Episode #501 - Innovation in Bloom
Innovation in the world of flowers is our theme for this episode of Life in Bloom. We’ll learn about the different ways new flowers and flowering plants are developed and show some of them off in creative arrangements. Innovation in the world of Flowers is all around us- just waiting to be discovered!
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We all enjoy a beautiful flower- but have you ever considered that there are people behind the scenes- ‘Flower Experts’ that are constantly working to improve the color, quality, freshness, behavior and more- of flowers, plants, seeds and bulbs – that we enjoy in our vases, gardens and elsewhere! There is also the challenges of transportation, moving flowers from one place to another- and making sure they arrive from the Flower Farm in tip top condition- and without being damaged. It’s those behind the scenes experts; those innovators that work silently to make our world of Flowers even better and more beautiful. I love this quote from Seth Godin- that describes the big ideas that have helped our flower industry.
“Big ideas are little ideas that no-one killed too soon. “ – Seth Godin
Typically – when we see a flower that really excites us (!) – we might think – “Oh… They’re so Beautiful” – or – I’ve never seen that flower before??? And – I think we can all agree – that Flowers make us Happy. We also understand that flowers help reduce stress – and even make us more creative! But do you ever think about how certain Flowers – that one that really grabs your attention- whether it’s in the garden or in a vase -
How was the color achieved?
How did the bloom come to look like that?
Where did they find a plant like that?
Or where was it grown? And how did it get here???
All those questions are lurking inside each bloom- and every flower has a story to tell… whether it’s about new technology, transportation, sustainable practices or creative ingenuity – all of the processes that helped create that Flower and get it to us… which in turn, makes us SO HAPPY! Today on Life in Bloom- we’ll share some of the Innovations that Bloom- in the world of Flowers.
Horticulture Development with Natalie Carmolli – Marketing Director for Proven Winners®
Today I’m visiting with my flower Natalie Carmolli at Spring Meadows Nursery in Grand Haven, Michigan. While Spring Meadows is NOT open to the public… it is the Test Grounds- and production facility for Proven Winners® Varieties available at Local Independent Garden Centers all across the USA. Look for the Proven Winners® Logo on Plants, Pots and displays in your local garden center! We filmed these segments at the Official Test Gardens for Proven Winners® Varieties- again- a private garden – so drink in all the magnificent beauty- as Natalie gives you great information, tips, suggestions and an incredible look around!
Again these are private trial and display gardens for Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shrubs So be sure to look for these wonderful varieties and specimens whenever you see a Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shrub across North America, you now know that these wonderful performing plants probably started out here.
Spring Meadows is a private family nursery that produces Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shrub liners for wholesale growers. You might be wondering -“what’s a liner?” and rest assured my amazing friend Natalie will explain it in this week’s episode! I also want to send a “shout out” to Adriana at Spring Meadows for providing some amazing production and robotics footage you’ll see in this episode!
Again- when looking for Proven Winners® ColorChoice® shrubs, you should visit your local retail nursery or garden center. That’s the best place to experience these amazing plants and shrubs- and see all that your local climate and geography has to offer!
Florigene Moon Series Carnation/Applause Blue Rose
Sometimes Innovation in the world of Flowers- can be in color- and trying to achieve a NEW Color – that is eye-catching and also Natural- So enter- Florigene with their Moon Series Carnations- and NEW Applause® Rose- both of which have been featured at the Grammy Awards for several years!
My Friend Cory Sanchez shared this information about where the Color Gene Splicing Process began and who we can credit for these Beautiful Carnations!
“Regarding question about who came up with the gene splicing/ or genetic work. That was done by someone else. Dr. Steve Chandler was the scientist( a close colleague and friend) that was involved with the project from the beginning. He was the one that witnessed the first plant. Historically Purple or Lavender Carnation were hard to come by- and
they didn’t have optimum quality nor good longevity…
In 1987 scientists began work- on developing a Purple or Lavender Carnation that had A Natural looking Color – that would provide a quality flower will longer lasting attributes…”
Enter the Moon Series of Carnation… a carnation that has a Natural Purple that is ‘borrowed’ from a Petunia. You might ask – How can that be? Answer: the delphinidin – a blue pigment – producing “blue” gene was extracted from the Petunia – and then placed into a carnation- to provide the Natural Colors- you see here today- in both Standard Carnations and Spray Carnations…
This process allowed the Scientist to Carefully choose the best variety to engineer, it quickly became evident that when the color gene was placed into the carnation not only were beautiful flower colors generated, but the vase life was excellent to. So we have a NEW Carnation -with Natural Purple or Lavender color- that is also very, very long lasting!
In their quest for a Better more colorful Carnation- the same scientists began to attempt the world’s first “BLUE ROSE”… May I introduce- the Applause® Rose- a rose that has been
genetically modified- to enhance it’s color… You may have seen these both the Applause® Rose and the Moon Series® Carnations- decorating the 2022 Grammy Awards-
Technology- is advancing in miraculous ways- let’s create an arrangement- using these Colorful Technologically Advances Roses and Carnations… “
You’ll experience an arrangement containing both the Moon Series® Carnations and the Applause® Rose
Featured Flower: Novelty Chrysanthemum
There are All sorts of different Chrysanthemums… and this week’s featured flowers are NOVELTY Chrysanthemums- that are from our friends at Deliflor… These varieties offer different shapes and unique colors- include Sphere shaped blooms- or Mums that have Laciniated Petals- that look as though they have been shredded… there are also NEW Colors- that change and evolve as the flowers open… or ones that have unique shapes- and bright green colors. It’s the Innovation and Technology at DeliFlor- that has made these flowers possible… and the long lasting quality of Chrysanthemums- makes many of these flowers wonderful substitutes for Dahlias- that are much more delicate and are difficult to ship! Flowers Featured from DeliFlor: – Magnum, Rosy, Alemani, Alvera, Rosano, Charlotte, Tiana, Etrusco, Couture, Empress, Gagarin
Visit to Plazoletta – In Colombia, South America
I’m excited for you to meet my friend Pablo Bazzani – from Plazoletta – a unique flower farm- that grows signature Perfection® Alstroemeria- and other beautiful flowers. While their flowers are beautiful- it’s the sustainability and innovation at this flower farm that provides the education you will experience today!
