Flirty Fleurs’ – Dahlia Tubers for Sale!

Dahlias grown by Alicia Schwede of the Flirty Fleurs Blog. Dahlias include Rebecca Lynn, Alloway Candy, and Bride To Be

If you happen to follow my flower adventures on Instagram and/or Facebook surely this past summer you witnessed quite a few photos taken in my Dahlia Patch, the name I coined my ever growing Dahlia garden.
I started growing dahlias my first summer (2014) at our new house in Washington. They grew nicely and I learned how to divide and store them that winter. 2015 came along and due to the dividing I had MORE dahlias to plant. Well, history repeated itself and I divided and stored dahlias again last winter. What started as 50 tubers in 2014 turned into 400 tubers for 2016. AND then there is this current round, where those 400 tubers have been divided into … thousands. BTW I tell Vivian at Everyday Flowers that she is too good of a teacher as she is the one who taught me how to divide! She gets a big kick out of my ever expanding dahlia tuber collection.
So that brings us to the point of THIS BLOG POST.
I have A LOT of Dahlias for the upcoming season and for the first time ever I am looking to sell off some tubers. (Last year I did pack some up and send off to friends in California, Colorado, and Nebraska so I could share the love).
Sooooo….. I have 4 Varieties up for Sale:

Flirty Fleurs Dahlias - Rebecca Lynn Dahlias - Hot Pink Dahlia TubersRebecca Lynn Dahlia Tubers – For Sale
Flirty Fleurs Dahlias - Bride To Be Dahlias - White Dahlia TubersBride To Be Dahlias – For Sale
Flirty Fleurs Dahlias - Alloway Candy Dahlias - Pink Dahlia TubersAlloway Candy Dahlias – For Sale
Mero Star Dahlia Tubers For Sale, Dinner Plate Burgundy Dahlia Tubers for SaleMero Star Dahlias – For Sale

Get your orders in now to reserve the tubers. I will be shipping them out in the spring once the weather allows for shipping across the country.
Please email me at info@flirtyfleurs.com if you have any questions at all or need help placing an order – I am more than happy to help!!

Divine Delphinium Inspirations

This photo right here is inspiration behind today’s post, so unique and unexpected, yet perfectly in harmony on this couch and set by the grey wall. Love it.
A couch filled with a delphinium floral arrangement.

Seed packet, clearly a favorite since 1929.
Delphinium seed packet

I highly recommend reading this post about Edward Steichen Delphiniums. Edward was a well known Fashion Photographer in the 1930s who also happened to be the President of the Delphinium Society Of America. In 1936 Edward showed his Delphiniums at a show at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the one and only flower show ever at the MoMA.

Old black and white photograph of Edward Steichens Delphiniums

Edward Steichen Delphiniums

And say Delphinium to people in the fashion industry and I’m pretty sure the first thing that would pop into their minds is the – Delphinium Mountain created for the DIOR fashion show.

Dior's blue delphinium mountain

DIOR outside the Louvre in Paris.

Such a beautiful setting of Delphiniums in front of DIOR in London-

Delphinium surrounding Dior shop in London

Blue Delphiniums outline the DIOR shop on New Bond Street in London.

And how about this, wings of delphinium.
Wings made of delphinium blossoms

A fantastic art design utilizing delphinium blooms.

The Ring by HIVE Interior Design - a Blue Delphinium Ring

The Ring by HIVE Interior Design

And, of course, they are a beautiful statement flower to use in floral designs.
long dining table decorated with vases filled with blue and lavender delphinium

Nikki Tibbles, Wild At Heart

Nikki Tibbles, Wild At Heart

stunning-display-of-delphiniums-eryngium-agapanthus-hydrangeas-trachelium-lisianthus

Peony’s Envy – Plant Varieties

Peony's Envy - White Peonies

Peony's Envy - Tree Peonies

Peony's Envy - Hot Pink Peonies

Peony's Envy - Pink Peonies

Peony’s Envy Website

David Austin Garden Roses – 2017

david-austin-garden-roses-2017

David Austin Garden Roses

David Austin Garden Roses

David Austin Garden Roses Website

Let’s Talk Bold Colors!

