Cindy Magan Announced as Floral Designer for Field to Vase Dinner in Sacramento

‘Fresh Romantic’ Style Will Grace Tablescapes

Cindy Magan of Hillside Blooms Floristry will be the featured floral designer at the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner on the lawn of California’s state Capitol in Sacramento on June 12.

Photos courtesy of Cindy Magan.  Photos courtesy of Cindy Magan.

Magan, a California native, says she can’t wait to create tablescapes and other installations from the dozens of flower varieties grown up and down the state of California. She’ll be familiar with the blooms, having grown up in Fallbrook, California, where proteas are grown, and being a frequent visitor to San Diego and Half Moon Bay, home to many flower farms.

 

“I feel connected to these places and I can’t wait to play with the amazing flowers from throughout California,” Magan says. “I’m honored and I’m going to throw my entire heart into the designs.”

 

Dinner guests will appreciate Magan’s on-trend aesthetic, something she calls “fresh romantic,” that features a garden style paired with a special accents to keep the designs current. Think novelty accent flowers, surprise fillers and lots of texture.

 

 

“Flowers are an artistic medium for me; I love playing with textures and getting creative with flowers and greens,” Magan adds.

Guests at this dinner are in for a treat as they dine on in the shade of the Capitol building at tables adorned with Magan’s lush romantic garden look.

Seats are going fast for this unique location!

 

Wondering What a Field to Vase Dinner is Like?

These Photos Capture the Magic!

If you’ve always wanted to attend an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner but haven’t yet, or if you’re a past guest who’d like to relive the magical experience, check out these incredible photos from the first stop on this year’s dinner tour!

Guests were awed by the rainbow of colors surrounding this beautifully designed table and the Pacific Ocean within view.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Mike A. Mellano of Mellano and Company, was the host for the evening and led guests on a farm tour sharing both the history and the science behind farming at The Flower Fields. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Smithers Oasis and FloraLife sponsored the boutonniere bar where guests had a fun opportunity to make their own.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Wine and hors d’oeuvres were enjoyed before the dinner began.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Our inaugural 2019 dinner was held last week in Carlsbad, California, at The Flower Fields and was hosted by Mellano & Company. Guests dined in fields of ranunculus at tables bursting with homegrown flowers, thanks to floral designer René van Rems, who added an extra splash with fresh flower chandeliers overhead!

Featured designer, René van Rems, created these amazing floral chandeliers that graced the ceiling of the table.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Take a look that the photos. Then take a deep breath and imagine yourself at one of these dinners!

Every guest went home with an armful of flowers and swag!  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

We’ve got five more stops on this year’s tour and seats are going fast!

 

René van Rems Is Featured Designer at First Dinner Tour Stop

Extend Your Experience With Design Workshop!

With just over a month to go until our inaugural dinner on the 2019 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, we’re thrilled to announce that renowned floral designer, educator and author René van Rems will be the featured floral designer at our first stop at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California, on April 18.

Floral designer René van Rems created a stunning tablescape and mesmerizing floral design installations at our Fallbrook Dinner in 2018.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

Van Rems is an acclaimed ambassador to the floral industry and a friend to Certified American Grown, having been the featured designer last year at our sold-out dinner at Resendiz Brothers Protea Brothers in Fallbrook, California.

His designs, featuring assorted protea, were nothing short of amazing!

Van Rems brought brilliant life and color to every detail of the Fallbrook Field to Vase Dinner.  He made sure that even this old farm cart was decorated with flowers from the farm.

A leading speaker, educator and floral design demonstrator, van Rems has led workshops and design shows in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He’s also frequently featured at art museum events, including “Art Alive” in San Diego.

 

 

Beyond special events, van Rems regularly holds workshops at his state-of-the-art training center in Carlsbad, California. His two-, three- and five-day programs cover floral trends, advanced floral design techniques and business basics.

