Birthday + Flowers – A Recap


I already knew I was going to have a fun flower filled b day, between my spiffy new Floret Cadet mug, the White O’Hara garden roses I treated myself to,  and the floral design class at Rene Van Rems studio that I took on my actual birthday on Sunday.  But the universe turned out to have a few more fun flower related b day surprises for me!

First, I have to share my mug- I am just in love with it

And before I share the pics of what I made w my garden roses, I got a couple of really fun birthday surprises at Sunday’s workshop.  When we first gathered, we went around the room and shared our “flower status”- the class was a mixture of floral business owners, recent retirees who are hoping to make floral design a second career, flower growers, and some freelance designers.  I said that I started a blog called Floret Cadet about a year ago to chronicle my floral obsession, and several of the people in the class turned out to be regular readers, which I got a big kick out of!

But even cooler than that, one person there, Diana Roy, who is the head of sales & marketing for Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers, based in Fallbrook CA, had read my entry on Friday about taking the workshop on my birthday, and she brought me a beautiful all protea and leucadendron bouquet straight from the farm.  It totally made my day!

Check it out:

protea bouquet

Resendiz Brothers is the only grower of Blushing Bride Protea in the state, so if you’ve used it, it’s theirs!  I discovered a few really cool new varieties (new to me that is) of protea and kangaroo paw through the workshop.  They also grow lovely brunia, among other things.

Diana manages the very active Facebook page and blog for the company, and was a great contact to have made.  They are happy to sell direct to floral designers, and they are having an open house at the farm on November 12th! A huge thank you to Diana again for thinking of me on my birthday!

I also purchased Rene Van Rems’ beautiful books, Rene’s Bouquets and Rene’s Bouquets For Brides,  and Rene was nice enough to write the following inscription to me:

I can’t wait to really dive into his books!

He also let me take home one of the niftiest things I’ve seen in a long time as a birthday token- a plastic rose stripper like this one.  You just fold the disc in your hand around the stem and pull down – it takes off the leaves and thorns without shaving off the skin on the stem and is much more gentle than the old metal kind.  Thanks so much Rene! He joked when my husband came to pick me up from class that he got me a stripper for my birthday ; )

OK, I am finally done talking about my birthday, I’m sorry.  It’s kind of like “baby’s first birthday” though – even though Floret Cadet was in its infancy on my birthday last year, it wasn’t nearly as big a focus in my life as it is this year!

Here are some fun shots of the White O’Hara garden roses that were a birthday present to myself:

Here is the bouquet I made out of them- it also features chocolate cosmos, sorghum broom corn, and peach cymbidiums, all from Mayesh.   It was a hand tied cascade bouquet, using the broom corn, slightly manipulated to point down, and wired orchids, to form the cascade:

Some closeups, in different lighting conditions (how lovely is that pinky-amber sunset lighting?!)

Here are some process shots- I bunched the chocolate cosmos together in groups of 3, 4, or 5 to keep the bouquet from getting to “polka-dotted”.  The orchids were all taped to chenille stems, which allowed me to cascade them down from the hand tied part of the bouquet.

But the most fun part of the prep process was reclaiming several stems of chocolate cosmos from the mouth of this little scallywag, after he made off with them!



October 31, 2011 - 10:27 pm

Kelly Sullivan (Botanique) - Lovely! So glad you had a such a fun birthday!!!

November 1, 2011 - 10:59 am

Kate - Thanks! Are those crab apples in that last arrangement of yours on your blog, or what variety? Love them!

November 1, 2011 - 2:13 pm

Dayanara Garcia - I am loving the bouquet you made with those peach colored roses!!! Its so lovely 😉 I’m so glad to hear you had a great birthday!

November 1, 2011 - 8:31 pm

Kelly Sullivan (Botanique) - Hi Kate,

Yes, they are crab apples. I don’t know what variety- I purchased them from Jello Mold Farm, an excellent flower farm in the Skagit Valley, just north of Seattle- aren’t they lovely?

November 2, 2011 - 10:10 am

Kate - OK Jello Mold farm is probably the cutest business name I’ve heard! That looks like such a great farm- they grow such interesting things! My jealousy of pacific northwest based floral designers continues ; )

November 7, 2011 - 9:47 pm

Laurie (Fleurie) - Really gorgeous use of those pretty birthday roses. I love color and texture of the sorghum mixed with the peachyness of the roses and orchids. Looks like a great experience at the workshop.

February 24, 2013 - 7:17 pm

Maria - I love your bouquets and the colores you chose. Thank you for sharing you beautiful floral art !!!

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