Renowned Designers To Wow Guests at First Two Dinner Tour Stops

Rene Van Rems, Debi Lilly to Design Tablescapes at California Dinners

We’re always excited when things really start coming together for each of the American Grown Field to Vase dinners, but this year, the excitement is through the roof as we announce that two renowned floral designers have joined the tour.

Meet Rene Van Rems and Debi Lilly!

Rene Van Rems

Designing tablescapes at the April 7 Field to Vase Dinner at Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers in Fallbrook, California, is Rene Van Rems, a renowned ambassador to the floral industry. Van Rems is a leading speaker, educator and demonstrator who has led workshops and design shows in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He’s also frequently featured at art museum events, including “Art Alive” in San Diego.

Van Rems is recognized for bringing the European influence to American floral designs. His work has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Sunset Magazine and on HGTV. He was formally educated at the prestigious Rijksmiddelbare Tuinbouwschool Floral Institute at Aalsmeer in Holland.

Our heads are spinning as we ponder how he’ll delight guests with hundreds of fresh protea!

 

Debi Lilly

Next up, celebrity florist and party planner Debi Lilly will bring her amazing design skills to the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at The Flower Fields on April 26 in Carlsbad.

You’ve seen Lilly on TV, in magazines, in stores nationwide, and maybe you’ve even seen photos of her floral and event creations for designer brands.

Known as Oprah’s “Favorite Pro,” Lilly was part of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for more than 10 years and has made it her mission to inspire, educate and share her 20 years of party planning expertise, stylist tips and DIY designs with fans worldwide.

With her impressive client list that includes brands like Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Safeway and Lamborghini, Lilly is a highly sought-after designer.

Last year, Lilly was the floral designer for our Carpinteria dinner where she delighted guests with her creations and easy-to-follow design tips.

With names like Van Rems and Lilly creating the floral décor at Field to Vase Dinners, guests will be wowed by breathtaking designs and will leave with a new appreciation for American Grown Flowers.

Tickets are going fast for these two dinners.

 

These Women Are Making a Difference for America’s Flower Farmers

Take Inspiration From Them, Then Promote Women’s Day March 8!

 

 

Neighbors used to call Diana Roy “Flower Girl.”

“I never seemed to have quite enough flowers in my own yard, so I was always asking neighbors if I could cut some of theirs,” she says.

Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea speaking to Congressman Jimmy Panetta (right) during a reception in Washington, D.C.  Photo by Nony Park of Ken Pak Photography.

Now the business manager of Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers, Roy has all the blooms she could possibly want. She’s combined her passion for flowers with her background in public relations to help make the farm one of California’s largest suppliers of South African and Australian flowers—not to mention an international leader in protea farming.

“We mentor other protea farmers by bringing them to our farm and providing educational information about protea,” she says. “We made a trip to Africa to learn about their growing techniques and then were able to share those learnings with other protea farmers in California.”

As immediate-past chair of the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC), Roy is one of the many outstanding women who are championing American Grown Flowers, whether in their communities or in the world at large.

Lane DeVries of Sun Valley Floral Farms was recognized by the Society of American Florists in 2014 for his efforts to bring Women’s Day back to the United States as a celebrated holiday.

As our country celebrates Women’s Day on March 8 by honoring the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, these passionate leaders are working hard to ensure the nation’s floral industry continues to thrive.

Founded in New York City more than a century ago, Women’s Day has been most notably celebrated internationally through the giving of flowers, but has risen in popularity as a floral holiday here in the U.S. over the past several years, thanks to the efforts of Lane DeVries of Sun Valley Group who has made it his mission to bring the holiday to the forefront here in the U.S.  As more people choose to mark the occasion with flowers, the holiday has helped fuel additional flower buying after Valentine’s Day.

Celebrity florist and party planner Debi Lilly understands the importance of celebrating holidays like Women’s Day. After more than a decade working with “The Oprah Winfrey Show”—and with a client list that includes brands like Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Safeway and Lamborghini—she’s now on a mission to inspire her fans to elevate life’s special occasions.

By sharing her party planning tips and DIY designs, she aims to help people celebrate their triumphs with elegance and style. She has also become an advocate for the American Grown flower movement, serving as featured floral designer for an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner last year and will once again be showcasing her field to vase-inspired designs at the Field to Vase Dinner scheduled for April 26 at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad.

Debi Lilly had her hands full while designing with some amazing Certified American Grown orchids at Gallup & Stribling Orchids in Carpinteria, CA. Debi will be the featured designer on April 26th for the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

With the help of advocates like Lilly, awareness of American Grown Flowers continues to blossom. A growing number of consumers are demanding homegrown blooms, and surveys show 58 percent would buy domestically grown flowers if given the choice.

