Mornings with Mayesh: February 19

During our February 19th Mornings with Mayesh, Yvonne, Shelley, and Dave answered your flowers questions. They discussed freelancing rates, the best gyp for weddings, Southern Smilax, trends in wedding bouquets, determining event flower counts for wedding arches, spiral bouquets, processing flowers, ordering event flowers, color guides, floral recipes, and cost of flowers. This episode is packed with tons of great information and insight!

Save the date for our next scheduled show, March 19th.



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







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    • Save the date for our next scheduled show,  March 19th.





  • Shelley/Dave - can you guys select a few pretty flowers to show off?
  • New Flower 411 update from Mayesh’s purchasing department:  
  • Favorite question!! Sharron: What is the best type of Gypsophila to order for weddings with strictly that one type of material in their arrangements and bouquets!
    • The hot new variety everyone is loving on is called My White Cosmic. It has larger blooms like Xcellence BUT it is a pure white variety that doesn't seem to tangle as much and last a really long time. There are other varieties available depending on the look you want. Wild pearl is another debut variety that is smaller like million stars but opens with small flat blooms showcasing green centers.
  • Jen & Jesse: Freelance floral design rates/industry standards
    • From Shelley: there are no industry standards and it really depends on your level of expertise. and what a company is willing to pay. New designers just starting out with little to no experience can expect to be paid minimum wage. Once you have a couple of years under your belt you can expect to be in the $15 an hour range. Experienced designers can ask for $25-$30 an hour or a day rate. $200 and up.
  • Courtney, 12/7: I always hear from my reps at Mayesh that they cannot get me southern smilax. What is a good substitute that is available from Mayesh? preferably something in longer pieces and not like Italian ruscus that you'd have to attach it all together to get the same feel. Basically is there anything long and vine like that we can get? What can we get in the winter months till like February?
    • This is great timing! We’ve just acquired some new ways to source this product in a more consistent & cost-effective way! Smilax does tend to gap in production in the late spring & early summer when new growth is too tender to cut. It has very limited availability in the winter months also, but luckily there are many other options to get a similar effect. Ivy strands, nagi are just a few of the great substitutes for this product during the winter months.
    • from Shelley: One of the problems with Southern smilax is that it gets held by our Ag or USDA here in California. Since it is wild foraged and sometimes has bugs or is bug bitten it gets confiscated A LOT and we can no longer absorb the cost of that. As Dave says we do have some new options for us now that we didn’t have last year so continue to check with your sales rep.
    • My favorite to use is camelia. It looks very similar to the way smilax does once it’s installed. You can use chicken wire to make the installation a lot easier so that you are not having to use foam cages.





  • @themrsbaciu: What's the trend right now in wedding bouquets? Color/seasonal flowers
    • We are still seeing tones of nudes, blush, mustard, cream and golds with lots of drieds for texture. The heavy greenery look is starting to be replaced with either no greens at all or interesting drieds or preserved. We should start to see less large garden-y style arrangements and more classic cleaner looks as more brides look to the Royal Wedding as inspiration.
  • Jasmine: How do you determine the amount of foliage and flowers to order for a wedding arch? Typical budget barring expensive seasonal flowers?
    • This is something that you learn to start judging over time but it’s all very mathematical. Depending on the design,a very simple way is to figure this out is to measure a portion of the arch and create a mock-up of that area and measure and record the amount of product used. Then simply multiply that by the remaining area to cover.
  • Maggie, 12/6: How do you arrange your stems to have that perfect side by side spiral look in a clear vase?
    • This is a technique that I teach and it might be difficult to explain fully here. Basically, the stems all lay on the same plane. They have then continued along that same path into a spiral. No stems criss-cross. Again this is a technique I would have to demonstrate. A good way to practice this is with all cleaned roses or even wooden kitchen utensils so you could see what your “flowers” are doing.  





