everyone a few minutes to come on in. And while we're doing that, please say hello in the comments, let us know where you're from. I see Penny and Huntress Florals, you guys are always here, thank you for being amazing. And, everyone else, say hi. Just gonna go through, like if you are new to the show, I just want to let you know that we will be posting the reply on our blog in the next couple of days. It will also be up on YouTube, and then we also create an amazing podcast for you guys to listen to. So that way, you can design or work out, or whatever you need to do during the day but still get all of this really yummy information that we share with you in our shows. Super, super excited. Good morning RSVP Floral Design, hello, hello. Okay, so that's the reply. I also get questions about when they can watch the replay and just so you guys know on Facebook live, the reply is available immediately. So as soon as I hang up I think it takes like a few minutes for it to process and then it's good to go. So you guys can watch it as soon as the show is over. Sound good? I also have Desi in the Control Room. Good morning Desi, how are you? I have Dave and Shelley joining me, I almost said Jelly, Dave with a J and then Shelley. We need to come for you guys. That would be fun right? Alright, and then also while we are letting everyone come on in and join us for today's show. I can see my umbrella, hold on. There we go, I can see a whole bunch of things, that's okay. I just wanted to let you guys know that this amazing video and podcast is brought to you by Mayesh Wholesale, our Mayesh Design Store Flower Workshop tour. We have three more dates left guys, the Nashville tickets are starting to go, so if you are thinking about going to Nashville, make sure you grab your seats within the next week cause I have a feeling this is gonna sell out. So be sure you grab it, it's May 20th and 21st. So, a little bit more than a month away, it's gonna be an all levels class and it's gonna be amazing. Sean Strong is awesome and you're gonna love him so if you wanted some hands on, you wanted a way to beef up your portfolio and get new images for your website and social media, and work on your skills and play with amazing, beautiful, cause we do like, we bring the best of the best for that season. So if you want to play with the best of the best flowers, that maybe you don't get to play with all the time, this is the thing for you. Also we have our Master Class in Austin in August and then another all levels class that we finish up the tour with in Columbus in November. So we're gonna post that link for you guys be sure you check it out. And, also wanted to let you you know we are still working on our 2020 International Workshop, we are planning one. I don't have all of the details or pricing on anything but, if you want to be one of the first people to know about this amazing experience that we haven't completely put together yet but I know it will be amazing. Make sure that you fill out the form that is on the link that we're posting now. This is our link for the Quito Workshop which is over with, so we already did it, if you haven't heard, and it turned out amazing. People were crying happy tears cause it was that amazing. So we want to repeat that but we're gonna go to a different country. And it's going to be, I know it will be really really exciting. I'm already even in talks with a designer and I know another one that wants to come and then we just have one more that we're gonna line up. So we're gonna, again, I think try to bring three designers again. So it's gonna be pretty cool. So fill out that form, so that way you can be in the second group that is going to be notified cause what is gonna happen is I'm gonna notify all of our past students that have gone to our first international workshop and then I will let everyone know that is on the waiting list for the next international. And then I will go live. So I'm gonna give everyone an opportunity who really wants to go first dibs. So I just need to know who that is. Alright guys? So I also wanted to make sure, before we get started, that you mark your calendars for May 21st, after Mother's Day, that will be our next regular show. I'm hoping to get maybe a guest early in May. But I don't have that quite together. I don't know, do you guys want to do that right before Mother's Day? Let me know, cause I don't know, is that too much? I'm not sure, so maybe we'll just do one show this month. Let me know, if you guys want to do something I'll see what I can figure out. I just don't want to overwhelm people, or do something great that someone is gonna miss and then I would hate that. Alright, so let me bring on Dave and Shelley and then we'll get started guys. Good morning Dave, good morning Shelley.

- Good morning.

- Good morning Yvonne.

- And I need to say god morning to Christine from Pennsylvania, Poppy Ouay from L.A. We have Elizabeth watching from Texas.

- Yay Texas.

- Yeah she says "Can't want to start using y'all" which I love, I love using the word y'all even though I technically don't really say it but I like to write it. Sara from Washington, Walla Walla, that's a very fun city, Walla Walla. Jasmine from Tucson, Ericka from Charlotte, good morning guys. Sandy and Tracey, I love all our viewers.

- Good morning everybody.

- Good morning.

- Good morning, and then also before we get started I wanted to let you guys know that Dave, have you guys heard that we're opening up in Seattle? I know Dave and Shelley has but everyone else that's watching. Yeah we're gonna be opening in Seattle and Dave is gonna be moving to Seattle which means he's gonna be really really busy doing Seattle stuff and getting Mayesh going over there. So you know, with that said, that means we're not sure how often Dave is going to be joining us on the show. It might be his last one, maybe I can sneak in a couple before we open, we will see. But, Dave, I just wanted to say thank you for everything that you've contributed so far to Mornings with Mayesh, we all love you and just want to wish you the best of luck in Seattle.