And he’s recognized for bringing a European influence to American floral designs. His breathtaking arrangements have been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Sunset Magazine and on HGTV.

 

 

 

Van Rems will lead a hands-on floral design workshop April 17 and 18 at The Flower Fields. The workshop is open to dinner guests and the public, but just 25 seats are available!  This hands-on one-and-a-half day workshop will cover designing with ranunculus and other Certified American Grown botanicals and cut foliage.

Learn about tabletop vignettes, large display-style arrangements, floral chandeliers and more!

Register at paypal.me/renevanrems. Only 25 seats are available!

With superstars like René van Rems designing for the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, tickets to all dinners are going quickly!

Save your seat at a future dinner today!

 

 

Certified American Grown Flowers Star at FTD World Cup 2019

Bart Hassam of Australia Named Champion!

The FTD World Cup 2019, considered the Olympics of floral design, was held last weekend in Philadelphia, marking the first time the competition has been held in the U.S. since 1985. But perhaps even more exciting than its return to the U.S. is the fact that global participants in the competition created some of their designs with over 14,000 Certified American Grown Flowers and Greens donated by American flower farmers!

Certified American Grown was a proud sponsor (as displayed on the big screen) of this year’s FTD World Cup competition in Philadelphia.

For the first time ever, domestically grown flowers starred on the biggest stage in the floral industry during a surprise challenge held on Saturday, March 2. The surprise package of flowers was the only origin-based design package offered during the competition.

The 2019 FTD World Cup was held in conjunction with the Philadelphia Flower Show and included massive floral displays and floral demonstrations.

The FTD World Cup included designers from 23 different countries who won their national competitions to gain entry into the contest. During the main competition last Friday and Saturday, the designers completed four tasks starting with three designs of their own creation (a table for two, a hand tied bouquet, an architecture-inspired piece) and ending with an on-the-fly design – the Certified American Grown Flowers and Greens task. From there, 10 semifinalists moved on to tackle a semifinal challenge Sunday morning.

The 2019 FTD World Cup Champion, Australia’s Bart Hassam, puts the finishing touches on his arrangement, which took first place. ( Photo by Jonathan Wilson for WHYY)

On Sunday evening, five finalists competed in one last surprise task and Bart Hassam of Australia was named the champion, earning a prize worth about $17,000.

Certified American Flowers and Greens were sent to Philadelphia from flower and greens farms from across the country to be featured as one of the surprise packages that all 23 designers were given to work with for the final stage of the first round.

A huge thank you goes out to the farms who sent their Certified American Grown Flowers and Greens to the competition, showcasing how America’s flower farming families can provide beautiful blooms 365 days a year:

  • Mellano & Co.
  • Holland America Flowers
  • Ferntrust
  • Star Valley Flowers
  • Myriad Flowers
  • California Pajarosa
  • Resendiz Brothers Protea
  • Camflor
  • Bloomia
  • Washington Bulb
  • Continental Floral Greens
  • Kitayama Brothers
  • Ocean Breeze Farms

Certified American Grown’s procurement specialist Anna Kalins and American Grown Flowers and Green champion and former Field to Vase designer Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore represented the Certified American Grown program throughout the week and at the FTD World Cup Gala.

Designer Kelly Shore Unveils ‘A Year of American Grown Bouquets’

Passion Project Shows What Can Be Designed 365 Days a Year With Domestic Blooms 

Kelly Shore, recently featured in an ad in Florists Review, highlighting her commitment to Certified American Grown Flowers as a promise she can build her business on.

At the start of 2018, floral designer Kelly Shore challenged herself to spend the year designing with the highest percentage of American Grown Flowers possible. It was a personal effort on her part to see exactly what was achievable with flowers sourced exclusively from U.S. flower farms.

And her connections to Certified American Grown farms as a designer for the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour and the First Lady’s Luncheon, along with her participation in the group’s annual fly-in to Washington, D.C., help paved the way for what would come next.

