Bridging the Gap- Foliage for the Future

Foliage for the Future- bridging the gap - to get us up and running!

Foliage for the Future- bridging the gap – to get us up and running!

Bridging the Gap- Foliage for the Future*

*This video contains Links to over a dozen FREE VIDEOS- Listed  in RED... scroll down!

On Fun with Flowers and J- this week- I have a video blog- and create an All Foliage arrangement- start to finish- with Fabulous Foliage from Ferntrust!

Watch this week’s Free Video Blog- Creating an All Foliage Arrangement- here!

Not Only is this All Foliage arrangement Beautiful and Textural- it provides a Health and Wellness benefit by helping clean the air- just like green plants do – by transpiring- and taking in CO2 and releasing Oxygen.

An all foliage arrangement is also very long lasting- and any foliage arrangement certainly can stand alone- beautifully- at the same time and all foliage arrangement can also provide the perfect structure for Fresh Flowers- or even Permanent Botanicals…

Foliage transpires - and removes CO2 and replaces it with Oxygen!

Foliage transpires – and removes CO2 and replaces it with Oxygen!

It’s a full time job- to stay Positive… with the advent of each day- every phone call, each email- we’re bombarded with news- and sometimes it’s difficult and challenging. I’m dedicated to looking for the positive!

I love our flower and foliage industry- and I’m using this challenging opportunity to learn more about different segments of our industry- and I want to share that information with you- and provide FREE educational information- that will help everyone learn more about flowers and foliage!

This week- I’ve learned even more about the American Foliage Industry. I’m passing this information along- so we all have the opportunity to learn more about foliage. I’m taking on this challenge – with a bit of advice from Mr. Rogers… I’m Looking for the Helpers… there are plenty of Helpers in the Flower and Foliage Industry!

The harvesting process is amazing- all fern is cut, graded and bunched in the field before being FernCool-ed in the packing house!

The harvesting process is amazing- all fern is cut, graded and bunched in the field before being FernCool-ed in the packing house!

Great people being positive- in our Flower and Foliage World… – these Helpers are what gives us Hope!

When it comes to flowers- We’ve all seen the disturbing images of cartloads of flowers being dumped at the Dutch Auction! So sad… I recently saw a video showing greenhouses full of planted flowering Chrysanthemums,  being mulched and cut down… as disturbing as it is to watch… I learned that this mulching process is Helpful!

These growers are choosing to reduce their economic exposure by ecologically disposing of crops- by mulching them into the soil to provide nutrients for the next crop of flowers- mulching – before investing more in watering, fertilizing, pest management, harvest, post harvest and packaging…  don’t get me wrong- these are definitely challenging times- and certainly these are life-changing decisions-  But learning about helpful short term solutions- may help them survive- and provide us with Flowers in the Future…

J with David & Victoria Register at the FernTrust Packing House

J with David & Victoria Register at the FernTrust Packing House

My “Positive Helper” this week- is Florida Foliage- and the message of how Foliage can help us bridge the gap – and provide a Creative Solution for the Future- and help us get back on track following this incredible set back.

I’ve assembled a list of a dozen FREE Videos- (indicated in RED) that will help you learn more about Foliage-as you watch- think about how Foliage can HELP us bridge the gap – Get Creative- and provide solutions for the Future of our Great Flower (and Foliage) Industry!


Bobbi Ecker- Helper Extraordinaire- The Creator of the Green Bouquet- Mentor, Friend and Flower Industry Icon

Let’s start with a HELPER ICON- just like Mr. Rogers- Bobbi Ecker- was an Inspiration, Mentor, Friend! A Positive Helper to so many people … and especially to both My Friends at FernTrust and myself.

It was her Dream to create and establish “The Green Bouquet” – and all foliage bouquet- created from different types of foliage- A Foliage Bouquet that could STAND ALONE or  be paired with fresh flowers! The Green Bouquet would provide structure for flowers- OR- to stand alone- providing a long lasting health and wellness benefit to everyone. Here’s a video that tells about Bobbi and those bouquets.

1. Fabulous Foliage Bouquets from FernTrust…and Bobbi

FernTrust creates all sorts of Green Bouquets- with all sorts of different combinations – you can imagine- FernTrust has over 126 different types of foliage! Wow!  The Green Bouquet concept is truly a valuable time saver- and it’s so easy to cut and drop a foliage bouquet into a vase- VOILA- or  just add flowers… Presto Chango!

