Holland : Why it should be on your bucket list!

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

When people think of Holland, they think of flowers! And, rightly so… after all Holland is one of the worlds’ largest flower producers. In my opinion, Holland Flowers are superior to flowers grown in other parts of the world. I think it is the Dutch people, and their love for their craft that makes Holland a truly special place that you should visit, and visit often!

Holland should be on everyone’s bucket list because there is literally something for everyone! My first trip to Holland was in 2004, and the trip proved much too short a visit because of all there is to see and do! I vowed to return, and every time I do, there is something new that I didn’t see on my previous visit! Holland offers over 2500 Museums to delight every passion, it is also home to the world’s oldest amusement park, Royal Delft Pottery, Diamond Trading, Gouda Cheese, Dutch Masters Vermeer & Rembrandt, and of course Tulips! Art & Culture abound in this remarkable country. I am a floral designer first, but I also love history and culture. And, there is no better place to combine so many interests than Holland! I longed to create a trip for designers & enthusiasts alike. One that would include cultural aspects that make Holland what it is today. Let me show you what you’ve been missing!

• Anne Frank House – Secret Annex where her famed diary was written during the German occupation of the Netherlands
• Rijksmuseum – Dutch Masters works including Rembrandts “Night Watch”
• De Efteling – Worlds’ oldest amusement park!
• Keukenhof Gardens – The worlds’ most beautiful spring garden with over 7 million bulbs in bloom at once!
• Van Gogh Museum – Worlds’ largest collection of Van Gogh paintings
• Aalsmeer – Famed Dutch Flower Auction, 20 million stems sold daily!

Contact: Paula Coleman, Floral Stylist ~ Owner Elite Events, Inc.
info@eliteeventstravel.com (812) 945-3596 www.eliteeventstravel.com

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

Travel to Holland with Paula Coleman of Elite Events, Inc.

Flirty Fleurs Magazine Issue Three!!!

Flirty Fleurs Flower Magazine, Issue ThreePurchase Issue Three

We are thrilled to announce the release of the third annual print issue of Flirty Fleurs!
This issue has a little something for everyone. If it’s travel that inspires you, stroll the streets of New York on a walk through the NY Flower District or tiptoe through the tulips in Holland. If it’s stunning images of gorgeous bridal work you like, cruise the pages of Bridal Beauties and our Real Weddings & Inspirational Shoots to be inspired by our peers. Read up on the incredible Field to Vase Dinner Tour, which pairs flower farmers, florists and local chefs to brings guests an unforgettable al fresco dining experience rooted in American grown flowers in an article brought to us by our dear friend Debra Prinzing. Sit down for a chat about flowers and design with acclaimed New York designer Lewis Miller and learn what it takes to be the nation’s “first florist” at The White House with Laura Dowling. Treat yourself to some great tips from cake designer Rachael Teufel of Intricate Icings about working with fresh flowers on cakes. Get down to business with the Alisons—Alison Ellis of Floral Artistry chats with us about branding and Alison Dahlson of Mayesh reviews the estimate-creating software programs currently on the market. Be ready to have your heart strings tugged by the incredibly inspiring women and stories told in “A Full Heart” with Shawn Chamberlain, “Plan B” with Nancy Liu Chin, and “The Long Road Home” with Ashley Woodson Bailey. And we think you all know by now that we love roses, so it brings us immense pleasure to fill more of these pages with gorgeous garden roses from Alexandra Farms. As always, we finish off the issue with a good dose of the giggles in Just For Laughs – stories brought to your by our fellow floral designers.

We thoroughly hope you all enjoy our latest issue of Flirty Fleurs Magazine; this year the magazine grew to 106 pages! It could be called a labor of love, but a project that is so worth the work in our eyes – we are constantly impressed by the beautiful work submitted by our peers as the features for Real Weddings, Inspirational Shoots, and Bridal Beauties comes together. As we pour through these pages and see work from designers throughout the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and United Kingdom it is a reminder of how our love of flowers connects us around the world!

All of this comes to you from a team of three (who never even breathe the same air!); the founder of Flirty Fleurs, Alicia Schwede, Robyn Rissman of Bare Root Flora, and Kim of Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design & Illustration. In addition to writing numerous articles in this issue Robyn also designed the floral arrangement gracing our front cover, photographed by Laura Murray. Kim once again brings together all our articles and imagery in such a beautiful way, you’ll want to treat yourself and sit for a spell while feasting your eyes on all this beauty.

**Order your copy HERE**


.
.
.

Visit Holland & France with Elite Events!

Elite Events Travel To Europe - tulip fields

Holland & France: A Flower Lover’s Journey

Do you have a love for flowers? Do you love culture, gardens, & beautiful scenery? Well, you’re in for a spectacular floral experience during two upcoming flower trips to Europe!