Kelly Shore with freshly cut flowers arranged on the farm at Plantmasters in Maryland. Photo by Susie & Becky.

Sure, her goal to use more Certified American Grown Flowers was public, but she was privately working on (and funding) another project that came to light at the start of 2018.

Each month, Shore, owner and lead designer at Petals by the Shore in Maryland, designed and photographed a bride’s bouquet created entirely with American Grown flowers and foliage. She describes the project as an experiential exercise to help her learn what grows 365 days a year in the U.S.

“I’m an experiential learner and actively making change with a hands-on approach is the only way I knew I would learn how to confidently make the change I wanted to. So I began the project ‘A Year of American Grown bouquets.’ My work with Certified American Grown inspired the undertaking – meeting the farmers, hearing their stories, that meant everything. And having those people connections was important, and motivating. ”

Kelly Shore has traveled to Alaska to design with the peonies growing there. She was the featured floral designer at the 2017 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska. Photo by Joshua Veldstra.

Every month, Shore picked an unconventional color palette – think lavender and blue in December, orange and yellow in February – and sourced all floral materials from American flower farmers.

She worked closely with wholesaler DVFlora and also reached out personally to source flowers from U.S. farms that grow varieties bride’s crave.

With the flowers sourced and 100 percent American grown, Shore would design a bouquet and have it professionally photographed (by Sarah Collier of Taken by Sarah Photography) in the hands of a bridal model in a studio or outdoor floral-related setting.

The project is featured in the January 2019 issue of Florists Review, and Shore started blogging about the effort and posting on social media in early January.

She stresses that the project was not just art for art’s sake, but was instead a learning journey and “a real working project to change my business.” And, in the long run, to show other designers what’s possible with domestic flowers.

“In everything I do, I want to bring visibility to the flower farms and encourage other designers to want to do the same,” Shore explains. “People are so inspired by it and they feel like they can do it. Designers are reaching out and saying the bouquets are gorgeous, and I’ve had a lot of farms comment that they appreciate the project and the recognition.”

And the lesson in it for Shore?

“That’ there’s a reliability in what I can get that’s American Grown. I can ask for specific farms and products because now I know the quality. And I get excited when I know the farms I’m getting the flowers from and see the sleeve and the beautiful logos. I’m proud to know that I’m supporting American farmers and their families.”

Flowers labeled Certified American Grown allow designers to quickly identify the origin of their blooms and provides them a third-party guarantee that the source of their flowers have been verified.

Shore’s confident her project can serve as a road map for other floral designers who may be considering increasing their use of domestically grown flowers, or even who are just hoping to get to know nearby flower farmers and their products.

“I understand how, as designers, it’s can be easy find ourselves celebrating some of these exotic flowers from places like Holland or Japan, but through this experience, I was really amazed to see what’s growing year-round right here in the U.S. We’re not even scratching the surface of what we can create with as designers, and to me, that had to change.”

Kelly Shore on the farm at Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska. Photo by Joshua Veldstra.

 

Designers Announced for Sacramento, Soldiers Grove Dinners

Meet Liezet Arnold, Greg Campbell and Erick New!

Liezet Arnold will be the featured designer at our next American Grown Field to Vase Dinner in Sacramento on June 13.

With the first two stops on the 2018 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour under our belt and another dinner just weeks away, we’re excited to announce more floral designers for our upcoming dinners!

Liezet Arnold of Bloem Decor will be designing breathtaking tablescapes at our Sacramento dinner on June 13 in the gardens of the state Capitol.

Next, Greg Campbell and Erick New of Garden District will bring their skills to our Sept. 8 dinner in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin.

Arnold, the daughter of a tomato farmer who grew up in a small village in Holland, began working in flower shops at age 16. After years in the industry, she earned the title Master Dutch Florist.

