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The inside look...
Did you hear the new Pantone color for 2019 is Living Coral? (Just kidding!) I think the Pantone color announcement is the only news that travels faster than light… with the exception of, maybe, a royal pregnancy. But don’t worry, we have you covered there... the Pantone color that is, NOT the pregnancy! Our friend, Robert DeBellis, from World Class Flowers, calls Living Coral a happy color, and likens the optimal color combinations with those found in Australia’s... Read more
Guarantee your rose quality for Valentine’s Day
Ten years ago, we wrote an article titled ‘The Roses are Screaming, Is Anyone Listening?” The American Floral Endowment funded research at the University of Florida to demonstrate that rose vase life of 8–10-plus days was possible, even on Valentine’s Day. We discovered how easy and simple it is to guarantee vase life, and how quickly one failed step will steal days of flower life.   Ethylene reduces opening of ‘Movie Star’ Rose. Flowers on the right... Read more
A life’s work that lives on... Legendary rose breeder David C. H. Austin dies at 92
David C.H. Austin, founder and hybridizer emeritus of David Austin Roses Ltd. in Albrighton, England, died Dec. 18, 2018 at his Shropshire home. He was 92. His death was announced by his son, David J.C. Austin, managing director of the company since 1993. A Distinguished Career in Roses In 2007, Mr. Austin was appointed Officer of the Order of British Empire in the Queen’s birthday honors list for services to horticulture. On receiving the award, he said, “Every... Read more
The Floral industry mournes the loss of  a great ambassador and WWII patriot
Mel Schwanke AAF, Past President of the Society of American Florists, and Recipient of the SAF Floriculture Hall of Fame Honor passed away at his home in Fremont, Nebraska on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018 at the age of 92. Mel SchwankeMel and his surviving wife of 70 years, Joey, are known throughout the Flower industry for their passion and dedication — and also as the Famous Matching Couple, having dressed in coordinating outfits at industry events and every day in Joey’s... Read more
2019 National Floriculture Forum meets in Chicago
From Feb. 16-17 the National Floriculture Forum will meet in Chicago. Dating back to the early 1990s, the NFF hosts an educational meeting for industry leaders, university faculty, graduate students and government scientists from academic institutions, governmental agencies and the greenhouse industry.   These diverse floricultural communities come together with the objectives of 1) addressing issues of importance to the floriculture industry, 2) forming... Read more
IPM Essen 2019 hosts 17 countries from around the globe
Seventeen countries will again elevate the global significance of IPM ESSEN as the leading trade show in the international plant sector. Visitors appreciate this format because they can obtain information about country-specific products from several companies in a quick and efficient way. Belgium (Hall 2, Hall 6, Hall 8) The partner country of IPM ESSEN 2019 will be represented with no fewer than three joint booths. In the joint booth in Hall 2, 22 Belgian... Read more
Living in color with living coral: Pantone’s color of the Year 2019
Lively and lovely best describes Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019: Living Coral. This happy hue comes at a time when it is needed most. With the country in deep divide and problems brewing all over the world, Living Coral provides a spirited respite from our troubles. This color has been slowly making its appearance over the last year in many aspects of our lives. Fashion has been a huge influencer of this color, recently appearing on many worldwide runways... Read more
Valentine’s Day is coming — don’t be a furniture salesperson!
The fall and winter holidays are behind us, and you get about a minute to take a breather before Valentine’s Week and the spring holidays come roaring in. While exhausting, it is exciting to have so many opportunities to sell more flowers! Opportunities are vitally important, but so is the selling part. I was shopping at a furniture store recently. Absolutely nothing was inspiring me, but I really wanted to buy some furniture, so I sought out a “salesperson” (you’ll... Read more
Tips for temps!
