Archive for June, 2010

How a Rose Got Its Name

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

One of the highlights at this year’s Floriculture Expo was the 2010 Rose Naming Ceremony that took place for the first time in the United States on center stage Thursday afternoon.  A crowd of industry professionals gathered to witness the introduction of this new rose variety and its new name of course.

Much to the surprise of Bobbie Ecker Blatchford she was called up to the stage. Bobbie has been a prominent member of the floral industry for decades, who by the way introduced me to the meaning of people termed “WOOFs” (Well Off Older Folks). She is a noted designer, commentator and innovative marketer of everything flowers which stems from years of working in her family’s greenhouses and as a fabulous florist. Among her awards is the Tommy Bright Award from the Society of American Florists and the Award of Distinguished Service to the Floral Industry by AIFD.

She was acknowledged for everything she has done in our industry and then was told the new rose variety was being named “High & Icon” in her honor. Bobbie was given a lush bouquet of the High & Icon roses and her disbelief was evident. Everyone cheered because those of you who know Bobbi know just how much she deserved this honor. It was quite touching to see it all. I can’t wait to have Calyx offer this stunning new rose!Bobbie receives the news that the new rose variety "High & Icon" is named in her honor.

Congratulating Bobbie on her new rose.

Love, Peace & Daisies

Monday, June 28th, 2010

One of the fun summer business trips I look forward to each year is the annual “Super Floral Show”, now known under the somewhat more formal name of “International Floriculture Expo“. It’s a showcase of cut flowers and plants, growers, equipment, giftwares and more, along with a stellar education program offered to attendees. Last week I had the pleasure of attending my 10th show.

Because there are so many exhibitors showing flowers it takes a lot of creativity, color and ingenuity to stand out from the pack. After making my way around the gigantic expo floor a big smile came across my face. I looked down to see a very bright and cheery display of flowers that I knew I had to share.

Let's give PEACE a chance (with flowers)!

The floral creation was by Hosa International, a cut flower grower with farms in Ecuador and Columbia. They certainly made a statement with their display and I was caught by the beauty of how flowers can make even bigger flowers.

Pushin Daisies

And finally as I walked on to the next booth I was amazed to find a 7 ft tall daisy that seemed to be calling out to me from the Knud Nielsen booth.  Seemed like a good photo opportunity for me as I don’t typically have to look up to too many flowers. Next up….a flower icon.

That's one tall Daisy!

Checking Out Colchester Causeway

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Colchester Causeway provided a great outing for six of our employee/dedicated walkers last week.  Our narrator/walk coordinator, Sharon gives a wonderful recap of their experience.  Read on! 

The causeway juts 2.5 miles out into Lake Champlain, allowing for ample views of the Adirondacks, the Green Mountains, and several islands.  It was hazy yet we could still see the outlines of the many surrounding peaks.  There were fishing boats, sailboats, and canoes that also captured our interest.

Colchester Causeway Trail in Vermont
Colchester Causeway Trail in Vermont

We started at the closest parking lot on the Island Line Rail Trail and reached the causeway proper in just under a half-mile.  I was surprised to see a few trees lining the causeway at the beginning – I had been expecting a barren expanse of stone.  The trees quickly became scarcer and the views were expansive, but the trail was by no means barren.

 Wildflowers lined the gravel footway, as did shrubs and occasional trees.  Big blocks of marble could be seen alongside the causeway.  It was a fairly popular place for a Tuesday evening with walkers, joggers, and bicyclists.  People often climbed down amongst the blocks and vegetation to perches closer to the water and out of sight of the trail.

 The variety of wildflowers was impressive and I learned several species that I hadn’t seen before, including those with such interesting names as umbrellawort (wild four-o-clock) and viper’s bugloss.  There was also bedstraw (tiny, but abundant white four-petaled flowers), daisies, yellow sweet clover, crown vetch, cow vetch, wild roses, and many more.


Wildflowers: Crown Vetch
Wildflowers: Crown Vetch

Every step of the way was delightful with perfect temperatures and pleasant breezes.  For those of you that have walked here before and wondered if the causeway ever ends, we can attest, that yes it really does finally end.  Although, even as we approached, it looked like the trail kept going since the water cut was fairly small and the trail picked right up on the other side.  There was a bench at the end, a dock on both sides of the cut for the bike ferry, and a sailboat traveling through the opening.

 The return walk was also enjoyable as the setting sun cast the mountains and sky in pretty colors.  This would be a neat place to walk on a clear night with only starlight illuminating the landscape.


View of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks

View of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks

An Accidental Meeting with the Night Blooming Cereus

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Happy Friday to all the Flower Lovers!

I met up with four of my girlfriends who run this morning for a brisk 6 mile run at 5:45am. Yes, it’s early but the big advantage to me is avoiding as much heat and humidity as posssible. However today there was an even bigger advantage to getting up at the crack of dawn!