- Thanks guys, it's been a real pleasure, thank you.

- Yeah, of course. So, what kind of pretty's do you guys have to show us today?

- Well it's, Dave you go first.

- No, you go first Shelley, go ahead.

- We're all excited, okay. I have to show you guys this really pretty little flower that we got in today. I'm gonna take out the packaging here. It's called Canterbury Belles. No, Cathedral Bells, sorry, wrong name. We have been given the vine, too, they're just really pretty. They're a little stinky though, just saying.

- How big are they? It's hard to see.

- Um, okay.

- I like that.

- Yeah, they're really pretty kind of lavendery, purple and green, interesting. And we've been getting the vine too and you can see some of the pods of these flowers popping out on the vine, that's one.

- Those are amazing.

- Local lilac, wooo. I could bury my face in it.

- Oh I love lilac.

- So we've been getting our lilac from our local grower, it's spring so we're finally seeing a lot of pretty spring flowers. I showed you guys tulips last time but there's some really beautiful colors, these lavender tulips have a purpley. Oh and we're getting also the Washington Veal Tulips which are really nice and strong and inexpensive. We have some inexpensive flowers here that are too at Mayesh. This is the real, I'm in a lavender theme if you can tell. These are lavender ediflower neculus, kind of a mauve color, and they're really pretty. And one more, just because we're about to hit peony season, we're getting some gorgeous peonies now, finally, wooo. They're really pretty, so yay. Lot's of pretty stuff, this is the best time of year for really luscious, juicy, nice flowers.

- Beautiful, love spring time.

- I love the spring also. I grabbed a bunch of Queensland Tulips, and these are the funky, frilly ones, they have the double petals in them, love the textures. I didn't pull a whole lot of stuff, but I did focus on spring today. This is a double daffodil that's grown in California.

- So pretty.

- Yeah they're really fragrant too, love the fragrant flowers. This is a flower native to Peru, but it's being grown in California. This is called Skilla, and you really only see it this time of year. Fun little pop of purple, funky texture.

- Very funky.

- And last but not least I have some Italian Poppies and I think Shelley show you these last week, but they're just so pretty right now, I had show you the color.

- They're huge.

- They're humongous.

- Yeah, beautiful.

- They're big boys, so love 'em.

- Love 'em too. That's great, thanks guys. And also, we're gonna be posting the link for our new Flower 411 straight from our purchasing department so that way you guys can see what is going on in the world of flowers and what's coming in and what's new and what be hard to get and what might be really expensive. It's a nice little summary from them. Obviously it's not all encompassing but we like it, it hits all of the big topics. So check that out, of course after we're done with this show please. Okay, so onto our first questions, it is all about fritillaria and how to process it. Why did that come out weird? I can't talk today, I'm very sorry about that. How to process and handle fritillaria, there we go.

- Yeah, fritillarias are cool, there's a bunch of varieties available right now imported from Holland. They are bulb flowers, so hydrating them in a flower food intended for bulb flowers will extend their vase life. For the shorter and delicate varieties, use a shallow amount of hydrating solution so the stems aren't deeply plunged in there. This will help keep bacteria levels low which as we know will extend flower life.

- Very good. I have a video from, that we did with David Dolson, I don't know when, probably a couple years ago. So I'm gonna grab the link for that and we'll post that in the comments for you guys. Check that out, of course after we're done with the show. So, he goes over a lot of fritillaria, he talks about kind of the names, and things like that, and I don't recall if he talks about the care and handling part but it's a good video, so check it out. Alright guys, the next question is from Barbara and she wants to know "Is it better for hydrangea to have all the leaves stripped for longevity?" We always get lots of hydrangea questions. I need to just do one show on hydrangea one time.

- Finicky flowers, they're so finicky.

- So there are two schools of thought on this, number one says removing all the leaves exposes the vascular system, and that can cause excess transpiration or possible air bubbles to enter that could block the hydration process. The opposing, number two, says that the leaves compete with the flower heads for water. In phoenix we vase tested them both ways and found that with the foliage or not, the vase life was not significantly affected by keeping or removing the foliage. Additionally, the vases that we tested here with floral food lasted three to five days longer than those that were treated with plain water. So use your flower food guys.

- Good to know, Shelley, what do you think?

- My preferred method's always to strip the leaves. If you are not tugging or pulling on the stem, you're not gonna damage it. You just wanna cut the leaves, you're not trying to rip them off the stem. Also, it depends on how long you're using the. If you're using or cutting hydrangeas, sure you definitely don't want the leaves on because if they're in water you don't want the leaves in water. They do better when they're shorter. Essentially, like Dave was saying, the leaves help draw up water but too many leaves can also put water in the leaves and not the flower. And since hydrangeas struggle with drinking sometimes, it also depends on the variety. The heartiest ones seem to be white, light blue, green and antique varieties. The ones that typically, people have the worst trouble with are pink, purple, the more Dutch varieties, they're a little softer flower, and so it's not as hearty. So basically, you always want to try to keep the foliage off of any of those flowers, and if you're leaving them short they're gonna drink better cause the stems shorter. You want to try to do that.