These trips were designed for flower lovers! Designed to be both inspiring & fun…to stir your creativity and enlighten your mind! And, designed to broaden your horizons & expand your world view! Both journeys to Holland and France offer exclusive behind-the-scenes access to experience flower growing, arranging, and gardening up close & personal. To meet the designers and growers and learn from their heirloom, centuries old, European techniques. To experience one-on-one floral design workshops for in depth knowledge. And, to revel in cultural experiences, establish floral contacts, make new friends, and create lifetime memories!
Limited spaces still available! Reserve your space before it’s gone!

What’s Included:
• Private, Behind-the-scenes tour of World’s Largest Flower Auction
• Intimate Group Size for 1-to-1 interaction
• Designed for all Skill Levels
• Private, hands-on Floral Design Workshops
• Private Tours of Van Gogh Museum & Rijksmuseum
• Day Trip to World Renown Keukenhof Gardens
• Tour Tulip Bulb Fields on foot & by boat ~ a flower lovers dream!
• View Artisans making Copper Vessels
• Visit a 400-Year-Old French Market ~ Named prettiest in France!
• Private Garden Tours
• Accommodations, All Meals, & Local Transportation Included

Contact: Paula Coleman, Floral Stylist ~ Owner Elite Events, Inc.
info@eliteeventstravel.com
(812) 945-3596
www.eliteeventstravel.com

Elite Events Travel To Europe - Visit the Gardens of Keukenhof

Enjoy a floral design class with Elite Events Travel To Europe

Elite Events Travel To Europe - Fritallaria

Elite Events Travel To Europe - visit Keukenhof Gardens in Hollad

Flowers from Holland

Our friend Joost of Florabundance Wholesale recently traveled to Holland to see the trade shows – IFTF and FloraHolland. He shared some photos of the flowers he viewed on display and we thought we’d share them with all of you –

Ashley by Alexandra Roses

Ashley by Alexandra Roses

Amaryllis

Amaryllis

Anemones

Anemones

Antique Carnations

Carnations

Ashley Garden Roses

Ashley Garden Roses

Blush Ranunculus

Ranunculus

Buttercup Garden Roses

Buttercup Garden Roses

Sunstream Euphorbia

Sunstream Euphorbia

Hydrangea

Hydrangea

Japanese Lisianthus

Japanese Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Midsummer Garden Roses

Midsummer Garden Roses

Ranunculus

Ranunculus

Ranunculus

Ranunculus

Shine On Garden Roses

Shine On Garden Roses

Spray Roses

Spray Roses

Fleur Friday

Florabundance Holland Design Days

Hello!
I’m off in Holland with Florabundance this week. Follow along with our Holland adventures on Instagram –

Flirty Fleurs on Instagram
Florabundance on Instagram

We have an incredible itinerary of floral treasures to see while in Holland and I cannot wait to share highlights here on the blog when I return!

tot ziens (Dutch for see you later!),
Alicia

Visiting with Holex

Holex Flower Holland - Pink Ranunculus

Ranunculus

It’s so easy to overlook the amount of work it takes to bring all the amazing flowers we love to use to our flower markets, and then to our shops and studios. With the fragility and perishability of flowers, it’s critical that flowers are cared for with tremendous care and efficiency. On my visit to Holland last fall with Joost of Florabundance Wholesale, I had the pleasure of visiting one of the world’s premier fresh cut flower export companies. Holex, which was founded in 1982, is located at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction and is a leader in exporting flowers worldwide.

Holex Flower Holland - Hellebores in Holland

Joost behind the hellebores

Holex specializes in airfreight shipments of fresh cut flowers to destinations around the world. Their main markets are North America and Japan, but they also ship to the Middle East and China, as well as trucking to Russia and throughout Europe. Holex relies primarily on commercial airliners to transport their flowers—passenger planes have a strong record of leaving and arriving on time, which is critical for perishable product. Holex ships flowers to NYC seven days a week! They also ship flowers to hubs in Boston, Miami, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. They can ship direct via FedEx through the hub in Memphis, TN, too.
The tour of the Holex facility is particularly impressive because of their proximity to the auction, which assures tremendous exposure to new and interesting varieties of flowers. One of the new varieties that caught my eye is spider amaranthus.

Holex Flower Holland - Green Spider Amaranthus

Green Spider Amaranthus

Holex Flower Holland - Black Ranunculus

Ranunculus

Holex Flower Holland - Astilbe

Astilbe

Because a perishable agricultural product is inherently risky, Holex takes the inspection process of flowers very seriously. While touring their facility I had the opportunity to witness a number of inspections. Every single bunch of flowers is looked at under lights and over white paper . The inspectors are searching for bugs, worms – any little creepy-crawly thing possible! The US and Japan have the strictest import laws on flowers, so shipments to these two countries are handled with utmost care. In fact, the Japanese government sends their own inspector to work at Holex to ensure premium quality. All flowers are first inspected at Holex, and then inspected again when they reach the port of entry in the US.