Plazoletta is a multi-generation family business- and Pablo is Italian by heritage but the farm is in Colombia South America. Pablo and his family and team do many fascinating things that help with their environment and sustainability. Nearly all the water on the farm is gathered from rainwater- and then the water retention system allows them to save the water they use, recycle, clean and purify it… for use again.
In addition- they work with a local nearby community where they buy the brown water- and use it for their crops… it’s amazing innovation that results in some of the prettiest flowers on the planet- in fact they truly live up to their name “Perfection”. I hope you enjoy this visit to Colombia, to Plazoletta and my friend Pablo!
Idea/Trick or Tip with Natalie Carmolli
I asked Natalie for her favorite tips for growing Hydrangeas… Check out her favorite helpful hints for Hydrangea in this episode!
Innovative Gerbera Packaging
Have you ever thought about how some flowers are transported and how they arrive to you in such pristine condition? I wanted to show you an example of how carefully thought out packaging needs for transport are. This innovative packaging was born out of the necessity to more successfully transport Gerbera Daisies as a cut flower.
The Flowers of Gerbera Daisies specific challenges… they can have large heads- that are composite flowers… they have long stems- they need water- and it’s best when they travel in water… they also have to remain straight so the stems don’t curve, bend or break- that is a lot of requirements… but enter my friends the Van Wingerdens at Ocean Breeze Premium Flowers. They developed this special packaging over TWO decades ago (it’s hard to believe that something this innovative- could be this long standing). When I first saw this packaging- I thought it was right out of the JETSONS cartoon- it was innovative and incredibly detailed and protective. I simply had to share it with you… my friends Ivor and his father René – are amazing flower farmers- and we’ve visited René before in Episode #309 Mums the Word (You can watch it here!) The VanWingerdens are true icons in our flower industry – and everything they do is First Class. Rene and his family developed this incredible packaging and started deploying in June 1, 2001. that’s over 20 years ago… amazing right?
I hope you enjoying seeing this packaging and learning a little bit more about how your Beautiful Flowers -are cared for- and transported to you – in protective, safe, durable packaging… that includes Water… WOW!
Lemon Mint Mocktail – with Natalie Carmolli (Learn more at this Link!)
My Friend Natalie joins me on the terrace at the Proven Winner’s Test garden near Spring Meadows to create a Mocktail: the Lemon Mint Mocktail!
Lemon Mint Mocktail Recipe
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 lemon rounds
- 1 teaspoon honey optional
- 6-8 fresh mint leaves
- .5 cup coconut water
- .5 cup soda water
Muddle lemon, mint and honey (if using) in a glass. Add lots of ice, then top with coconut water and sparkling water. Stir gently, garnish and serve.
A Visit with Mel Resendiz about Creating NEW Protea Varieties at Resendiz Brothers Protea Farm!
Let’s take another visit to Fallbrook California- and check in with my Protea Farming Friend Mel Resendiz. Mel is going to show us how he chooses and creates NEW varieties of Protea, Leucodendron and Wax Flowers- right in the fields…at Resendiz Brothers Proteas! While many times we see this process on a very large scale- like we saw earlier today at Spring Meadows; Mel has a “Craft” version that is on a small scale-where he is personally involved in selecting, breeding and hybridizing his favorite flowers … and is creating flowers that are extremely unique- and never seen before!
Flower From YOU- Viewer Feedback
This is a NEW Feature for Season 5 of “Life in Bloom” We get so many emails, letters, texts and messages- that often include pictures of what our viewers have created. I wanted to be sure I shared them with you- because they bring me so much joy. So let’s get started with the letter that Inspired me to start “Flowers from YOU!” -
I have 4 arrangements to share with you from viewers Brad and Kelly Gomez of Florida. Brad and Kelly send me their arrangements, from what they call their “finer things Sunday” – a time they have chosen to set aside for relaxing pursuits which include arranging flowers. Brad writes: “On Sundays, we pull out the crystal, the china and the silver. We spend the day with no phones and little to no TV at all. We spend the day cooking, enjoying perhaps an at home spa day, certainly an adult beverage and what we now consider the finishing touch of a wonderful and beautiful day.
We call them “Schwankes”.
We go to the local grocer and buy fresh flowers and make arrangements together to place around the house on Sundays. These carry through the week ahead and remind us that it’s the simple things…and that things we have learned on your program contribute to that.
Please allow me to share the photos of today’s “Schwankes”. And thank you for your wonderful program and making us stop to “smell the flowers”.
“Did you put fresh water in the Schwanke in the kitchen?”
Thanks to Brad and Kelly for sharing their creations, I LOVE to see what you make! Send your “Schwankes” to firstname.lastname@example.org – the letter j at the letter u- bloom.com and watch for your arrangements on upcoming shows”
Thanks for watching this innovative episode of Life in Bloom. Remember, your own ideas can be an inspiration for enjoying flowers in creative new ways. For Life In Bloom, I’m J Schwanke.”