- Thank you.

- You can always soak the heads too, and we've talked about that before. Soaking the head helps them draw up water.

- Yeah, love it, good. Just going back, you guys both showed some tulips and Bradley is watching. Hi Brad, how are you? And he has a sprayTip, I don't know if you guys know, and if you don't know Brad, he works for DesignMaster and he's amazing. His whole team is awesome. But he says if you Petal Proofer sprayed on the back of the tulips and other delicate flowers it allows them to open the petals slower and the flower will last longer for you, which will be great.

- And if you keep a couple of leaves up at the top of the neck of the flower, that helps with the drawing up process too. You don't have to strip them bare, but up to a couple leaves that works fine.

- Cool, yeah. Thanks Shelley and thanks for the tip Brad.

- Alright guys, our next question is from Cheryl. She wants to know what do you recommend for the best shears to use daily, or do you recommend using a knife? Good old shears versus knives debated.

- It's always a struggle with people. There's always two camps of designers, people who like to use knives, people who like to use shears. I will say a good designer uses the proper tool for the job. So, most flowers need to be cut with knives. A sharp knife is gonna give you the cleanest cut and for most cut flowers you should learn how to use a knife. I feel most people, the reason they use shears is it's easy and they're afraid to cut themselves. So, all cut flowers need to be used with a knife and then branch, shears are for branches, bunches, things that need that good hearty cut. But really you need to learn how to use a knife and we need to probably demonstrate that sometime. But shears are always going to be, they're going to crush the vascular system of flowers and this is why a lot of old school florists get a little brissly when they see young people just always using shears often times because we want to make sure the flowers are gonna last the longest. Also using a knife is faster, you can keep that knife in your hand, you never have to put it on the table. With shears you constantly have to set it down, pick it up, set it down, pick it up. If you use shears, I've used shears too without problem, but it's better to use the right tool for the job, like I said. And make sure they're clean, we've talked about this before, keeping them sharp, keeping them clean. Most people cut themselves with dull tools not sharp tools, so keep your tools clean, sharp and well, have fun.

- Awesome, our next question is from Linda. She wants to know, "Can the mix of flower food and water, which goes unused on a given day, be kept for future use? Is there a limit of days it can be set aside, what about quick dip? If stems are dipped in a small container with solution but there is leftover solution, may this be safely saved for future use?" Great question Linda.

- As far as the flower food goes, clean, unused flower solution can be prepared and kept in your cooler for many weeks in advance. I would avoid reusing dirty solution as bacteria may have begun to form that can clog stems or shorten flower life, or there might be debris in it. The same would be true for the quick dips, you should plan on replacing the solution in your buckets and vases every couple of says also, if you're planning on holding them for an extended period of time. Think of it as good hygiene for your flowers, you wouldn't reuse dirty bathwater right?

- The other thing that you can reuse though, we're finding with the D.E. Express, that particular product. We use that here in our facility and that water can be reused. It's a different kind, it's not the same thing as a regular floral food like Chrysal it's a super hydrating solution and that particular product can actually be reactivated with tablets. So it's a good agri-friendly option for water, you don't have to keep dumping out the water. But Dave's absolutely right, you have to make sure that you're using clean product and clean containers. And make sure that you're not reusing anything that obviously had bacteria or dirt in it.

- Good tips. And then, a similar question came in from Carrie, but it's more about expiration date. She asks, "Do floral food, or quick dip or floral cleaners expire? I was given several bottles of quick dip, gerber food etc. from a shop that was going out of business. Some of the bottles were opened, some are not. I can't find a printed expiration date on them so wondered if they're safe to use, especially the open bottles."

- Yeah, if in doubt, throw it out. Open bottles of floral food and cleaning products with questionable vintage may start to oxidize over time which will lessen the efficacy of the product. You don't want to end up with something from the 1970s.

- Yeah I agree with that. I'm gonna try to find out from the rep on some of these products what their actual life expectancy is and expiration dates on them so we can get a better idea of that to answer that question.

- Yeah, good. Real quick going back to the shears versus knife thing, Huntress Floral says "Plus we feel like a badass when using a knife". I like that.

- You go girl.

- That's one way of looking at it, good stuff. And also Penny says she works very fast with shears. I see a lot of people working faster. Alright guys, floral design questions. So our first floral design question's from Jessica, she says "I had a question for the podcast, wanted to pass it along, I would love to hear more about exercising restraint while covering the mechanics. As a newbie to floral design, it's something I struggle with. How do you find ways to make sure centerpieces don't look leggy while not jamming an expensive amount of flowers into the vase."