Holex Flower Holland - Flower Inspector

Checking over flowers that have just arrived in from the auction floor (Aalsmeer, in case you weren’t sure!)

Holex Flower Holland - Inspecting flowers for bugs prior to shipping.

Flowers have just arrived from the auction floor and are being inspected for bugs.

Holex Flower Holland - Flower inspector looking for bugs prior to shipping.

Another flower inspector, looking for bugs under bright lights and on white paper.

After the flowers go through the entire Holex process (they arrive, are photographed, inspected, cooled, and packed for orders) the final process happens—all flower boxes are placed in the cooler, at which point special machinery blows cool air into the boxes. (You know those holes you see at the ends of the flower boxes? That’s where the air is blown into the boxes to cool the flowers one more time before they embark on their travels!)

Holex Flower Holland - Photography Studio

Photography Studio

Holex Flower Holland - Carts of flowers in the cooler prior to packing.

Carts of flowers in the cooler prior to packing.

Holex Flower Holland - Dutch Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas destined for Japan.

Holex Flower Holland - packing hydrangeas

Hydrangeas headed for packing

Holex Flower Holland - packing flowers for shipping

packing for shipping..

Holex Flower Holland - preparing to ship flowers to their final destination

Packing up the flowers to ship to their final destinations.

Holex Flower Holland - flowers packed on pallets

Packed on pallets

Holex Flower Holland - cooling flowers

This is where the flowers go last prior to going out the door, all the boxes are placed in front of massive air coolers. These push cool air into the boxes to keep the flowers cooled for shipping. That’s what those holes are at the ends of the boxes – pushing out the warm air.

Holex specializes in the wedding and event business so they make a point of keeping florists informed about the product they’re ordering. To this end they’ve set up a special photography area where every single flower that comes through the door is photographed. All their photographs are uploaded onto a website and updated constantly. On average they take 500 new photographs every day! To view all these real-time images, sign up for an account on their website—it’s a great way to keep up with the incredible varieties of flowers available to us!

Contact Information:
Holex Flower – Holland
Dirk van der Zwet – Email
www.holex.com
Holex Webshop

Holex Flower Holland - Green Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas

Holex Flower Holland - Euphoriba Milii

Euphorbia Milii

Holex Flower Holland - White ranunculus

Ranunculus

Visiting IFTF in Holland

IFTF

Last month I had the pleasure of traveling to Holland with Joost, the owner of Florabundance, and attending the IFTF show (International Floriculture and Horticulture Trade Fair). The show was fantastic – aisles and aisles filled with huge displays of flowers. Seriously, I felt like a kid in a candy store!! The booths are all decorated differently, some do large floral arrangements and some keep it simple and fill containers full of flowers and let them shine. Either way, there is a lot to peruse and take notes on. A good portion of the displays are by flower breeders so this is the chance to see what is coming to market – a lot of these flowers will be grown by farms around the world, including farms here in America.

For those of you are interested in attending an IFTF show — good news — their next show is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles, California!! They are expecting a large turnout of California Flower Growers. The show will take place March 11-13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center – you can read more about it here.

Here are some of the highlights from the show (more images can be seen on my instagram account)

International floriculture and horticulture trade fair

Heart of Red Naomi Roses at IFTF in Holland

Heart of Red Naomi Roses

Rose display at IFTF

lilies arch at IFTF

Arch of all lilies

Joey, Paula and Joost

Joey, Paula and Joost

Joost and David Austin

You never know who you might run into at IFTF – here Joost is showing David Austin how cool Instagram is!

DeRuiter Rose Display

DeRuiter Rose Display

DeRuiter Rose Display

DeRuiter Rose Display

Alexandra Roses

Alexandra Roses

Yves Piaget and Princesse Charlene de Monaco by Meilland

Yves Piaget and Princesse Charlene de Monaco by Meilland

Sissi Mikado by Rosen Tantau

Sissi Mikado by Rosen Tantau

Silver Rain by Rosen Tantau

Silver Rain by Rosen Tantau

Reflex Spray Rose

Reflex Spray Rose

Qualisa Roses

Qualisa Roses

Madame Bombastic Roses

Madame Bombastic Roses

Kahala Roses

Kahala Roses

Glory Days by Schreurs

Glory Days by Schreurs

El Fuego Garden Rose with green eye

El Fuego Garden Roses

Combo Rose

Combo Rose

South African Flowers

Purple Vanda Orchid

Purple Vanda Orchid

Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Display of pink flowers by Ball

Display of pink flowers by Ball

White and pink striped lisianthus

White and pink striped lisianthus

Orchid Display at IFTF

Orchid Display

Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums

Carnation

Carnation

Antique collection of carnations

Antique collection of carnations

carrying bundles of roses

At the end of the show attendees could be seen carrying out huge bouquets of roses. If I hadn’t been catching an early AM flight back to the states I would have grabbed an armful of roses, too!!