In 1985, she moved to Beverly Hills to work in a flower shop that catered to celebrity clients and allowed her to expand her floral creativity. Along the way, she met her husband and moved to Sacramento where she started a creative flower shop featuring designs that “maintain European traditions with our unique flair.”

Today, 33 years later, Arnold is still celebrating the beauty and delight of flowers from her Sacramento flower shop. We can’t wait to see how she brings her unique style to the Field to Vase Dinner tablescapes in Sacramento!

Greg Campbell and Erick New of Garden District

At Gardent District, co-owners Campbell and New have created a business based on floral abundance and artistry. The shop provides seasonal flowers, unique gifts and home accents, and their floral installations weave flowers and greenery into breathtaking textural structures.

Their showroom in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee is a soaring showcase of the latest in flowers, containers and antiques.

You can get a sense of their design aesthetic and their commitment to the field to vase approach in their upcoming book, Florists To The Field.  The images in the book hint at the incredible design style diners at the Field to Vase Dinner in Wisconsin will experience.

Thanks to designers like these, an amazing artisanal meal and the opportunity to meet an American flower farmer and dine in fields of flowers, American Grown Field to Vase Dinner destinations continue to sell out.

Don’t miss out on our Sacramento, CA or Soldiers Grove, WI dinners!

 

Rene van Rems Wows at First 2018 Tour Stop

Floral Designer Shares the Inside Story on Prepping for a Field to Vase Dinner

You might think the job of a floral designer is singular – to surprise and delight by creating beautiful flower arrangements.

When the designer is Rene van Rems, you’d be wrong.

Van Rems was the floral designer for the recent American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at Resendiz Brothers Protea in Fallbrook, California. But his efforts went far beyond arranging flowers. He started by visiting the site with flower farmer Mel Resendiz to help select the perfect location for the dinner.

Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

Since proteas are grown on steep hillsides, this was no small feat. But van Rems knew what he was looking for – a hilltop surrounded by other flower-adorned hills that would provide a sense of warmth and intimacy for dinner guests.

Beautiful farm fresh flowers adorned the tables, welcoming guests to a night of food, wine and flowers. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Next up, van Rems determined a theme for the arrangements that would adorn the long banquet tables and selected containers from Field to Vase Dinner Tour sponsor Syndicate Sales.

He decided to create three variations of a floral design that featured pincushion proteas and he created them in reverse proportion. “We draped everything down while featuring the pincushions. This way, the flowers are looking at the diner and the diner is looking at the flowers. The flowers were the star and the materials we put with them were very botanical and were from the surrounding landscape. It was a real execution of ‘field to vase.’”

Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

For the containers, van Rems selected brushed glass vases with similar designs and textures in colors that provided contrast with the flowers and surrounding landscape.

The amazing part – the 180 arrangements needed for the dinner were created by 15 students who were part of a workshop van Rems led in advance of the dinner. Not only did they learn floral design skills, participants got a hands-on experience in event execution.

“The event became a lesson plan,” van Rems explains. “The students learned what you can’t learn in a book or on YouTube; it was truly experiential.”

Floral designer Rene van Rems was responsible for the beautiful tablescape and floral design installations. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

Beyond special events, van Rems regularly holds workshops at his state-of-the-art training center in Carlsbad, California. His two-, three- and five-day programs cover floral trends, advanced floral design techniques and business basics.

As for the reviews of the first stop for the 2018 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour – van Rems shares what guests told him: “Everyone loved the experience because it was beyond their expectations. People had no idea what to expect and they were blown away by a beautifully executed dinner. The No. 1 wow was the site and the flowers were a spoke in the wheel of an amazing experience.”

We couldn’t agree more.

 

 

Meet the American Grown Flowers Month Merchandising Contest Judges

Distinguished Panel to Review Competitors Store Displays

April showers will bring July’s joy as America celebrates American Grown Flowers Month to recognize the economic and cultural impact of cut flower and greens farmers.