- Yeah I think the problem is most floral designers spend the majority of their time trying to cover the flower foam. So, Oasis product, if you have Oasis in a container you're constantly trying to cover that up. If you have a smaller mouthed container, that will help. Not using Oasis will help, and using larger blooms that you can tuck down to cover the container also, and then build around that. Anything you can do basically to cover the opening or the space, so those are some of my suggestions. It's really a good idea to try to find containers that you don't have to spend so much time. When we were at the quito workshops in McCleary we were talking about that as well, you know using chicken wire instead. When she does her chicken wire burritos, as we say, there's no Oasis to cover and the mechanics are so light there's not a lot to cover. So it's a really easy way to... Mechanics are hard, and learning how to do proper mechanics will make you, obviously a better designer. You can also use moss and gaelics leaves. If you use moss, make sure that you soak it and get it wet because moss is like a sponge and it'll wick out all the moisture of whatever you put it on. Those are some of the things. Gaelics are a good cheat cause they cover space easily. But yeah, just don't overstuff the greenery. Just try to make sure the container you're using is not so big and out of proportion to what you're designing with that you have to cover it. It's really the way to look it at.

- Yeah, good stuff. Real quick I want to go back to the question about expiration on used things. So, Jasmine says "Does that apply to soaked foams as well?" And I know the answer to that question but if you guys want to answer that, that's cool. Who wants to take it?

- Yeah soaked foam, if you keep your flower foam, most flower shops do this, they have a bucket with soaked foam in it. As long as that foam stays clean and no debris falls in it cause bacteria can grow in that, even though it has bacteria inhibitors in it, bacteria can grow and your Oasis buckets can get dirty, I don't know if some of you may have noticed sometimes there's a slime in them. So make sure that you change and clean that as well. You cannot reuse Oasis that's dried out and resoak it, and you shouldn't be using it anyway cause it's gonna have old flower matter and bacteria in it if you've used it previously. I think that's the question she's asking about. But you don't want to reuse it.

- Very good, alright our next question comes from Jenny, she says "Here are my questions regarding corsages and boutonnieres." Which is good cause May is coming up, and we know there's gonna be a whole lot of boutonniere and corsage making on top of the wedding season, right? So she wants to know, let's do the first question first and then we'll go down it. "What are the best flowers to use for boutonnieres and corsages?"

- Well, the usual suspects, the heartiest ones are gonna be spray roses, roses, orchids, ranunculus, succulents, party flowers that are dense, have a heavy petal count, are usually better. Things like freesia, frelaria, things that are kind of hollow or tube-like tend to not do as well in corsages. They'll last a couple hours. You can always make, if a bride is insistent on say, a freesia boutonniere for her groom you can make a backup boutonniere because a lot of times now they're taking pictures really early. When you do those flowers, almost any flower could be used, it's how you properly store and hydrate them, so make sure they're hydrated to begin with, they can be soaked in water first, they can be sprayed or spritzed with crowning glory, petal proofer, anything that will help them, and then sealing them in a bag, a corsage bag or a box. There's a technique that a lot of the designers use, they layer damp paper towels put that in, seal it in a box. And they'll hold up just fine. I've done that technique as well, it works really great. It's just a matter of how you hydrate them and how well they are. And make sure your bloom is really fresh, don't use anything every that's wilting or questionable or looking like it might be on its way out.

- Great advice. Her next question is "What are the newest techniques, rustic look with twine versus lots of tape and wire and magnets versus pins, to create corsages and boutonnieres?" And everyone that's watching, share with us what you guys are doing, if there's something newer that you're doing or how you design, but Shelley, do you have any thoughts there?

- Yeah, you know it's really interesting corsages have been around for so long, you'd think that the old school wired corsage would finally go out of fashion but it's still popular. That wired corsage is always gonna be a mainstay. There's whole lot of new techniques though, there's all kinds of ways to do them. Again, I'll mention Sue again cause she does some really great wearables, she uses all different kinds of techniques where she'll take a piece of leather, cut the shape out, glue all the flowers onto it. You can make all kinds of pieces this way. You can use the Oasis rustic wire, it's a twisty wire and you can just put things on that you can just take a ribbon and do a single flower. These are more modern concepts, there not so grandma-ish looking. And bracelets, jewelry, you can put flowers on almost anything with cold glue. So, it's really an experimental thing, you can do whatever you want. If you all aren't familiar with Sue, I'd look at passion flower sue on Instagram or Tim McClary, she's got a lot of beautiful techniques that she does as well. So you can let your imagination grow wild with this, you can make them anyway you want to.

- As long as they're sound, you don't want them falling apart on you.