Persuading consumers to buy American can often be as simple as letting them know they’re available. Crystal Hedgpeth, floral manager for Safeway’s Northern California Division, discovered this when customers gave the store poor marks for the availability of locally sourced products. Knowing more than half the blooms sold in her stores were California Grown, she launched a marketing campaign to put Golden State flowers front and center.

By grouping all of the locally grown flowers into one visual display and showcasing them in blue buckets to match the California Grown logo, she helped boost local flower sales by 14 percent across the supermarket chain’s 280 Northern California stores.

“In our minds, this should be part of our permanent thinking,” says Hedgpeth, who was named 2017 Flower Farm Champion by the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC). “We’ll continue to support California flower farmers and even incorporate the Certified American Grown Flower program. We want to continue to grow this.”

Crystal Hedgpeth, Floral Manager for Safeway’s NorCal division was recently recognized as the 2017 California Flower Farm Champion of the Year. Pictured here with California Cut Flower Commission Promotion Committee Chair Bruce Brady (left) and Nick Matteis, Executive Director of California Grown.  Photo by Linda Blue Photography.

With the contributions of innovative women like these, American flower farmers are enjoying a surge in demand for local blooms. As Women’s Day reminds us, women everywhere are working tirelessly to make a difference in the world—and the floral industry is no exception.

Floral Designers Prepare to Delight First Lady at Annual Luncheon

Event Showcases American Grown Flowers on One of the Country’s Biggest Stages

Last year’s audience for the annual First Lady’s Luncheon.

More than 18,000 cut flowers will descend upon Washington, D.C., this spring, shipped from American flower farms across the country.

Once there, a team of volunteer floral designers will make a mad dash to arrange the blooms into more than 200 jaw-dropping centerpieces in time for the Congressional Club’s annual First Lady’s Luncheon.

Kelly Shore and Mary Kate Kinnane will team up this year to lead the volunteer design team for the First Lady’s Luncheon.

At the epicenter of the floral storm, lead designers Kelly Shore and Mary Kate Kinnane will be busy coordinating the massive effort to present first lady Melania Trump with a 100 percent American Grown display.

It’s a tremendous undertaking, with flower shipments pouring in from multiple farms across the U.S. There are buckets that need filling, flowers that need processing and vases that need prepping.

It takes a team of volunteers to process the thousands of donated American Grown stems needed to create the stunning arrangements of the First Lady’s Luncheon.

It’s also a labor of love for the designers who can’t wait to share their passion for American Grown blooms with the first lady and more than 1,500 Congressional spouses and associates.

The luncheon is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have 18,000 stems of American grown flowers all in front of me to design with and to experience,” says Kinnane, who volunteered on the team last year. As the owner of The Local Bouquet in Rhode Island, Kinnane seeks out seasonal and sustainable blooms for her weddings and other events, using only local and American Grown flowers.

Flowers farms across the country generously donate their beautiful blooms to grace the tables of the First Lady’s Luncheon.

“I was able to see new American Grown product that I hadn’t yet worked with, I was able to shake the hands of some of the farmers who grew the product, I was able to introduce myself to influential people in my industry and I was able to grow my company’s name as a proud supporter of the American Grown flower movement.”

Kelly Shore’s participation in the Homer, Alaska Field to Vase Dinner in 2017 inspired her to become part of the American Grown Flowers movement. Photos by Joshua Veldstra Photography

Shore, a renowned florist and owner of Petals by the Shore in Washington, D.C., is returning to the event for her second year as lead designer. She’s still glowing from last year’s smashing success, during which a sold-out crowd heard First Lady’s Luncheon Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Yoho compliment the beautiful flowers and request that “everyone, including the White House, support American Grown Flowers.”

Shore joined the American Grown movement after spending a week with flower farmers in Alaska, where she designed tablescapes for an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner.

“I feel like my designs and my aesthetic have become stronger and gained in character with each step I take to educate myself and seek out American Grown flowers and foliage,” says Shore.

For the past two years, the First Lady’s Luncheon has given floral designers the opportunity to shine a spotlight on American Grown blooms in front of a national audience—and this year will be no exception. The volunteer team is already being assembled and Shore and Kinnane are preparing new designs for the thousands of flowers American farmers have cultivated for the event.

Designers, volunteer to help here! It’s the American Grown flowers experience of a lifetime – for designers and guests.

Floral Superstars are the Featured Designers for the American Grown Field To Vase Dinner Tour

Sign Up for a Design Workshop!

With less than a month to go until the first stop on the 2017 American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, we’re announcing the lineup of all-star floral designers who will lend their talents to the tablescapes and other floral designs at each of the seven dinner tour locations.

These designers are renowned in the floral design community, and consumers have seen their work in magazines, on television shows, at celebrity weddings and all over social media. The Field to Vase Dinner Tour (F2V) is your chance to experience their work first-hand.

New this year, F2V guests can add to their experience by taking part in a floral workshop in conjunction with many of the dinners. Our designers will offer floral enthusiasts and fellow creative spirits a workshop where they will share their expertise, tips and tricks.

