Episode 4- Carnations, Family & Flowers

Host J Schwanke gives a peek into his family history, his vintage carnation artifact collection, and into a family-run carnation farm. See how flowers have influenced and shaped every part of his life.

*Bonus Content- in the Blue Links!

Family History- My family history is rich with Flower References- and wonderful flower filled memories. As a 4th Generation Florist- it can’t help but be filled with lots of great stories – from being born at a Flower Convention – growing up in a greenhouse, living next door to the flower shop and having an entire family that worked together and played together… In the Carnations, Family and Flower Episode of Life in Bloom- I tell a few of those stories… Check out this Video with my Mom- as we talk about some of the Flower History in our Green Family!

J and the Akiyama Family look through family photos albums on his visit to the Akiyama Nursery!

J and the Akiyama Family look through family photos albums on his visit to the Akiyama Nursery!

A visit to Akiyama Nursery- While filming our CA Grown Experience- a 3 year documentary- sharing the stories of the Flower Farmers of California- we heard reports of the last American Carnation Flower Farmer- a small family business in Watsonville- run by a Couple and their Son- the Akiyamas. It was a wonderful day visiting this historic farm- and getting to see them in action- hearing their stories. We also are happy to report- that even though the Carnation farm closed- the Family – Father, Son and Grandson are today growing Hops- for craft breweries- sometimes- things change… and new opportunities provide themselves.

This simple and easy arrangement is also impressive- when lining up Carnations in Rows!

This simple and easy arrangement is also impressive- when lining up Carnations in Rows!

Color Blocking Carnation Arrangement- this simple project- is easy to recreate – and color customize- you can make it small or large. Carnations are colorful, long lasting and even fragrant… so what are you waiting for… give this fun color blocking arrangement a try for your next dinner party! This Project is part of the uBloom Premium Video collection- and you can see this and over 1000 more videos with a uBloom Subscription- only $3.99 a month.

J shares these NEW Unique Color Varieties of Carnations on Life in Bloom!

J shares these NEW Unique Color Varieties of Carnations on Life in Bloom!

Carnation Flower Farms- While there used to be many Flower Farms in Colorado and California- it soon became evident that the best carnations would be grown in Colombia South America. Bogota and the Sabana of Colombia provide the optimum temperatures, foot candles of light- and elevations- these 3 factors result in a much better- year round dependable crop – that is colorful, long lasting and once again fragrant. Join me as I visit Ayura Pride Eclipse Flowers and my Friend Jose Restrepo – to learn more about how flowers- including Carnations are grown in Colombia.

J shares his collection of vintage Red Carnation Flower Artifacts on Life in Bloom!

J shares his collection of vintage Red Carnation Flower Artifacts on Life in Bloom!

Vintage Carnation Artifacts- So I have a fascination with Red Carnations- note that I say Red… it’s not another color- although I love the wide variations of colors, shapes and types of carnations- I still am drawn to the Classic Red- because of the history in my Family of my Grandpa Carnation Joe, my dad- Mel Schwanke- and even myself- wearing these Classic Flowers- Learn more about my quest for Vintage Carnation Collectibles in this week’s Life in Bloom Episode!

The Carnation Joe Cocktail- It’s the Classic Manhattan- and my Grandpa Carnation Joe- would be filling his glass from the pitcher each day at 5pm. Check out the recipe for this classic Cocktail and learn a bit more about the Carnation Joe Ritual!

Carnation Joe's Classic Manhattan served up with a side of Red Carnation!

Carnation Joe’s Classic Manhattan served up with a side of Red Carnation!

Carnations- or as they say across the pond- “Pinks”- there’s more to carnation than meets the eye. Find out the origins of these classic flowers- see NEW Varietal Colors- and I’ll show you a couple of flowers- that you wouldn’t suspect are Carnations as well!

J shares tips for creating beautiful Carnation Vase arrangements on Life in Bloom!

J shares tips for creating beautiful Carnation Vase arrangements on Life in Bloom!

Easy Flower Arrangements- Binding and Spheres- Carnations are durable and long lasting- they are forgiving and provide wonderful results for flower arranging. I share an easy technique that looks great in a vase-  You’ll look like a pro with these simple yet impressive bouquets. How about a Sphere of Flowers- yet again- long lasting and easy to create- (although it takes a few more blooms) Spheres of flowers can be dynamic decorations for your next event or even a wedding! Check out this tutorial in the uBloom Premium Video file- a $3.99 subscription will give you access to 1000′s of videos about arranging flowers on uBloom.com !