Episode 301- Fields of Flowers
Host J Schwanke visits the world-famous Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch- in California, and learns its history. Also included: “fields of flowers” to grow in your own garden, fields of flowers to hang on a wall, and a flatbread that includes fields of flowers field.
Introduction: Who hasn’t dreamt of roaming in fields of flowers – as far as the eye can see? Hundreds of thousands of people have visited the Carlsbad Flower Fields in California to live out that particular dream, and we’ll take you there on this episode. But we’ll also take a look at ways to create our own fields of flowers – literally and figuratively – why limit the imagination? Together let’s cultivate our own field – of flower-dreams, on today’s Life In Bloom.
“Wildflowers don’t care where they grow”- Dolly Parton
Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch- with Michelle Castellano-Keeler
I was so fortunate to be able to experience the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch with my Life-long Friend Michelle Castellano-Keeler. Mellano & Co is a multi-generational family flower business- that are the designated care-takes of the World Famous Flower Fields. Michelle was the perfect host- and shared the long standing history of the Flower Fields.
Michelle was accompanied by her parents- Batti and RoseMarie (aka Nonni) Castellano for our visit. I have been friends with the Mellano and Castellano Families my entire life… and it was a wonderful day spent amongst the flowers with these amazing Flower Champions. Michelle is a pro when it comes to sharing the history of the Flower Fields.
Michelle and I have attended many, many flower events and conventions over the years- and had so much Fun… it was so incredible to have her showing us around and sharing the stories the World Famous Flower Fields. I’ve written another blog- about my Flower Friend Michelle Castellano-Keeler – you can read more here! Flowers truly are amazing- and being surrounded by Millions of American Grown Ranunculus is not only breath-taking- it’s a life changing experience!
Arranging Ranunculus at Mellano Wholesale Florist in the LA Flower Market
Who could resist arranging with Ranunculus after a visit to those fantastic fields of flowers? I had just the opportunity when I visited my friends at Mellano & Company Wholesale Florist, inside the Los Angeles Flower Market…
What an amazing opportunity to be able to arrange these American Grown Ranunculus from Mellano & Company- on location at the Historical LA Flower Market- and share the beauty of the these World Class Flowers- that also fill the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. We have another blog with some arranging details- you can read more here!
Flower Cocktail Hour: Fields of Flower Cocktail
How about fields of flowers inside a glass? This cocktail’s flower ingredients include Elderflower, Lavender, and Roses…for the complete recipe- follow this link- and create your own Fields of Flowers Cocktail!
Flower Craft: Flower Brooch Art
Here’s a fun project using a collection of flower pins – or more formally called brooches. I found a deal on this collection online, but maybe you have your own collection, or perhaps you know someone who is looking to re-home a collection. The idea is to create a bouquet with the pins in the space of a frame…and create fields of flowers to hang on the wall in your home!
Hidden Meadows Arrangement
Here’s a fun flower arranging project- that repurposes a silver plated wedding basket- and adds an accent of Flowers and Foliage from your own Garden…
I received this Antique “wedding basket” from my Friend Jan Clark in Naples Florida… Jan apologized for the silver plate being worn down- but offered this brilliant suggestion- “Just give it a quick coat of Design Master Spray Paint” and it will be good as new… Not only was Jan right… it was a great idea- I wanted to share on “Life in Bloom”- I simply gave the Antique wedding basket- two coats of Platinum Gold Metallic Paint from Design Master- one coat to prime- and another to cover- and voila- a whole new life!
I arranged the flowers in the NEW Midnight Foam from Oasis Floral Products- this black colored foam- virtually disappears in nearly every project- and the best news- is that Midnight is also biodegradable. I used one of my NEW J’s Bouquets- this one is actually called “Hidden Meadows”… created by our friends at Sunshine Bouquet Company. I added a few stems of Nine Bark- a native Michigan Shrub- to give it a just little more ‘home-made’ feel… It’s simple to take a bunch of flowers- from the market- and create a beautiful bouquet for the dining table, or cocktail table in your living space!
J’s Bouquets are available at Albertsons Companies grocery stores all across the USA. Check your local Albertsons Companies Store brand- (United Markets, Safeway, Albertsons, and more)… for J’s Bouquets! You can learn more about J’s Bouquets- and get more ideas for arranging flowers- at this Link!
Recipe in Bloom: Flower Field Flat Bread
Today I’m going to show you how to make a flat bread and use it as a canvas to create your own fields of flowers…for the full recipes- follow this link- and get creative with your Field of Flowers Flatbread!
Featured Flowers- Best Flowers for growing your own Cutting Garden
Almost anyone I meet is always transfixed with the idea that I have incredible gardens at my house. While I have curated some incredible flowers and plants for my garden – the gardens themselves might not live up to the dream – here’s why – I am constantly cutting the blooms and greens to create beautiful arrangements to enjoy inside my home! That being said, here are some of my favorite flowers and plants for a cutting garden…”
Lilac- nothing compares to the scent of fresh lilacs- and remember to leave the leaves on the stem- when cutting- the leaves aid in hydration- this means- the leaves help create photosynthesis- that stimulates water uptake to the flower- leave the leaves- when it comes to lilac.
Bleeding Heart- although delicate looking- this spring and early summer flower- is a robust hardy cut flower.
Hydrangea- Everyone loves hydrangea- whether Pink, Blue, Lavender or White- these big voluptuous flowers – help fill a bouquet- with color and texture
Yarrow- A hardy late summer bloomer- these Golden Flowers can be dried- and used for both Fresh and preserved bouquets.
Astilbe- Feathery- and frangrant- Astilbe are another ‘Fragile’ looking flower- that performs well in cut flower arrangements.
Zinnia- Are pollinator magnets- and there’s a seemingly unending range of colors, shapes and sizes… Easy to grow- and here’s a secret- the more flowers you cut- the more the plant makes.
Dahlia- these mesmerizing blooms come in small to Extra Large- called Dinner Plate Dahlias! Cut early in the Morning- another plant that will make more flowers- after you harvest!
Iris- Bearded Iris, Swamp Iris, Mini or Maxi- many varieties bloom several times- and the unique and interesting colors- include peach, brown, black and variegated
Tiger Lily- I love Tiger Lilies- because they remind me of my Grandma Lil… she was named after a Tiger Lily… and I love arranging with them… Lilies are long lasting and make a great addition to any flower arrangement. You can choose Asiatic Lilies, Oriental Lilies or even Easter Lilies- what we formally call Longiflorum Lilies.
Allium- many people refer to these as a “Dr Suess” flower- because of the Perfect Ball of Blooms atop a single slender stem- Allium add a fantastical flair to your cutting garden
Dianthus- or Carnations- one of my favorite flowers- a cutting garden isn’t complete without a few carnations- Long lasting and Fragrant… they’re a classic!
Herbs- Scented Geranium, Basil, Mint, Sage, Chives- Herbs are amazing- and one of the things I like best about using Herbs as foliage in my flower arrangements is the fragrance they add… Mint, Oregano, Basil, or even Scented Geranium – can add wonderful fresh natural herbal fragrance to your bouquets.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our visit to the flower fields – and that you’re inspired to create your own versions to enjoy – whether in flowers, artwork, food or beverages. For Life in Bloom, I’m J Schwanke