You may be putting the finishing touches on your New Year’s resolutions… Upload Valentine’s Day arrangement pictures on the website — check! Update the POS system with new skew’s — check! Prepare schedules for Valentine’s Day — check! Hire Temp help for Valentine’s Day — OOPS!   What used to be rare has now become standard; 100,000 workers have just given their last “HO-HO-HO’ in retail, delivery, and fulfillment jobs across the country. Now is it... Read more
Super Bowl spending and the power of the flower
I know what you’re thinking... football... flowers...HUH? But hear me out. The customer-count pie isn’t getting any bigger, and there’s research-upon-research to back that up. Conversely, the retail players in the gifting field are increasing tenfold right before our eyes, adding quicker ordering, faster delivery and an ever-growing list of gift options. The math is simple, if not frightening.   Consider this. Maybe 2019 should be the year of super-secondary... Read more
Ombre Orbz Wand
Setting the stage this Valentine’s Day with on-trend balloons is easier than ever with dazzling air-filled designs! All eyes have been on the brand-new Ombre Orbz. Combine this trendy new balloon with playful patterns for the perfect grab-and-go gift. This design is an air solution that also repurposes abundant supplies into revenue-producing sales. Materials: • Ombre Orbz™ Balloon (Product #49508-18) • Cello Sheets-White Dots (Product #280225) • MaxiCup™... Read more
Floral industry heads to Capitol Hill in March to build on 2018 legislative victories
Scoring $1 million in new funding for the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative, reinstating the Floriculture Crops 2018 Summary Report, and protecting floriculture innovators through the Farm Bill rank as the floral industry’s top legislative victories in 2018. Those wins fuel momentum for retailers, wholesalers, importers, suppliers and growers who will educate the 116th Congress about floriculture priorities during Congressional Action Days, March 11-12. Here... Read more
Tips & Tricks: Blueprints for Valentine’s Day 2019
Tips: Advice, information, suggestions. Tricks: This is sometimes thought to be the easy way to do something; hocus-pocus, sleight of hand, gimmick — a trick. In Floral design, tricks are techniques, abilities; your expertise and know-how. Once you learn these ‘tricks’ they can often seem like magic. This month’s tips and tricks are focused on four design styles that can be created for Valentine’s Day 2019.   Before we start: remember to always adjust... Read more
365 Blank pages ahead of us — welcome to 2019!
Good news! We made it through another busy holiday season. WHEW! So now that 2018’s behind us, let’s grab a quick cup of coffee and pore over the FIVE biggest retail disruptions that’ll set the stage for BIG wins in 2019: 1. Grind-Be-Gone The “grind” of shopping has been diminished, with customers being able to simply pre-program direct home delivery of routine products such a pantry staples, pet supplies and toiletries. One-tap purchases, auto-fills and same-day... Read more
The inside look...
It’s amazing how fast the year flies by! And as 2019 gets ready to sound its trumpet, I’m honored to be able to share with you another news and educational forum that will unveil the brilliant effervescence that makes our industry a great one. In addition to my website and newsletter,, I hope you’ll also enjoy reading my latest forum: The Floral Pulse, powered by The Produce News. As many of you already know, The Produce News is the... Read more
Holiday snapshot: Christmas and Hanukkah
Christmas In 1870, Christmas was declared a U.S. federal holiday joining over thirteen other secular holidays celebrated in December. For two millennia, Christmas had been celebrated worldwide around the sacred event of Christ’s birth and the commercialization of gift exchanges and holiday parties.   It wasn’t until the 19th century that most Americans began celebrating Christmas. • In the middle ages, Christmas celebrations were boisterous and rambunctious,... Read more
Experts project a sales increase for the 2018 holiday season
Across the board, financial analysts are projecting a sales increase between 4-5 percent for the holiday shopping season. This is on top of a 5.3 percent revenue increase last year (2016-17), which will raise total 2018 holiday spending to $721 billion. The forces driving these increases are reported to be tax incentives, low unemployment, low inflation and higher wages. On the reverse side, import tariffs could cause a slowdown in some commodities and the controversial... Read more
The ultimate guide to promoting the holidays on Pinterest
(First posted on The leaves are beginning to change, and you know what that means? It’s time to prepare your Pinterest boards for holiday selling!  Say what?  Yes!  You’ll be glad you started early and are prepared to use the latest in social media to market your business. Pin as a business If you haven’t already, you’ll want to convert your boards to a business account.  This will provide needed tools such as Business Analytics... Read more
Be still my heart... Peyton Manning wants flowers
Go figure. I prepared the night before, learning all the football terms that I thought would be the focal point of Peyton Manning’s keynote at PMA’s Fresh Summit 2018. I researched the term, “blitz.” I learned about “audibles.” I even discovered the term, “hail mary,” and realized I’ve done a few of those in my career! The day had come. The packed audience was nervous with anticipation as they waited for the two-time Super Bowl champion and five-time NFL MVP to... Read more