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Seven top floral designers from around the United States with a connection to mass-market floral took the Happy Hour Center Stage at the International Floriculture Expo in New Orleans to compete for the title of Iron Designer. The contestants were given a limited amount of time and a mystery package of products, along with set instructions and a theme of “New Classic” to create their romantic-gothic-baroque floral design interpretation. A team of judges from the... Read more
The 2014 convention of the Society of American Florists Aug. 13-16 at the Marriott Marco Island Resort in Marco Island, FL, will offer more than 25 interactive programs designed to “train brains,” a 1970s-style showcase for premier products, a Sylvia Cup floral design competition, 30 distinguished speakers, awards for industry leaders and outstanding new varieties of flowers, and a golf tournament, according to a press release. The keynote speaker at the breakfast... Read more
The Michigan Floral Foundation honored G. Keith Crittenden with induction into its Hall of Fame at an awards dinner May 29 in Grand Rapids, MI, according to an association news release. Crittenden was born in 1934 in Kalamazoo, MI, and graduated from Michigan State in 1956 with a degree in floriculture. His 40-year career included working as a designer, a wholesaler, an independent sales representative and owning his own floral company. He served as regional... Read more
The American Institute of Floral Designers will meet in Chicago July 3-7 for its annual national symposium, Transition Transformation. “We expect a little under 1,000 attendees,” Tom Shaner, executive director of AIFD in Baltimore, told The Produce News. “Attendance is down from last year. We feel the economic situation in the last few years is holding some people back. This year we’re trying to keep the cost of the show down to make it more affordable,” Shaner... Read more
Members of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers have chosen three varieties for Cut Flowers of the Year. The evaluation is based on the cultivars’ performance in the ASCFG National Cut Flower Trials, and recommendations from cut flower growers across the country, according to an association news release. The 2014 winners are the Snapdragon Chantilly Series in the fresh division; the Anemone Galilee Blue in the bulb division; and the Hydrangea Everlasting... Read more
“Navigating the Future” will be the theme of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council’s Southern California Expo July 15 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA. Over 1,500 floral and produce professionals are expected to attend and a capacity crowd of 225 exhibiting companies have reserved 194 booths on the show floor, Carissa Mace, president of the FPFC, told The Produce News. The keynote speaker will be Capt. Richard Phillips whose ship, the Maersk Alabama, was... Read more
Who is thinking about Christmas in July? The more than 700 active member farms of the National Christmas Tree Association, 29 state and regional associations, and more than 4,000 affiliated businesses that grow and sell Christmas trees or provide related supplies and services. The NCTA will hold the annual National Tree Contest in conjunction with the Michigan and Mid-America Christmas Tree Summer Meeting July 25-26 at Peterson’s Riverview Nursery in Allegan, MI.... Read more
Three major flower-growing areas in California will host Town Hall Member Meetings next month by CalFlowers, the California Association of Flower Growers & Shippers (formerly NORCAL). Each of these regional meetings will focus on topics that affect those areas specifically, with additional emphasis placed on issues that concern the California floral industry as a whole, according to an association news release. The regional member meetings represent CalFlowers’... Read more
The Mayo Clinic celebrates its 150th anniversary this year and to express the spirit of hope and healing through the beauty of nature, it is featuring the Mayo Clinic Flower of Hope at its locations, a bright yellow hybrid Coreopsis “Electric Avenue” by ItSaul Plants in Alpharetta, GA, according to a news release. “To recognize the Mayo Clinic Sesquicentennial in 2014, we looked for a flower that would grow at each Mayo site — Minnesota, Arizona and Florida,... Read more
Cultivate ’14, AmericanHort’s convention and trade show, is slated for July 12-15 in Columbus, OH, and includes educational programs, design contests, tours, exhibitors, workshops, and networking events for horticulture and floral professionals. The Plantscape Institute of America will also hold its Plantscape Industry Expo in conjunction with Cultivate ‘14. The event will be known as PIA@Cultivate ‘14 by AmericanHort, according to an association news release. More... Read more
Memorial Day Flowers honor fallen heroes and their families