- Exactly, and Sue's amazing at all of this kind of stuff, so definitely check her out. I posted the link in the comments too for you guys. Passion flower Sue. Okay, the next question pertaining to corsages and boutonnieres are "Can you keep it in floral foam and skip the plastic containers?" I've never heard that.

- I'm not exactly sure I understood what they were asking on this, is it, cause a corsage doesn't have a water source cause it's wired or taped or glued onto something. So I don't see how you can put it in floral foam. Now the flowers, if you mean prepping-wise, cutting your heads and sticking them in Oasis, yes you can do that, I've done that before. If I had a large wedding I would prep everything out, stick them all in Oasis but, because I stopped using Oasis as much a few years ago I just let them lay in water, and they're fine because you're gonna shake them out, dry them and then you'll use them. Another question I think we missed was how early can you make them. You can do your corsages two to three days in advance, believe it or not if you use the proper techniques of hydrating, like I talked about, storing them in the plastic or a plastic tub, especially if you're a big event company and you've got many weddings going on, or even just your one event and you're trying to stay ahead of the game, you can safely do all personal flowers two to three days in advance, believe it or not. Experiment, if you don't think you can, or you're worried about that, who's to stop you from just making a corsage on a Monday and storing it and seeing how long it lasts. You should be your own test subject. But they do hold up really well.

- Good, good. And we have some conversation going on about corsages and boutonnieres. Huntress Florals says "Our clients love magnets versus pins, and definitely more modern", so that's great to know. But on the other end of it Penny says "Magnets don't always work for her". So I'm wondering if it's maybe a thicker type of tuxedo.

- Yeah if you make them too heavy, the magnets sometimes don't work. It depends really on the style of corsage and how you do it, but they are pretty good, it just depends on... You can't make a bulky wire corsage, stick a magnet on it and expect it to hold onto someone. So you have to make... It's a different technique, maybe you're gonna have to do the little piece of leather, glue some flowers on it, do the magnet on that, and you'll get a lighter corsage that'll hold up much better. But going back to, also, the longevity, I know a lot of people who have worked in flower shops can attest to this, we've all worked on prom's right? And some kid will always forget their corsage or boutonniere, and it will sit in the cooler for at least a week. And you'll pull that baby out and it's just as beautiful as the day you made it. Just a little note about that.

- Good, and then Penny wants to know "Do you charge more for glued corsages versus wired?" Any thought there?

- That's up to you, I mean it's a labor issue. So if you feel like it takes you more time but you like the effect, then I would see how much time it takes you to make a glued corsage versus a wired. Personally for me, I've always done wired corsages just because I'm old school and that's how I've made them. I've done wired and glued combinations. I really never liked the cold glue cause it got all over my fingers and that drove me nuts, but if you're doing it right, and if you get to a process where you can assembly line-

- Uh-oh, we lost Shelley. Hold on Shelley, I don't know what happened.

- Sorry, I just disappeared for a second. But back to that, it's just a labor issue, and you're the one that has to decide and maybe it's not worth it for you to do them wired, maybe you like glued and vice versa, it's really your decision.

- Exactly, and then Ann says she switched to glue a few years back, it works great and it really saves your hands.

- Especially if you have carpal tunnel. A lot of people can't do wired things and I can attest to this, my arms, my hands start really aching after working on corsages and boutonnieres for a few hours. So gluing is just little piecemeal work and it's very light so that is a good point. Thank you, Ann.

- Yeah good question with lots of comments and we're still going here, one more. RSVP Floral Design says "When you mention putting a piece of paper towel inside the corsage box to help with freshness, do you mean a damp paper towel or dry?"

- Damp, correct, damp. Not soaking wet, just damp. And then, Penny says "We made samples for the fridge, lasted about a week" Just what you said Shelley, too, so.

- There's a lot of fear about the flowers wilting. I always get that question too with wired bouquets, people always ask me how can an entire wired bouquet last, and I'm like, well, think about a corsage. It's the same thing just on a grander scale. That's all we ever did in the 90s was wired cascading bouquets and all that. So they do hold up really well.

- The 90s. Love it. And then one more proponent for glue. Lauren says "Glue has changed my life". I love it, alright good. We're gonna move on but I love all these conversations. Keep it going guys. Our next question's from Katrina, she says "How do you attach floral tape to rounded vases? I can't ever get it to stick. Is there another way to use a clear tape without tape grid?"

