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Sometimes You Just Need a Break!

There are times when I’m asked to create a special floral design…someone will say, “I want something different, something my mom, sister, husband, wife, child has never seen before” or “I want something that people will remember, something that will impress my guests”. When I receive these kinds of requests I either know immediately what I want to make or I’m a little stumped and need to go in search of some creativity. When I need to search for creatively I find the internet to be a great source of ideas. And, sometimes, I just need to give my head free or mindless space to allow room for creative ideas to come in…when I’m in THAT space of needing to free up space in my head, I often find that playing games at FoxyBingo is just what I need.

I love Bingo because there is very little thinking involved…you look for the number that is called on your score card, hope to get numbers that line up either horizontally, vertically or diagonally and WIN a pot of money.

There are other times when I want to exercise my mind and then I want to play poker…which may be my ultimate favorite game. This game requires thinking, strategy and the famous poker face (not letting on to the other players what you have in your hand, which is really hard to do for someone like me because generally, what is on my mind you can read on my face!) In an online video poker game, the other players can’t see your face, but the way you play tells the other players a lot about you as well. You have to mix up the way you bet and how much you bet so the other players don’t see a pattern and thus read your hand.

And, hey, if games aren’t your thing, you can go for a walk, watch a movie, go to the library and look through books and magazines for photos to give you inspiration. I often come up with great ideas when I walk among nature.

Tell me what you do for inspiration when your mind just goes blank.

Holiday Decorating Made Easy-Dining Room Table and Mantle

I have to be in the mood for Christmas before I can start decorating my own home…and being in the mood definitely means waiting until AFTER my birthday, 12/4. This year, we are going to the sun for a week before Christmas, so I don’t want to do too much decorating, but, I don’t want my house sitter to feel like she is missing out on the holiday spirit, so I am going to be decorating my dining room table and mantle today. Tomorrow, I may tackle another table top.

Easy Holiday Table Decor

You can create a “garland” just by cutting greenery from your yard!

In this example I cut a variety of greenery for the table and laid it down the center. Then I added some beautiful red ornaments and a few stems of phalaenopsis orchids. In this case the orchids were fresh, but you could easily use silk flowers as well. I also added a little bit of bling with some pearl and gold sprays.

I did the same thing for the mantle, but since I had the vases on the end of the mantle I also included some branches with little red berries…super easy to do!

Filming with Dina Manzo

One of the courses coming out is how to throw a formal dinner party…so, of course, we had to stage a formal dinner party. I did all the flowers for each table. This was one of my favorite tables. The meal was catered by Randall Selland. Here are a few photos from the dinner party.

Here is a photo of Randall Selland explaining what was going to be served…Dina requested gluten and dairy free food.

Chef Randall Selland explaining what was going to be served for dinner.

And, finally, here is a photo of our entree…scallops with lobster and mushrooms…yummy!

Working with Dina Manzo

Wanted to share this photo taken with Dina Manzo while on location in Calistoga, Ca filming for 12 new DIY training courses called, It’s My Party and I’ll Plan if I Want To” to be released March 2013. Come out to the Event Solutions Conference in Las Vegas and meet Dina in person.

Angie Zimmerman and Dina Manzo

I had never met Dina before and honestly had never seen her on TV…I really liked her…she is so down to earth, cute and funny.


It dawned on me while trying to go to sleep last night that refrigeration for flowers is a topic I have not spent much time on and there are some terms that would be helpful for you to know. Today I will introduce you to the types of refrigeration most available to florists. And, by the way, in the business we refer to flower refrigeration as a COOLER.

A REACH IN COOLER in the floral world is typically a smaller refrigerator that has glass doors. Depending upon the size of the cooler, they typically come in 2 door, 3 door or 4 door sizes. A two door may pull open, but generally they open like a sliding glass door.

A WALK IN COOLER is much bigger, although, walk in’s are designed to be able to make them as big or small as you need. The panels come in standard sizes and you fit the panels together to create the shape and size you need.

A DISPLAY COOLER is a cooler that has glass which allows you to see inside…you would normally have some sort of display cooler if you are operating a retail store front…you want your customers to be able to see the arrangements for sale on display in the cooler.

There is another option when buying a cooler, it is a combination display/storage cooler. The cooler is sectioned off so that there is an area enclosed with glass so you and your customers can see what is inside and it has another section that you cannot see without opening a door…so it is a combination cooler.

All coolers will have some additional parts that you should be aware of…Evaporation Coil is part of the fan and it’s purpose is to draw heat out of the air…an evaporation coil in a flower cooler helps ensure the ideal temperature is reach without moving a lot of air inside the cooler; it also helps keep the air inside the cooler moist.