We were probably a half mile into our run when we came upon a gentleman standing on the sidewalk with a camera. (The road we run on is residential on one side of the street and the other side is the beautiful Indian River) I asked him if he was waiting to take my picture and he said, “No” but that I would want to turn and take a look at something pretty spectacular. So we stopped……

He told us to look up at this palm tree and explained that the weird plant growing up on it was a Night Blooming Cereus (aka Queen of the Night). What made this plant so special is the fact that they only bloom once a year in May/June after sundown, each flower only blooming once, and are rarely seen by people. They are pollinated by bats. And here we were just out running and got to see this amazing flower in full bloom. BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Night Blooming Cereus (pic from Bunny Chic Boutique blog b/c I did not have a camera with me on my run)

Night Blooming Cereus (pic from Bunny Chic Boutique blog b/c I did not have a camera with me on my run)

Night Blooming Cereus Info from

One of the strangest plants of the desert, the Night-bloomiing Cereus is a member of the Cactus Family that resembles nothing more than a dead bush most of the year. It is rarely seen in the wild because of its inconspicuousness. But for one midsummer’s night each year, its exqusitely scented flower opens as night falls, then closes forever with the first rays of the morning sun.


Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of southern Arizona, east to western Texas and south to northern Mexico.


Desert flats and washes between 3000 and 5000 feet, often in the shade of desert shrubs like Creosote.


These very fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers, which bloom for only one night in June or July, are up to 4 inches wide and as much as 8 inches long. The waxy, creamy-white, many-petaled flowers are followed by a red-orange, short-spined ellipitical fruit about 3 inches long.


The Night-blooming Cereus has sparse, angular, lead-gray, twiggy stems about 1/2 inch in diameter. Extremeley small spines grow along the 4 to 6 ribs of these woody stems, which can easily break. It can be erect or sprawling, reaching a length of up to 8 feet, but is usually half that length.


Boston Terriers & Flowers

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Hello Flower Lovers.

Whenever I’m designing new bouquets for upcoming seasons I always get people passing by commenting on the flowers, their beauty and their color. It’s uplifting to say the least. Quite often you’ll find my Boston Terrier, Laila Jane lying down next to me as I work. She takes an avid interest it seems in everything that I do.

So being the flower lover that she is I thought I had to share this image taken of Laila with the flowers. So pretty!

Happily posing with the lilies, lisianthus & veronica

Welcome to the beautiful Shelburne Farms

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

As I talked about a few weeks back, many of the employees at Calyx Flowers’ sister company, The Vermont Teddy Bear Company have been participating in summer trail walks. Last week Sharon provided this recap on the historic Shelburne Farms. Enjoy!

This week we walked along the Shelburne Farm trails and dirt roads for about 2.5 hours. We started out across an open field and soon found ourselves strolling along a smooth dirt road lined with magnificent old trees. The trees tower above the walkers. The furrows in the bark are 3 inches deep! Shelburne Farms offers all sorts of sights, but this was my favorite part. There were views of Camel’s Hump and the other Green Mountains from this allee.

Majestic trees line the pathway at Shelburne Farms.
Majestic trees line the pathway at Shelburne Farms.

A tractor laden with hay bales drove by us as we dipped into a brief area of woods and when we emerged, the castle-like Farm Barn came into view through the haze and almost appeared to be a mirage. Seeing some farm animals en route, we walked right past the “barn” and then headed uphill into the woods. There was an eerie gathering of totems near the trail. We followed the wide, smooth path farther upwards and soon reached a brick patio/bench/wall structure overlooking the lake, although the views there were mostly obscured by trees.

View approaching the Shelburne Farms BarnEnjoying their dinner & a nice summer evening at Shelburne Farms

View approaching the Shelburne Farms Barn & then some hungry pigs along we saw along the way.
Just beyond that we reached the “summit” of Lone Tree Hill with expansive views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. Looking behind us, we could also see a slice of the Green Mountains. After enjoying the vista, we headed down the other side of the hill and made a wide circle through the property alternately going through woods and on dirt roads along fields with more views of the lake and the Adirondacks. We explored the Market Garden area which had both flowers and vegetables growing over a wide area. Whew, lots of hard work went into all those plantings. There was a neat shelter that looked like an inviting, shaded break area for the gardeners.

After that, we soon circled back to the parking lot, completing our loop, and bringing to an end another pleasant evening ramble.

A view of the garden area & shelter

A view of the garden area & shelter

Calyx Flowers & Social Media

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Hello Social Media, Hello New Conversations –

It’s time for Facebook and Twitter and The Flower Lover’s Blog to become part of our company’s core. It’s funny to reflect on the journey that has brought Calyx to the year 2010. Way back in 1988, the company was founded as the very first to ship flowers “in a box” direct from the growers. Our means of marketing – the catalog.

Today we still mail those beautiful catalogs to your home via the US Postal Service but we now email and tweet and talk to our fans on Facebook, oops I mean those who “Like” us. The fabulous part of it all is that we can gather inspiration from all these new areas and really get to know our customers. Case in point – it made my day to read on May 8th a post from a Calyx recipient thanking us for delivering beautiful Mother’s Day flowers from her babies. It’s our hope to keep these conversations going, expanding and becoming more inspirational!

Check Calyx Flowers out on Facebook ( or Follow us on Twitter @calyxflowers and share, share, share!

Monochromatic Mixtures

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

It’s no secret that our Calyx Flower Lovers love a bold monochromatic mixture of flowers so I couldn’t wait to tout our newest look – the Blue Hydrangea Bouquet. This is a dramatic combination of billowy blue hydrangeas paired with a similarly shaded blue crackle glass vase. I have no doubt its popularity will rise this summer. It’s clean, contemporary and tasteful when displayed in your home or sent to that of your special someone. Enjoy!

Indeed a monochromatic masterpiece!

Indeed a monochromatic masterpiece!