- Okay so you should be using the Oasis green tape, the clear tape just does not hold very well. You can use it but make sure your vase is absolutely dry. It cannot be wet at all, have any oil on it. Sometimes I notice when they come packaged form overseas there's this oily film on them, you have to wash and dry your vases to get any film off of it, and make sure your vase is completely dry. On a round vase or even a square cube, or however you're doing it, if you'll put a rim of tape on first instead of trying to stick the grid onto the vase, that'll give you something to adhere to. So, around the vase first with a light layer of tape, and then you don't need like 20 million lines, just enough to support the grid. And then I'd go back around it as well. And that's a really easy technique. If you're worried about that tape showing, you can just take your knife and cut around the little tabs that sort of hang out after you do that. If you're doing your mechanics properly and you're not having to large of container you let your greenery flow over, you will never see the tape. I prefer the green over the clear.

- Yeah we have, at all our workshops we never ever use clear. None of the designers ever ask for it.

- It just doesn't work. It's like shiny Scotch tape. It's designed for clear vases but you really have to make sure your vase is dry, and you do that little circle first but the green always works, and the green is more waterproof, it doesn't pop off either.

- Good stuff. I have another audience question. Maybe we can hear from Dave too, I don't know. Cause you've been quiet here for a little bit Dave. Devin says "Is there is leaf shine that doesn't kill you and everyone around you when you're spraying your greens?" I think when you spray something, what can we do?

- Yeah, unfortunately most of the products we use have some form of chemicals in them. I don't know of a natural one.

- You could make your own with olive oil, water mix. It's basically an oil that's there, but you'd have to make sure you do it light and you have to wipe your leaves down. So, that's the only option you have. There was a brand called Hocon out of Holland that was really good for years. I don't know if they're still around. I liked that brand, but you have to just take them outside dust them down spray them a little bit with a little fine mist of water, wipe them and call it a day.

- Yeah I was just gonna say like if you're using any kind of spray I'd probably just take it outside. Probably a pain in the butt but, I'm really sensitive to smells and some things like that too and my lymph nodes explode when there's things in the air so I would have to go outside and probably wear a mask and all that fun stuff. Me and my nerdy ways. Alright, our next question is from Courtney, and she says "I'm curious on what a few different ways are to make flower walls, with one being easy to repurpose to take to the reception area?"

- There's so many ways to make flower walls, it's dependent on the area you're in, are you building your own structure to do the flower wall? Do you have to install it there? A lot of florists do their own wall, it's a plywood board wall that's on casters or wheels so that's the only way you can move it from one room to the other. All the foam companies make special sheets of Oasis that attach to flower walls, they're thin, they're like big block or rectangle. If you can attach those to the wall, just keep in mind soaked Oasis is extremely heavy. Not, again, my favorite thing to do. What I love is chicken wire, you just tack it all over a plywood wall and you can do Sue's burrito method or you can do any chicken wire. And you can just pop the flowers in. You can also buy grids at the dollar store, the little metal grids. You can use those to put flowers in. The flower just essentially have to hang in it. If you need them to be a water source, you can water too, but most of those heartier flowers like orchids and roses and all those things will hold up fairly well without it. Though you can also do a combination of silk with fresh, so you can make a base that's... I've done this before with clients where we've done the base, the backboard's moss, we've hung silk greenery on it, some silk roses and then filled the whole entire thing in with fresh roses, you cannot tell the difference in an evening wedding reception. Most of the time, silk flowers, you can't even tell they're being used. They're good quality. What else? I think that's good, chicken wire's always our friend when it comes to doing ladder weight insulation pieces, because like I said Oasis is heavy. You have to literally screw that to the wall.

- Yeah we, do you guys remember when we did the whole flower wall contest at all of our branches and everyone, oh my God these things weigh so much and it was quite the process for everyone. A good learning team building activity. All for a good cause though, cause we were raising money, they were like doing a contest to raise money for their charity so it was pretty cool.

- They are heavy though.

- Yeah, very heavy.

- Let's see, I love comments. Lynn says, "Yes on silk up high with fresh added" She does that as well. Oh and back to the question about spraying I can't even find the question. Lori says "Green glo has improved her complexion. That's very cute Lori. Get that one guy that always pops up. And the Penny says green glo too, she votes for gree glo. So maybe try that out. Let me see, what is the next question? I lost my place here. I think it's from Lori. She wants to know "What's the best way to design a beautiful cascade bouquet? Wedding theme romantic, lots of blushes and whites. Spray roses, renunculus, garden roses or peonies, etc."

- So this question I think is two-fold. Are you asking what's the best kinds of flowers for cascade, or are you asking the mechanics of designing a cascade? And when you say cascade, do you mean classic, teardrop waterfall shape? Or a cascading arm bouquet? So there's different ways cascade can be interpreted. There's different ways you can do it, like I was talking about earlier I cut my teeth on completely all wired bouquets and that's doable and still a very beautiful way to design a bouquet cause you have a lot of control on it. You can do it partially hand tied, and then do it partially wired so the top part's hand tied. You can make a wired tail and it can be attached. You can use Holly Chapel's egg that she does inside of a hand-tied bouquet to get a really dramatic sort of taco-shaped cascade. There's many different ways to do it and all flowers can be used for cascades. There's not really anything besides maybe sticky-uppy flowers like ladiolas, or liatris or things that have too hard of a line. Most people don't ask for those things, but you can, however, use ladiola blooms and make a very lovely bloom, if you've ever tried that. If you cut them down through the laterals they're really pretty if you wire those. But they can be made all different kinds of ways. The most current trendy look probably right now is garden and romantic and soft and not too structured. So a classic teardrop is gonna be really tight. You want to do something that's looser, more flowing and hand tied.