Meet our 2017 featured F2V floral designers:

Sandy Schroeck AIFD, PFCI, CFD of Trend on Design

Setting the tone for the 2017 dinner tour series, Sandy Schroeck of Trend on Design will festoon the tabletops at Len Busch Roses in Plymouth, Minnesota, on Saturday, March 11 with stunning certified American Grown flowers full of color and life. As an award-winning designer, trend watcher and floral educator, Sandy is partnering with Loann Burke AIFD, PFCI, CFC for a spectacular design workshop Sunday, March 12 that will dive into the latest trends in bridal bouquets, personal flowers and wedding décor.

Tickets: Len Busch Roses in Plymouth, Minnesota, on Saturday, March 11

Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event

Celebrity party planner and author Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event will join us at Gallup & Stribling Orchids in Carpinteria, California, on Thursday, March 30. Known as Oprah’s “Favorite Pro,” Debi has been part of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for more than 10 years and has made it her mission to inspire, educate and share her 20 years of party planning expertise, stylist tips and DIY designs with fans worldwide. With her impressive client list that includes brands like Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Safeway and Lamborghini, Debi is a highly sought-after designer. You’ll want to join us for this special F2V dinner in Carpinteria, and add on her floral workshop where you’ll learn about elegant and easy party essentials.

Tickets: Gallup & Stribling Orchids in Carpinteria, California, on Thursday, March 30

Carly Cylinder of Flour LA, Inc.

Joining us at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California, on Thursday, April 20 is The Flower Chef herself, Carly Cylinder. Author of “The Flower Chef: A Modern Guide to Do-It-Yourself Floral Arrangements” (named to Best Books of 2016), Carly has been featured in magazines such as InStyle, Rachel Ray, Family Circle, US Weekly and more. Carly’s full-service studio, Flour LA, specializes in events for the beauty, fashion and tech industries, and caters to a growing list of celebrity clientele. Before the dinner, F2V guests will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop taught by Carly to learn the many tricks of her trade.

Tickets: The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California, on Thurs., April 20

Francoise Weeks of European Floral Design

Sharing her knowledge of innovation and design, Francoise Weeks of European Floral Design will captivate guests with floral designs that combine creativity and mechanical ingenuity while they dine during the summer sunset at Destiny Hill Farm in Washington, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, June 24. With a global following, Francoise has been featured in Modern Wedding Flowers, Huffington Post, Flutter Magazine and MILIEU. Generous with her perspective in the use of floral materials, structure and mechanics, Francoise will host a two-day workshop prior to the dinner on Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24 for floral students interested in learning more about her unique style.

Tickets: Destiny Hill Farm in Washington, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, June 24

Ariella Chezar of Ariella Chezar Design

Author of “Flowers for the Table” and the upcoming book “The Flower Workshop,” Ariella Chezar is the designer for our adventurous dinner at Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska, on Saturday, July 29. Both florist and farmer, Ariella specializes in weddings and events using flowers from her farm, Zonneveld Farm, located in upstate New York. She is heading west for this special F2V dinner where she will showcase the striking Alaskan peony in her floral designs. Ariella will teach a day-and-a-half long workshop on Friday, July 28 and pre-dinner on July 29 that promises to fulfill a floral Alaskan adventure of a lifetime.

Tickets: Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska, on Saturday, July 29

Holly Chapple of Holly Chapple Flowers and Hope Flower Farm

Internationally recognized floral designer Holly Chapple will grace our F2V tables with her exquisite designs as she and husband Evan Chapple host the Field to Vase Dinner Tour on their 27-acre property, Hope Flower Farm in Waterford, Virginia. Adding her “Hollyish” signature style (lovingly coined by fellow designers to describe an aesthetic that is wistful, sophisticated and stylish) to her floral design, we can’t wait to see what this powerhouse will bring to the table on Sunday, October 8.

Tickets: Hope Flower Farm in Waterford, Virginia, on Sunday, October 8

J Schwanke of uBloom.com and J Schwanke Productions

Last but certainly not least, we are honored to have floral design celebrity and “the most trusted voice in the flower industry,” J Schwanke, CEO of uBloom.com! For our final stop of 2017, J is determined to win the floral hearts of our F2V guests with designs at FernTrust in Seville, Florida, on Saturday, Nov. 18. Award-winning speaker and author of “Fun with Flowers – Your Guide to Selecting, Arranging and Enjoying Beautiful Flowers,” J’s passion for flowers shines through his designs. Lucky for us, we are able to invite our F2V guests for a workshop with J featuring tips, tricks and techniques for flower arranging. (Workshop date is yet to be determined).

Tickets: FernTrust Incorporated in Seville, Florida, on Saturday, November 18

Seats for the 2017 Certified American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour are selling fast! What are you waiting for? Save your seat today!