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Nearly 1,000 floral designers convened in Denver for inspiration and the chance to commune with each other during the annual American Institute of Floral Designers National Symposium last month. It was filled with flowers (more than three semi truckloads) and oodles of creative inspiration. The abundance of beauty was amazing. Flowers from around the world were showcased in so many trend-spotting designs. So much inspiration. So much creativity. So many fabulous flowers. I’d like to share with you a few snapshots from the Symposium:

A simple tapestry of flowers becomes a work of art in this study of textures created by Susan Ayala, AIFD, PFCI, from Loma Linda, California.


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We Can’t Celebrate Without Flowers

by Carol Caggiano on August 13, 2015 at 7:16 am

TableforTwoFor me, sitting down to a meal where there are flowers on the table indicates something special is happening. Whenever there is a wedding, birthday party or celebratory event, we expect to see floral centerpieces. It goes along with the importance of the occasion, and I know I look forward to those details when I attend.

It’s not always something elaborate nor does it have to be, but it does have to be there.  Whether it is a bud vase with one lovely bloom, a collection of flowers establishing a theme or color palette, or a stunning elevated design with a lush bouquet, we feel welcome as guests.

Often the flowers are the first thing that draws our attention when entering a room. A small table with a modest arrangement looks stunning and inviting, while a room filled with tables and lush bouquets can be “jaw dropping.” Most of the time we find ourselves somewhere in between. But no matter the size of the event, we enjoy the flowers for their beauty and contribution to the ambiance of the occasion. Read More

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Mood Changer

by Carol Caggiano on August 10, 2015 at 6:59 am

MoodChangerSome days just start off bad. You might have overslept, or maybe what is on your schedule for the day is worrisome or just plain uninteresting. The phone rings three times, and each time it is a solicitation call or a survey. Doesn’t anyone call any more that might really want to talk to you? You are out of coffee and when you looked out the window you discovered that the deer used your lovely garden, in which you spent most of your weekend, for a midnight buffet. Maybe it’s best to just go back to bed and start over?

Many things can affect our mood, some of which we can control and some not.  We might set an additional alarm to make sure we get up on time and maybe a fence around the garden would protect our hard work. Yet when things at work don’t go right, someone close to us is ill or we just feel left out or lonely, it’s difficult to be in a good mood. When I see someone who is sad or cranky, my first inclination is to try and turn that around. Many times a kind word, an offer of help or even simply a smile can make a difference. We don’t like to see the people we care about unhappy. Research has proved that there is something to help and that is flowers. Read More

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Five Stylish Summer Host Gifts

by Shelby Shy on August 3, 2015 at 7:08 am

Summer is the time for traveling and visiting great friends and family. What could be a better way to thank your summer hosts for welcoming you into their home than sending them flowers? Flowers express gratitude and appreciation, and create instant happiness. Here are my top five favorite ways to say thank you this summer with flowers.

Bright and cheerful is always a great way to go. Vivid orange gerbera daisies, hot pink roses, blue hydrangea, green trick dianthus and yellow daisies are a perfect summer treat.

BrightFloralArrangement — Photo by Shirley’s Flowers & Gifts in Rogers, Arkansas Read More

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A Summer Cross Country Adventure

by Leanne Kesler on July 27, 2015 at 8:32 am

Summertime is here! Road trip! Nothing says summertime like an extended vacation in the family car. Visiting friends, family, favorite destinations or in search of a new and exciting location … the long days of summer are meant for road trips. With the lower cost of gas, more people than ever before will be hitting the road for their summer holiday. According to,  drivers will take both long, cross-country excursions and shorter, close-to-home weekend escapes. Either way, the road trip is trending strong.

Looking back over the years, I have so many fabulous memories of car-based vacations. The trip to Kansas with my parents was amazing. Imagine four kids under the age of 10 and a dog all crammed in a station wagon (without air conditioning) for a trip across the country. Fast-forward many years, and I still swoon as I dream of the next road trip. Much easier now, it is just my darling husband David and me.

Driving through Iowa one summer, we searched out the state flower, the wild prairie rose.  It took very little “searching.” Designated the state flower in 1897, you can find this gorgeous rosebush everywhere. To this day, a bowl of beautiful roses on my desk takes me back to the trip across Iowa and food memories of the most fabulous corn fritters I have ever tasted.


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