The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation was created in 2011 with the distribution of 10,000 roses at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day to honor those who willingly put their lives on the line for us. Most of us have family members who have served in the United States Armed Forces. It just seemed logical that we in the flower industry would use our resources to show respect for not only those who have served, but also to recognize the sacrifices made by their... Read more
NEW ORLEANS — Supermarket floral industry professionals gathered, here, for the 2014 International Floriculture Expo June 10-13. Over 170 exhibitors, 210 buyers and a total of over 1,350 visitors filled the 68,000 square feet of the Morial Convention Center to participate in educational seminars, see new products, learn about the state of the industry and conduct business. Buyers from 113 high-volume, mass-market retail chains and distribution channels attended... Read more
With the acquisition of houseplant producer Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses in Apopka, FL, Costa Farms grew to 9,507,300 square feet of greenhouses and rose to No. 3 on Greenhouse Growers Top 100 Growers in 2014 (up from fifth place in 2013), ranked by total square footage of environmentally controlled greenhouse space. “We have a wide range of products and when it came to competing on the small foliage, Hermann Engelmann did a really good job,” Jose Smith, chief... Read more
I have just returned from New Orleans after attending the 2014 International Floriculture Expo and my head is still spinning. It was a very impressive, well-organized and energetic trade show and many great industry connections were made. In this edition we tell you about some of what took place when floral buyers and suppliers came together to do business, learn, network and celebrate. One survey taken of trade show attendees has indicated that about two-thirds... Read more
American Orchid Society show draws  2,000 visitors to Minnesota venue
BLOOMINGTON, MN — The Orchid Society of Minnesota hosted the Spring 2014 American Orchid Society Members Meeting & Show April 30-May 4, here, in conjunction with meetings of the Mid-America Orchid Congress, the Slipper Orchid Alliance, International Phalaenopsis Alliance, Pleurothallid Alliance and the Angraecoid Alliance. The event moves around the country and the last time it was hosted here was 2005. Under the slogan, “Orchids: A Growing Obsession,” the... Read more
Peonies: From tiny buds to sweet-smelling, magnificent blooms
“The fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers, a rare fusion of fluff and majesty, the peony is now coming into bloom,” wrote Henry Mitchell (1923-93), columnist for the Washington Post. Production of the spring floral showstopper is in full swing — emerging slowly from small, tight, hard buds come layer upon layer of frilly petals that develop into large, lush blossoms of fragrant beauty. Swollen to their fullest, these peonies make an elegant bouquet for... Read more
Cultivate ‘14 florist-only program focuses on business management  and innovative design techniques
AmericanHort’s convention and trade show, Cultivate ‘14 (formerly OFA Short Course), will offer a florist-only program at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH, July 12-15, designed to “strengthen your floral business,” according to an association news release. This year’s show theme, “Here Comes the Bride,” offers stage shows, hands-on workshops, florist expo vendors, and opportunities to network with designers and discover ways to increase floral... Read more
James F. Gaunt dies at age 86
James F. Gaunt, a floral industry leader and former owner of Southview Inc. Wholesale Florist (now Mayesh) in Romulus, MI, died April 26 at age 86. James F. GauntMr. Gaunt worked with his father in the family floral business (Southview) as a young boy, then after graduating from high school, serving in the Navy, and earning a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan, he partnered in the floral business until it became his in 1960 when his... Read more
Building customer relationships vital for evolving your business
Being in a fast-paced business, mass-market floral doesn’t easily lend itself to over-the-top customer service. Just having the fresh items we offer in stock is, in itself, a great service. But time restraints, store labor and departmental hours can hinder our relationships with customers buying fresh flowers. Having intentional customer contact is the first step to building those one-on-one relationships. Intentionally building customer relationships is vital... Read more
Floral industry retailers, wholesalers and growers will learn how to “get more profit from their prices and sell with style” during SAF Marco Island 2014, the Society of American Florist’s 130th Annual Convention, Aug. 13-16 in Marco Island, FL, according to an association news release. More than 25 interactive programs designed to “train brains and stimulate creativity” through live demos, hands-on practice and audience participation will be presented. Topics... Read more