  • Jeanette: I hear contradictory remarks about processing flowers.  I was told to get your lilies, carnations open faster placing them in warm water and solution when processing would help them open.  Now we are being told by Oasis Company that we don't need to place in warm water, cold water is just fine and there really isn't any difference in making them open faster.  Your thoughts?
    • The latest testing shows that hydrating solution travels best through the vascular system of cut flowers when it’s roughly at the same temperature as the flowers. We recently created a comprehensive cut flower care guide and included some tricks of the trade for those fussy high-end flowers. I personally think the cold on cold method causes the least stress on the longevity of the flower and keeps the cold chain consistent which ultimately makes for a longer lasting product. The act of forcing hot water into a flower can cause air bubbles to enter the stem and block uptake. There are floral products designed to maximize solution uptake such as Floralife’s quick dip. After hydrating correctly for 24 hours, try brining the buckets out of your cooler during the day to warm up slowly; then place them back in the cooler at night. This alternating temperature method stresses flowers like lilies and gladiolus just enough to get them opening faster.
    • This is really where your experience and experimenting with different methods come in to play. I have used warm water with success many times but really it’s about getting your product opening days in advance. In other words, the trick is timing. Carns, lilies, and roses take a full week to open. So super tight lilies even if you put them in warm water are not going to blow open no matter how much you pray to the flower gods. plan ahead and get your product in early so it can open over a few days and then store in the cooler. In an emergency situation, the only thing you can do with these flowers is very warm water and a brightly lit warm room 24 hrs...not direct sunlight.
  • Courtney, 12/6: My question is- how early should I order flowers for an event or wedding? Do roses need time to open up before using them?
    • If you have a floral cooler you should be bringing the flowers in at least 4 or 5 days before you start to design with them. When planning roses it will depend on how open you want them for your finished look. Some people like them all the way open to give a more garden look & this can take up to 4 or 5 days if you are planning on keeping them more in a tighter state them less time is needed. If you don’t have a floral cooler, you may want to err on a later delivery date as you will not be able to slow the opening process by refrigerating them.
    • From Shelley: Agreed. Roses need a full week and you want them prime for your event. Handled well they will last 2 weeks so don’t be afraid to get them opening up. All flowers are different and need different care and staging. Anything that opens up (see above question) like lilies, roses, carns, glads, peonies etc..need time. Delicate things like dutch hydrangeas, astilbe, stock, sweet peas, for example, don’t. Is it a mover or a sitter? A mover continues to bloom open and do things, it dances in slow motion : ) and it’s usually a heartier flower. A sitter just sits there and looks’s usually a more delicate flower. So stage your deliveries and pick-up’s accordingly  Movers early in the week and sitters later in the week.




  • Pam: As a new home-based floral designer, where do I find guides for color choices and by season?  Is there a flower “bible” or website I can use for designs? My wholesaler has a small catalog on their website but I see designers using all kinds of fun foliage and textures that I didn’t even know existed.
    • We have a flower library and are currently working on updated rose and flower guides. Sierra Flower Finder is a great website that I refer to most of my clients as well. Also, It is really important to develop a great relationship with your salesperson. We are essentially the eyes and ears of your branch. If you let us know your preferences we can do pulls for you of unique items. And remember we ship too!
    • I have a very special project that I am working on right now that will be better than season. We are in the process of updating our website and with that launch will come some fantastic tools to help make your lives easier. I cannot talk about the details and I do not have a solid launch date, but you guys will be some of the first to know when we are ready to go live!
    • Links:
  • April: Do you have specific flower formulas or "recipes" for arrangements and bouquets? I'm trying to price these items for sale but each time I create a design it's totally different in the number of stems and flower varieties. How can I streamline this process?
    • This comes with time but creating your own template for designs is usually the best method to keep your costs under control and the just vary the color palette with seasonally available flowers. Sp create a basic recipe for 2-3 designs to start off with. This will not change much until you have mastered them. Sites like Curate offer floral design programs that you can save your templates and data to.
    • Link:


  • Tiffany: Can you make or do you have a list of average costs for the most available flowers in each season? Thank you so much! I just received my very first order through Mayesh yesterday and am extremely pleased. Shana is my rep and she was so helpful and gracious walking me through the process.
    • Best advice is to have Shana price quote your purchase orders as you place them, this way you can make any necessary adjustments to your order before it actually gets shipped. Not only will it help you stay on budget for your events but also get a feel for the flowers that do & don’t fluctuate much in price over the year.  I have clients who request price quotes for event orders all the time. Doing this also helps our locations buyers effectively manage our inventory by cutting losses due to canceled inventory. *Disclaimer, pre quoting is not an exact science! Manhigh-endnd flowers are sold on auction in other countries where prices can fluctuate depending on availability. Supply and demand dictate auction pricing. Always try to build in some wiggle room for your flower budget.


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