That’s why Certified American Grown is working with farmers and retailers nationwide to create colorful in-store promotion programs that help consumers identify and appreciate homegrown blooms throughout July.

More than 1,200 stores have signed up to participate in the campaign so far.

And that’s just the start of who is onboard with our national contest built around this month-long recognition. Meet our distinguished judges who will rate the in-store displays that promote American Grown Flowers Month:

 

Travis Rigby is publisher of Super Floral magazine, Florists’ Review and president of FlowerBox and PosterGarden.com, creative presentation sites he founded earlier this decade. A resident of Portland, Oregon, Rigby has a degree in communications from the University of Utah.

 

 

 

J Keith White, AIFD, is the creative director for American Floral Trends Forecast and AANDK Productions. A floral designer himself, he’s known in the industry for combining modern and traditional floristry into a diverse art form. Most Americans would recognize his work with extravagant floral designs for the official cars of the Rose Parade each New Year’s Day.

 

 

 

 

Tom Bowling, AIFD, PFCI, is another Rose Parade veteran, serving since 1996 as both a designer and eventually a judge for the spectacular floats. Today, the education director for Syndicate Sales (a sponsor of the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour) in Fairfield, Ohio, Bowling has a 37-year history with the floral industry, including owning his own shop for 20 years and serving as a past president of AIFD.

 

Contest participants will be featured in Super Floral and Florists’ Review, with winners of the cash prizes enjoying the publications’ spotlights. Additionally, Certified American Grown will feature and promote all participants on social media, in a press release and on its blog and website.

Stores will be judged on the quality and beauty of their displays, their ability to increase flower sales in July and their efforts to promote the celebration overall, as well as the Certified American Grown brand.

It’s not too late to be involved with American Grown Flowers Month. Visit AmericanGrownFlowers.org/julycontest/ to learn more and register!

Renowned Designers To Wow Guests at First Two Dinner Tour Stops

Rene Van Rems, Debi Lilly to Design Tablescapes at California Dinners

We’re always excited when things really start coming together for each of the American Grown Field to Vase dinners, but this year, the excitement is through the roof as we announce that two renowned floral designers have joined the tour.

Meet Rene Van Rems and Debi Lilly!

Rene Van Rems

Designing tablescapes at the April 7 Field to Vase Dinner at Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers in Fallbrook, California, is Rene Van Rems, a renowned ambassador to the floral industry. Van Rems is a leading speaker, educator and demonstrator who has led workshops and design shows in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He’s also frequently featured at art museum events, including “Art Alive” in San Diego.

Van Rems is recognized for bringing the European influence to American floral designs. His work has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Sunset Magazine and on HGTV. He was formally educated at the prestigious Rijksmiddelbare Tuinbouwschool Floral Institute at Aalsmeer in Holland.

Our heads are spinning as we ponder how he’ll delight guests with hundreds of fresh protea!

 

Debi Lilly

Next up, celebrity florist and party planner Debi Lilly will bring her amazing design skills to the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at The Flower Fields on April 26 in Carlsbad.

You’ve seen Lilly on TV, in magazines, in stores nationwide, and maybe you’ve even seen photos of her floral and event creations for designer brands.

Known as Oprah’s “Favorite Pro,” Lilly was part of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for more than 10 years and has made it her mission to inspire, educate and share her 20 years of party planning expertise, stylist tips and DIY designs with fans worldwide.

With her impressive client list that includes brands like Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Safeway and Lamborghini, Lilly is a highly sought-after designer.

Last year, Lilly was the floral designer for our Carpinteria dinner where she delighted guests with her creations and easy-to-follow design tips.

With names like Van Rems and Lilly creating the floral décor at Field to Vase Dinners, guests will be wowed by breathtaking designs and will leave with a new appreciation for American Grown Flowers.

Tickets are going fast for these two dinners.

 

These Women Are Making a Difference for America’s Flower Farmers

Take Inspiration From Them, Then Promote Women’s Day March 8!