- Good stuff. And then this reminds me that one of our first bouquet videos that we did was with Mandy Majeric, and she did a really pretty cascade, like more modern type of bouquet. So I posted the link for that so you guys can check it out. It was back in April of 2012 and it has over 200,000 views.

- Also chicken wire too, don't be afraid to use it in a bouquet either. So if you want to make a hand tied and work a piece of chicken wire down to do your cascade girls, guys, you can mold it and fold it and stick those flowers right in. So, don't be afraid, experiment. I would always say guys, don't wait until the wedding week to try something if you've not done it before. Go and get some old flowers, or some past their prime flowers and play with them and experiment while you're not working on a wedding where you don't have the stress on you and just see what works for you. It's just a great way to educate yourself and learn and be better at your craft. I think a lot of us are so busy all the time, we go from one wedding to the next and we never had time to actually teach ourselves, so make sure you just try with any old flowers you have laying around in the shop. It's always a great way to utilize that product.

- I think it's fun, and also it would take away the stress of the day of like while you're doing the actual design.

- Absolutely.

- We all like to wait til the last minute to learn how to do something for the very first time and it's due, you gotta play around so you're comfortable and it just takes a lot of stress out of your life. Alright, our next question is from Rebecca and she wants to know "Is it possible to have a successful business that doesn't specialize in big events and weddings? Primarily small events, dinner parties, holidays, celebration bouquets, etc.?" She says she's looking to open up a shop and "while I know large event and wedding design is lucrative, I prefer to keep my client base focused on smaller events and personal flowers." "Is that sustainable in a large market?" Apparently she lives in one of the four major U.S. cities.

- Absolutely, absolutely. Actually there's a larger market for smaller weddings than there are for larger weddings, so if that's what you wanna do, completely go for it. There's many, many people who specialize in just doing petite small events and weddings and honestly that's the majority of the client you're gonna get anyway. There's very few people that can get to that large, upper echelon event business and the people that can't afford to do that, they still need flowers and they still need people to do that. I know we talk a lot about having a big event business and how to get there and all that, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with just a good bread and butter. And that's a sustainable business and there's a market for it for sure. So, don't feel pressure to do anything. You're in the driver seat of your business. You decide what works for you, you'll be fine.

- That's awesome, great questions guys. Good stuff, I'm just looking through the comments to see what else is going on. Penny says, going back to the corsages again, talking about gladiolus, or how do you say it?

- Gladiola.

- I said it right? Okay. She said the blooms make fabulous corsages.

- And a lot of people can remember, we used to make what's called the glamilia out of gladiola blooms and so it would be this constructed entirely wired and glued flower that was fabulous and that was a thing once and I don't get a lot of requests for that anymore but it is a thing.

- What is it called?

- Glamilia, so it's a camellia flower made out of gladiola blooms so it's called a glamilia.

- Very cool.

- It's a composite flower like a composite rose, but with gladiolas.

- And if you're curious about composite flowers too, we have a, Mandy Majeric did a video about that too back in 2012, crazy. It's crazy how far we've come. Let's see, I have a question here from Jasmine, she says "I'm running into brittle heads on lilies, especially the buds. Is that typical? They snap off at the slightest touch."

- Well, lilies can break if you breathe on them so, what variety, is it a casablanca or asiatic lilies? Did she say what kind?

- No, she didn't.

- I'd have to know which kind. What do you think Dave? Have you had any issues with that?

- Those varieties are really fragile as far as blooms popping off or the neck cracking. I don't know, I would just try a different variety, some are more pliable.

- Yeah which kind of lily you're talking about, once you get a lily open they're very delicate so make sure you're not crowding them in the vase. Give them space to open up, remember I was talking about flowers that move or sit still? Lilies are a mover, so they'll open up over time and they need that space to open up. Make sure they're not tangled, you're not trying to pull them apart. I had noticed sometimes there's certain asiatics where their buds will drop off, I don't know why that happens, I'll try to find out. But that can be they got too cold maybe, or shipping issue. But I've never seen them just be completely brittle and fall off. I haven't experienced that but it could be the type of lily.

- Yeah Jasmine says it was her asiatic lilies.