Fleur Friday

Hello Flower Friends .. time to announce the winner of Fresh From The Field Wedding Flowers!
Drumroll please!!

The winner is Elizabeth Jackson!
Elizabeth is the owner of Laughing Earth Flowers in Texas.

Fresh from the Field Wedding Flowers by Lynn Byczynski & Erin Benzakein

FYI – As for determining the winner of the contest I did use RandomResult.com to pick a Random winner.

If you would like a copy of the book and are not the winner you can order the book directly from their official website here or order on Amazon here.

…………………………………………………………………………….

Florabundance Wholesale has announced their annual trip to Holland, it will take place November 3-8, 2014 – you can see the information for the trip here. I went on the trip in 2012 and it sure was a great experience, definitely had a lot of flower adventures!

Aalsmeer Flower Auction in Holland

Aalsmeer Flower Auction

…………………………………………………………………………….

Thought I’d share one of my favorite personal designs of the week – all flowers sourced at Seattle Wholesale Growers Market
Bella Fiori, Rustic Urn filled with gold garden roses, burgundy dahlias, red astilbe, purple sweetpeas

The Dutch Flower Group Show

While in Holland, Joost and I also visited The Dutch Flower Group Show. Aisles and aisles of booths filled with beautiful flower displays. The Dutch Flower Group had a great display with huge ball shape flower arrangements, they were probably 5′ in diameter.

Dutch flower group logo

Dutch Flower Group’s logo created out of fresh flowers.


members of Dutch flower group

The members of Dutch Flower Group


ball made out of orchids and sunflowers

Here’s one of those 5′ round balls made out of flowers, cymbidium orchids and sunflowers – so cool!


green cymbidiums and plumosa

So many green cymbidium orchids and plumosa to create this piece


Ti leaves, hydrangeas and orchid plants

Ti leaves, hydrangeas and orchid plants


Orange chinese lanterns, gerber daisies and birds of paradise

Orange Chinese Lanterns, Gerbera Daisies and Birds of Paradise.


Air plant

My favorite one, filled with air plants.


succulents and cactus
Amaryllis Flowers
Hydrangea display
gerbera daisy display
colorful hydrangea flowers
Nerines

Nerines


EUCHARIS GRANDIFLORA

Eucharis Grandiflora

For more information on Dutch Flower Group click here
and FloraHolland click here

More pretty from IFTF

More pretty roses from IFTF (International Floriculture Trade Fair) – Holland 2012.

Fresh Latitiude Roses

How cool is this display concept by Fresh Latitude rose growers??


Interplant Roses

Interplant Roses had a beautiful display of roses and some of the most incredible spray roses that I have ever seen!


spray roses
Sparkling Graffiti

How unique are these Sparkling Graffiti spray roses by Interplant Roses??


Antigua Spray roses

Quite fond of these Antigua Spray Roses by Interplant Roses.


red spray roses

Each booth had tables set with coffee, tea and chocolates.


pink and white spray rose

Flashing Spray Roses


rusty brown spray rose

Brown Sugar Spray Rose, it was more rusty brown than it appears in this photo.


Nevado Roses
Campanella and Darcey Roses

Campanella and Darcey roses by Nevado Roses.


Joost, Alicia & John


Long stemmed red roses

Super duper long stemmed red roses by Nevado Roses.


Roses by Rosen Tantau


white with pink edge rose

Sweetness rose by Rosen Tantau.


White Alabaster Garden Rose

My favorite white garden rose – Alabaster


Yellow spray rose

Yellow Canary Mikado Spray Rose


deRuiter roses

deRuiter had a great display of roses and hypericum berries. We took a tour of deRuiter’s operation, I’ll post about that visit later this week.


large pink rose

check out the size of this pretty pink deRuiter rose!


orange rose

Love this orange rose by deRuiter – Enya


roses by deRuiter

Lovely collection of the roses by deRuiter

There you have it, a lot of the pretty that I saw at IFTF. Not quite everything, but quite a bit of it. Really was quite amazing to see the up & coming flower varieties and how important Kenya and Ethiopia farms are to the European flower market.

For any of you that will be in New York City March 13-15, 2013, I highly recommend visiting the World Floral Expo at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Click here for more information about this show.