 

 

Neighbors used to call Diana Roy “Flower Girl.”

“I never seemed to have quite enough flowers in my own yard, so I was always asking neighbors if I could cut some of theirs,” she says.

Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea speaking to Congressman Jimmy Panetta (right) during a reception in Washington, D.C.  Photo by Nony Park of Ken Pak Photography.

Now the business manager of Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers, Roy has all the blooms she could possibly want. She’s combined her passion for flowers with her background in public relations to help make the farm one of California’s largest suppliers of South African and Australian flowers—not to mention an international leader in protea farming.

“We mentor other protea farmers by bringing them to our farm and providing educational information about protea,” she says. “We made a trip to Africa to learn about their growing techniques and then were able to share those learnings with other protea farmers in California.”

As immediate-past chair of the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC), Roy is one of the many outstanding women who are championing American Grown Flowers, whether in their communities or in the world at large.

Lane DeVries of Sun Valley Floral Farms was recognized by the Society of American Florists in 2014 for his efforts to bring Women’s Day back to the United States as a celebrated holiday.

As our country celebrates Women’s Day on March 8 by honoring the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, these passionate leaders are working hard to ensure the nation’s floral industry continues to thrive.

Founded in New York City more than a century ago, Women’s Day has been most notably celebrated internationally through the giving of flowers, but has risen in popularity as a floral holiday here in the U.S. over the past several years, thanks to the efforts of Lane DeVries of Sun Valley Group who has made it his mission to bring the holiday to the forefront here in the U.S.  As more people choose to mark the occasion with flowers, the holiday has helped fuel additional flower buying after Valentine’s Day.

Celebrity florist and party planner Debi Lilly understands the importance of celebrating holidays like Women’s Day. After more than a decade working with “The Oprah Winfrey Show”—and with a client list that includes brands like Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Safeway and Lamborghini—she’s now on a mission to inspire her fans to elevate life’s special occasions.

By sharing her party planning tips and DIY designs, she aims to help people celebrate their triumphs with elegance and style. She has also become an advocate for the American Grown flower movement, serving as featured floral designer for an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner last year and will once again be showcasing her field to vase-inspired designs at the Field to Vase Dinner scheduled for April 26 at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad.

Debi Lilly had her hands full while designing with some amazing Certified American Grown orchids at Gallup & Stribling Orchids in Carpinteria, CA. Debi will be the featured designer on April 26th for the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

With the help of advocates like Lilly, awareness of American Grown Flowers continues to blossom. A growing number of consumers are demanding homegrown blooms, and surveys show 58 percent would buy domestically grown flowers if given the choice.

Persuading consumers to buy American can often be as simple as letting them know they’re available. Crystal Hedgpeth, floral manager for Safeway’s Northern California Division, discovered this when customers gave the store poor marks for the availability of locally sourced products. Knowing more than half the blooms sold in her stores were California Grown, she launched a marketing campaign to put Golden State flowers front and center.

By grouping all of the locally grown flowers into one visual display and showcasing them in blue buckets to match the California Grown logo, she helped boost local flower sales by 14 percent across the supermarket chain’s 280 Northern California stores.

“In our minds, this should be part of our permanent thinking,” says Hedgpeth, who was named 2017 Flower Farm Champion by the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC). “We’ll continue to support California flower farmers and even incorporate the Certified American Grown Flower program. We want to continue to grow this.”

Crystal Hedgpeth, Floral Manager for Safeway’s NorCal division was recently recognized as the 2017 California Flower Farm Champion of the Year. Pictured here with California Cut Flower Commission Promotion Committee Chair Bruce Brady (left) and Nick Matteis, Executive Director of California Grown.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

With the contributions of innovative women like these, American flower farmers are enjoying a surge in demand for local blooms. As Women’s Day reminds us, women everywhere are working tirelessly to make a difference in the world—and the floral industry is no exception.