Friday, April 11, 2008

Flower Design Tools 101: Our Favorite Shears

So...what is the best tool to cut flower stems when you are flower arranging? Most professional florists use floral knives. Knives are easy to keep sharp which will bring you the best results when you are trimming stems for floral arrangements. It is key to make sure that the cuts you make to a floral stem are clean. When we teach our flower design classes; however, we use the floral shears pictured above. This is because when students are just learning the new skill of flower arranging, we feel it's a bit safer to go with an easy to grip floral shear. We've tried a lot of cutters over the years and these 7.5" Bunch Cutters by Clauss are the BEST we've found (picture above). If you are beginner and you want a good pair of shears, these are the ones. If you are more experienced and would like a good floral knife, we recommend a folding one like this one from Clauss 6.5" Titanium Bonded Folding Straight Knife (Please note: If you purchase the cutters from these Amazon.com links, we will receive a small percent of the sale.) Remember that whatever tool you use, the blade or blades should be sharp. The cleaner the cut on the stem, the longer it will last in the vase!

California Poppy bloom peaking now!

The official California State Flower is the Golden Poppy. Distinguished by its four brilliant orange, satiny petals and gray-green leaves, it can be found blooming from March through May on hillsides and valleys across California. In SoCal, we had a great winter of rain in 2005 so my mom, sister and I trekked up to Lancaster to show my nephew the beautiful wild poppies in bloom. This is another great year of blooms and right now they are peaking. Visit the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve Web site to see current bloom photos. And check out the California Poppy Festival in the Antelope Valley next weekend on April 19 & 20 – Celebrate spring at the festival and enjoy fun family events, great food, a flower & farmers’ market, art fair and even a circus! Learn more at the Poppy Festival Web site. Grown your own field of poppies the easy way by using a "carpet" of seeds. Get Orange Poppy Seeds In A Blanket and watch those poppies grow!

Washington D.C. National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and Celebration

We Flower Duet sisters grew up just outside of Washington, D.C. and each year looked forward to the blooming Cherry Blossom trees around the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial. The blooms may be fading and turning into lush green leaves on the cherry trees by now, but there are still celebrations this weekend you can attend if you are close to our nation's capital. On Saturday, April 12th, there is a parade with celebrities and the largest Japanese festival outside of Japan. Learn more at the National Cherry Blossom Festival website. Visit the National Park website for more information on where to view the trees.