J uses a Foliage Bouquet from Ferntrust- and just adds a few Fresh Flowers from the Garden on Life in Bloom!

J uses a Foliage Bouquet from Ferntrust- and just adds a few Fresh Flowers from the Garden on Life in Bloom!

The facts: An All Foliage Bouquet is Extremely long lasting (I’ve enjoyed them for 3 weeks or more) – so you can have one in a vase- and add a few flowers from your garden. Here in Michigan- soon the Tulips, and Daffodils will be blooming- and adding a few flowers to a foliage bouquet is simple and easy…(Remember- there are health and wellness benefits to arranging flowers too… check out this link that contains many of the research studies- … and when the flowers fade- simply pull them out and add a few more- the Structure of Foliage- remains- to go another round or two…

Hanging with my FernTrust Family- David Register and "bestie" Jana Register!

Hanging with my FernTrust Family- David Register and “bestie” Jana Register!

I talk to my Foliage Friends Jana and David (learn more about David and Jana here)
at FernTrust- several times a week- we talk about all sorts of things… the weather,
the different types of foliage, performance of different products- new green bouquet recipes, Ice cream, freeze protections, wild hogs, and lots more…

2. Tour the FernTrust Facilities with me and my friend David Register in this documentary about Florida Foliage Farming!

FernTrust is a cooperation of 11 foliage farms- each farm is local and  run independently- and specializes in specific foliage crops- these small farmers come together in a partnership – that provides each of the smaller farms the opportunity to work together to do bigger things and provide better service- and amazing quality!

I love visiting Ferntrust- and I love seeing the different farmers bring in their different types of foliage each day- to be processed with the Patented and Top Secret Fern Cool Process… it’s one of the reasons that FernTrust Foliage is So Fabulous… Trust me!

Delicate fern "babies" grow strong in the dappled sunlight- under the Live Oak Hammocks at FernTrust

Delicate fern “babies” grow strong in the dappled sunlight- under the Live Oak Hammocks at FernTrust

Leather leaf- is the biggest crop for FernTrust and their Foliage Farmers! I love “Florida Fern”- (that’s my preferred name for Leather-leaf ) or I also like the botanical name- Rumohra andiantiformis… for me- I think those names are so much better for this amazing foliage that is long lasting, durable, versatile, affordable and on TREND for 2020…

Here’s a Fun with Flowers video about using Florida Fern (AKA – Leather Leaf)… in a stylish modern arrangement!

3. Create a Fern Discovery Arrangement!

The Interesting thing about Foliage- whether it be Florida Fern- Monstera, Tree Fern, Coontie, Plumosa, Aspidistra (or any of the 126 Different kinds of foliage Ferntrust offers)  Many Foliage varieties can stay in the field longer… it doesn’t have to be cut… like with flowers!

ColorFresh® is a Colorful Foliage option from FernTrust- here's a wedding bouquet with ColorFresh on Location at FernTrust!

ColorFresh® is a Colorful Foliage option from FernTrust- here’s a wedding bouquet with ColorFresh on Location at FernTrust!

Lilies or Tulips-  for example- if you leave the stems with flowers on the plants and in the field too long- they open and then you lost the crop. NOT SO with foliage… you have more opportunity to delay harvest, and the nature of foliage- and it’s lasting ability- allow for more opportunities- in post harvest and distribution. Foliage can remain in the field longer and be stored safely – without reducing quality or performance! That’s a HUGE benefit for bridging the gap… going forward!

Metallic Monstera for Events!

Let’s take Monstera for example- Monstera leaves left on the plant will  get larger- and more magnificent… I love Monstera- and so does everyone else- it’s not a surprise that Monstera has been Foliage of the year for 2018 and 2019… here’s two trend videos that feature Monstera… The first is the Rainforest Trend- this Trend paved the way for Monstera to be Foliage of the Year in 2018 and 2019!

4. Rainforest- Trend 2018- This started everyone’s love affair with Monstera Leaves…

5. Monstera Madness 2019 – This trend also includes Colorfresh- another way to dress up your Foliage-

Want to learn more about Flower Trends? Download my FREE Trend Report here-
Each Trend has a Featured Foliage that helps you translate that trend into your arrangements!

Use the Foliage of the Year as a charger for your plates when setting the table with Foliage!

Use the Foliage of the Year as a charger for your plates when setting the table with Foliage!