A Compressor or Condenser is the motor that runs the cooler. It generates a lot of heat and noise. Depending upon where you are locating your cooler, you may want to consider locating the compressor outside like on the roof.

A Fan is the third part of a cooler and it constantly draws air from outside the cooler, cooling that air by running it across the evaporation coil. The fans in flower coolers are smaller resulting in less air movement so as not to dry out the flowers. The more the air moves around, the more it dries out the flowers.

Lovely Garden Style Design

I had the pleasure of providing wedding flowers for a lovely bride, Kristina this week. Her wedding was on Thursday, which is an unusual day for a wedding. She really loved the upscale garden look and she wanted to incorporate silver mercury glass. So I found mercury glass vases and several different sized silver mercury glass votives. I put a mercury glass ornament on top of one of the votives to use as an orb and put tea lights in the others…the tables were beautiful, even though I didn’t get the best photos…it was dark already and my camera is not the best for taking photos in the dark…but this will give you an idea of how the tables looked. I used dusty miller, pink peony, burgundy dahlias, white garden roses, white nerine lilies, antique green hydrangeas and pale pink tulips. The idea was to use all the space down the middle of the table for the decor…I think that was accomplished…what do you think?

Out on the patio at Il Fornaio, Roseville, Ca.

Elegant upscale garden design

We’re Back In Business

Hi There, over the past several weeks I’ve been experiencing major website problems and if you tried to join our community you were not able to do so…that is all fixed now. So feel free to join … the easiest way is to go to the REGISTRATION TAB and then follow the instructions within that tab. I believe we have 130 full length videos available for your viewing pleasure. More being edited as I write. This is a great way to learn flower arranging…you jut watch me, go out and buy what you need and then follow along with me again on video. Let me know if there is anything else you need or a specific design style you want to learn…I’m happy to make new videos for you.

Flowering Branches – The Pussywillow

The appearance of furry pussywillow branches is one of the first enduring signs of spring. These delightful decorative branches make a perfect addition to a floral display or can be used all by themselves in a tall vase or even to create a spring wreath for your front door. Placing them in a vase without water will allow them to dry so that you can enjoy them in arrangements long after they are out of season.

Native to the wetlands of Canada and the Eastern US, these familiar and popular willows have graceful, flexible branches. Pussy willows quickly grow from 20 to 35 feet. Typically they will add 4 to 6 feet to their height every year so they are perfect if you are looking for something to quickly add height and interest to your garden. Reaching maturity after about 5 years, they have a lifespan of just around 35 years.



Victorian Themed Tablescape

I had the opportunity to design and decorate a table for a Red Cross Fundraising event and I chose to do a Victorian Wedding Theme. At the last minute I switched the main centerpiece to a lamp shade made out of flowers. I even attached 2 battery operated lights to the bottom of the lampshade so that light was reflected into the vase that the shade sat on top of…I also added a ring of flowers around the base of the vase. In addition I make 2 moss purses with flowers and 2 moss high heal shoes with flowers as accents on the table. I make fresh flower (baby roses) napkin rings and 2 small topiaries as table accents.

I used a color scheme of white, pale pink and darker pink…although, when my hydrangeas arrived they were quite green, so the lampshade has green hues to it. This was a fun table to create…what do you think of my design?

Adding Unique Touches To Your Centerpieces

Floral centerpiece with chili peppersOne of the best parts about creating centerpieces is finding that extra little surprise to add to the design to make it totally unique.

I have used fruits and vegetables in my centerpieces for years. I love incorporating artichokes, lemons, limes, grapes, eggplant or oranges. It adds so much fun to a centerpiece because it is unexpected and therefore causes the brain to react with curiosity and appreciation. I always say, your centerpieces create the ambiance at your event, you spend the bulk of your time, so be creative and spend the bulk of your flower budget on the centerpieces! Besides incorporating fruits and vegetables into the centerpieces, you can also use them outside/around the centerpieces. I have hallowed out an opening in apples and citrus fruits to hold a votive candle, which again is a fun and unexpected element to your centerpieces. The most popular use of fruit in centerpieces is probably using them to fill a vase with the flowers sitting on top of the vase.

The lovely arrangement to the left is an example of incorporating orange chili peppers into the floral designs.

Below is an example incorporating pumpkins and gourds into the design. This particular centerpiece also incorporated pomegranates and red chili peppers with the mini pumpkins as accents around the centerpiece. You can see off to the left on the ground some carved pumpkins that held candles for spooky lights when the sun went down.

This is also a great time of year to use terra cotta pots because the color is so perfect. I used aged terra cotta pots (they have kind of a patina shading to them) and small pumpkins around the actual centerpiece….really fun way to bring in the season.

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