Archive for the ‘Learning about flowers’ Category

Woodland Designs Class and Francoise Weeks coming to Chicago April 8th and 9th

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Are you a floral designer looking to learn new techniques and mechanics ? Are you looking to stand out from the crowd and offer unique designs for your wedding couples or looking to provide unusual installations for a hotel lobby? Now is your chance.  Francoise Weeks who lives and works in Portland Oregon will be coming to Chicago on April 8th and 9th to each a workshop on Woodland Designs and Botanical Couture.

Class is limited to 12 students and will be taking place at our studio located at 2010 W. Fulton Suite F248 in Chicago. Cross streets are Damen and Fulton Avenue.

For additional information on the topics that will be discussed, pricing and tools to bring please click on the link Francoise Weeks in Chicago or to RSVP please call 503-236-5829 or email





About Francoise Weeks

Born in Belgium, where flowers are an integral part of everyday life, Francoise trained with florists in Antwerp. She has done hundreds of weddings since 1996 and has translated her passion for nature and the garden into a distinctive, lush and textural style. Through the imaginative use of flowers, herbs, fruits and foliages , Francoise is highly skilled at translating fresh ideas into exquisite reality.

I had the pleasure of meeting Francoise during my yearly trip with the Chapel Designers out to NYC last March. I was able to take a brief workshop on woodland bouquets and I was amazed at all the mechanics I was able to learn in a small amount of time from her which I’m able to translate into my own designs.



The flower I’m loving now….. Anemones

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Oh yes, pretty little anemones how I love you thee. It is prime anemones season in the US. Anemones are that white flower with the black centers, the one that nobody can seem to pronounce correctly.  They are indeed a novelty and is definitely a popular flower. Most clients request for it year round but unfortunately it’s not a year round flower. They love the cold weather. When cut and put in an arrangement the flower’s petals will close in the cold and open when the environment is warm.

Anemones bruise easily, hence why they don’t travel so well. Out of ten stems in a bunch on a good day 8 of them will be good enough to use on a design…. on a bad day half of the bunch will be worthless.  The stems are hollow and soft.

Anemones come in a wide array of colors….. purple, red, lavender, light pink, orange, blue, burgundy, white with black centers, white with green centers (this is a hard one to find!) and blush. They are (unfortunately) not available in yellow.


Pink anemones

Orange anemones

Can you see the orange anemones almost jumping out at the wholesale flower market?

White Roses and White Anemones bouquet

Just a few white anemones in a bridal bouquet make a huge impact


White anemone with a green center

The flower I’m loving now…. Japanese Sweetpeas

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

A new feature on our Exquisite Designs blog will be teaching our followers a little bit about the flowers that we use in for our events. One thing that sets us apart is our use of unique flowers or what we call in the floral industry “novelty” product. Novelty product is hard to find, usually unique in color and not sold by everyone in the wholesale markets. To find novelty product you have to get away from your  usual confines and go find it!

Today’s novelty product or flower that I’m loving now are Japanese Sweetpeas. They do come from Japan (I wonder what gave it away!) but the unique item about these flowers is that unlike their US grown sweet peas these have really long stems. Sweetpeas are grown in vines, Japanese sweet peas have stems that are usually 12 to 14″ long. Locally grown sweet peas have stems that are usually  6″ to 10″ in length.  They love to drink water and are long lasting.  Since they travel a little further to get to us they are a little pricier too…. but they are so worth it.

Spring Compote

Can you see the sweetpeas coming out on the right hand side and the top of this gorgeous compote?

Blush Japanese Sweetpeas

Look at the length on those stems. Perfect for bouquets, compotes or even elevated centerpieces!

Close up of Japanese Sweetpeas

Sweetpeas are available in a huge array of colors… from white, to blush, coral  all the way to deep purples and burgundies. The best part about them is their sweet smell.  Japanese sweet peas will be available from now til the early April.