For this arrangement I went BOLD! Just two varieties of tulips – Bright Parrot Tulips and Monsella Double Tulips. Yes, its name is “Bright Parrot Tulips”. Super simple design, just the tulips and no foliages or other textures added, set in one of my Campo de Fiori baskets which was lined with moss –

Bright Parrot Tulips and Monsella Double Tulip from Longfield Gardens, Arrangement designed by Bella Fiori/Flirty Fleurs

Bright Parrot Tulips and Monsella Double Tulip

Here’s an upclose on the two tulips I used –

Monsella and Bright Parrot Tulips

Yes, I’m throughly enjoying tulip season here in my garden. I thought I might feel lost as the hellebores started to wane, but the tulips are adding so much color to the flower bed I feel satisfied!

As for the tulips – you can find the bulbs at Longfield Gardens.

Tulips with Longfield Gardens

Can we just talk about these tulips today?!

Bella Fiori - Flirty Fleurs - Longfield Gardens - Arrangement of red and white parrot and double tulips

Another view — parrot tulips!!!
Red and White Parrot Tulips from Longfield Gardens - Designed by Bella Fiori

Here are the tulips I used in this design –

Longfield Gardens Red and White Tulips

It’s truly the Estella Rijnveld that I’m absolutely enamored with — seriously thinking I want a full flower bed of these next year. Not only are they jaw-dropping gorgeous they bloom for a good amount of time.

Estella Rijnveld Red and White Parrot Tulips from Longfield Gardens

Estella Rijnveld

For more information on these tulips please visit Longfield Gardens.

Oh, and the other stuff in the arrangement is all from my garden – bleeding hearts, hops, honeysuckle.

La Belle Epoque Tulips

La Belle Epoque Tulips seem to be popping up all over social media this spring season. A very fascinating color, moody and rich.
La Belle Epoque Tulips

I decided to peek around and see how designers are working with them in arrangements.
Here’s one of my arrangements, I mixed the tulips with jasmine, fritillaries, ranunculus-

Via The Telegraph clockwise from left, ‘Françoise’, ‘La Belle Epoque’, ‘Greenstar’ and ‘Purple Tower’ make a beautiful bunch  Photo: Jonathan Buckley

Via The Telegraph
clockwise from left, ‘Françoise’, ‘La Belle Epoque’, ‘Greenstar’ and ‘Purple Tower’ make a beautiful bunch
Photo: Jonathan Buckley

Flower Focus :: Hellebores

A few weeks ago I posted this photograph on Instagram & Facebook of freshly cut hellebores out of my garden-

Hellebores grown by Alicia Schwede of Flirty Fleurs Flower Blog

Quite a few people replied and asked how I could cut them so young and have them last? How long until they wilt?
(pretty sure under their breath they were saying – those are going to wilt!)

So here’s the deal. I look for one thing in each stem that I cut – the stem has to have at least one flower on it that has lost its stamens and is starting to go to seed. Check out the three images here, in each one you’ll see the bottom of the three blooms is without the stamens (yellow pollen). My friend Riz of RHR Horticulture shared with me awhile back that the key of getting hellebores to last is to wait to cut them until at least one flower per stem has started to go to seed. Riz is a well known horticulturist, especially here in Washington State.

harvesting hellebores

harvesting and cutting hellebores

when to pick hellebores
Ok, so after I sort through my plants I do a fresh, sharp cut on the stems I want and I immediately dipped the cut stems into QuickDip. In general I don’t use many flower aids/foods, etc. But I find with hellebores it sure doesn’t hurt to dip a fresh cut stem into QuickDip. That’s It!
I have had GREAT LUCK with these two simple steps. I cut the above hellebores two weeks ago for a design class that I was teaching — and guess what, I still have many of them in a vase on my desk!