- Yeah asiatics I have noticed sometimes if they're either underdeveloped or I don't know why that happens. It's periodically that happens but, they should show, an asiatic should be nice and when you get it should have color on it, not to green. Sometimes if they're coming in too green they might have been cut too soon. Bu they should have a little color in the bud. And then they should open up. Make sure you're not crowding them, make sure you properly process them when you get them, get them out of the sleeve, take the foliage off. I'm always, three-quarter, one-quarter. So, three-quarter's foliage off, one-quarter at the top. And make sure you've got a lot of room around them so that they can open up. And you may have to leave them out of the cooler, cause say you have lilies and you leave them in the cooler too long, they're never gonna open in the cooler. And if you're storing them for a week or two like that in the cooler they may never open. So, if you need them for design work bring them out let them open, get them to the stage you want and then put them back in the cooler.

- Good, I found a couple more questions from the beginning of the show so let me go through those real quick. This one is from John, he says "Great show, where do I find woven cord wire for corsages?" Do you guys know?

- Our local San Diego wholesale supply carries them, Syndicate Sales, I'm sure. Most of the floral supply places, you can probably try to look online as well. I don't know if you know any other sources, Dave. But that's usually where we're finding it.

- Yeah, you're mentioning the same sources we have. Try your local hardgood supplier.

- Yeah, and I know Mayesh carries hardgoods at a few of their locations, but not all of ours. We focus primarily on the fresh flowers.

- Yeah, it's a special one that's made by Oasis and it's a rustic kind of cording that they use to do the corsages.

- Yeah, so you can always check with Oasis too and see who their suppliers are in your area. I'm sure they have a source for that too. Good question John, thank you, thanks for tuning in. I have a question from Penny. She says a question, "When the time comes, I see stock photos being used to advertise. I don't use them, I show actual shop work. How do you feel about using stock photos?" I always have an opinion on that but I don't know if you guys do, I can go last.

- I'm not a fan but I think you should always showcase your work. I think a lot of the time stock photos show a florist that's not real invested in their image or their brand. And a lot of times those are from FTD or Teleflora or some wire service that's given them that or given them a website. Nothing wrong with it if that's the look you do and you're very, bread and butter shop and you like to do classic traditional designs and you just need clean, easy images and it's really just the style of your shop. That's my opinion. I always prefer to see the florist's work, the real work though.

- Yeah I agree, I just think when you're a business there's certain things that you need to invest in and one of them is, just some sort of photography even if it's just one type of shoot or even if you can set it up on your own and it's just very good lighting, there's amazing things that you can do with apps and different things like that nowadays. But just investing in that photography for your business I think it's really really important, especially when you're advertising. If it's in a professional setting, I just think it needs to make sure that it's matching that. So, for example, an ad that we would put in Flutter magazine might look different than the ad that we're gonna do in Florist Review, and Flutter magazine we actually went through and made sure because everything's very curated and everything's very cohesive so we wanted to make sure that it was the luxury, high end look and feel and matched with that. So using a stock photo wasn't going to work to do something like that, typically. So, there is some good stock photography out there, don't get me wrong, I think it's called Creative Market, that has a lot of really cool vendors on there that can do things. So again, if you don't have expertise in stuff like that it might be a good way to get started, but definitely I would invest in something that you can be proud of sand say "this is mine" and it really reflects your business and you can control all of the details in the image that you're using.

- Agreed.

- Good stuff guys.

- Let's see, I think that's it for now. It was a good show though, guys, thank you so much. Dave, Shelley, you have anything that you wanted to share before I let you go?

- Uh, no, just to say that I'm gonna be sad that Dave's not gonna be with us all the time but he'll hopefully do some guest shots.

- I'm gonna do my best to pop in and surprise you guys once in a while, I promise.

- Best wishes and good luck in Seattle, you're gonna be so happy, I know.

- I'm going home, so I feel really good about it.

- And Happy Easter everybody.

- Happy Easter, Shelley and I wore oranges and colors.

- I love that we all coordinated, that was a happy serendipitous thing.

- I know right?

- I got my Mayesh shirt on, my Mayesh shirt.

- Oh thank you. Awesome, yes, Happy Easter. Good luck Dave, and I will see you guys later. Alright guys, that's a wrap on our show. Thank you so much for joining us live, or listening to the replay or listening to the podcast. We really really appreciate your support. I hope that you guys all share this show with your flower friends, if you don't mind. And if you think of any questions, be sure to email them over. You can email them to our marketing@mayesh.com or reply to one of our emails that I've sent you guys or send them through our website. I would really appreciate it. We're gonna gear up for our next show which, as a reminder, is May 21st, so be sure you mark that on our calendar. And with that, that's a wrap guys. Again thank you for joining us, keep on sending in your flower questions, and I hope you have an amazing day. See you soon, bye everyone.

A few more posts you may enjoy:

DOWNLOADS

WATCH VIDEOS

CONNECT

INSTAGRAM