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Sally Ferguson Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center 30 Midwood Street, Brooklyn, NY 11225 (718) 693-5400 Fax (718) 693-7780 e-mail: press@bulb.com


Copy can be downloaded from www.bulb.com Go to Journalists Only. User name = press Password = bulbdirect Packet Name: Seasonal Cut Flowers 2003

Best use: July - September CASUAL BOUQUETS INJECT COOL COLOR INTO SUMMER’S SIZZLE Among the most delicious gifts of summer is the spectacular array of flowers the season brings us. Whether from our gardens, the corner market, a roadside stand or our favorite florist, the flowers of summer are not only plentiful in season, but are also at their best prices of the year. It‟s a time to grace our homes with flowers, fabulous flowers, everywhere. There are flowers for every vase and space. Try a jug of jolly red, blue and pink anemones on the dining table; a vase of bright orange lilies on the sideboard; even a posy of roses in the bathroom. With so many choices available now, lilies, glads, roses, zinnias, anemones, callas, iris or dahlias may be just what the doctor ordered to inject some cool color into summer‟s sizzle. Americans “Do Flowers” Casually Holland is a country that‟s synonymous with flowers. The folks at the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center (NFBIC) in New York City are keen observers of America‟s floral design trends. Here are a few summer flower trends noted by NFBIC director Sally Ferguson.


CASUAL BOUQUETS, page 2 “More and more of the people we‟re talking to are taking advantage of summer‟s over-flowing flower stands to treat themselves to fresh cut flowers each week, European-style,” said Ferguson. “For events and big parties, most Americans go to their favorite florist for special designs. But for day-to-day bouquets, especially in summertime, you‟ll find more people here picking up bunches at the supermarket or flower stand and trying their own hand at floral design.” When Americans “do flowers” the preferred look is definitely quick and casual, according to Ferguson. “The most popular flowers are whatever looks most appealing,” she said, “Color is often the motivating factor.” In summer, this usually translates to upbeat colors “with oomph,” she noted, with emphasis on rich pastels or vivid shades of oranges, reds, pinks, and yellows, plus cooldown shades of blues, purples and white. Mixed color combinations and monochromatic arrangements are equally popular now, she said. And Americans are choosing to style their flowers in both the newer natural “loose and airy look” that‟s the coming trend in Europe these days, and in the more tightly-packed, often low-slung, floral design approach that‟s very popular in the U.S. “When it comes to playing with summer flowers, truly anything goes – as long as you‟re having fun,” said Ferguson. “Just don‟t think „quick & casual‟ has to mean boring – put a little life in it, add your own twist of creativity.” Quick, Creative Floral Arranging Here are a few floral design ideas the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center suggests to get creative juices flowing.


CASUAL BOUQUETS, page 3 Stylish Party Fare – With a wave of your wizard‟s wand (or a bit of effort with a big spoon), a watermelon becomes a fabulous vase! Carve out the center, scooping the pink away. (Tips: A zig-zag cut works best and helps support the flowers. Be careful not to pierce the outer shell. Save the fruit for a fruit salad.) Rinse the shell and fill with water. For a light and airy natural look, use several bunches of bright Asiatic lilies mixed with stems of red or orange montbretia (Crocosmia) or other feathery greens. Try this with any summer flowers that capture that “slightly airborne” look. Just Peeking Out – Here‟s a twist on the traditional “1/3- 2/3 Rule” of classic floral design in which an arrangement is comprised of 1/3 vase and 2/3 flowers. In this newer design vision, the flowers are massed low, right at the lip of the vase, just peeking out. This look works best with a clear vase, where the stems and leaves are visible as part of the design. (Keep water at a level where the stem bases remain submerged but no leaves stand in the water.) Try this with Asiatic lilies. For a different look – especially suited to medium-sized flowers such as anemones – an even lower variation on this theme finds the flowers more loosely assembled totally inside a clear vase, with nothing peeking out the top. Sassy Summer Colors – Take a bright solid-colored jug or crock, add a jumble of razzamatazz blooms in equally bright colors. Add water. That‟s it – a terrific look that‟s “that easy!” Try this with anemones, lilies, Gerber daisies, zinnias, snapdragons or sunflowers. A Low Bowl – For dinner parties in particular, low bowls of flowers make most sense. You want to see your dinner partners! Use an attractive low bowl as your vase. In its center, anchor a rounded mound of chicken wire or water-soaked oasis and lace the


CASUAL BOUQUETS, page 4 stems of summer flowers through it to create a dense, all-around mass of floral color. Try a mix of red, yellow and orange callas, lilies and proteas or a single-color mass of vivid pink or apricot-colored dahlias. Check that the stems are getting sufficient water for longest vase life. Multiples of One – Sometimes less is more. But in flowers, it‟s more fun to do “less” in multiples. Here‟s how: take two identical vases and put a single identical stem of flowers in each. This works best with rather “architectural” flowers like Oriental lilies, which have a very defined but spectacular shape. Arrange the vases in a row. Two would be great. Three to five would be awesome. For added stage presence, wrap each vase in identical textured cloth or paper. Summer is clearly a great time to enjoy fresh-cut flowers. They‟re at peak availability and best prices from July through September. Go ahead, treat yourself to a bunch or two, for no other reason than it happens to be “today” – all day long!


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