There’s so many cool things you can do with foliage… we can get so creative!

We dedicated an entire Episode of J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom to Foliage- and it’s been airing all across the country- if you haven’t seen it yet… you can stream it on line here!
6. Foliage- Living Green- J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom

*We understand that those- living outside the USA- can use the App- Tunnel Bear – to view this Public Television show- use the link to learn more .. and may be useful-

There’s so many ways to creatively use Foliage- The next video is one of my All Time favorite arrangements and one of the most popular videos we have on line- it’s an arrangement that’s featured in My Award Winning Book Fun with Flowers- that includes all different types of foliage and shows how to weave a palm leaf into a “Nautilus shell”…

7 .

How to Weave a TeePee Leaf into a “Nautilus Shell”

Learn to Weave a Palm Leaf- included- in J’s Book- Fun with Flowers- order your copy today at

Bamboo is another fabulous foliage- that’s often overlooked- and it’s available from FernTrust- You have to love that Bamboo is sustainable too…
Here’s a fun little throwback to JTV days- with FernTrust Bamboo- and a Little Sidekick- Bamboo the Monkey – that joined me for this episode…

8. Make a Bamboo Armature- on JTV


J with his “Monkey Puppet”: Bamboo on JTV!

I mentioned early- that Foliage can be cut- and held for a longer period of time… this helps and allows the Foliage Farmers to be ready- when we need millions of stems for Valentines or Mothers Day… they can cut different varieties of foliage- grade, bunch and pack it – and have it ready to go…

Thus- thinking about the future – after COVID 19- when we emerge from isolation- we’re going to want to create Weddings, Events, Arrangements on the Table, Parties, Centerpieces, Corsages and more…  but there’s a reality- when it comes to Flowers and getting back up and running…

There may be a short period of time, while our favorite flowers need to get growing agin- we’ll need to be patient as growers return to production- and get all our favorite flowers back on schedule and into full production.

How to Arrange Flowers_Foliage Wedding Bouquet!

All Foliage Wedding Bouquet- Foliage for the Future!

The Good NEWS- Foliage will be faster! In this week’s video blog (VLOG) on uBloom- I create a simple yet elegant- All Foliage Arrangement-  this is one of my favorite concepts. A mixed foliage bouquet- that can be stand alone- or have a few flowers (or even Permanent Flowers) added to enhance. This is a great way to bridge the gap- as we all get back to work…. Foliage for the Future!

With Today’s FABULOUS Foliage Trend- a bouquet of ALL foliage can be stand alone- without flowers! The Textures are amazing- different types of foliage together- colors, textures, variegation- add the Health and Wellness benefits of Foliage- All Foliage bouquets will continue to transpire- and exchanges Oxygen for Carbon Dioxide- cleaning the air- whether as a plant or as a cut foliage. Foliage will help us bridge the gap!

Aloha Arch with Orchids!

Aloha Arch – with accents of Orchids… Check out the video and see how easy this can be created!

When it comes to Events- Foliage is a natural… think about Garlands or Arches- the popularity of having Foliage garlands for weddings or events is Super Popular Already!  Foliage garlands can stand alone or a few flowers will create accents of color or fragrance… here’s a couple videos exploring these event concepts:
9. Heres a Video about using a few flowers- to dress up a Foliage Garlands

10. Wedding and Events can be Super Easy- using Foliage- here’s a video about creating an Aloha Arch with garlands- Monstera Leaves and a few flowers…

11. One of my most popular videos is the ALL Foliage Wedding Bouquet- it’s super trendy- and may help us bridge the gap in the future…

How to Arrange Flowers_Foliage Garlands

Foliage Garlands from FernTrust- shine with or without flowers! Bridge the Gap!

You have to admit- there’s lots to ways to use Foliage for weddings and events- and the possibilities are endless… taking that the the extreme… What if you wanted to make your own flowers- with Foliage?

12. This video shows you how to make these “ROSES” out of Aspidistra Foliage

Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant) Leave "roses" drying... SO Gorgeous!

Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant) Leave “roses” drying… SO Gorgeous!

I could go on and on- as you see- I’m a Foliage Fanatic- I love the look, the feel- and the amazing opportunities that Foliage provides us – no matter what the occasion, event or experience. When we look for Helpers- the great Foliage Farmers at FernTrust- are on the front lines- and they’ll be there to help us bridge the gap today, tomorrow and for years to come…

Growing Foliage for the Future!