Here’s one of my arrangements re-using the hellebores I had used in my class demonstration –

Bella Fiori Washington; arrangement of hellebores, ranunculus, viburnum

Here’s another example of how well the hellebores aged.
This is an arrangement designed by Amanda of Alluring Blooms
Designed by Amanda of Alluring Blooms, Wisconsin while at a Flirty Fleurs Floral Design Workshop in Seattle, Washington

Ten days later I took her arrangement apart, check out what was left of the flowers –
dead flowers, hellebores are still alive
Crazy, right?? The hellebores still looked great! A few tulips were trying to hang in there. The anemones, hyacinths, pieris japonica, fritillaries and ranunculus were DONE!

So there you have it, that’s what I how I care for cut hellebores out of my garden!

Care & Handling of Cut Poinsettias

This past week I’ve been experimenting with cut Poinsettias. I’ve had really good luck with them, in fact they are outlasting the roses in the flower arrangements!

Here’s one of the arrangements I designed –
Bella Fiori - Poinsettia and rose flower arrangement

I cut the poinsettias stems from the plant and placed them in a glass vase with fresh water, no flower food or anything else. I let stems drain the milky sap in the vase. Once they were done I placed the stems in the arrangement, I did not re-cut the stems!! The arrangement is on day 6 and the poinsettias are still going strong, it’s the sahara roses that are doing down!

Flirty fleurs poinsettia

I posted the pictures on Instagram and Facebook and a handful of people asked how to keep them alive. It got me to thinking and I talked to my friend Patty, of Brittany Flowers, why do designers struggle with keeping cut poinsettias alive? We came up with a very good question — how many people are making an arrangement with the poinsettias and then sticking the finished piece in the cooler?! Because right there is the problem — the cooler!!
Poinsettias are native to Mexico, they like it hot! It’s easy to forget what they like considering we see them at Christmas time and associate them with winter time. When a poinsettia plant is purchased from a store and carried to a car it should be covered with a bag to protect it from cold temperatures. The same goes for a cut stem, it needs to be protected from the cold — which means no coolers.

So there you have it, our theory on what kills the cut poinsettia.

We’d love to hear anyone else’s advice for designing with cut poinsettias!!

Care & Handling of Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas .. the flower that instills fear into so many floral designers.
Quite often in my design classes people will ask for tips on how to keep this flower alive in flower arrangements. Personally I love hydrangeas and have used tons of them over the years .. even in bridal bouquets, in July, in Colorado — think hot, hot, hot!

Here are my steps for processing and caring for hydrangeas –

When the hydrangeas arrive from the wholesaler the first thing I do is remove all the plastic wrap on their blooms.

Hydrangeas when they arrive for processing

Hydrangeas when they arrive for processing

Next, the important step — I submerge all hydrangea heads into a tub full of water!
I soak them for 20-30 minutes. Sometimes I forget and they end up soaking for an hour, no biggy.
I find soaking to be an extremely important step in the care of hydrangeas.
1) It washes all the dirt off their petals, it’s amazing how much dirt comes off – the water is always murky after the soaking.
2) Soaking rehydrates the flowers. Any bit of wilting is cured.
3) Soaking helps to fluff up the blooms, especially the hydrangeas shipped in from South America.

Hydrangeas Soaking

Hydrangeas Soaking

After the hydrangeas have been soaked I give their stems a fresh cut, removing about 1-2″ of the stem (and the little baggy if they are from South America) and immediately place them into a bucket with fresh water.
I do not use floral food, no particular reason why – I really just never use floral food with any of my flowers.

I leave the buckets of hydrangea out until the blooms are completely dried off from their soaking.
Once dry I place them in the cooler to harden off.
Overnight in the cooler and the next day they are in a great shape to use in designs. You’ll notice how firm the blooms are after this treatment.

Yes, I do use hydrangeas in bouquet work!! I spray a good amount of Crowning Glory on the hydrangeas.
It is important to spray the hydrangeas with the Crowning Glory and then leave them out for the CG to dry. Once it has dried the bouquets can be placed back into the cooler until it is time to deliver them.

Bella Fiori - bouquets of hydrangeas

Designed by Bella Fiori
Hydrangea Bouquets + July + Colorado!

Everyone has a different take on how to treat Hydrangeas, this treatment is what has worked for me over the years.